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New To The National League: Notts County

8 May 2019

Notts County supporters Rex Features
Notts County fans cheer their team despite last-day relegation

Formed: 1862
Nickname:
The Magpies

Who’s in charge?
Neal Ardley cut short a family holiday to take the reins at Notts County in November, having previously spent six successful years in charge of AFC Wimbledon.

A Dons legend, Ardley spent 11 years of his playing career with the club during which he made almost 250 appearances and helped them reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the League Cup in 1997.

Spells with Watford, Cardiff City and Millwall followed, whilst the midfielder also featured for England at Under-21 level during his days as a player.

In 2012 he took on the challenge of helping to further establish the reformed Dons in League Two before exceeding expectations by leading the club to promotion to League One in 2016.

Ardley became the third permanent manager of the season at Notts County when he took the job, replacing Harry Kewell who had spent ten weeks in the hotseat after succeeding Kevin Nolan.

How did they get here?
After reaching the League Two play-offs in 2017/18, last season was all supposed to be about targeting automatic promotion for Notts County – but that dream very quickly turned in to a nightmare.

The Magpies collected just one point from their first five games which prompted Chairman Alan Hardy to take action and Kevin Nolan was gone before August was out.

Harry Kewell was poached from Crawley Town but managed only three wins during an ill-fated ten weeks at the helm, leaving them third bottom when he departed at the start of November.

New boss Ardley waited until the middle of December for his first win, by which point County had dropped in to the relegation zone

Five wins during the last three months kept alive their battle for survival but a 3-1 defeat at Swindon Town on the final day condemned them to relegation from the EFL for the first time in their history.

When did we last meet?
Pools and Notts County shared a division in 2016/17 when The Magpies not only enjoyed a League Two double but also defeated us in the Football League Trophy – all three games finished 2-1.

When do we play them?
The fixtures for the new National League season are not due out until early July.

Where do they play?
Meadow Lane has been home to Notts County since 1910 and boasts a current capacity of just under 20,000.

Did You Know?

Notts County were founder members of the Football League in 1888 and, at 157-years-old, were officially the “world’s oldest football league club” until the relegation.

Higgy’s View
“It looks as though Notts County have a big summer ahead in trying to find new owners and sort everything out so it could be a big season as well. It’s difficult when you come down, we know all about that and what’s like trying to get used to the National League. Meadow Lane is a great place to play football though, it’s a lovely stadium and a club with a proud history. I am sure – like we did – they will feel aggrieved at being relegated but they are now coming in to an unforgiving division.”


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