With the loss of some big hitters from League Two last season, you could be forgiven for thinking this year might see a smaller club give it ‘a right good go’.
After the promotions of ex Premier League clubs Portsmouth and Blackpool, coupled with Doncaster also returning to League One most clubs with however small the budget may be, sensed glory might be only 46 games away.
However, the relegation trapdoor opened far enough to send another set of bigger clubs down to the basement division and send some of those dreams in check.
Coventry City and Swindon Town have both plied their wares in the top division, albeit not for a few years and like Pompey before them, the slide is complete to the bottom.
Unable to compete with the bigger clubs in the Premier League and despite the increased money at the top both clubs find themselves now one division away from dropping out of the Football League, Leyton Orient finding out last season the twists and turns that take you from almost a Championship side to a non-league side in a matter of seasons.
Both clubs will expect to bounce straight back up, but there will be a few sides aiming to upset the apple cart.
Favorites and the teams to watch
Mansfield are deemed one of the favourites by the bookies, shrewd management from Steve Evans suggests they will be in the mix.
The division’s new boys from the National League will certainly bring a freshness to the division, the Cowley brothers will hope to keep the Lincoln bandwagon rolling on whilst Forest Green’s first venture into League football, bankrolled by chairman Dale Vince, will hold a lot of interest in the ‘village side’.
Buoyed by their title win last season, Lincoln look set to continue their recent successes with some astute summer signings and if they can keep 6000 people coming to Sincil Bank, their home form could carry them a long way.
The teams looking to improve
Forest Green, whose village only consists of 5000 people, will rely on manager Mark Cooper’s knowledge and nous of the lower divisions to ensure they won’t be looking over their shoulders at the relegation trap door.
Crawley Town pricked up some ears appointing Harry Kewell over the summer and they will expect to be in and around the playoff picture, along with Luton Town and Exeter who both had good seasons last time out and will want to go one better this term.
Yeovil, Cheltenham and Crewe would be hopeful of a better showing than last season, while the likes of Barnet, Accrington and Newport will want to push hard to punch above their weight.
Tip for the title: Swindon
Relegation favourites: Morecombe and Yeovil
Written by Trevor Knell
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