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neoELITE

League 1, 2, Non League Football 2018-19 Season

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I usually post up a thread to cover League 1 and below and here it is. Welcome once again for another season of lower league football fun.

 

If you aren't listed (I copied/pasted from last seasons' thread), can you add your club in your first post and tell us a little about why you support them and what you think your chances are this season, I'll update this OP with your team and username..

 

Some links:

 

English Football League official website

The Non League Paper

Football Ground Guide for travelling fans

Soccer Stats.com

 

@neoELITE - Plymouth Argyle

@Coltrane - Portsmouth (League 1)

@Danster  - Bristol Rovers (League 1

@El Pibe - Exeter City (League 2)

@Fatsam - Wrexham (National League)

@Tomox - Oxford United (League 1)

@gospvg - Oxford United (League 1)

@Chawkso - Oxford United (League 1)

@Spleen - Portsmouth (League 1)

@wullie - Coventry City (League 1)

@rgraves - Peterborough United (League 1)

@Cosmic_Guru - Sutton United (National League)

@Billy Brown - Crewe Alexandria (League 2)

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My team is Plymouth Argyle and I am a season ticket holder. This season, I even bought a shirt (well, it was a belated Father's Day present).

 

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I support them as I live here and my Dad took me to my first game in 1983 when I was 7 years old. I started attending regularly during the 1986 season and since then, I've been a season ticket holder ever since; even when I didn't live in Plymouth, including living in Sweden for almost a year, my Dad renewed my ticket as he was convinced we'd be in the top flight and I wouldn't be able to get one :lol:

 

I moan and grumble a lot about my team and we are massive under achievers. We got to within sniffing distance of the top flight once or twice since I've been supporting the club and we reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1984 (the first third tier club to do so) but that's about it in terms of success.  I go as it's something to get me out of the house on a Saturday and although we've had many more lows than highs, Saturdays wouldn't be the same. It is also the only time I see my Dad when it is just him and I so it's a time to catch up and do "manly things" together like watch football and go to the social club afterwards.

 

I think we'll end up mid-table in League 1 this year. We had a tremendous turnaround last time and just fell short at the end. We've let loads of that squad go and got loads of players in so, like lower league clubs, it is all change.  Games I am looking forward to will be Portsmouth at home (always a good crowd and atmosphere), Scunthorpe (we owe them one or two), Bristol Rovers (our 'local derby' - a 2 hour drive away) and obviously Sunderland.

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Coventry are League One now <_<

 

Looking forward to this season! New manager. New faces in the squad. A brand new stand that's almost ready. Plus a second hand away end that will mean we have a covered away end! Should really help with generating an atmosphere.

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I'm looking forward to this season at Sutton Utd, my second as Season Ticket holder.  My prediction is for a mid table finish this year and a better run in the Trophy - to semis or beyond.  I think that would be a reasonable outcome given the opposition this season -  a pot pouri of established FL clubs (Leyton, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Monkey-hangers), the newly rich (Salford and Fylde), the up and comers (Harrogate Town, Hampton & Richmond, Braintree Town) who usually start well, as well as the rest.  I hope we improve our home form this season since last season the away form was significantly better.  Our plastic pitch doesn't seem to confer much home benefit then, once a  match is underway, although clearly there are huge community and financial benefits to it - as it is we all have to race through 14 league fixtures by the end of September to minimise the mid-winter fixture pile-ups.  I hope the FL get their shit together and conclude that clubs promoted to L2 can retain their pitches for up to 3 years, or even permanently.

 

Player movement wise, we have

Out - Louis John to Cambridge Utd, various fringe players

In -  Dale Bennett (Forest Green Rovers)

Returning after spells in L2 - Dan Wishart (Forest Green Rovers)  & Charlie Clough (Barnet) - we seem to resign players frequently here.

So a little improvement in first team experience then, which is probably all we can hope for with our budget  - as far as I know we remain semi-pro.

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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3 hours ago, Carlos Valderrama said:

Coventry are League One now <_<

 

Looking forward to this season! New manager. New faces in the squad. A brand new stand that's almost ready. Plus a second hand away end that will mean we have a covered away end! Should really help with generating an atmosphere.

 

I've edited the Coventry listing - sorry @wullie

 

Yes, your ground does need a bit of TLC and the away end has (before now) always been one of the worst places to watch football. Looking good though. It'll be a big test post-Tisdale to rebrand the squad; a bit like Arsenal without Wenger and Utd without Fergie. 

 

Our Grandstand is apparently being renovated at the moment, although not a lot other than demolition work seems to have been done since May. We have a reduced capacity and it sadly coincided with the seat next to mine being reserved by a Grandstand season ticket holder so I couldn't get my youngest daughter a season ticket - she went to loads of games last season too :( I hope it gets done and finished by the end of this season as she might lose interest not going. She's my last chance to pass on the curse of Plymouth Argyle.

 

Any Torquay fans here? Their plan for a new stadium looked amazing on the local news yesterday however, it is just a plan.

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Oxford Utd have signed quite a few players & some season long loans. Hopefully we can challenge for a play off place. We should have finished mid table last season but a poor run in the 2nd half saw us nearer the bottom.

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 Can't see those Torquay plans coming true. Just read that poor Truro are going to be groundsharing with Torquay. That's a hell of a trip for a home game.

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Pompey fan here living in Coventry.

All through the highs and lows (very lows) I've been a Pompey fan, grew up on the IOW and went to my first game in 1980 something. 

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Our stock programme cover was ace that season,  and a bargain at only 25p.

 

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I've been a Wrexham fan since 93 after my mates finally pestered me into going.  The only stuff I'd really watched before that was world cups and the odd FA Cup final,  but standing on the kop for the first time watching Karl Connolly's real live action skills with his shirt hanging out the back and I was instantly in love with Wrexham and football.

 

New manager Sam Rickets in for our can't remember how many consecutive season in the fifth tier.  Back 4 is retained, but we have lost Wedgbury in midfield who was really solid in front of them. Having said that, the quality of midfield looks to have been improved with the addition of Young and Summerfield and a formation that should get the best out of Deverdics in an advanced central midfield position. Luke Summerfield in particular has been looking excellent in pre-season. New addition Fondop has been the other highlight who looks a handful up front and appears to know where the net is. Despite retaining a core of last years team, we do look like a work in progress and could have a slow start to the season. Particularly as we've got tricky first games away at Dover and then Fylde and Boreham Wood at home. That last one is on the tele, which I expect you all to watch.

 

Good luck everyone.

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Wouldn't surprise me if my dad had that programme, there are about five legal file boxes of Rovers' programmes sitting in his garage. Ranging from 1960-2016ish. I am intending on going through them at some point.

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Still got this tucked away

 

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Absolutely no idea what to expect this season, this is the first time I've ever seen us as a newly-promoted side. We got out of League 2 by the skin of our teeth thanks largely to Marc McNulty's 28 goals, and now he's gone to Reading and we're yet to replace him. I've got faith in Robins and his team where I haven't in countless previous managers and we seem to be tipped to finish anywhere between 7th and 15th, which I'd probably be ok with.

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What happened to Beavon with you wullie ?

 

Sounds like he did well when you first signed him, got a two year deal,  and then was disappointing and hardly featured much last season. Was that simply just down to his lack of goals.

 

He came on and was apparently decent for us in our final pre-season game against Forest Green yesterday. Given he was voted fans player of the season in both Burton Albions promotions before moving to Coventry, I'm mildly optimistic he can actually do alright for us at our level. Should I be?

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He was decent enough in the half-season after signing but more in a hard work sense than a goal threat, it was a surprise to see him get a new contract really as it never seemed like he was Robins' kind of player. If he's foil for a goalscorer for you I think he should end up an astute signing

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1 hour ago, wullie said:

He was decent enough in the half-season after signing but more in a hard work sense than a goal threat, it was a surprise to see him get a new contract really as it never seemed like he was Robins' kind of player. If he's foil for a goalscorer for you I think he should end up an astute signing

 

Okay cool, yeah his lack of goalscoring has been noted and he was thus instantly dismissed as a shite signing by the experts on our forum.

 

We're playing with one up front now and three behind so I'm not sure where he'll be playing, but we've got a couple of strikers who should score a few and others in the team that will contribute so his lack of goal threat may well not be an issue. 

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Well, we thrashed Bristol Rovers 4-0 in a pre season friendly. Here we go! Champions! 

 

Or, more likely, mid-table mediocrity! :D

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3 hours ago, Carlos Valderrama said:

No idea what you mean. Something about the flow of your post or dredging things up. :facepalm:

 

My brain's sufficiently broke that the first thing I thought of was the verb rive.

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On 30/07/2018 at 15:09, Cosmic_Guru said:

@neoELITE you have just signed a new keeper on loan from Arsenal - Matt Macey .  A big lad, I think he got a few outings in the Europa league and Carabao cup last year.  

 

Sounds good. We were hoping we'd get Remi Matthews back on loan from Norwich but on paper, this might be better. 

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@Spleen Nice programme my friend :) I remember going to the friendly against Liverpool that's pictured on the front of that programme. Up until I was about 9/10 I was a staunch Liverpool fan but I started going to Fratton Park regularly in about 1983/4 with my Granddad and watched us lift the old Division 3 title. I became a Pompey convert not long after. It was always my local team after all so I'm kind of glad I stopped becoming a glory hunter ;)

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1 hour ago, Coltrane said:

@Spleen Nice programme my friend :) I remember going to the friendly against Liverpool that's pictured on the front of that programme. Up until I was about 9/10 I was a staunch Liverpool fan but I started going to Fratton Park regularly in about 1983/4 with my Granddad and watched us lift the old Division 3 title. I became a Pompey convert not long after. It was always my local team after all so I'm kind of glad I stopped becoming a glory hunter ;)

 

Cheers.

Are you sure you're not me? Haha.

I remember being a very young Liverpool fan too, I started going to Fratton Park with my dad and have never looked back.

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Been following Oxford United pretty much since I was old enough to be taken up to the Manor Ground by my dad (also a lifelong supporter). I was just too young to miss out on our best period in the mid 80s when we were in the First Division and won the League Cup. I was however old enough to go through the painful move from the Manor to our new home on the outskirts of the city, the sale of the club to someone who had no interest in it beyond extracting what he could for himself, our gradual decline through the divisions, and our lowest point being relegated from the football league. After watching us in the wilderness for years, being back in League One seems like the promised land and the last few seasons (except perhaps the last one which I'll get to) have probably been the best I can remember.

 

Onto last season and what started with optimism almost ended in disaster with us dangerously close to relegation. Injuries to key players, poor summer recruitment, a manager who was tactically stubborn, and an owner who was looking to jump ship all contributed to a free fall in the second half of the season. We have a new owner from Thailand, and despite initial reservations he seems to have made some decent progress so far - time will tell about what his longer term aims are.

 

Appointed Karl Robinson (who I appreciate is not the most exciting appointment but he knows the division), communication with the fans is greatly improved, he's secured a good sponsorship deal with Singha beer, been involved with our new training facilities that are being built, and has recruited people to key posts that went unfilled before.

We've lost a couple of key players over the summer who have moved onto to bigger things, Ryan Ledson to PNE, and Joe Rothwell to Blackburn - good luck to them both, they've given everything for the club. We've also had a major clearout of some of the less successful recruits from the last couple of seasons.

 

In their place we've had a pretty decent window, bringing in a mix of youth and experience, some permanent some loans. Always in two minds about loans, but it gives us access to players we wouldn't be able to afford to sign permanently, and our operating model for the past few years has been to buy young players alongside that and develop them - accepting that we'll have to sell someone each season to keep going.

 

We managed to hold onto our keeper Eastwood who has been immense and saved us God knows how many points over the past few seasons. Signed a new contract keeping him with us, but Rob Hall, and Curtis Nelson who are two other important players to us have yet to sign and only have a year left on theirs. Got a few youth players coming through too who like decent prospects.

 

Renewed my season ticket and I'm cautiously optimistic again, but I'd settle for a mid table finish without too much drama and a decent cup run this year!

 

Good luck everyone.

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