Next Game: Pre-Season Friendly - Melksham Town Away on Saturday 7th July

Friday, July 28, 2006

Opposition Preview: Part 1

Accrington Stanley - 25/1 - A solitary signing, Port Vale midfielder Sean Doherty, kept fans waiting until this week when manager John Coleman finally unveiled two more - ex-Everton man Jay Harris and former Halifax stopper Ian Dunbavin, who becomes the club's most experienced goalkeeper. Accy have a style of play that is expected to adapt well to League football, but prize assets like Gary Roberts may be prised away.
Barnet - 80/1 - A dismal return to the Football League last season is expected by most to be followed by a return to the Conference this time round. Cash strapped and in a ground that still fails to make League requirements, Barnet were fined for their ill-discipline last season. Four new signings, including veteran goalkeeper Lee Harrison and former Bulls loanee Nicky Nicolau, leave Barnet with a smaller squad than last time.
Boston - 25/1 - All change at Boston, with eight new signings including Anthony Elding. With Steve Evans already complaining about his miniscule budget, and a rumoured move to Darlington for the fiery Scot in the pipeline, anything could happen to Boston this season.
Bristol Rovers - 16/1 - Big ambitions at the Memorial Ground after a leaky defence cost them a play-off spot last season. After conceding more than relegated Oxford, Rovers have brought in the Bulls own Ryan Green and keeper Steve Phillips to rectify the problems. Rumours still persist around the future of striker Junior Agogo, with little in the squad to replace him.
Bury - 66/1 - Getting smaller gates than their tenants FC United of Manchester doesn't provide the resources to challenge for promotion. A blend of journeyman footballers mixed with raw local talent is expected to struggle against relegation, though the goals of Conference top scorer Andy Bishop may see them through in the end.
Chester - 25/1 - It's never quiet at the Deva Stadium. If it's not the Chairman blaming the fans, then it's a player or two disagreeing with Mark Wright. This pre-season has had it all with the Chairman pulling transfer funds and Michael Branch making a surprise return to the fold after being told where to go. If Mark Wright has found 20 people to make a squad that won't fall out with him then they'll be right up there with the flying pigs.