Fallen giants Portsmouth are the biggest name in Sky Bet League Two for the 2013/14 campaign, while York City will also face relegated Scunthorpe United, Bury and Hartlepool United, plus promoted Conference pair Mansfield Town and Newport County. Here Dave Flett and Toby Latham run the rule over the Minstermen’s 23 rivals.


Accrington Stanley

Manager: James Beattie
Ground: Crown Ground (capacity 5,057)
Last season: 18th
Nickname: Stanley
Star man: Will Hatfield
Transfers: In – Nicky Hunt (Rotherham), Shay McCartan (Burnley), Rob Atkinson (Fleetwood), Josh Windass, Danny Webber (Sheffield United); Out – Charlie Barnett, Aidan Chippendale (Bury), Bohan Dixon, Tom Eckersley (Tamworth), Craig Lindfield (Chester), Amine Linganzi (Gillingham), Lee Molyneux
(Crewe), Romauld Boco (Yeovil)
Verdict: “With a new manager at the helm in James Beattie it is difficult to predict where Stanley will finish up. However, with pre-season results having gone our way, the club is confident of a mid-table finish but we have our eyes on the play-offs.” (Lancashire Telegraph)


Bristol Rovers

Manager: John Ward
Ground: Memorial Stadium (capacity 12,100)
Last season: 14th
Nickname: The Pirates
Star man: Jim Paterson
Transfers: In – Steve Mildenhall (Millwall), John-Joe O’Toole (Colchester); Out – Adam Virgo, Scott Bevan, Joe Anyinsah, Oumare Tounkara (Stevenage), Ross Staley, Connor Finn, Sam Kamara.
Verdict: “At this time, the squad is strong but eight injuries to some of the senior players will mean that the success of Bristol’s season depends on how quickly these players recover. Despite this, the club is still confident of an improvement on last year and a mid-table finish.” (Bristol Evening Post)


Burton Albion

Manager: Gary Rowett
Ground: Pirelli Stadium (capacity 6,912)
Last season: 4th
Nickname: Brewers
Star man: Rory Delap
Transfers: In – Alex MacDonald (Burnley), Dominic Knowles (Harrogate), Adam Reed (Sunderland), Phil Edwards (Rochdale), Ian Sharps (Rotherham), Michael Symes (Leyton Orient), Chris Hussey (AFC Wimbledon), Rene Howe (Torquay), Rory Delap (Stoke); Out – Aaron Webster, John McGrath, Andy Corbett (retired), Nathan Stanton, Adi Yussuf (Lincoln), Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday), Calvin Zola (Aberdeen), Devarn Green (Blackburn), Stuart Tomlinson (retired), Evan Garnett, Jack Green.
Verdict: “Albion went very close to promotion last year having made the play-offs and that in itself will be a tough act to follow. Albion’s home form last year was excellent but they faltered on the road and so their success away from home will determine their position come the end of the season.” (Burton Mail)


Bury

Manager: Kevin Blackwell
Ground: Gigg Lane (capacity 11,840)
Last season: 22nd in League One
Nickname: The Shakers
Star man: Anton Forrester
Transfers: In – Andy Procter (Preston), Nathan Cameron (Coventry), Greg McDermott (Stockport), Gareth Roberts (Derby), Ashley Grimes (Rochdale), Rob Lainton (Bolton), John Rooney (Barnsley), Chris Sedgwick (Hyde), Reice Charles-Cook (Arsenal), Anton Forrester (Bury - loan), Richard Hinds (Yeovil), Jessy Reindorf (unattached), Aidan Chippendale (Accrington), Euan Holden; Out – Joe Skarz (Rotherham), Efe Sodje, David Healy, Marcus Marshall (Morecambe), Mark Carrington, Mark Hughes (Morecambe), Carl Regan, Cameron Belford, Craig Fagan, Valery Mezague, Steven Schumacher (Fleetwood), David Worrall (Rotherham), Max Harrop, Jordan Melia, Dalton McLaughlin, Christian Dibble (Barnsley).
Verdict: “At this time it’s unclear how Bury will fare this season due to the fact that 15 new players have been brought into the squad of 20. However, if Kevin Blackwell manages to get the players to gel then they could make the play-offs or even challenge for automatic promotion.” (Bury Times)


Cheltenham Town

Manager: Mark Yates
Ground: Whaddon Road (capacity 7,066)
Last season: 5th
Nickname: The Robins
Star man: Jamie Cureton
Transfers: In – Jamie Cureton (Exeter), Troy Brown (Aldershot), Matt Richards (Shrewsbury), Terry
Gornell (Rochdale), Jamie Devitt, Ashley Vincent
(Port Vale), Craig Braham-Barrett (Macclesfield – loan); Out – Darren Carter (Northampton), Bagasan Graham, Harry Hooman (Inverness), Kaid Mohamed (Port Vale), Chris Zebroski (Newport)
Verdict: “The fans will expect at least for the club to reach the play-offs in order to match what happened last year, yet I have a feeling that this year could be our opportunity to go one step further.” (Gloucester Citizen)


Chesterfield

Manager: Paul Cook
Ground: Proact Stadium (capacity 10,600)
Last season: 8th
Nickname: The Spireites
Star man: Garry Roberts
Transfers: In – Eoin Doyle (Hibernian), Jimmy Ryan (Scunthorpe), Sam Morsy (Port Vale), Gary Roberts (Swindon), Ashley Vincent (Port Vale), Matty Brown (Marine), Ritchie Humphreys (Hartlepool), Ryan Edwards (Chesterfield – loan), Aaron Chapman (Belper Town), Jamie Devitt (Hull); Out – Richard O’Donnell, Neal Trotman, Craig Clay (York), Danny Whitaker, Jack Waddle, Scott Boden, Jonathan Wafula, Jack Lester (retired), Richard Brindley (Rotherham), Mark Randall.
Verdict: “Considering the quality of the players John Sheridan has brought in and the pre-season results, the fans are expecting automatic promotion. Anything less than that will mean that the campaign will be considered a failure.” (Chesterfield Post)


Dagenham & Redbridge

Manager: Wayne Burnett
Ground: Victoria Road (capacity 6,078)
Last season: 22nd
Nickname: The Daggers
Star man: Luke Wilkinson
Transfers: In – Afolabi Obafemi (Leyton Orient), Brian Saah (Torquay), Rhys Murphy (Telstar); Out – Sam Williams, Kevin Maher, Dominic Green, Andy Burns, Tom Davie, Duran Reynolds, Jonathan Fortune, Ben Strevens
Verdict: “Having been named as joint favourites to be relegated with Accrington Stanley, the obvious target for the Daggers this season is to try to secure survival but, having added the likes of former Arsenal youngster Rhys Murphy in attack, they have much strength in depth which should help them to achieve their goal.” (Barking & Dagenham Post)


Exeter City

Manager: Paul Tisdale
Ground: St James Park (capacity 8,541)
Last season: 10th
Nickname: The Grecians
Star man: Alan Gow
Transfers: In – Goug Bergqvist (Aldershot), Sam Parkin (St Mirren); Out – Rhys Evans, Kevin Amankwaah, Mark Molesley, Guillem Bauza, Elliott Frear, Jamie Cureton (Cheltenham), Steve Tully
Verdict: “Exeter have a strong squad. However, at this time it isn’t good enough to legitimately compete for automatic promotion. Therefore, a mid-table finish is expected with a possible play-off push at the end of the season.” (Exeter Express and Echo)


Fleetwood Town

Manager: Graham Alexander
Ground: Highbury Stadium (capacity 5,094)
Last season: 13th
Nickname: The Cod Army
Star man: Steven Schumacher
Transfers: In – Matty Blair (York), Jeff Hughes (Notts County), Steven Schumacher (Bury), Liam Hogan (AFC Halifax), Stewart Murdoch (Falkirk), Antoni Sarcevic (Chester), Mark Roberts (Stevenage), Stephen Jordan (Dunfermline), Ryan Cresswell (Southend); Out – Youl Mawene, Richie Allen, Rob Atkinson (Accrington), Anthony Barry, Kieron Charnock, Mozesh Gyorio, Jean-Michelle Fontaine, Andy Mangan (Forest Green), Jamie McGuire (Mansfield), Jamie Milligan, Barry Nicholson, Danny Rose (Oxford), Liam Wynn, Gerard Kinsella (two-year drug ban), Alex Titchiner (Chester – six-month loan), Chris Maxwell.
Verdict: “Having made some very good signings this summer there is a realistic expectation around the club that Fleetwood will make the play-offs and if that doesn’t appear likely 15 games into the season then manager Graham Alexander will start coming under a lot of pressure.” (Blackpool Gazette)


Hartlepool United

Manager: Colin Cooper
Ground: Victoria Park (capacity 7,857)
Last season: 23rd in League One
Nickname: Pools
Star man: Scott Slinders
Transfers: In – Jack Compton (Colchester);
Out – Evan Horwood (Tranmere), Colin Nish, Nathan Buddle, Nathan Luscombe, Paul Johnson, Adam McHugh, Ritchie Humphreys (Chesterfield)
Verdict: “In light of the fact that the club has managed to retain many of the players who were relegated last year and new manager Colin Cooper has recruited well in recent weeks, the club should be challenging for one of the play-off spots.” (Northern Echo)


Mansfield Town

Manager: Paul Cox
Ground: Field Mill (capacity 9,186)
Last season: 1st in Conference
Nickname: The Stags
Star man: Sam Clucas
Transfers: In – Jamie McGuire (Fleetwood), Paul Black (Tranmere), Kieran Murtagh (Macclesfield), John McCombe (Port Vale), Martin Riley (Wrexham), Sam Clucas (Hereford); Out – Jamie Tolley, Gary Roberts, Jamie Hand, Andy Owens, Shane Redmond, Nick Wright (Lincoln), John Thompson (retired), Luke Jones (Stevenage), Matt Green (Birmingham), Andy Todd, Exodus Geohagon.
Verdict: “After gaining promotion from the Conference last season, consolidating that position is of the utmost importance. However, momentum is on Mansfield’s side and so a mid-table finish could be on the cards.” (Mansfield Chad)


Morecambe

Manager: Jim Bentley
Ground: Globe Arena (capacity 6,476)
Last season: 16th
Nickname: The Shrimps
Star man: Jack Redshaw
Transfers: In – Tony Diagne (Macclesfield), Alex Kenyon (Stockport), Jack Sampson (Bolton), Marcus Marshall (Bury), Mark Hughes (Bury); Out – Will Haining, Dan Parkinson, James Short, Gary McDonald (St Johnstone), Jordan Burrow (Stevenage), Lewis Alessandra (Plymouth), Nick Fenton.
Verdict: “A month ago the future looked bleak for Morecambe due to the loss of good senior players after the budget cuts which have occurred recently. However, the club have recruited well and a mid-table finish would be deemed a success.” (The Visitor, Morecambe)


Newport County

Manager: Justin Edinburgh
Ground: Rodney Parade (capacity 5,511)
Last season: 3rd in Conference
Nickname: The Exiles
Star man: Adam Chapman
Transfers: In – Chris Zebroski (Cheltenham), Adam Chapman (Oxford), Harry Worley (Oxford), Jamie Stephens (Liverpool); James Bittner (unattached). Out – Scott Donnelly, Ben Swallow, Alan Julien (Dartford), Will Evans, Joe Parry, Jake Harris, Michael Boateng.
Verdict: “The feel around the club is largely positive at the moment with many confident that the Exiles can avoid the relegation battle and a mid-table place come the end of the season looks likely. However if the side can get off to a good start like last year then the play-offs are a possibility.” (South Wales Argus)


Northampton Town

Manager: Aidy Boothroyd
Ground: Sixfields Stadium (capacity 7,653)
Last season: 6th (beaten play-off finalists)
Nickname: The Cobblers
Star man: Darren Carter
Transfers: In – Ian Morris (Torquay), Matt Duke (Bradford), Darren Carter (Cheltenham), JJ Hooper (unattached); Out – Adebayo Akinfenwa (Gillingham), John Johnson, Louis Moult, Jake Robinson, Lewis Wilson, Paul Turnbull, Seth Nana Twumasi, Clarke Carlisle (retired), Luke Guttridge (Luton), Ben Harding
Verdict: “At this stage it does not appear that the squad is any better than it was last year even with the introduction of players of the calibre of Darren Carter and so it is unlikely that the Cobblers will improve on the sixth position they reached last term, although making the play-offs must still be their aim.” (Northampton Chronicle and Echo)


Oxford United

Manager: Chris Wilder
Ground: Kassam Stadium (capacity 12,500)
Last season: 9th
Nickname: The U’s
Star man: Dave Kitson
Transfers: In – Jonathan Meades (Bournemouth), David Hunt (Crawley), Danny Rose (Fleetwood), Josh Shama (Reading), Dave Kitson (Sheffield United), Asa Hall (Shrewsbury – six-month loan), Tom Newey (Scunthorpe), Johnny Mullins (Rotherham); Out – Michael Duberry, Luke McCormick (Plymouth), Damian Batt, Harry Worley (Newport), Liam Davis, Tony Capaldi, Simon Heslop (Stevenage), Adam Chapman (Newport), Peter Leven, Josh Parker, Tom Craddock (Portsmouth), Jon-Paul Pittman (Wycombe), Justin Richards (Tamworth), Luke O’Brien (Gateshead).
Verdict: “Once again United will be hoping to make the play-offs, but a history of failing to get past that obstacle makes it likely that promotion will once again elude them.” (Oxford Mail)


Plymouth Argyle

Manager: John Sheridan
Ground: Home Park (capacity 16,388)
Last season: 21st
Nickname: The Pilgrims
Star man: Marvin Morgan
Transfers: In – Luke McCormick (Oxford), Lewis Alessandra (Morecambe), Reuben Reid (Yeovil – season-long loan), Marvin Morgan (Shrewsbury), Dominic Blizzard (Yeovil), Rommy Boco (Accrington); Out – Warren Feeney, Jamie Lowry, Ollie Chenoweth, Anthony Charles (Luton), Jared Sims, Paris Cowan–Hall (Wycombe), Rene Gilmartin, Onismor Bhasera
Verdict: “Having made a few good signings this summer, the fans are confident of a mid-table finish after the trials and tribulations of the last two seasons when Argyle have struggled with the rigours of League Two football.” (Plymouth Herald)


Portsmouth

Manager: Guy Whittingham
Ground: Fratton Park (capacity 20,700)
Last season: 24th in League One
Nickname: Pompey
Star man: Jed Wallace
Transfers: In – Sonny Bradley (Hull), Danny East (Hull), Romain Padovani (Monaco), Patrick Agyemang (Stevenage), Tom Craddock (Oxford), John Sullivan (Charlton), Joe Devera (Swindon), Andy Barcham (Scunthorpe), Ricky Holmes (Barnet), Simon Ferry (Swindon), Ryan Bird (Burnham); Out – Simon Eastwood (Blackburn), John Akinde, Akos Buzsaky, George Colson, Alex Grant (Stoke), Gabor Gyepes, Jon Harley (Maidstone), Lubomir Michalik (Kairat Almaty), Ricardo Rocha, Phillip Smith, Sam Sodje, Dan Thompson, Liam Walker
Verdict: “Due to the fact that the club have made so many new signings this summer it is hard to predict how the season will go. However, there is a good feeling around the club and fans are hoping for a promotion push to allow Pompey to return immediately to League One.” (Portsmouth News)


Rochdale

Manager: Keith Hill
Ground: Spotland Stadium (capacity 10,249)
Last season: 12th
Nickname: The Dale
Star man: Matt Down.
Transfers: In – Peter Vincenti (Aldershot), Scott Hogan (Hyde), Bastien Hery (Sheffield Wednesday), Olly Lancashire (Aldershot), Matthew Lund (Stoke), Ashley Eastham (Blackpool), Matt Done (Barnsley), Jack O’Connell (Blackburn – loan), Ryan Bird (Burnham), Robbie Thompson (Celtic), Javan Vidal (Stockport), Joe Bunney (Northwich); Out – Ashley Grimes (Bury), Neill Byrne, Matt Edwards, Terry Gornell (Cheltenham), Andy Haworth (Notts County), Ritchie Jones, Kevin McInytre, Matt Pearson, Phil Edwards (Burton), Jason Kennedy (Bradford), Luke Watson, Dele Adebola, Sam Minihan, Dele Adebola.
Verdict: “This season, having made good signings in the off-season and with a good manager in Keith Hill, I’d expect Rochdale to be challenging for a play-off spot, although automatic promotion is not off the cards.”
(Rochdale Observer)


Scunthorpe United

Manager: Brian Laws
Ground: Glanford Park (capacity 9,088)
Last season: 21st in League One
Nickname: The Iron
Star man: Chris Iwelumo
Transfers: In – Andy Dawson (Hull), Chris Iwelumo (Watford), Luke Watefall (Gainsborough), Terry Hawkridge (Gainsborough), Andy Welsh (Carlisle), Matt Sparrow (Crawley), Etienne Esajas (unattached), Deon Burton (unattached), Sean McAllister (Cowdenbeath); Out – Paul Reid, Robbie Gibbons, Damien Mozika, Josh Walker, Andy Barcham (Portsmouth), Karl Hawley, Akpo Sodje, Jimmy Ryan (Chesterfield), Mike Grella, Tom Newey (Oxford), Callum Kennedy (AFC Wimbledon), Mark Duffy (Doncaster), Bobby Grant (Blackpool), Connor Jennings (Macclesfield – loan).
Verdict: “At this time there is a buzz surrounding the club as the arrival of nine new signings, many of whom have experienced high-level football, has meant that the fans and players alike expect to bounce straight back up to League One.” (Scunthorpe Telegraph)


Southend United

Manager: Phil Brown
Ground: Roots Hall (capacity 12,392)
Last season: 11th
Nickname: The Shrimpers
Star man: Barry Corr
Transfers: In – John White (Colchester), Will Atkinson (Bradford), Ben Coker (Colchester); Out: Bilel Mohsni (Rangers), Mickey Spillane, John Spicer, Alex Woodyard, Elliot Benyon, Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale), Neil Harris (retired), Michael Timlin, Ryan Cresswell (Fleetwood).
Verdict: “Having lost their four best players from last season and with only a squad of 15 players at this time, Southend’s success hinges upon which players they can bring in before the transfer window closes.” (Southend Echo)


Torquay United

Manager: Alan Knill
Ground: Plainmoor (capacity 6,104)
Last season: 19th
Nickname: The Gulls
Star man: Elliot Benyon
Transfers: In – Elliot Benyon (Swindon), Dale
Tonge (Rotherham), Courtney Cameron (Aston Villa), Jordan Chapell (Sheffield United), Ben Harding (Northampton); Out – Danny Stevens, Joe Oastler, Daniel Leadbitter, Craig Easton, Lloyd Macklin, Saul Halpin, Karl Baker, Ryan Jarvis (York), Ian Morris (Northampton), Rene Howe (Burton), Brian Saah (Dagenham)
Verdict: “At the moment our squad is full of young, exciting players which is promising for the future but means that this season we are slightly short of experience. However, with two or three more signings we will be confident going into the season that we can do better than last year.” (Torquay United)


Wimbledon

Manager: Neal Ardley
Ground: Kingsmeadow (capacity 4,720)
Last season: 20th
Nickname: The Dons, The Wombles
Star man: Andy Frampton
Transfers: In – Chris Arthur (Havant & Waterlooville), Barry Fuller (Barnet), Andy Frampton (Gillingham), George Francomb (Norwich), Charlie Sheringham (Bournemouth), Ross Wormer (Aldershot), Callum Kennedy (Scunthorpe), George Porter (Burnley); Out – Mat Mitchel-King, Rashid Yussuf, Pim Balkestein, Chris Hussey (Burton), Stacy Long, Curtis Osano, Jason Prior, Kelly Youga, Louis Harris, Huw Johnson, Frankie Merrifield, Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz
Verdict: “Having brought in eight or nine new players the success of this season depends on how well the new squad gels together. However, despite the fact that Wimbledon haven’t lost in pre-season they will finish no higher than mid-table as they are still quite weak in some areas.”(Wimbledon Guardian)


Wycombe Wanderers

Manager: Gareth Ainsworth
Ground: Adams Park (capacity 10,284)
Last season: 15th
Nickname: The Chairboys
Star man: Dean Morgan
Transfers: In – Charlie Horlock (Stevenage), Nick Arnold (Reading – season–long loan), Jon–Paul Pittman (Oxford), Paris Cowan–Hall (Plymouth), Tommy Fletcher (Cheshunt), Steven Craig (unattached); Out – Gareth Ainsworth (retired), Dave Winfield (Shrewsbury), Joel Grant (Yeovil), Grant Basey, Dennis Oli, Olly Taylor, Georges Ehui.
Verdict: “After a mediocre season last year, Wycombe are definitely going to improve on their final position due to the charismatic management of Gareth Ainsworth. However, the lack of experience in the dressing room may be Wycombe’s undoing and so they might just fall short of one of the coveted play-off spots.” (Wycombe Star)

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