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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Second Division form guide

Nickname: The Tykes, Reds
Ground: Oakwell
Capacity: 23,186
Last season: 19th
Manager: Gudjon Thordarson

Players in:
Players out: Mike Sheron, Leo Bertos, James Dudgeon, Richard Carrington, Calum Selby, Chris Cox, Grant Black, Bruce Dyer, Mitch Ward, Chris Morgan

BBC Sport verdict: Barnsley are hoping to move forward after serious financial problems. New boss Gudjon Thordarson has experience of Division Two from his time at Stoke and the Tykes should avoid trouble.
Key man: Chris Lumsdon


Nickname: The Seasiders
Ground: Bloomfield Road
Capacity: 11,000
Last season: 13th
Manager: Steve McMahon

Players in: Kirk Hilton, Steve Davis, Mike Sheron
Players out: Michael Theoklitos, John O'Kane, Ian Hughes, Ben Thornley, Paul Dalglish, John Hills, Jamie Milligan, Graham Fenton, Paul Robinson

BBC Sport verdict: A poor finish to last season left Steve McMahon exasperated and desperate for the season to end. Steve Davis is a quality signing but more are needed for a promotion push.
Key man: John Murphy


Nickname: The Cherries
Ground: Dean Court
Capacity: 9,600
Last season: 4th in Division Three
Manager: Sean O'Driscoll

Players in:
Players out: Chukki Eribenne, Narada, Scott McDonald (all released)

BBC Sport verdict: Sean O'Driscoll's team won promotion through the play-offs and confidence will be high. But the Cherries will find it tougher going at a higher level and have not strengthened their squad. Mid-table at best.
Key man: Carl Fletcher


Nickname: The Bees
Ground: Griffin Park
Capacity: 12,500
Last season: 16th
Manager: Wally Downes

Players in: Matt Harrold
Players out: Riz Rehman, Martin Rowlands, Jay Lovett, Leon Constantine, Mark Williams, Ijah Anderson, Jamie Fullarton

BBC Sport verdict: It would be a surprise if Wally Downes' team made a major impact on the promotion race, but if the Bees get off to a poor start it could be a long season at Griffin Park.
Key man: Stephen Hunt

Brighton boss Steve Coppell
Coppell is plotting promotion


Nickname: The Seagulls
Ground: Withdean Stadium
Capacity: 6,960
Last season: 23rd in Division One
Manager: Steve Coppell

Players in: Ben Roberts, Leon Knight (loan)
Players out: Paul Rogers, Paul Kitson, Will Packham, Bobby Zamora, Paul Brooker, Dave Beasant

BBC Sport verdict: Bobby Zamora's sale to Tottenham deprives Steve Coppell of his most potent weapon. But the Brighton boss is vastly experienced of working on a tight budget and only a fool would write them off.
Key man: Danny Cullip


Nickname: The Robins
Ground: Ashton Gate
Capacity: 21,479
Last season: 3rd
Manager: Danny Wilson

Players in: Lee Miller, Luke Wilkshire
Players out: Scott Murray, Peter Beadle, Ben Cleverley

BBC Sport verdict: The loss of Scott Murray to Reading is a real blow but City remain a very competitive outfit. The signing of highly-rated Lee Miller will help the Robins push for promotion once again.
Key man: Christian Roberts


Nickname: The Spireites
Ground: Saltergate
Capacity: 6,879
Last season: 20th
Manager: Roy McFarland

Players in: Ian Evatt
Players out: Rob Edwards, Jon Howard, Martyn Booty, Marcus Ebdon

BBC Sport verdict:Struggled last season, only just avoiding relegation, and another difficult winter could be in store. Roy McFarland will have to call on all his experience.
Key man: Mark Allott


Nickname: The Us
Ground: Layer Road
Capacity: 7,341
Last season: 12th
Manager: Phil Parkinson

Players in: Wayne Andrews, Phil Hadland, Andy Myers
Players out: Marc Canham, Mick Stockwell, Mark Warren, Kevin Rapley, Mike Edwards, Chris Keeble, Ben Cranfield, Leke Odunsi

BBC Sport verdict: Colchester improved rapidly once Phil Parkinson took over in February and if that improvement continues the Us could find themselves on the fringe of the play-offs.
Key man: Kem Izzet


Nickname: The Mariners
Ground: Blundell Park
Capacity: 10,033
Last season: 24th in Division One
Manager: Paul Groves

Players in: Tony Crane, Marcel Cas, Iain Anderson, Des Hamilton, Aidan Davison
Players out: Steve Croudson, Jake Sagare, Danny Coyne, Steve Livingstone, Georges Santos, John McDermott, Tony Gallimore

BBC Sport verdict: Relegated last season and it could be another tricky campaign in a tough division after a summer of pruning the wage bill. Possess a real game breaker in Iain Anderson, signed from Preston over the summer.
Key man: Iain Anderson


Nickname: Pools
Ground: Victoria Park
Capacity: 7,629
Last season: 2nd in Division Three
Manager: Neale Cooper

Players in: Michael Nelson, Marco Gabbiadini, Paul Robinson, Andrew Jordan
Players out: Tommy Widdrington, Gordon Watson, Paul Smith, Graeme Lee, Brian Ross, Gordon Simms, James Sharp

BBC Sport verdict: Last season ended in promotion but was tinged with disappointed after Pools' 14-point lead at the top of the table disappeared. That led to the exit of Mike Newell and this season will be more of a struggle.
Key man: Marco Gabbiadini

Luton boss Mike Newell
Newell faces a new challenge


Nickname: The Hatters
Ground: Kenilworth Road
Capacity: 9,975
Last season: 9th
Manager: Mike Newell

Players in:
Players out: Duncan Jupp, Aaron Skelton, Alan Kimble, Carl Griffiths, Carl Emberson, Mark Ovendale, Peter Holmes

BBC Sport verdict: A tortuous summer behind the scenes at Kenilworth Road is finally set to give way to matters on the pitch. A repeat of last season's ninth-placed finish would be an achievement.
Key man: Steve Howard


Nickname: The Magpies
Ground: Meadow Lane
Capacity: 20,300
Last season: 15th
Manager: Bill Dearden

Players in:
Players out: Danny Allsopp, Danny Stone, Richard Holmes, Craig Ireland, Richard Liburd, Ian Richardson

BBC Sport verdict: With Danny Allsopp sold to Hull, the Magpies will rely even more on Mark Stallard's goals. But County hope to come out of administration soon and plan to snap up Rochdale striker Clive Platt, who could help with the goal supply.
Key man: Mark Stallard


Nickname: The Latics
Ground: Boundary Park
Capacity: 13,559
Last season: 5th
Manager: Iain Dowie

Players in:
Players out: Chris Armstrong, Wayne Andrews, Carlo Corazzin, David Miskelly, Wayne Gill, Duncan Roberts, Wayne Andrews, Fitz Hall, Tony Carss, Clint Hill, Lee Duxbury, Josh Low

BBC Sport verdict: Talented youngsters like Chris Armstrong and Fitz Hall left as the club battled to stay in business over the summer. Last season was full of promise but Iain Dowie will do well to guide his team to the play-offs again.
Key man: David Eyres


Nickname: Posh
Ground: London Road
Capacity: 15,314
Last season: 11th
Manager: Barry Fry

Players in: Andy Legg, Andre Boucaud (loan)
Players out: Daniel Connor, Helgi Danielsson, Steve Laurie, Jason Lee, Neale Fenn

BBC Sport verdict: Andy Legg is a quality signing from Cardiff and Peterborough boss Barry Fry will be hoping for a serious play-off push.
Key man: Leon McKenzie

Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock
Sturrock runs a steady ship

Nickname: The Pilgrims
Ground: Home Park
Capacity: 20,134
Last season: 8th
Manager: Paul Sturrock

Players in: Tony Capaldi, Peter Gibert (loan)
Players out: Paul Bernard, Osvaldo Lopes, Stuart Malcolm, Kieran McAnespie, Craig Taylor

BBC Sport verdict: Plymouth have steadily improved under Paul Sturrock and having just missed out on the play-offs last season the Pilgrims will be hopeful of going one better this time.
Key man: Paul Wotton


Nickname: The Valiants
Ground: Vale Park
Capacity: 17,677
Last season: 17th
Manager: Brian Horton

Players in: Andreas Lipa, George Pilkington, Adrian Littlejohn
Players out: Matt Carragher, Phil Charnock, Sean McClare, Paul Byrne, Rae Ingram, John Durnin, Ian Brightwell

BBC Sport verdict: Port Vale spent last season in administration and it could be another difficult campaign for the Valiants as they battle against the drop.
Key man: Marc Bridge-Wilkinson


Nickname: Rangers
Ground: Loftus Road
Capacity: 19,148
Last season: 4th
Manager: Ian Holloway

Players in: Gareth Ainsworth, Eric Sabin, Martin Rowlands
Players out: Ollie Burgess, Brett Angell, Karl Connolly, Lyndon Duncan, Doudou, Brian Fitzgerald, Patrick Gradley, Danny Murphy, Chris Plummer, David Wattley, Leroy Griffiths

BBC Sport verdict: Missed out on promotion last season, losing to Cardiff in the play-offs. But they still have a squad brimming with talent and are many experts favourites for promotion.
Key Man: Richard Langley


Nickname: Diamonds
Ground: Nene Park
Capacity: 6,441
Last season: Division Three champions
Manager: Brian Talbot

Players in: Rodney Jack
Players out: Dean Holdsworth, Gary Setchell, Adam Sollitt

BBC Sport verdict: Won the Division Three title last season and seem well equipped to make an impact in Division Two. Promotion could be beyond their grasp but they are play-off possibles.
Key man: Onandi Lowe


Nickname: The Owls
Ground: Hillsborough
Capacity: 39,859
Last season: 22nd in Division One
Manager: Chris Turner

Players in: Graeme Lee, Paul Smith, Ola Tidman, Robbie Mustoe
Players out: Michele di Piedi, Ashley Westwood, Trond Soltvedt, Danny Maddix, Simon Donnelly, Tony Crane, Phil O'Donnell, David Burrows, Paul Evans, Darryl Powell, Ryan Green

BBC Sport verdict: Wednesday are the biggest club in the division and will be hoping for an emphatic promotion campaign. Anything less could result in real problems for boss Chris Turner.
Key man: Alan Quinn

Stockport boss Carlton Palmer
Stockport boss Carlton Palmer


Nickname: The Hatters
Ground: Edgeley Park
Capacity: 10,817
Last season: 14th
Manager: Carlton Palmer

Players in: Owen Morrison, Stuart Barlow
Players out: Anthony Kielthy, Hayden Earnes, Ryan Elderton, Gareth Walsh, Michael Ogden, Glyn Hancock, Peter Wild, Andy Thomas, Peter Clark, Ola Tidman

BBC Sport verdict: No new arrivals over the summer but the Hatters finished last season well and Carlton Palmer will be hoping Stockport can pick up where they left off. Could make the play-offs.
Key man: Luke Beckett


Nickname: The Robins
Ground: The County Ground
Capacity: 15,728
Last season: 10th
Manager: Andy King

Players in: Andrew Nicholas, Jon Stevenson, Grant Smith, Adrian Viveash, Sammy Igoe, Tommy Mooney, Danny Murphy, Brian Howard, Rhys Evans
Players out: Darren Dykes, Danny Invincibile, Eric Sabin, Adam Willis, Gareth Edds, Nathan Edwards, Kevin Halliday.

BBC Sport verdict: Swindon recovered well from a disastrous start last season. And if Sam Parkin can build upon his 26 goal last season, Andy King's team can make their mark.
Key man: Sam Parkin


Nickname: Rovers
Ground: Prenton Park
Capacity: 16,587
Last season: 7th
Manager: Ray Mathias

Players in: Tyrone Loran
Players out: Stuart Barlow, Andy Parkinson, Richard Hinds, Andy Robinson, Jason Price, Karl Dunbar

BBC Sport verdict: Tranmere were very strong at home last season and missed a play-off place by just one point. Another solid season might just see them go one better.
Key man: Simon Haworth


Nickname: Red Dragons
Ground: Racecourse Ground
Capacity: 15,500
Last season: 3rd in Division Three
Manager: Denis Smith

Players in: Chris Armstrong, Matty Crowell, Chris Llewellyn
Players out: Andy Morrell, Kristian Rogers, Dan Bennett, Wayne Phillips, Lee Trundle, Scott Green, Kevin Russell

BBC Sport verdict: Chris Armstrong is one of the summer's most intriguing signings. Dogged by injury problems, he is unquestionably talented and if he performs, Wrexham might exceed expectations.
Key man: Chris Armstrong


Nickname: The Chairboys
Ground: Adams Park
Capacity: 10,000
Last season: 18th
Manager: Lawrie Sanchez

Players in: Charlie Mapes, Simon Patterson
Players out: Paul McCarthy, Andy Rammell, Mark Osborn, Martyn Lee, Martin Taylor

BBC Sport verdict: Expectations are modest for Wycombe this season, especially given the absence of a proven goalscorer, but they should manage the safety of mid-table.
Key man: Gavin Holligan

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