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Last Updated: Monday, 1 August 2005, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
League Two fans' predictions

BARNET by Bees fan Rob Walker

On a high from winning the Conference, but with just the one new signing so far, it's down to the same players that stormed the Conference to perform at a higher level.

Giuliano Grazioli may not have as much freedom against defences at this level so goals may be at a premium.

Player to watch: Dean Sinclair
Optimistic finish: Top three
Realistic finish: Top half
League Two winners: Peterborough

BOSTON by Pilgrims fan Ian Gardner

Boston's great failing last year was a small squad.

Curious then that boss Steve Evans has opted for a "quality not quantity" approach this summer - injuries will decide our season.

Player to watch: Brad Maylet
Optimistic finish: Third
Realistic finish: Eighth
League Two winners: Northampton

BRISTOL ROVERS by Pirates fan James Beech

We have made few signings, but Rovers boss Ian Atkins is one of the few lower league managers who knows how to manage a cash-strapped team.

We are looking to improve on an average performance last season and although many supporters are down-hearted, we can make big improvements.

Player to watch: Junior Agogo
Optimistic finish: Play-offs
Realistic finish: Just outside play-offs
League Two winners: Northampton

BURY by Shakers fan Julie Smith

I am struggling to see how we will improve on 17th place last season as our new signings are not particularly inspiring.

Experienced striker Stuart Barlow should bolster the goals for column but while we won't be dragged into a relegation scrap, we won't be troubling the leaders either.

Player to watch: Dwayne Mattis
Optimistic finish: 10th
Realistic finish: 16-18th
League Two winners: Wycombe

CARLISLE by Cumbrians fan Ben Burrell

Signings as usual are hard to come by - who wants to move to the most beautiful part of the country anyway?

Young local manager Paul Simpson, and a young(ish) local businessman are running the club pretty well from most fans' perspectives. Once the share issue is out of the way we should be fine.

Player to watch: Zigor Aranalde
Optimistic Finish: Play-offs
Realistic Finish: Play-offs
League Two winners: Wycombe

CHELTENHAM by Robins fan Arthur Clare

An unbelievably quiet summer with only midfielder Craig Armstrong coming in from Bradford tells us boss John Ward is happy with the squad.

But we only finished in mid-table last season and this doesn't fill me with much hope of improvement - another season of mid-table mediocrity beckons.

Player to watch: Shane Duff
Optimistic finish: Ninth
Realistic finish: 15th
League Two winners: Northampton

CHESTER by Blues fan Fred Monteith

After a torrid return to the league, which saw Chester have five managers and nearly more sendings off than points, we approach the new season with cautious optimism.

Boss Keith Curle has rejigged the squad, bringing in some experienced league players, including new record signing Gregg Blundell.

Player to watch: Gregg Blundell
Optimistic finish: Top seven
Realistic finish: Mid-table
League Two winners: Leyton Orient

DARLINGTON by Quakers fan Daniel Hayman

Anything other than finishing in the play-offs this season will be seen as a failure.

Missing out on goal difference last year was disappointing but boss David Hodgson has pulled off the signing of Simon Johnson and the return of Joey Hutchinson to give us a timely boost.

Player to watch: Simon Johnson
Optimistic finish: Second
Realistic finish: Sixth
League Two winners: Northampton

GRIMSBY by Mariners fan Guy Lonsdale

Once again the Mariners have had to rebuild with an almost entirely new midfield being assembled.

Manager Russell Slade looks set to continue with his controversial 3-4-3 formation which on occasions leaked goals last season. More positively new signings Kamudimba Kalala, Gary Cohen, and Paul Bolland do offer some lingering hope.

Player to watch: Martin Gritton
Optimistic finish: Seventh
Realistic finish: 12th
League Two winners: Northampton

LEYTON ORIENT by O's fan Phillip Othen

After 10 years of underachieving in the basement division, this could finally be Orient's year.

Manager Martin Ling has formed a squad capable of passing their way to promotion, while new acquisitions Joe Dolan, Craig Easton and keeper Glynn Garner add steel to the spine.

Player to watch: Shane Tudor
Optimistic finish: Third
Realistic finish: Seventh
League Two winners: Wycombe

LINCOLN CITY by Imps fan Nick Walker

This season could be a good season for the Imps - we have lost a lot of players over the summer but have brought in some quality.

Paul Mayo has returned from Watford, while goalkeeper Alan Marriott and captain Paul Morgan have signed new deals.

Player to watch: Gareth McAuley
Optimistic finish: Top three
Realistic finish: Sixth-10th
League Two winners: Northampton/Peterborough

MACCLESFIELD by Silkmen fan Andy Bruce

Town will be aiming for automatic promotion this time round, having made the play-offs last season.

New wingers Martin Bullock and David Beresford should add flair to an already solid line-up - with these two combining with 27-goal hitman Jon Parkin, League Two defences should beware.

Player to watch: Martin Bullock
Optimistic finish: Second
Realistic finish: Fourth
League Two winners: Northampton

MANSFIELD by Stags fan Sue Connolly

The atmosphere at Mansfield Town is electric and manager Carlton Palmer's controversial appointment is now receiving cautious approval from the sceptical Stags fans.

New coach Peter Shirtliff has enabled Palmer to lend his long playing experience to bright new signings such as Adam Rundle and Adam Birchall - League One here we come.

Player to watch: Alex John-Baptiste
Optimistic Finish: First
Realistic Finish: Play-offs
League Two winners: If not us, Peterborough

NORTHAMPTON by Cobblers fan David Croft

Northampton have a strong squad with new signings Eoin Jess, Sean Dyche and Ian Taylor adding much needed experience to an already strong squad, and a great young manager in Colin Calderwood.

Should be looking to push for promotion this year, but consistency has always been an issue.

Player to watch: Andy Kirk
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Play-offs
League Two winners: Lincoln

NOTTS COUNTY by Magpies fan Matt Thomas

We go into the new season with optimism and a new manager, Gudjon Thordarson - daily double training sessions seem to be paying off, with good results so far this pre-season.

We have strengthened defensively, bringing in the likes of Kevin Pilkington from Mansfield - we will be difficult to beat, but we won't score many goals.

Player to watch: Kelvin Wilson
Optimistic finish: Automatic promotion
Realistic finish: Play-offs
League Two winners: Peterborough

OXFORD by U's fan Richard Jordan

New manager Brian Talbot has brought in five new players but the hole left by Tommy Mooney's departure to Wycombe is still gaping and the depth of the squad, once injuries begin to bite, remains a cause for concern

It is also hard to see who, Chris Hackett apart, will create chances for our strikers, especially superstar-in-waiting Craig Davies.

Player to watch: Craig Davies
Optimistic finish: Seventh
Realistic finish: 14th
League Two winners: Wycombe

PETERBOROUGH by Posh fan Stuart Gilby

New manager Mark Wright has restored confidence at London Road again, with plenty of decent signings including Danny Crow, Peter Gain and Paul Carden.

Expect plenty of goals from fellow new boy Trevor Benjamin and his partner up front Callum Willock, while Mark Tyler always plays well, and Sean St Ledger should improve no end at the back.

Player to watch: Adam Fry
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Play-offs, but staying in League Two
League Two winners: Barnet

ROCHDALE by Dale fan Ian Holt

Rochdale are on the move and this year really could be the year for promotion.

A devastating attack of Grant Holt and Richard Lambert, a tenacious midfield of Gary Jones and Ernie Cooksey and a sought-after young keeper in Matthew Gilks, could well prove the ingredients needed for boss Steve Parkin to lead Dale out of the basement division.

Player to watch: Richard Lambert
Optimistic finish: Third
Realistic finish: Sixth
League Two winners: Northampton

RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS by Diamonds fan Kevan Clark

With ownership being transferred to the Supporters Trust, boss Barry Hunter will lead Diamonds onwards and upwards.

Drewe Broughton has signed a new deal and new signings Dan Chillingworth and Greg Pearson look capable of getting the goals that were sadly lacking last season.

Player to watch: Neil McAfferty
Optimistic finish: 6th
Realistic finish: 12th
League Two winners: Wycombe

SHREWSBURY by Shrews fan Graham Johnson

Since Gary Peters took the manager's job last year, there has been a transformation at Shrewsbury.

Eight players have left to be replaced by a balanced mix of youth and experience - the midfield will determine where we end up with Neil Sorvel looking particularly effective.

Player to watch: Colin McMenamin
Optimistic finish: Play-offs
Realistic finish: Mid-table
League Two winners: Northampton

STOCKPORT by Hatters fan Scott Thompson

After five years of near misses and relegation, it is time for boss Chris Turner to be given time to assemble a squad capable of dealing with this league.

The Trust is now in charge and our long term future looks a bit more rosy, but re-building is now the key.

Player to watch: Harpal Singh
Optimistic Finish: Seventh
Realistic Finish: 12th
League Two winners: Northampton

TORQUAY by Gulls fan Paul Harvey

Torquay will win League Two this season, with key signings such as Matt Hewlett, Darren Garner and Alan Connell making the difference.

Other teams might have spent more money but we have the best manager in the league (Leroy Rosenior) and a squad of talented young players.

Player to watch: Alan Connell
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: First
League Two winners: Torquay

WREXHAM by Dragons fan Chris Bond

Last season Wrexham suffered at the hands of a chairman with no footballing passion and football league rulings.

Despite losing players like Juan Ugarte, Carlos Edwards and Ben Foster, shrewd boss Dennis Smith will guide us to the play-offs this season - new season, new outlook, same hope and red passion.

Player to watch: Mark Jones
Optimistic finish: Top three
Realistic finish: Top six
League Two winners: If not us, Northampton

WYCOMBE by Chairboys fan Edward Grace

Wycombe, under the managership of John Gorman, should finish in the top three this season.

Signings of Tommy Mooney, Kevin Betsy, Stefan Oakes, and Mike Williamson, have created a strong backbone through the side, and the striking power of Nathan Tyson should fire us to victory.

Player to watch: Nathan Tyson
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Top three
League Two winners: Northampton


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