Friday, May 17, 2013

Elsewhere In League Two...

This is the first of many 'Elsewhere In League Two' articles that I'll publish over the summer, looking at the transfer activity and general happenings at the other clubs in the fourth tier. It'll be a good way to keep up to date with how their squads are shaping up ahead of the new season and could help you decide who's worth a few quid in the pre-season betting!

So far, as you would expect, the transfer front has been pretty tame. The window isn't officially open until 1st July but clubs can begin to sign players who are out of contract or have been released by their current employers. Rovers are representative of most other teams in that they have signed nobody just yet but there are certainly a few clubs who aren't hanging around.

Patrick Agyemang - lifted from:
Newly-relegated Portsmouth are among those who have acted quickly so far this close-season with manager Guy Whittingham having signed no fewer than 8 players so far. Patrick Agyemang was the first to sign up and he's been followed by Yassin Moutaouakil, Danny East, Sonny Bradley, Romain Padovani, Tom Craddock, Joe Devera and John Sullivan. All solid signings for this level with the latter 3 in particular looking like very useful acquisitions. Craddock, with the right service, can be more than a handful for defences and if Whittingham can add quality in the wide areas he'll be a big threat. Devera has had a good season for Swindon and was surprisingly released, probably due to the fact they need to halve their wage bill. He'll be a very good central defender for Pompey and has the versatility to play in the full-back positions if required. Sullivan is a solid goalkeeper who enjoyed a loan spell with AFC Wimbledon at the end of last season. He returned to parent club Charlton Athletic who subsequently released him at the end of his contract and Portsmouth were the first to nip in and win his signature. All in all the incomings at Fratton Park look like they could be very shrewd pieces of business for a club who will want to bounce back to League One at the first attempt.

Keith Hill's Rochdale have also recruited early this summer with 3 new players penning contracts. Bastien Henry has linked up with Dale from Sheffield Wednesday while Peter Vincenti has signed from relegated Aldershot Town. Scott Hogan completes the trio having been brought in from non-league Hyde a week ago. Vincenti looks a good signing after putting in a number of good shifts for the Shots in recent seasons but the other two are unknown quantities as far as League Two is concerned. There's nothing to be afraid of so far but Hill is a good manager and will undoubtedly have a few aces up his sleeve.

York City have entered the market today having brought in experienced Torquay United forward Ryan Jarvis, who scored for the yellows and for Rovers on the final day of the season, and Colin Clay from Chesterfield. Nigel Worthington will be hoping to strengthen sufficiently to avoid another relegation fight and will undoubtedly look to add further as the summer progresses. Maybe not promotion candidates next time around but with the former Northern Ireland boss in the Bootham Crescent hotseat you can be sure they'll fare better than they did last season.

Luke McCormick - lifted from
There are then a couple of sides who have strengthened their squads with 1 new signing as it stands this Friday evening. Plymouth Argyle  have signed former goalkeeper Luke McCormick following his release from Oxford United, Fleetwood Town have signed York City winger Matty Blair and newly-promoted Mansfield Town have signed Jamie McGuire from the Cod Army.

All clubs are likely to be active in the transfer market as May draws to a close and June begins. Pre-season training begins for most teams in late June and every manager will want as many of his new recruits in place as possible before it begins.

Here's the list of incomings at every club so far:

Accrington Stanley ins - None.

AFC Wimbledon ins - None.

Bristol Rovers ins - None.

Burton Albion ins - None.

Bury ins - None.

Cheltenham Town ins - None.

Chesterfield ins - None.

Dagenham & Redbridge ins - None.

Exeter City ins - None.

Fleetwood Town ins - Matty Blair (York City, Free)

Hartlepool United ins - None.

Mansfield Town ins - Jamie McGuire (Fleetwood Town, Free)

Morecambe ins - None.

Newport County ins - None.

Oxford United ins - None.

Plymouth Argyle ins - Luke McCormick (Oxford United, Free)

Portsmouth ins - Patrick Agyemang (Stevenage, Free), Yassin Moutaouakil (Hayes & Yeading, Free), Danny East (Hull City, Free), Sonny Bradley (Hull City, Free), Romain Padovani (AS Monaco, Free), Tom Craddock (Oxford United, Free), Joe Devera (Swindon Town, Free), John Sullivan (Charlton Atheltic, Free)

Rochdale ins - Bastien Henry (Sheffield Wednesday, Free), Scott Hogan (Hyde, Free), Peter Vincenti (Aldershot Town, Free)

Scunthorpe United ins - None.

Southend United ins - None.

Torquay United ins - None.

Wycombe Wanderers ins - None.

York City ins - Ryan Jarvis (Torquay United, Free), Colin Clay (Chesterfield, Free)

Bradford City/Northampton Town ins - None.

Keep an eye out for further updates over the coming weeks.

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