Football Season Guide

Aldershot Town

In


James Kellermann (mid), Wolverhampton), Jake Cole (gk), Woking), Scott Rendell (att, Woking), Shamir Fenelon (att), Crawley), Anthony Straker (mid), Grimsby), Bernard Mensah (att), Watford), Liam Bellamy (mid), Dover), Iffy Allen (att), Torquay), Will Evans (def), Eastleigh), Nick Arnold (def), Whitehawk), Callum Reynolds (def), Boreham Wood), Matt McClure (att), Dagenham & Redbridge)

Out


Luke Oliver (sp)(def), Jim Stevenson (r)(mid), Dover), Omar Beckles (r)(def), Accrington Stanley), Sean McGinty (r)(def), Torquay), Sam Hatton (sp)(mid), Welling), Chris Barker (sp)(def), Joe Oastler (r)(def), Gosport Borough), Rhys Browne (r)(mid), Grimsby), Dan Thomas (sp)(gk), Tom Richards (sp)(def), Damon Lathrope (r)(mid), Torquay), Dan Walker (r)(att), Hemel Hempstead), Phil Smith (r)(gk)

Aldershot are looking for brighter fortunes this season as they welcome back Gary Waddock. He was the manager that lead the Shots to the Football League back in 2008 and the fans are dreaming for another great campaign under the much-liked and respected boss this year, especially after three years of mediocrity and disappointment after dropping back into the non-league. Barry Davies was really disappointing and underwhelming last season as his team never looked remotely close to getting into the play-offs. They displayed a brand of turgid football that was hard to watch most of the times and left the fans disappointed. That means that the arrival of Waddock was welcomed as great news but there is quite a lot of pressure on the manager to bring instant success. The reality now is that Aldershot are far from a leading light in the division and their squad looks both lacking in depth and quality. The manager made some good moves over the summer and the one that got the people really talking was that of Scott Rendell. The striker, hero of arch rivals Woking, accepted the offer to play for the Shots and it will be interesting how fit he is after spending an year on the sidelines. Jake Cole is another good signing from the Cards and will provide a safe pair of hands between the sticks. Will Evans and Bernard Mensah can potentially very good signings too while Liam Bellamy arrives from Dover after reaching the play-offs with them. In the other direction goes Jim Stevenson while the other big loss is that of Omar Beckles, the towering defender that is off to Accrington Stanley after a steady season. Aldershot generally have the look of a side that is unable to mix it with the best and Waddock will really need to get things going quickly at the start for his men to have a chance of something more memorable.

Target


Aldershot are unlikely to do much better than recent seasons and a place in and around the mid-table spot is in order.

Barrow

In


Moussa Diarra (def), Hampton & Richmond), Richard Bennett (att), Northwich Victoria), Euan Murray (def), Stenhousemuir), Shaun Beeley (def), Morecambe), Nick Anderton (def), Preston), Liam Hughes (mid), Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Byron Harrison (att), Chesterfield), Lindon Meikle (mid), Alfreton), Ross Hannah (att), Chester), Paul Turnbull (mid), Macclesfield)

Out


Neil Ashton (sp)(def), Southport), Steve Williams (sp)(def), Fylde), Patrick Lacey (sp)(mid), Accrington Stanley), Andy Cook (k)(att), Tranmere), Simon Grand (r)(def), Salford), Jason Walker (r)(att), Chorley), Ashley Grimes (sp)(att), Southport)

Barrow finished the previous season as one of the form sides and by the end the decision to appoint Paul Cox as a manager back in December proved an inspired one by the owner. The Bluebirds were newcomers back then but never looked in any danger from February onwards and indeed finished quite high in the table. Cox knows how vital momentum is in this tight league and will want his players to utilise it and make a strong start of the season to settle in nicely. They did lose a big player in Andy Cook over the summer but have the scope to cope with that and the manager has brought in some decent players that would surely lift the level of the squad. Ross Hannah joined from Chester as a direct Cook replacement after starring in a very mediocre side last season. Paul Turnbull is a top addition for the midfield from Macclesfield and Liam Hughes, coming from nearby Scotland and formerly of Cambridge, could prove a fine signing. Shaun Beeley is an assured full-back and should solve the problems at right-back that dogged the Bluebirds last season. Cox has overall addressed the issues in the squad and given the way his teams generally play, Barrow should be a team that uses their physical advantage to impose themselves on teams and stay compact at the back. Yet the loss of a good defender in Simon Grand, along with that of Steve Williams, means that Moussa Diarra is now set to be a regular at the back and he makes quite the step up from two divisions below. There are high hopes about wide forward Jordan Williams as he was sensational in the second half of last season and could really become a top player in the coming months if he keeps progressing like that. Overall, this is a big and imposing squad and no side in the league will relish facing this fired-up bunch of players.

Target


Signed a lot of big new players who will help with the style of play imposing by Cox and overall have the capacity to even battle for the play-offs. It is more likely that they settle somewhere in the upper mid-table.

Boreham Wood

In


Kenny Davis (mid), Braintree), Adriano Moké (mid), Wrexham), Grant Smith (gk), Bognor Regis), Mark Ricketts (mid), Woking), Anthony Jeffrey (att), Forest Green - loan), Matt Paine (mid), Braintree), Danny Uchechi (mid), Angelo Balanta (att), Carlisle)

Out


Luke Howell (r)(mid), Dagenham & Redbridge), Scott Doe (k)(def), Dagenham & Redbridge), Charlie MacDonald (sp)(att), Greenwich), Billy Clifford (r)(mid), Crawley), James Russell (r)(gk), St Albans), Josh Hill (sp)(def), St Albans), Callum Reynolds (sp)(def), Aldershot), Sam Cox (sp)(mid), Junior Morias (sp)(att), St Albans), Preston Edwards (sp)(gk), Ebbsfleet - loan)

Boreham Wood are looking for consolidation and progress this year as they struggled until the end but just about survived last year. They have the youngest manager in the league in Luke Garrard but he has shown toughness and no little determination already and he managed to bring some excellent players to the squad over the summer. Indeed, it can be argued that the Wood were one of the sides with a best transfer window so far. They bagged a couple of excellent Braintree players in Matt Paine and Kenny Davis, integral part of the side that defied all odds to reach third place. Moreover, Mark Ricketts is a top addition in midfield as he brings grit and fine passing well. Meanwhile, in Angelo Balanta and Anthony Jeffrey, back for another spell on loan, the team has landed a couple of speedy forward who can have the beating of a lot of defences. On the other hand, Scott Doe leaving for Dagenham & Redbridge is a real blow for the Wood as he was an imposing presence in defence and undoubted their best player last season as he lead them to a number of clean sheets as the team, floundered around him.. Luke Howell also completed a return to the Daggers after an year and his aggressiveness and energy in midfield will be miss too. The team also lost their main keeper James Russell, who produced some stunning saves along the way last year.. Grant Smith is now expected to don the gloves and he has no experience at all at this level. As a whole, there is a decent mix of players in the squad but the Wood seem to lack the mentality to go for more and would be happy for a place in the bottom half of mid-table.

Target


Will be mainly looking to stay up but have the calibre of players to challenge for upper mid-table as well.

Braintree

In


Rohdell Gordon (mid), Stevenage), Jack Midson (att), Eastleigh), Zach Fagan (def), Welling), Lee Barnard (att), Crawley), Barney Williams (def), Welling), Jerome Okimo (def), Stevenage), Harry Lee (mid), Welling), Jon Ashton (r)(def), Crawley), Craig Braham-Barrett (def), Dover), Jamie Butler (gk), Hemel Hempstead), Quade Taylor (def), Bolton)

Out


Sean Marks (sp)(att), Maidenhead), Dan Sparkes (r)(mid), Torquay), Taylor Miles (sp)(mid), Lincoln), Kenny Davis (k)(mid), Boreham Wood), Alex Woodyard (r)(mid), Lincoln), Mark Phillips (r)(def), Ebbsfleet), Mitch Brundle (sp)(def), Gateshead), Matt Paine (r)(mid), Boreham Wood), Matt Fry (r)(def), York City), Sam Habergham (r)(def), Lincoln), Tom King (r)(gk), Millwall - end of loan)

Braintree enjoyed a quite brilliant last season where they lived the dream and nearly did the unthinkable. They went very close to knocking eventual play-off winners Grimsby in the semi-final and with a bit more luck could have been a Football League side. Yet they do not have a place in these rarefied nights as the Essex club have a small and ramshackle ground, very little fanbase and hardly success in their history. But Danny Cowley ignored all that and inspired the team to memorable run to the third place in the standings at the end, something that seemed utterly impossible as the new young coach was taking over from the very respected Alan Devonshire back at the start. But Cowley is nowhere around now as he took up the offer from Lincoln and went to a bigger club. While the Iron will be bitterly disappointed not to see him build on his excellent work, the club moved on quickly and made a vetoer good appointment in Jamie Day. The former Welling manager earned plaudits for the way he got another modest side into this division and should suit Braintree and their underdog mentality nicely. His stock has fallen in the past year and a half but he remains an astute coach and someone who knows the non-league environment. The great success from last season brought intense interest to the key players in the squad and indeed the core of the team has been taken out. Mark Phillips, Matt Paine and Matt Fry have all left for other clubs and it can already be claimed that the defensive solidity from last year will be hard to replicate. Alex Woodyard, Kenny Davis, Sean Marks and Dan Sparkes are all vitally important players too and it is hard to make a prediction for what this new-look Braintree side will look like. Zach Fagan, Barney Williams and Harry Lee were lured from Day’s former club Welling while there is also going to be lots of experience as Jack Midson, Lee Barnard and Jon Ashton have all been brought in as well. Therefore, the squad still looks pretty decent in terms of names. Yet how they will mould as a side is still a big question mark.

Target


Braintree are very unlikely to mount a challenge as the one from last season but their new-look squad still looks good and they should be looking for a spot in the top ten

Bromley

In


Ugo Udoji (def), Chelmsford - return from loan), Dave Martin (mid), Whitehawk), Joe Howe (def), Ebbsfleet), George Porter (att), Welling)

Out


Sean Francis (sp)(def), Welling), Aaron Tumwa (sp)(def), Margate) Pierre-Joseph Dubois (r)(att), Welling), Adam Birchall (sp)(att), Paul Rodgers (sp)(def), Bishop’s Strotford), Ali Fuseini (r)(mid), Margate), Moses Emmanuel (k)(att), Rohdell Gordon (sp)(mid), Stevenage - end of loan)

Bromley enjoyed a pretty good first season after promotion last year but there is a feeling that they are in for a tougher ride in their second season in the division. The team actually changed managers over the course of last season due to a poor run of form and it proved an important decision as Neil Smith oversaw a real rejuvenation in the spring after taking charge on caretaker role. He clearly impressed enough his bosses and earned a permanent role for the coming season. Yet he will need to work extra hard and get more out of the squad as they lost their attacking talisman in Moses Emmanuel. The striker made a splash in the first half of last season but leaves on a free transfer and is set to join a club in the Football League. That leaves Adam Cunnington and Bradley Goldberg as the main attacking options at the start of the season. Smith also signed a talented but frustrating player in George Porter and will be hoping to tap into the potential of the versatile wide forward. Joe Howe is a good signing at right-back from Ebbsfleet and should bring reliability at the ball. Dave Martin arrived as the third new signing so far and he offers experience and good deliveries from the left, even if his best years are long behind. But there have been no more signings made yet and the squad looks slim and devoid of too many options. Lee Minshull and Max Porter will hope to stay fit as they are a fine midfield pairing while in Jack Holland, Ben Chorley and Rob Swaine, the coach has excellent midfield alternatives too. Yet a few injuries can really disrupt Bromley and there was already a felling last season that the momentum and freshness was gone from the squad. They may have needed more of an overhaul but the squad is what it is and they look in position to battle for a place in mid-table but not much more.

Target


Face a challenge to match the exploits of last year and are expected to be in the bottom half of the table and maybe even in a battle against the drop.

Chester FC

In


Evan Horwood (def), Northampton), Elliott Durrell (mid), Tamworth), Theo Vassell (def), Walsall - loan), Ross Killock (def), Leeds), Blaine Hudson (def), Wrexham), James Akintunde (att), Cambridge), Wade Joyce (mid), Staybridge Celtic), Liam Roberts (gk), Walsall - loan)

Out


Craig Hobson (sp)(att), Altrincham), Ben Heneghan (r)(def), Motherwell), John Rooney (r)(mid), Wrexham), Ross Hannah (k)(att), Barrow)

Chester had a season to forget last year as they flirted with relegation and were under such a serious danger late on that the dismissal of the much respected Steve Burr. His assistant Jon McCarthy secured a couple of important results at the end to avoid the disaster and has subsequently been handed the job on permanent basis. It was a safety-first approach from the club and a decision that left many fans underwhelmed for the prospects for the coming season. Chester bid farewell to a few of their best players as John Rooney departed for arch rivals Wrexham and top scorer Ross Hannah moved to Barrow. The loss of talented defender Ben Heneghan is a blow as well and the squad looks leaner and in quality and lacking the required mettle for the tough battle. While Evan Horwood is a good additional in defence and Blaine Hudson can be a solid defensive presence, all the other signings have neither the experience, nor the expected quality to make the fans believe in better. Chester look like an unimaginative side of little attacking potency and playing in a sterile way. McCarthy will look to follow the path that Burr lined up and a little change of style is expected as well. While the team still boats some pretty decent players, there is a good chance that Chester struggle at the bottom end of the table and will need to have a good start and settle in nicely to avoid the trauma of a relegation battle.

Target


Very little to get excited about and overall look like a potential relegation candidate.

Dagenham and Redbridge

In


Curtley Williams (def), Luton), Josh Staunton (def), Charlton), Fejiri Okenabirhie (att), Harrow Borough), Craig Robson (def), Bognor Regis), Matt Robinson (mid), Luton), Scott Doe (def), Boreham Wood), Luke Howell (mid), Boreham Wood), Leo Donnellan (mid), QPR), Elliot Justham (gk), Luton), Christian Assombalonga (att), Waltham Abbey), Jordan Maguire-Drew att), Brighton - loan)

Out


Jack Connors (sp)(def), Ebbsfleet), Ian Gayle (sp)(def), Liam O'Brien (r)(gk), Ade Yusuf (sp)(att), Chatham), Justin Hoyte (r)(def), Clévid Dikamona (r)(def), Bourg-en-Bresse), Zavon Hines (sp)(att), Matt Richards (sp)(mid), Joss Labadie (r)(mid), Newport County), Ashley Chambers (r)(att), Grimsby), Josh Passley (r)(def), Christian Doidge (r)(att), Forest Greeen), Ashley Hemmings (r)(mid), Mansfield), Matt McClure (sp)(att), Aldershot), Jodi Jones (sp)(mid), Coventry)

Dagenham & Redbridge are back in the non-league scene after quite a few years of punching above their weight in the upper division. The team from Barking have been battling against the odds on a shoestring budget but eventually surrendered to relegation from the Football League in the spring. The good news for them is that they have almost the best man that they could have as a manager to get them back up. Veteran coach John Still remains in charge after taking over at the start of 2016 and will be hoping to mould a strong side this year. Yet the signs are not too optimistic and the much-liked tactician will need all of his magic to indeed turn the Dag & Red into something more than just a mid-table fodder. Their squad from last year was not all much anyway but the loss of Ashley Hemmings and Ashley Chambers is a rather important one. The likes of Luke Guttridge and Mark Cousins are among the few that remain with the squad and will try to lend a helping hand to the new arrivals and make them settle quickly. Still has a keen eye for talent from the divisions below and that has been the main focus of his recruitment. A few young and rather unknown players have joined already and will be expected to make he step up quickly and learn how tough the league can be. Scott Doe and Luke Howell are the exception of the rule as the pair return to he Daggers after an year with Boreham Wood. Doe is the type of leader that is vital to a young team and will be expected to provide example with his displays and demeanour. Matt Robinson is another more established signing but all the other are very young and untried and that must be a cause of concern for most fans.

Target


Have one of the best managers in the league but the squad is some way off a challenge for the top places and a place in the top half of the table should be acceptable for the current level of spending in the squad.

Dover

In


Jim Stevenson (mid), Aldershot), Steve Arnold (gk), Forest Green)

Out


Tom Murphy (sp)(att), Maidstone), Harry Crawford (sp)(att), Welling), Andy Rafferty (sp)(gk), Nicky Deverdics (k)(mid), Hartlepool), Liam Bellamy (r)(mid), Aldershot), Stefan Payne (k)(att), Barnsley), Craig Braham-Barrett (sp)(def), Braintree), Lee Hook (gk), retired)

Dover impressed hugely last season when they reached the play-offs against all expectations, playing a rather efficient and unorthodox brand of football that proved difficult for opponents to cope with. Chris Kinnear managed to superbly squeeze all out of a decent but unspectacular squad and went quite close to actually knocking out Forest Green in the play-offs. But the vultures have come circling during the summer and the Whites lost some of their best payers as a result. The superb Nicky Deverdics is back north with Hartlepool while Stefan Payne earned a move to the Championship with Barnsley after his last couple of prolific years. The loss of players like Liam Bellamy and Tom Murphy weakens the squad as well and it is difficult to see the Kent side doing as well as they did last year. Kinnear will still organise the well and will surely add to the paltry two signings that have been made so far. Jim Stevenson is a good addition in midfield and can have the sort of impact that Deverdics enjoyed last season. Steven Arnold is also a good signing on goal and can definitely challenge Mitch Walker, having been a regular with a side like Forest Green. Yet Payne leaves a big hole in attack which has not been filled yet and the defence could be struggling this year too. At least one signing is needed there to have more options and the manager should be busy heading into the first weeks of the season.

Target


Lost too much vital quality over the summer and should be content with a place in mid-table in the coming season.

Eastleigh

In


Jake Howells (mid), Luton), Ayo Obileye (def), Charlton), Mikael Mandron (att), Sunderland), Connor Essam (def), Leyton Orient), Adam Dawson (mid), Nuneaton), David Pipe (def), Forest Green), Adam Dugdale (def), Morecambe), Ryan Huddart (gk), Arsenal - loan), Ryan Bird (att), Yeovil), Ryan Cresswell (def), (Northampton)

Out


Will Evans (sp)(def), Aldershot), Michael Poke (sp)(gk), Woking), Josh Payne (r)(mid), Crawley), Jack Midson (sp)(att), Braintree), Jamie Turley (r)(def), Newport County), Matthias Fanimo (sp)(mid), Margate), Matt Tubbs (r)(att), Portsmouth - end of loan)

Eastleigh have emerged as a real force to be reckoned with over the last two seasons and intend to remain among the best in the league this season too. Chris Todd enjoyed a really impressive first campaign in the dugout last year, having taken over from long-serving Richard Hill in September. The Hampshire side seemed to be on course for the play-offs but a couple of tight losses late in the season undid their hard work and the team finished just outside. But the appetite is very much there and everyone at Eastleigh believes that they have a pretty good chance of actually grabbing the top spot this time around. They once again acquired quality players and few in the league can match them in that regard. Connor Essam and Adam Dugdale are impressive defenders while David Pipe is the sort of hard-man, utility player that is needed in a promotion charge. Jake Howells is another excellent capture as the versatile player will give Todd plenty of options in midfield and out wide. It must be said that the Spitfires also lost a couple of integral players on Josh Payne and Jamie Turley. The former was the heartbeat in midfield while Turley, when fit, has few peers in the division in terms of pure defending. Yet the signings Todd have made more than adequately replenish the squad and it feels like a stronger and more prepared group this year. Thus, Eastleigh are ready for a battle and are not shy to show their ambitions. Whether they can last the distance remains a big question mark but they certainly have the right tools and should not be taken lightly.

Target


Have a very strong squad and a play-off spot should be expected, even if the manager lacks the experience and nous of his rivals.

Forest Green Rovers

In


Drissa Traoré (mid), Swindon), Sam Russell (gk), Gateshead), Liam Noble (mid), Notts Count), Blake Davies (att), Bristol Rovers), Harry Hickford (def), MK Dons), Matt Tubbs (att), Portsmouth), Christian Doidge (att), Dagenham & Redbridge), Rhys Murphy (att), Arsenal), Jon Moran (def), Nantwich), Mohamed Chemlal (mid), Le Havre)m Simon Lefebvre (gk), Bordeaux), Ethan Pinnock (def), Dulwich Hamlet)

Out


James Jennings (r)(der), Cheltenham), Brett Williams (sp)(att), Torquay), Steve Arnold (r)(gk), Dover), Anthony Jeffrey (sp)(att), Boreham Wood - loan), David Pipe (sp)(def), Eastleigh), Delano Sam-Yorke (sp)(att), Woking), Lenny Pidgeley (sp)(gk), Jon Parkin (r)(att), Newport County), Clovis Kamdjo (sp)(mid), York City), Kurtis Guthrie (r)(att), Colchester)

Forest Green launch their latest attempt to break the glass ceiling and make it to the Football League at long last. The most financially-backed side in the division have been going steadily closer in recent years and reached the play-off final last season. But an inspired Grimsby side were too good for them and deservedly claimed the second promotion. That, strangely enough, was the first game in charge of the new manager Mark Cooper. The former Peterborough and Swindon boss was given the reigns right at the end of last season as Adrian Pinnock’s spell was ended due to a dreadful run of form going into the play-offs. The real tenure for Cooper of course begins this season and he has been busy at work bolstering an already very strong squad. Kurtis Guthrie, Jon Parkin and James Jennings are some of the notable departures but the squad looks quite impressive nevertheless. Matt Tubbs was lured from Portsmouth and has the quality to bring lots of goals in attack and make the fans forget cult hero Parkin rather quickly. Another attacking signing is that of Rhys Murphy and he also may become a very useful player in this league. Liam Noble will bring quality and experience into midfield and has the makings of a very good signing as well. There are some interesting additions from abroad too and overall the squad has both variety and depth, along with no little goalscoring potential. At the back, Aarran Racine and Charlie Clough remain the undoubted centre-back pairing while Sam Russell is back on goal after a year at Gateshead. He will replace the departed Steven Arnold as the regular keeper and may well be an upgrade on him. It is hard to find too many weak spots in the squad and if Coopers settles in nicely and get the team up and running, it may be hard to stop Rovers this time.

Target


Have the potential to go for the title and in Mark Cooper they may have found the manager to eventually complete the journey to promotion.

Gateshead

In


Nyal Bell (att), Rochdale), Reece Styche (att), Macclesfield), Manny Smith (def), Wrexham), Toby Ajala (mid), Torquay), George Smith (def), Barnsley), Wes York (att), Wrexham), Jamal Fyfield (def), Wrexham), Mitch Brundle (def), Braintree), Antony Sweeney (mid), Hartlepool), Liam Hogan (def), Tranmere), James Bolton (def), Halifax), Sam Johnson (gk), Port Vale - loan), Sam Jones (mid), Alfreton)

Out


Jamie Chandler (sp)(mid), Spennymoor), Jamie Marwood (sp)(mid), Josh Gillies (r)(mid), Darlington), Rob Ramshaw (sp)(mid), Matthew Pattison (r)(mid), Daren Holden (sp)(def), Simon Ramsden (r)(mid), James Curtis (r)(def), Spennymoor), Sam Russell (r)(gk), Forest Green), Craig Baxter (sp)(def), South Shields), Jon Shaw (r)(att), South Shields)

Gateshead are targeting the big time as Neil Aspin shapes up a new-look squad for the upcoming season. The Tynesiders fell badly off the mark in the play-off chase last season, even if they looked to be in a good position at one point, and the manager has been keen to have a full pre-season with the team and shape it his own image. He has been busy in the transfer market and has not shied away from releasing some established and well-liked players like James Curtis, Craig Baxter, Josh Gillies and Jon Shaw. He has been keen to bring fresh blood into the team and it cannot be denied that some of his signings look pretty impressive. Manny Smith is one of the best defenders in the league and has been followed by other former Wrexham players in Jamal Fyfield and Wes Yorl. A pretty good and versatile player in Mitch Brundle arrived from surprise package Braintree too whole Liam Hogan and Anthony Sweeney have Football League experience and should be fine acquisitions too. Sam Russell is a serious loss on goal as he was probably the team’s best player last season. Sam Johnson arrives as a replacement and while the Port Vale goalie is a decent player, he did suffer relegation from this division from Halifax this season. The midfield looks slightly weaker and lacking in image so far but Aspin will be confident that his team have what it takes to go the distance and reach the business end of the season very much in contention for the play-offs. Yet there are too many new faces and not enough standout quality to make Gateshead a true contender at the moment.

Target


Unlikely to go close to the play-offs place but they have a good coach and a few strong additions. Should be able to command a place between 12th and 8th.

Guiseley

In


Nicky Clee (mid), Altrincham), Javan Vidal (def), Wrexham), Michael Rankine (att), Altrincham), Ashley Palmer (def), North Ferriby), Danny East (def), Grimsby)

Out


Steven Drench (r)(gk), Halifax), Gavin Rothery (sp)(mid), Gainsborough), James Hurst (r)(mid), Telford), Ben Parker (def), Bradford Park Avenue), Nicky Boshell (sp)(def), Bradford Park Avenue), Danny Hall (sp)(def), Curzon Ashton), Ryan Toulson (r)(def), Bradford Park Avenue), Oliver Norburn (r)(mid), Macclesfield), Liam Dickinson (sp)(att), Bradford Park Avenue)

Guiseley prepare for their second season in the top flight of non-league football but must be still pinching themselves at how they actually did it. The Yorkshire side had a very long slump in the second half of the season and seemed to be heading to relegation at full speed. But a dramatic win over Torquay on the last day of the season and a surprise loss of points by Halifax meant that Mark Bower’s side finished above the bottom four, even if they started the last day of the season inside it. It was very much a fortuitous escape and Bower will look to make the most of it and make the team a stronger one in the coming season. Yet signings have been generally underwhelming, as expected for a side with a smallish budget, and little change is expected from the Lions. They have a new main striker in Michael Rankine and while he is a proven scorer, his style is very much as a big lump up front who needs the ball to be crossed to him. While Adam Smith is certainly a decent winger, there just does not seem to be much quality assist-makers in the side to make that system a success. The defence is bolstered by the signing of Ashley Palmer from newly-promoted North Ferriby. But there are still some serious gaps there and the lack of a new goalkeeper signed up to take up the mantle from Steven Drench is another serious problem. Oliver Norburn will be a loss in midfield too while players like Gavin Rothery and Ryan Toulson, who both offered reliability and consistency, are nowhere around too. The squad looks weaker at the moment and it takes quite an optimist to believe that Guiseley will have an easier time this season.

Target


Struggle at the bottom end of the table and a likely relegation with the current squad

Lincoln City

In


Taylor Miles (mid), Braintree), Alex Woodyard (mid), Braintree), Sam Habergham (def), Braintree), Adam Marriott (att), Stevenage), Jonny Margetts (att), Tranmere), Nathan Arnold (mid), Grimsby)

Out


Liam Hearn (sp)(att), Ilkeston), Greg Tempest (sp)(mid), Nuneaton), Tony Diagne (sp)(def), Nat Brown (sp)(def), Boston), Matt Sparrow (r)(mid), Sorento FC), Aidan Grant (sp)(gk), Corby), Chris Bush (r)(def), Welling), Conner Robinson (sp)(att), North Ferriby), James Caton (mid), Shrewsbury - end of loan), George Maris (sp)(att), Barnsley - end of loan)

It is an exciting new season ahead for Lincoln as they hope to finally at least come close to ending their long wait for promotion. One of the big clubs outside of the Football League have become used to mid-table mediocrity and false dawns in recent years and there must be still some big dose of negativity around the place. Yet the Imps have acquired a brilliant new coach this season in Danny Cowley. He was by far and away the most impressive manager in the division last season as he sensationally lead a modest Braintree side to the play-offs. They almost reached the final too and it was startling to see the sort of impact a young coach, who had never managed at such a level before, to do so well in his first season with a club. He decided to jump ship and take up the offer from a club that is no match for Braintree’s fanbase and resources. It is an exciting project ahead but the pressure will be different on Cowley this time and it will be fascinating to see how the handles it. He did bring a few of his former players from Braintree and Alex Woodyard is the pick of the punch, a fine midfielder with a real eye for a pass. The other impressive new signing is that of Nathan Arnold. He just won promotion with local rivals Grimsby and has been probably the best winger in the league for the past two seasons. Convincing him to remain in the National League is no mean feat and could make all the difference as Lincoln plot a return to where they think they belong

Target


With an exciting new manager in place and a squad bolstered, Lincoln will be daring to dream and rightly so. Play-offs are very much gettable and the Imps should go for it.

Macclesfield Town

In


Jack Mackreth (mid), Tranmere), Oliver Norburn (mid), Guiseley), Kingsley James (mid), Halifax), Craig Ross (gk), Whitehawk)

Out


Kristian Dennis (k)(att), Stockport - end of loan), Paul Turnbull (r)(mid), Barrow), Reece Styche (sp)(att), Gateshead), Shwan Jalal (r)(gk), Wrexham), Tony Diagne (sp)(def), Lincoln - end of loan), Danny Whitehead (sp)(mid), Oldham - end of loan)

Macclesfield come off another generally strong and solid season in which they flirted with the play-offs before tailing off in early spring. John Askey was overall content with what he saw from his side over the last year and will be hoping for smooth progress and consistency in the coming year. He is one of the managers that hardly overhauls his squad over the summer and indeed the Silkmen are one of the most unchanged teams compared to last year. They still lost a few big players, chiefly top scorer Kristian Dennis, midfielder Paul Turnbull and regular goalie Shwan Jalal, but the core of the squad has been maintained and changes have been mostly cosmetic. Craig Ross is expected to be the new regular goalie while Kingsley James and Oliver Norburn have been signed to bring energy and grit into the midfield. The main achilles point is certainly the attack as Jack Sampson cannot be relied there. He has struggled for goals last season and just seems not ready to carry the burden that Dennis did last season. Askey will be surely looking for another signing there but given his tight budget, the fans should not be getting their hopes up. Jack Mackreth is back with the Silkmen after a frustrating last year and the lively winger will be looking to get back to the level he had a couple of years ago One big plus for Macclesfield is that John McCombe remains on board after joining late in the spring. He is a very good centre-back at this level and there is an argument that him and George Pilkington make the best defensive partnership in the division. Macclesfield will be as usual tough to beat and hardworking in midfield but it is hard to see them mounting a serious challenge, unless a couple of new attacking players arrive.

Target


Will struggle to reach the top ten with the current squad but should be fine for a safe mid-table place.

Maidstone

In


Ben Greenhalgh (mid), Concord Rangers), Anthony Acheampong (def), Ebbsfleet), Tom Murphy (att), Dover), Kevin Lokko (def), Welling), Jack Evans (mid), Eastbourne Borough)

Out


Manny Parry (r)(def), Margate), Matt Bodkin (sp)(mid), Charles Banya (sp)(mid)

Maidstone’s remarkable journey goes on as the small club from Kent look to continue their unstoppable rise. They have just won back-to-back promotions after playing some excellent, slick attacking football, and are getting ready for their first ever taste of the top flight of the non league. It is a big challenge for a team that was playing with much more modest outfits just a couple of years ago. But the Stones have shown that they are not afraid to take up a challenge and are instead eager to get into it and try their best. They are also an innovative club because they are the highest one in the football pyramid that uses an artificial grass pitch. It is something that the rest of the league are not accustomed to and it is certainly an advantage for Jay Saunders’ men. The manager has forged his reputation in recent years and knows that he can take this team up another level in the coming year. He was not afraid to go head to head with strong sides like Sutton and Ebbsfleet when his men were newcomers last year too. Indeed, the Stones dramatically defeated the much more financially powerful Ebbsfleet in the play-off final via a penalty shootout and will be now itching to get going and give it their best in the quest to stay up. Their squad does not look that ominous or stacked with experience but flair players like Vasilis Karagiannis, Alex Fisher and Bobby-Joe Taylor are capable of lifting their level and being pretty good for the team. The one big loss during the summer was that of Manny Parry as the regular centre-back chose the advanced of Margate. Yet Anthony Acheampong is a pretty fine replacement and should be able to slot in nicely. Tom Murphy struggled last season at Dover but he is a good wide forward and can have real impact too. Ben Greenhalgh, the reality star, is another interesting signing and he comes off a very good season at Concord Rangers where he scored 13 goals off the wing. There is still a feeling that the squad is a bit lightweight but the Stones certainly have a fighting chance of beating the drop.

Target


Have some nice qualities about them along with a really bright manager and may well defy the odds and just about stay up.

North Ferriby

In


Connor Oliver (mid), Blackpool), Taron Hare (def), York City), Conner Robinson (att), Lincoln), Rory Watson (gk), Hull - loan), Stephen Brogan (mid), Gainsborough), Jordan Cooke (def), Worksop), Jake Skelton (def), Leeds), Vinny Mukendi (att), Ramsbottom)

Out


Tom Denton (r)(att), Halifax), Nathan Hotte (sp)(mid), Halifax), Liam King (r)(mid), Halifax), Wayne Brooksby (sp)(mid), Harrogate), Daniel Hone (sp)(def), Halifax), Josh Wilde (r)(def), Halifax), Ashley Palmer (r)(def), Guiseley)

North Ferriby prepare for a dip into the unknown as the team from Humberside look to show what they are made of in a league where they are complete minnows. It is an amazing story that this village team, from a place with a population of just over 3000 people, has somehow reached the top level of non-league football. They will be facing relative giants in Tranmere, Wrexham and York over the next 12 months and it promises to be some journey for the whole club. Ferriby have been doing well in the National League North for the past couple of years and it was thus no huge surprise that the team reached the play-offs last year. They edged a stronger team on paper in Fylde in the final, a 2:1 extra-time win, to seal a dramatic and historic promotion to the National League Premier. But the joy would not continue long as the celebrated and respected manager Billy Heath, the main reason for their success, chose to remain in the National League North and take up the offer of recently-relegated Halifax. It was a huge blow for Ferriby and the fact that the core of the promotion-winning squad, fled to join Heath at his new club, made it an even sourer episode. Tom Denton, Liam King, Daniel Hone and Josh King are all absolutely massive losses and there is no denying that the team looks weaker, instead of stronger, heading into the new season. But new manager Steve Housham will be relishing the chance to play the underdog role and will not be fazed by what is coming. He signed a couple of players from his former club and will hope that former Lincoln man Conner Robinson fulfil his potential, having emerged as the most interesting summer signing. As a whole, the squad looks bare and clearly lacking in quality for the tough season ahead.

Target


The departure of so many top players will damage the squad massively and staying up will be viewed as a big accomplishment.

Solihull Moors

In


Nathan Vaughan (gk), Worcester), Harry White (att), Barnsley), Jamey Osborne (mid), Redditch), Shepherd Murombedzi (mid), Hayes & Yeading)

Out


Callum Gittings (sp)(mid), Telford), Paul Bignot (r)(def), Newport County), Gareth Dean (r)(def), Brackley), Junior English (sp)(mid), Worcester), Adam Walker (sp)(mid), Brackley), James Armson (r)(mid), Brackley), Andy Gooding (sp)(mid), Rugby Town), Darren Byfield (sp)(att), retired)

It is an uncharted territory for Solihull Moors as the ambitious and impressive Midlands club start their first-ever campaign in the top-flight of non-league football. They have risen spectacularly in the past few years after struggling financially and on the pitch for years. But the arrival of manager Marcus Bignot has lead to a real upturn in fortunes and that culminated in the impressive title win in the National League North last season. In a league involving some pretty big clubs like Stockport and Telford, the Moors were by far and away the best and never looked back after setting the pace from the word go Bignot has molded an impressive unit that is tough to play against, with three at the back and a mobile front three as well. Stefan Moore, the former Aston Villa man, is their most recognisable player but in Daryl Knights they have another fine striker that will hope to catch the eye in the season ahead. Yet the main virtue of this side is their unity and ability to work hard and perform efficiently under pressure. Bignot is a no-nonsense manager who has played at this level for a while. He will be prepared for the campaign ahead and knows that this is going to be a markedly different challenge to the one that the team faced before. Yet he has sought stability and maintaining the core squad, rather than going for big signings to lift the level of the squad. The defence and midfield is comprised mainly of workmanlike, solid players and it is hard to see where creativity and flair will come from. The reality is that the quality of players at his disposal looks rather underwhelming given the calibre of teams in the division. There is no escaping the expectation that Solihull will struggle badly and it will be a surprise if they manage to prolong their stay in the division.

Target


The team looks unprepared for the level of competition and is set for a relegation struggle in the year ahead.

Southport

In


Jonathan Royle (mid), Wrexham), John Cofie (att), Telford), James Gray (att), Wrexham), Tyrell Belford (gk), Swindon - loan), Ross White (def), Wrexham), Neil Ashton (def), Barrow), Ryan Crump (gk), Blackburn), Ashley Grimes (att), Barrow), Chris Doyle (def), Morecambe), Keil O'Brien (def), Bury)

Out


Alex Whittle (sp)(def), York City), Adam Blakeman (r)(def), Chorley), Steven Hewitt (sp)(mid), Accrington Stanley), Matthew Challoner (r)(def), Chorley), Paul Rutherford (r)(mid), Wrexham), Max Crocombe (r)(gk), Oxford - end of loan), Mike Phenix (r)(att), Barnsley - end of loan)

Southport are once again looking to just about keep their heads above the water and maintain their status as a National League Premier outfit. They always look terribly unprepared and lacking in quality at the start of a season but fight and scrap their way out of trouble by the end. They went through three managers last season and are now hoping for stability, even if the man at the helm is barley 33 years old and just months into his first job in coaching. But Andy Bishop has started really well after taking over back in March, with the Sandgrounders still in danger of being relegated. He inspired a really good run until the end and has won the backing of the owner to oversee the fortunes of the Merseyside club on the pitch. He has been able to keep hold of the two top players from last season, veteran Gary Jones and forward Louis Almond, and that already makes the transfer window a success. The loss of Paul Rutherford to Wrexham is a disappointment but hardly a huge blow and the team looks in a decent shape at the moment. They signed a very solid left-back in Neil Ashton to bolster defensive options while Bishop is also banking on former Manchester United starlet John Cofie to realise at least some of his potential after joining as well. James Gray looked very good at Wrexham for a while last year and the striker may prove a good fit for Southport in the year ahead. The Port look weekend on goal as Ryan Crump and Tyrell Belford both look unprepared for a regular role and the very assured Max Crocombe is not around anymore. The defence has seen little change and Bishop will be hoping that the vital Josh Thompson stays fit as the other options there are not great.

Target


Will likely be near the bottom places for most of the season and, with an inexperienced manager at the helm, could well be dropping down a division this season.

Sutton United

In


Roarie Deacon (att), Crawley), Noor Husin (mid), Reading), Bradley Hudson-Odoi (att), Wealdstone), Chris Dickson (att), Ermis)

Out


Tom Bolarinwa (r)(mid), Grimsby), Stuart Fleetwood (sp)(att), Bath City), Tommy Wright (sp)(att), Salisbury - loan)

Sutton United begin life in the National League Premier determined to show that they deserve to be there and will not be just making the numbers. They were undoubtedly the best side in the National League South last season and claimed the title deservedly, having fought off the valiant challenge of strong sides like Ebbsfleet and Maidstone. Paul Doswell has been building this side for a few years now and the U’s have the look of a very accomplished side, full of players who are not new to this level and know how to cope. The likes of Craig Eastmond and Nicky Bailey in midfield were playing in the Championship and League One barely a couple of years ago while in Craig McAllister, Simon Downer and Dean Beckwith there is a huge pool of experience and know-how about this league. Doswell was mostly focused on keeping the nucleus of the squad intact over the summer and as a whole has done a good job. The only genuinely important departure is that of lively winger Tom Bolarinwa. But he is certainly replaceable and in Roarie Deacon the Surrey club have acquired a player of genuine talent and ability to scare defences at this level. Thus, Sutton look well stocked in every department and with momentum behind them, they could well be the surprise package of this season.

Target


There is real quality in the squad and Sutton look comfortably good enough to beat the drop and acquire a mid-table spot.

Torquay United

In


Brett Williams (att), Forest Green), Damon Lathrope (mid), Aldershot), Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (def), Kidderminster), Sean McGinty (def), Aldershot), Dan Sparkes (mid), Braintree), Jamie Reid (att), Exeter - loan), Jamie Robba (gk), Lynx), Brendan Moore (gk), Fleetwood), Aman Verma (mid), Kidderminster)

Out


Danny Racchi (r)(mid), Dan Butler (r)(def), Newport Countuy), Toby Ajala (sp)(mid), Gateshead), Exodus Geohaghon (sp)(def), Iffy Allen (sp)(att), Aldershot), Shaun Harrad (r)(att), Wrexham), Dan Lavercombe (r)(gk), Wigan - end of loan), Nathan Smith (r)(def), Port Vale - end of loan), Josh Rees (sp)(mid), Nottingham - end of loan)

Torquay were one of the stories of last season as they produced a brilliant survival campaign in the final two and a half months, having been bottom of the table in February. But they became one of the form sides in the division thanks to some inspired coaching by Kevin Nicholson and the exploits of players like Nathan Blissett, Nathan Smith and keeper Brendan Moore. The Gulls were good value to stay up by the end and will surely hope that they never go so close to relegation from now on. There is a real sense of momentum and optimism for a first time in a few years now as Nicholson has shown that he is not only a superb club icon on the pitch, having played for the Gulls for nearly ten years, but could become a really good manager too. He has the club at heart and will be surely trying all he can to turn the Dorset side into a more formidable force in the season ahead. He beefed up the squad with some proven quality additions, with Brett Williams, Dan Sparkes and Sean McGinty all players who perform well and have shown that they can be relied up on this level. Yet the squad is not too big as a whole and the loss of Nathan Smith, who was so impressively consistent and assured in defence throughout his loan spell last year, will be one that will not be overcome easily. The squad has a fresh and exciting look about it but a lot will depend on the fitness of Luke Young, the inspirational skipper who missed a large chunk of last season due to a knee injury, and whether Nicholson can keep extracting as much out of the squad on regular basis as he did at the end of the last campaign.

Target


Should be able to comfortably beat the drop this time but a spot in mid-table as as high as they should be aiming.

Tranmere Rovers

In


Connor Jennings (att), Wrexham), Andy Cook (att), Barrow), Jeff Hughes (mid), Cambridge), Darren Stephenson (att), Chorley)

Out


Matt Hill (r)(def), Bradford Park Avenue), Marcus Holness (sp)(def), Jack Mackreth (sp)(mid), Macclesfield), Michael Higdon (r)(att), Martin Riley (sp)(def), Wrexam), Jonny Margetts (sp)(att), Lincoln), Liam Hogan (sp)(def), Gateshead), Cole Stockton (sp)(att), Morecambe - loan), Gary Taylor-Fletcher (r)(att)

Tranmere suffered an agonising miss of the play-offs in their first season since relegation and will be fully determined and driven to get the job done and return to League Two this season. Gary Brabin was kept on despite the failure and he knows that the pressure is on him to deliver and he need a strong start this season. The manager identified well that the failure to score enough goals was what cost Rovers last year and he opted for a complete change of the attacking line. Established players like Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Michael Higdon have been shown the door and instead Brabin went for players of lower stature but on the back of great seasons at this level. Connor Jennings is a fine signing from Wrexham, a move that not only weakens significantly a direct rival but bring versatility and options across the attacking midfield and forward line. Andy Cook is the more typical battering ram striker and he will be determined to prove that the 50-odd goals that he had scored for Barrow in the last two seasons can be replicated at a bigger club. The most interesting and unknown of of the new additions is that of Darren Stephenson, a Jamaican wide forward who made a splash for Chorley in the division below last year, with 18 goals to his name. He could well be ready to make the step up and indeed if he does, Tranmere will have a fine player in their hands. Given that the core of the squad is already stable and looking quite impressive, with Jay Harris, Steve Jennings and Steve McNulty all still here, Tranmere look the team to beat.Yet they were unmatched in terms of squad quality last season too and managed to somehow let a certain play-off spot slot. Brabin does seem like the weak spot in all promotion project and he is the main reason why Tranmere may well miss out again.

Target


Far too good to fail to finish in the top five again but on the other hand the pressure is huge and may well struggle to get the top spot.

Woking

In


Max Kretzschmar (mid), Wycombe), Ben Gordon (def), Bradford Park Avenue), Delano Sam-Yorke (att), Forest Green), Brandon Hall (gk), Ebbsfleet), Gozie Ugwu (att), Wycombe), Michael Poke (gk), Eastleigh), Charlie Penny (att), Dulwich Hamlet), Fabio Saraiva (mid), Merstham), Dennon Lewis (mid), Watford - loan)

Out


Godfrey Poku (sp)(mid), Oxford), Chris Arthur (r)(def), Crawley), Scott Rendell (r)(att), Aldershot), Bruno Andrade (r)(mid), Hemel Hempstead), Jake Cole (r)(gk), Aldershot), Mark Ricketts (r)(mid), Boreham Wood), John Goddard (k)(mid), Swindon), Giuseppe Sole (sp)(att), Hampton & Richmond), Nick Hamann (sp)(gk), Kingstonian), Sam Smith (sp)(att), Cameron Norman (r)(def), Norwich - end of loan), Matt Robinson (r)(mid), Luton - end of loan), Matt Butcher (sp)(mid), Bournemouth - end of loan), Danial Carr (sp)(att), Cambridge - end of loan)

Woking are looking for a better season ahead after a rather dispiriting and underwhelming previous season. Garry Hill is a fine coach at this level but he was not supported by the board in terms of money to sign players and the loss of Dan Holman to eventual league champions Cheltenham in January proved the end of any hopes of a play-off charge. Now the Cards need to rebuild and get ready for what will be another challenging campaign on one of the smaller budgets in the league. They lost by far their best player from last season in John Goddard, the free scoring wide midfielder getting a deserved move to Swindon after a stellar couple of seasons in Surrey. Hill has a massive hole to fill after his departure and it will be interesting whether Max Kretzschmar, joining from Wycombe, can replicate his impact given that they are quite close in style. The move that left the Woking fans angered over the summer was that of Scott Rendell, the striker who was their lead scorer and main prize asset before injuring his knee at the start of last season. He missed the entire campaign and upon his recovery has signed for local rivals Aldershot. It is indeed a controversial move but Hill will be keen to get with matters on the pitch and will want the new players to get on the act quickly and bolster a squad that clearly underperformed last season. Mark Ricketts, the dependable goalie Jake Cole and Chris Arthur are all important departures during the summer and it will be interesting whether Delano Sam-Yorke, back at his hometown club after a number of stints with other sides in the division, Ben Gordon and Gozie Ugwu are able to turn their potential and be useful performers. Ismail Yakubu will be meanwhile like a new signing for Hill as the rugged defender has recovered from the serious injury suffered at the start of last season and will provide experience and muscle at the back.

Target


Squad looks lightweight and lacking in character and quality in key areas. Thus, it should be around mid-table and a top-half finish will be a bonus.

Wrexham

In


Tyler Harvey (mid), Plymouth), Kai Edwards (def), The New Saints), Paul Rutherford (mid), Southport), John Rooney (mid), Chester), Shwan Jalal (gk), Macclesfield), Chris Dunn (gk), Cambridge), Hamza Bencherif (def), Halifax), Anthony Barry (mid), Accrington Stanley), Michael Bakare (att), Welling), Kleiron Wolland (gk), Colwyn Bay), Jordan White (att), Livingston), Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls (att), Birmingham), Martin Riley (def), Tranmere), Nortei Nortey (def), Welling), Shaun Harrad (att), Torquay), Jordan Evans (def), Fulham)

Out


Adriano Moké (sp)(miid), Boreham Wood), Javan Vidal (sp)(def), Guiseley), Jonathan Royle (sp)(mid), Southport), Lee Fowler (r)(mid), Telford), Blaine Hudson (r)(def), Chester), Wes York (r)(att), Gateshead), James Gray (sp)(att), Southport), Manny Smith (r)(def), Gateshead), Cameron Belford (sp)(gk), Stranraer), Simon Heslop (r)(mid), York City), Ross White (sp)(def), Southport), Louis Briscoe (sp)(mid), Tamworth), Jamal Fyfield (r)(def), Gateshead), Connor Jennings (k)(att), Tranmere), Kayden Jackson (r)(att), Barnsley), Rhys Taylor (r)(gk), Newport County - end of loan)

It is all change for Wrexham as Gary Mills embarks on another bid to get the Welsh club back into the Football League after a rather long exile. They went close last season but were just not tough enough in the crunch moments and had to console themselves with a place outside the top five. Mills voiced his utter determination to do better this season and has not been afraid to cull the squad and go for a complete facelift. It will be nearly a completely different starting 11 from last season, with the exception of a couple pf players. The Dragons saw their best player last season, Connor Jennings, make the short trip to Merseyside and sign for direct promotion rivals Tranmere, in a move that must have surely left Mills sore. Manny Smith, Simon Helsop and Kayden Jackson, who earned a stint at the Championship with Barnsley, are also significant losses who will be tough to place. Yet Wrexham have signed some interesting players and the material is there for a good squad to emerge. Anthony Barry is a fine midfield general and participated in a promotion campaign at League Two last season. John Rooney is a fine player when on form as well while Hamza Bencherif and Martin Riley will bring toughness and drive into the team along with flexibility at the back and in midfield. The attacking options do look lightweight in comparison, however, but the hopes are that Scott Jordan White proves a hit after netting ten goals for Livingston last year. Shaun Harrad is the other new attacker signed but while he does have experience, his displays in the past couple of seasons suggest a player firmly on the wane. The rest of the players expected to play in attack just do not look ready for a step-up and a battle at the top end of the season. That what makes Wrexham somewhat vulnerable and unlikely to be among the pace setters.

Target


There is enough midfield dynamism and defensive quality in the side but the relative lack of flair and attacking options means that Wrexham are most likely to be around the 10th place this season.

York City

In


Yan Klukowski (mid), Newport County), Luke Simpson (gk), Watford), Richard Brodie (att), Stockport), Shaun Rooney (def), Dunfermline), Aidan Connolly (mid), Raith Rovers), Josh Robinson (def), Crusaders), Lanre Oyebanjo (def), Crawley), Clovis Kamdjo (mid), Forest Green), Alex Whittle (def), Southport), Ben Clappison (def), Hull), Simon Heslop (mid), Wrexham), Scott Fenwick (att), Hartlepool), Kaine Felix (mid), Boston), Ben Barber (def), Stoke), Matt Fry (def), Braintree), Daniel Nti (att), Worcester), Jack Higgins (def), Staybridge Celtic), Franklyn Clarke (mid), Dorchester)

Out


Michael Coulson (r)(mid), St Johnstone), Josh Carson (sp)(mid), Emile Sinclair (sp)(att), Luke Summerfield (r)(mid), Grimsby), Taron Hare (sp)(def), North Ferriby), Femi Ilesanmi (r)(def), Dave Winfield (r)(def), Ebbsfleet), Jake Hyde (sp)(att), Stevenage), George Swan (sp)(def), Kenny McEvoy (sp)(mid), Russell Penn (k)(mid), Carlisle), James Berrett (r)(mid), Grimsby), Bradley Frewster (sp)(att), Middlesbrough - end of loan)

York City prepare for a season in the National League after spending the last three seasons in the Football League. They were always facing a struggle in League Two but were able to keep their heads above the water in the first couple of campaign. Yet the Minstermen eventually dropped back into the non-league scene after a hugely disappointing and underwhelming last season where they barely showed resistance and defiance in the face of impending relegation. The team started poorly and was always up against it, even after Jackie McNamara took charge in November. The Scott struggle to reverse the fortunes of the Yorkshire outfit but he will be now full of determination to repair the damage and prepare the team as best ad he can. There was a massive squad overhaul in the summer and the manager will be dearly hoping that his extensive recruitment drive has resulted in the squad being refreshed, and with players hungry and eager to battle for promotion. Richard Brodie returns to the club he made his name a fair few years ago but he is only a shadow of the striker who was scaring the defences back then and his impact is unlikely to be huge. Another return player in Lanre Oyebanjo looks more of a coup while Simon Heslop and Matt Fry should bring toughness and grit to the squad. Yan Klukowski is a fine midfielder at this level too and his variety and creativity could bring something different to the team too. On the other hand, big players like Russell Penn and Luke Summerfield are off to pastures new and leave the midfielder rather bare. The weakest aspect of the squad looks the attack and McNamara will be praying to find prolific strikers as the season goes on for his team have any shot of a play-off charge.

Target


Should gravitate in and around the play-off spots but anything more than a place between 10th-13th will be a great achievement for a rather average squad that needs a lot of moulding.