National League clubs round-up
- Credit: Archant
The National League kicks off on Saturday, October 3.
Here, Dave Thomas takes a look at the clubs who will be competing:
ALDERSHOT TOWN (40/1): Danny Searle (manager) - Ex-Gulls defender Jean-Yves Koue Niate has left for Aguilar (Spain) and Ethan Chislett for AFC Wimbledon, but former Torquay midfielder Josh Rees and ex-Villa and Leeds star Ross McCormack are eye-catching signings. Searle will look to Mo Bettamer for goals.
ALTRINCHAM (100/1): Phil Parkinson - Promoted under the radar via the NL North Play-Offs, part-time ‘Alty’ have lost key winger Elliott Durrell to Wrexham, but Parkinson has picked up sparky wide man Matty Kosylo and experienced defender Ritchie Sutton.
BARNET (20/1): Peter Beadle - The Bees gambled to win promotion, lost the play-offs plus manager Darren Currie, and ex-Hereford boss Beadle arrived late. Ben Nugent (Peterborough) and striker JJ Hooper (Wrexham) are in, but Simeon Akinola (Southend), Dan Sparkes (Maidenhead) and Shaquille Coulthirst (BW) are all out.
BOREHAM WOOD (16/1): Luke Garrard - Always competitive and entertaining, Wood have lost ex-Gulls forward Tyrone Marsh to Stevenage and Sorba Thomas may also leave, but they have kept most of last season’s play-off squad, including top scorer Kabby Tshimanga, and added Shaquille Coulthirst from local rivals Barnet.
BROMLEY (28/1): Neil Smith - Bromley pushed the boat out last season and fell away. Midfielder Josh Rees (Aldershot) and mercurial winger Adam Mekki have left, but Smith has picked up ex-Plymouth youngster Tom Purrington and experienced duo Liam Trotter (Millwall, AFC Wimbledon) and Byron Webster (Yeovil, Millwall).
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CHESTERFIELD (16/1): John Pemberton - Big changes off the pitch, where the Spireites are now Supporters Trust-run. Pemberton has brought in goalie Kyle Letheren (Salford), midfielder Milan Butterfield (Kidderminster) and veteran forward Nathan Tyson (Notts Co), but his highly experienced squad flopped last season, so...?
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE (12/1): Daryl McMahon - The Daggers have pulled in new money and McMahon is spending it. Ex-Torquay loanee Paul McCallum (Solihull) and fellow striker Darren McQueen (Dartford) are the standout signings, plus Ipswich loanees Kai Brown and Bailey Clements.
DOVER ATHLETIC (66/1): Andy Hessenthaler - Dover owner Jim Parmenter has sounded the financial alarm-bells all summer, so the ever-resourceful Hessenthaler has a major job on his hands, especially in attack where talented Anthony Jeffrey has left for Wrexham.
EASTLEIGH (28/1): Ben Strevens - Older favourites like Scott Rendell have gone, but Strevens has brought in goalie Joe McDonnell and Pierce Bird (both Notts Co), winger Abdulai Baggie after promotion with Weymouth and young striker Ben House from Reading, among others.
FC HALIFAX TOWN (14/1): Pete Wild - The Shaymen exceeded most expectations last season, and the signings of experienced duo Jake Hyde (Woking) in attack, Dom Tear (Huddersfield) in midfield and defender Neill Byrne (AFC Fylde) in defence signal intent again.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED (16/1): Dave Challinor - Promotion very much the aim at Victoria Park, and former Fylde boss Challinor has been busy with ten new signings. Watch out for ex-Dagenham and Norwich striker Mason Bloomfield, yet to fulfil his undoubted potential...
KING’S LYNN TOWN (100/1): Ian Culverhouse - Of the promoted clubs, the ‘Linnets’ could spring a surprise. Ex-Gulls forward Ryan Jarvis is an old head in midfield. Culverhouse may be without striking pair Michael Gash and Adam Marriott for a while, but they should have enough to survive at least.
MAIDENHEAD UNITED (40/1): Alan Devonshire - Maidenhead could be interesting outsiders. The ever canny Devonshire has added plenty, including ex-Torquay duo Dan Sparkes (Barnet) and Nathan Blissett (Solihull) in attack, Shaun Donnellan in midfield and Manny Parry (Wrexham) in defence.
NOTTS COUNTY (5/1): Neil Ardley - Outplayed by Harrogate Town in the play-off final, Notts have lost leading scorer Kristian Dennis to St Mirren. Ardley has brought in his old AFC Wimbledon midfielder Jake Reeves and 6ft 5in Belgian striker Elisha Sam, but much will depend on Kyle Wootton up front.
SOLIHULL MOORS (14/1): Jimmy Shan - Moors spent big last season and it didn’t work, so some high earners have left and former WBA coach Shan has gone for lower-profile recruits like Stephen Gleeson (Aberdeen), Jordan Cranston (Morecambe) and ex-Leeds youngster Joshveer Shergill.
STOCKPORT COUNTY (4/1): Jim Gannon - Encouraged by property tycoon owner Mark Stott, long-serving boss Gannon has been busy, with Barrow’s title-winning captain John Rooney and brothers James (Wrexham) and Connor (Tranmere) Jennings among nine signings. The bookies have taken note.
SUTTON UNITED (25/1): Matt Gray - Any squad including David Ajiboye, Kenny Davis, Harry Beautyman, Ben Wyatt and Omar Bugiel, almost guaranteed to score goals, should be taken seriously. Manager Gray has also added pacy striker Tobi Sho-Silva from Halifax. Dark horses...
TORQUAY UNITED (25/1): Gary Johnson - ‘Experience’ has been the watchword. United may have lost leading scorer Jamie Reid and Kalvin Kalala, but Johnson has added 30somethings Gary Warren, Danny Wright and Dean Moxey, defender Fraser Kerr, 27, plus young forwards Andrew Nelson and Josh Umerah to a decent squad.
WEALDSTONE (100/1): Dean Brennan - Brennan has added striker Moses Emmanuel to his NL South title squad, but he will be as pleased to see midfielder Denon Lewis (Watford, Woking) and ex-Torquay all-rounder Michee Efete sign new deals. Covid-19 restrictions may hit Grosvenor Vale’s raucous atmosphere.
WEYMOUTH (125/1): Brian Stock - Promotion cost manager Mark Molesley (Southend), and new boss Stock has had little time to put his stamp on things. Yemi Odubade and Abdulai Baggie have gone, but incomings include ex-Torquay defender Myles Anderson, Cody Cooke (Truro, St Mirren) and pacy winger Alefe Santos (Aldershot).
WOKING (40/1): Alan Dowson - How badly will the Cards miss Halifax-bound Jake Hyde up front? They’ve added Charlie Cooper (Halifax) and Tommy Block (Hibs) to a useful midfield and kept classy winger Matt Jarvis (Gillingham, Wolves, West Ham), but they need marksman Dave Tarpey to deliver - and stay fit.
WREXHAM (25/1): Dean Keates - No manager has been busier than Keates, with a barrage of signings including defender Fiacre Kelleher, wingers Elliott Durrell and Anthony Jeffrey and pacy striker Adi Yussuf (Blackpool). If Wrexham, still with ex-Gulls favourite Luke Young in midfield, can start scoring regularly, 25/1 will look like a steal.
YEOVIL TOWN 12/1: Darren Sarll - ‘Parachute’ money wasn’t quite enough for the Glovers to bounce back from relegation last season, and the word is that money is now tight at Huish Park. Josh Staunton (Halifax), Danny Leadbitter (Newport) and experienced forward Jimmy Smith (Crawley) are all in.