We take another journey around League Two to see what is making the headlines in the camps of each of our rivals over the past few days.
French midfielder Bastien Hery has signed for Accrington Stanley following his departure from Carlisle United at the end of last season. The 24-year-old made 25 appearances during his one season at Brunton Park and will look to build on that after moving to Stanley. Meanwhile, Reds midfield man Andy Procter has announced his retirement at just 33 to concentrate on becoming a physio. He made 446 appearances for Stanley during two spells at the club.
Speculation surrounding Barnet’s young front man Matthew Stevens intensified this week after it was reported that Rangers boss Mark Warburton is keen to take him to Ibrox. League One outfit Peterborough United are also keeping tabs on the 18-year-old whose contract at The Hive has just expired. He made 12 appearances for The Bees last term, scoring two goals.
Blackpool’s new boss Gary Bowyer has admitted he is pleased with his attacking options after securing the signature of Jamille Matt following his release from Fleetwood Town. The front man scored an impressive seven goals in 14 appearances whilst on loan at Plymouth Argyle at the end of last term and was in-demand once he was freed. “He showed what he’s capable of doing in League Two,” Bowyer insisted.
Cambridge United goalkeeper Will Norris has insisted he is up for the battle of securing the Number One spot at The Abbey Stadium next season. The shot-stopper will be challenged by new signing David Gregory who has joined the club from Crystal Palace but Norris – who agreed a new deal recently – is relishing the challenge. “The hard work doesn’t stop now. This isn’t the end product and there’s no such thing in football,” he explained.
Keith Curle enjoyed a breakthrough in the transfer market on Monday when he persuaded Morecambe top scorer Shaun Miller to join Carlisle United. The front man, who scored 16 goals in 43 appearances last season, follows his former Shrimps team-mate Jamie Devitt in moving to Brunton Park. “This is a player who we think will add something exciting to the level of ability within the group,” said Carlisle’s Head of Recruitment Lee Dykes.
Cheltenham boss Gary Johnson is still working hard to persuade some of last season’s loan stars to return to Whaddon Road for the new campaign. Goalkeeper Dillon Phillips and defenders Rob Dickie and Cameron Burgess are high on The Robins’ hit-list and Johnson has admitted that he may have to remain patient. “I don’t think we’ll know until the middle of pre-season what the score is with those boys,” he revealed.
Youngster Sammie Szmodics has committed his future to Colchester United by signing a new three-year deal at The Weston Homes Community Stadium. The 20-year-old has come through the ranks with The U’s and has gone on to make 51 appearances as well as enjoying a loan spell at Braintree last season. “Being offered a new contract when I have missed half a season shows that the club has faith in me,” explained Szmodics, who missed the latter part of the campaign following ankle surgery.
Chris Arthur is determined to prove his worth at Crawley Town after joining the club from Woking during the summer. The left winger has signed a one-year deal with The Red Devils and is keen to hit the ground running under new boss Dermot Drummy. “It’s another opportunity to prove to myself that I’m good enough for the level, which is important,” he explained.
Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis has revealed that has held talks with a potential midfield signing as he looks to strengthen his squad for an assault on promotion. Ryan Lowe and Zoumana Bakayogo have both joined the club since their relegation at the end of last season and the Alex chief is determined to add at least a couple more before the big kick-off. “I have spoken to one and it was encouraging – the talks went as well as they can go,” he commented.
John Marquis has said the prospect of linking-up with Andy Williams in attack at Doncaster Rovers has whet his appetite further for the new campaign. The front man joined Rovers from Millwall last week and is looking forward to playing alongside Williams who scored 16 times in League One last term. “It’ll probably come as a bit of a surprise to him that he’s playing at this level,” Marquis admitted.
Jordan Moore-Taylor has said Exeter City must target at least a place in League Two’s top seven in the 2016/17 campaign. The Grecians are due back for pre-season training this week and the centre-back says hopes are high among Paul Tisdale’s squad. “I think we’ve got to be making the play-offs as a minimum and that’s the way we’re looking at it as players and as a club, I’m sure,” he insisted.
Grimsby Town have moved to strengthen their squad with a double transfer swoop this week as they prepare for life back in the EFL. The Mariners have moved to sign former Scunthorpe United midfielder Sean McAllister following his release from The Iron at the end of last term. Andrew Boyce has also joined The Mariners permanently after enjoying a successful loan spell at Blundell Park last season.
Andy Hessenthaler has made his fifth signing of the summer after Bristol Rovers defender Tom Parkes agreed a switch to the O's. The 24-year-old chalked up almost 200 appearances during four years with Rovers but has now put pen to paper on a two-year deal at Brisbane Road. The centre-back joins Robbie Weir, Josh Doherty, Gavin Massey and Callum Kennedy in joining The O’s since the end of last season.
Scott Cuthbert is likely to remain at Luton Town skipper for the new campaign despite contenders for the job arriving at Kenilworth Road during the summer. Boss Nathan Jones has confirmed that Cuthbert is the man for the job and will continue to wear the armband in 2016/17. “At the minute, Scott is our captain, and there’s no issue at all, because he’s proved a good club captain for me,” Jones explained.
Stags boss Adam Murray says he and his staff have learned a lot of lessons from their first full season in charge at The One Call. Murray feels that everything is in place for the club to have a successful season. “I feel I have a lot more knowledge of the league and what certain games take to get results,” he explained. “A lot was learned last year when we reviewed the season back after it ended with the staff.”
Former Hartlepool winger Jack Compton has joined Newport County on a free transfer following his release from Yeovil Town at the end of last term. The Exiles completed a double transfer swoop earlier this week when Compton was joined at Rodney Parade by front man Sean Rigg. After making 40 appearances for AFC Wimbledon last term, Rigg joined Compton by putting pen to paper on deal with the South Wales outfit.
Notts County have confirmed that Kyle De Silva has left the club by mutual consent after having his contract terminated. The attacking midfielder landed at Meadow Lane last summer but made only six league appearances for The Magpies during 2015/16. A settlement has now been reached between the two parties and the former Crystal Palace trainee has been freed from his deal by County.
Gary Miller has turned down a new contract with Scottish Premiership outfit Partick Thistle to become Plymouth Argyle’s fourth signing of the summer. The 29-year-old right-back is reunited once again with Pilgrims boss Derek Adams having played under him previously at Ross County. Yann Songo’o, Connor Smith and Ryan Donaldson have also joined Argyle this summer, but defender Peter Hartley has moved on to sign for promoted Bristol Rovers.
Drew Talbot has linked-up with former boss Paul Cook by joining Portsmouth on a free transfer from League One outfit Chesterfield. Full-back Talbot played under Cook with The Spireites and the Pompey boss is thrilled to be able to take him to Fratton Park. “He’s everything that our fans like about a player – he’s robust, works hard and is very fit. We expect big things from him,” Cook commented.
Darren Sarll has insisted that his Stevenage side will fear nobody when the 2016/17 League Two campaign kicks-off at the start of August. Boro begin with a home game against relegated Crewe Alexandra on the opening day and boss Sarll is bullish about their hopes for the new campaign. “I finished the season not being scared to face any side in this league and I can honestly say that I’ll start that way,” he explained.
Gareth Ainsworth has plunged in to non-league to strengthen his squad for the new season by sealing a deal for Boston United front man Dayle Southwell. The 22-year-old fired 54 goals during two seasons in National League North and Wanderers boss Ainsworth is confident he can transfer that form in to the EFL. “There were a lot of clubs looking at him but we know we can offer him a real opportunity to make his name,” he insisted. Meanwhile, midfielder Marcus Bean has extended his contract at Adams Park.
Yeovil Town boss Darren Way has moved to calm fans’ fears over a quiet summer at Huish Park, insisting things will click in to place before the big kick-off. The Glovers are yet to add any new signings to their squad for 2016/17 but Way isn’t panicking and has told the supporters they shouldn’t either. “Everything that was there last year and was important to us is still there, which in previous years hasn’t happened. Those players all know what we look for, they all know what we expect and they all produced it last year,” he insisted.