The latest lines of news from some of the clubs we'll be competing against in League Two next season.
Curtis Weston has given a summer boost to Barnet after signing a new two-year contract with the club. The midfielder has been with The Bees since 2012 when he made a switch from Gillingham and had no qualms about extending his stay. However, skipper Andy Yiadom has played his last game for Barnet after agreeing a move to Barnsley.
Relegated Blackpool have missed out on one of their summer transfer targets after Hayden White signed a deal with Peterborough United. The right-back made 29 appearances for The Seasiders last term during a loan spell from Bolton Wanderers. Former boss Neil McDonald had hoped to secure a permanent deal for the defender but he’s opted to remain in League One with Posh.
U’s boss Shaun Derry has decisions to make on his goalkeeping department for next season following the release of Sam Beasant and Chris Dunn last week. Will Norris is expected to hold on to the Number One spot at The Abbey Stadium after impressing Derry upon his return from a loan stint at Braintree but at least one more keeper will need to arrive. “I’ve got a decision to make on what type of Number Two to bring in,” Derry mused.
Keith Curle has said he is making progress on strengthening his squad after The Cumbrians finished tenth in League Two last season. The United boss has already met with potential signings and is targeting all areas during his summer recruitment drive. “I spoke to a player last Monday who came down to see us from north of the border. I want to bring in two strikers, two wide players and midfield players. I want another centre-back and a goalkeeper – but I want doesn’t always get,” he revealed.
Cheltenham front man Danny Wright is finally set to achieve his goal of playing in the Football League – but he’s already setting new targets for himself. The 31-year-old top scored and won Player of the Year as Cheltenham won promotion back to League Two at the first attempt by winning the National League title last term. Now he’s determined to prosper at the higher level with The Robins. “It’s taken so long to get here, I don’t want to stop now,” he admitted. “I’m still ambitious and want to keep improving and keep moving up the leagues.”
Newly-installed Director of Football Tony Humes is adamant that Colchester United’s new structure will give them the best possible chance to hit back from relegation to League Two. John McGreal has been appointed as the club’s new boss and Humes will operate as a “support mechanism” for him in the new season. “It’s exciting and we feel that it gives us a good structure and opportunity to bounce back as quickly as we can,” Humes commented.
New Crawley Town Head Coach Dermot Drummy has made his first signing with the arrival of midfielder Enzio Boldewijn on a two-year deal. The 23-year-old has arrived with The Reds following his release from Dutch second-tier outfit Almere City. “We’re delighted to have Enzio here and I think he’s the sort of player who is going to excite our supporters,” insisted Drummy.
Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis is happy with the pre-season schedule arranged for his team ahead of 2016/17, saying it will act as the perfect preparation. Among Alex’s friendly fixtures is a home date with Wolves and they expect to confirm another home fixture soon. “We didn’t have that many tests last year and hopefully we get that this year which will help prepare us for the opening game of the season,” Davis explained.
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has insisted that he doesn’t regret handing out five new contracts but accepted that it did coincide with a marked downturn in performances. A quintet of stars penned new deals in December, shortly after Ferguson’s arrival, and results took a turn for the worse soon after. “I don’t regret it but I do definitely believe their form dipped. Whether that’s connected I’m not sure, but you can say that about quite a lot of players,” Ferguson commented.
Paul Tisdale has admitted that Exeter City couldn’t compete in the race to sign Jayden Stockley after the striker elected to join Aberdeen. Stockley had been on loan with The Grecians from Bournemouth during the second half of last season and Tisdale had hoped he could lure him back to the South West for 2016/17. “We offered Jayden a contract and we improved the offer. We just weren’t in a position to compete with some of the other offers he was getting, so sadly we weren’t even close.”
Grimsby boss Paul Hurst has targeted a Wembley winning double after guiding his side to promotion with a win over Forest Green Rovers in Sunday’s Play-Off Final. The Mariners will return to the Football League next term but before then Hurst is hoping for more of that winning feeling under the Wembley arch when they take on Halifax in Sunday’s FA Trophy Final. “We can be relaxed but we won’t just be going for a party. Our competitive edge will kick-in and we want to win another game at Wembley,” Hurst insisted.
Freddy Moncur signed his first professional deal with Leyton Orient, following in the footsteps of his father John and brother George. The 19-year-old earned a contract with The O’s after impressing during the third year of his scholarship at Brisbane Road. “My dad and brother have both played professionally for a long period and it is big boots to fill, but it’s the first step and hopefully I can build on that,” Moncur commented.
Hatters boss Nathan Jones has insisted that young keeper Craig King was worthy of his new contract after showing improvement on the training ground. The 18-year-old was loaned to Met Police for a portion of last season but returned to Kenilworth Road to finish the season on the substitutes bench for Town. “He’s improved steadily and he’s an important once to have on the bench,” Jones explained.
Adam Murray is confident of a breakthrough in the transfer market after tabling bids for two strikers he hopes to take to The One Call Stadium this summer. The Stags boss is hoping to add further firepower alongside 16-goal top scorer Matt Green and has made his move to land a front man with a “killer instinct.”
Warren Feeney has begun his rebuilding work at Newport County after confirming the release of eight players from the squad. Scott Barrow, Yan Klukowski and Rhys Taylor are among those to exit Rodney Parade but top scorer Scott Boden has been offered a fresh deal with The Exiles.
Reports are circulating that Notts County are to move for Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst after he guided The Mariners back in to the Football League. Mark Cooper left County to take up a post at Forest Green Rovers – beaten by Grimsby in the Play-Off Final – and now The Magpies are apparently targeting Hurst as his replacement.
Peter Hartley headed a sensational late winner for Plymouth Argyle as Derek Adams’ side nudged past Portsmouth to reach the League Two Play-Off Final. And Hartley has heaped praise on his boss who is on the verge of delivering promotion to The Green Army at the first attempt after joining the club last summer. “He has been phenomenal,” Hartley insisted. “He brought in players who have taken this team by the scruff of the neck and really pushed us on.”
Pompey boss Paul Cook has spoken of the heartbreak in the camp following their devastating injury-time defeat to Plymouth Argyle in the play-off semi-finals. Cook visited the Argyle dressing room to offer his personal congratulations after the final whistle – something he admits he found extremely hard to do. “You have got to have manners,” he insisted. “On Sunday night it broke my heart to go in to that dressing room and say what I did, but I meant it. If you can’t take defeat then you are not going to be a good winner.”
Defender Luke Wilkinson has agreed terms on a new contract at Stevenage after impressing since joining the club from Luton Town in January. The 25-year-old made 19 appearances last term and helped Boro end the season with a run of just one defeat in their last nine games. He follows in the footsteps of midfielder Charlie Lee who also signed a new deal at The Lamex Stadium this week.
Front man Paul Hayes is confident he has plenty more miles left in the tank after penning a two-year contract extension with Wycombe Wanderers. The 34-year-old says he’s not even thinking about retiring and wants to play on past the expiration of his new Adams Park deal. “I still feel it and I’d like to think I can play on after these two years as well.”
Artur Krysiak has handed a boost to Yeovil Town after putting pen to paper on a new two-year deal at Huish Park. The 26-year-old joined The Glovers from Exeter City in the summer of 2014 and has since made 60 appearances for the club. “He is a quality goalkeeper and I see him playing a major role in us becoming a force in League Two next season,” insisted boss Darren Way. Meanwhile, Jack Compton has been released after one season with Yeovil.