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Who will Boro face?



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Published Date: 08 August 2008
Now assess the strength of Eastbourne Borough's opponents.
ALTRINCHAM
The Robins have lived a charmed life – incredibly reprieved from relegation three seasons in a row by other clubs' demotions due to off-the-field issues - and they face another fight against the drop this term. It could be another long season for Alty who will rely heavily on the goals of Chris Senior and Colin Little.
Manager:< /em> Graham Heathcote.
One to watch:< /em> Colin Little.
Last season: 21st (reprieved).
Herald Prediction: In danger of drop.

BARROW
Last season's surprise Blue Square North play-off winners, Barrow, like Borough, have made few signings and been keen to give the bulk of their promotion-winning squad a crack at the big time. They've beaten Oldham and Accrington in pre-season but are likely to find it tough among the full-timers.
Managers: Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan.
One to watch: Lee Hunt.
Last season: 5th, Conf North.
Herald Prediction: In danger of drop.

BURTON ALBION
Albion have lost Daryl Clare to Rushden but replaced him with last season's Blue Square South top scorer Greg Pearson from Bishop's Stortford and Jody Banim who hit 10 goals for relegated Droylsden last year. They reached the play-off semis last term and will be good bets for another tilt again.
Manager: Nigel Clough.
One to watch: Greg Pearson.
Last season: 5th.
Herald Prediction: play-off push.

CAMBRIDGE UNITED
Lost in the play-off final to Exeter but eight of that side – plus manager Jimmy Quinn – were shown the door soon after. New boss Gary Brabin has gone with experience, bringing in ex-League players Phil Bolland (Wrexham) and Andy Parkinson (Notts County) but keeping highly-rated 'keeper Danny Potter may be the key.
Manager: Gary Brabin.
One to watch: Danny Potter.
Last season: 2nd.
Herald Prediction: mid-table.

CRAWLEY TOWN
Reds fans will be hoping for a period of stability after two seasons of points deductions. Controversial boss Steve Evans, who is facing a 12-match touchline ban (ending early October) has been busy in the summer, but lost 'keeper Ashley Bayes to Stevenage. The new boys, including much-travelled ex-Arsenal striker Isaiah Rankin, are impressive on paper but may need time to gel.
Manager: Steve Evans.
One to watch: Jon-Paul Pittman.
Last season: 15th.
Herald Prediction: mid-table.

EBSFLEET UNITED
FA Trophy winners, backed by 20,000 internet 'owners', have splashed the cash on Michael Gash from Cambridge City and will hope to hold on to highly-rated young forward John Akinde, who has been linked with Peterborough, for as long as possible. Boss Daish is building himself a strong reputation and Ebbsfleet could be an outside play-off tip.
Manager: Liam Daish.
One to watch: John Akinde.
Last season: 11th.
Herald Prediction: play-off push.

FOREST GREEN ROVERS
Will definitely miss last season's Blue Square Premier top scorer Stuart Fleetwood who joined Charlton for an undisclosed fee and captain Michael Brough (Torquay) but have brought in Newport's Lee Fowler and Andy Mangan (Bury). Boss Jim Harvey is a master at getting the best out of limited sides.
Manager: Jim Harvey.
One to watch: Andy Mangan.
Last season: 8th.
Herald Prediction: mid-table.

GRAYS ATHLETIC
Strengthened particularly well in midfield, with Sam Sloma (Dagenham), Stefan Bailey (QPR) and Mark Molesley (Stevenage) coming in. Their attack of Danny Kedwell, Jamie Taylor, Charlie Ide and Matt Bodkin has plenty of goals in it but they may struggle defensively, costing them a play-off bid.
Manager: Mick Woodward.
One to watch: Sam Sloma.
Last season: 10th.
Herald Prediction: mid-table.

HISTON
Punched well above their weight in their debut season, finishing 7th, but may endure a tough campaign this time round. Steve Fallon is a good wheeler-dealer but has only added Damian Reeves (Farsley) and youngster Lanre Oyebanjo (Brentford) to last season's squad.
Manager: Steve Fallon.
One to watch: Antonio Murray.
Last season: 7th.
Herald Prediction: lower mid-table.

KETTERING TOWN
The Blue Square North champions are tipped to do well. Midfielder Darren Wrack, with more than 300 appearances for Walsall to his name, will add massive experience. Young winger Alfie Potter, who scored for Havant in the FA Cup at Liverpool last season, has joined on-loan from Peterborough.
Manager: Mark Cooper.
One to watch: Alfie Potter.
Last season: 1st, Conf North.
Herald Prediction: mid-table.

KIDDERMINSTER
Boss Mark Yates has picked up four young players released by Football League clubs in Martin Brittain (Newcastle), David McDermott (Walsall), Sam Foley (Cheltenham) and Martin Riley (Wolves). Key midfielder Russell Penn is a target of a number of League clubs, including Walsall, and it will be a blow if they lose him.
Manager: Mark Yates.
One to watch: Martin Brittain.
Last season: 13th.
Herald Prediction: lower mid-table.

LEWES
An astonishing summer, which saw the shock sacking of boss Steve King days after winning the Blue Square South title and the subsequent departure of virtually the whole squad, has left Boro's rivals facing an uncertain season.
Kevin Keehan will need former Brighton captain Danny Cullip, experienced striker Scott Taylor and ex-Aston Villa youngster Michael Standing to bring the best out of a squad largely plucked from lower divisions, including ex-Boro' players Ollie Rowland and Joe Keehan.
Manager: Kevin Keehan.
One to watch: Seb Wallis-Tayler .
Last season: 1st, Conf South .
Herald Prediction: In danger of drop

MANSFIELD TOWN
A tough summer off the field after their relegation from League Two last term and the long-suffering Stags fans, who have seen the loss of the influential Boulding brothers to Bradford, will be looking forward to winning matches again. But they are unlikely to bounce straight back up and may have to settle for a play-off push.
Manager: Billy McEwan.
One to watch: Mark Stallard.
Last season: 23rd, League 2.
Herald Prediction: play-off push.

NORTHWICH VICTORIA
Lost England C midfielder Michael Carr to Morecambe and the partnership up front of Darryn Stamp and ex-Brighton striker Lee Steele will be crucial to keeping them up.
Manager: Dino Maamria.
One to watch: Lee Steele.
Last season: 19th.
Herald Prediction: in danger of drop.

OXFORD UNITED
After a disappointing campaign last season, the passionate U's fans will be demanding at least a play-off place from Darren Patterson's new-look, young and hungry side. Former Borough favourite Yemi Odubade will face extra competiton from shrewd loan signings Jamie Guy (Colchester), Lewis Haldane (Bristol Rovers) and James Constable (Shrewsbury). If they can avoid drawing as many games as last year, a title bid is possible.
Manager: Darren Patterson
One to watch: Jamie Guy
Last season: 9th
Herald Prediction: title challengers.

RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS
Despite a poor finish last season, Boro's first opponents are being tipped for success this term having made some strong summer signings. Losing marksman Daryl Clare for the first two months won't help them but they have a natural finisher in Lee Phillips. Andy Burgess and captain Curtis Woodhouse will pull the strings from midfield.
Manager: Garry Hill
One to watch: Andy Burgess
Last season: 16th
Herald Prediction: play-off push.

SALISBURY
Salisbury City's decision to tie down key players on full-time contracts after their promotion from Blue Square South paid off last season. But pre-season injuries, particularly to keeper Ryan Clarke, may hurt them early on and they will need goals from star man Matt Tubbs to keep them above water.
Manager: Nick Holmes.
One to watch: Matt Tubbs.
Last season: 12th.
Herald Prediction: lower mid-table.

STEVENAGE BOROUGH
The return of outspoken boss Graham Westley, after Peter Taylor's failure to get Boro into the play-offs, was the summer's big story. He set about building a large squad of talented players, including Eddie Anaclet (Oxford), Andy Drury (Lewes), Lee Boylan and Marc Albrighton (Cambridge Utd) as well as Lyesden Christie (Kiddermin-ster). But he will need them to gel. If marksman Steve Morison shines, they should challenge for promotion.
Manager: Graham Westley.
One to watch: Steve Morison.
Last season: 6th.
Herald Prediction: title challengers.

TORQUAY UNITED
Lost out to Devon rivals Exeter in the play-offs last year and will miss Lee Phillips (Rushden) but Paul Buckle has signed eight new players including highly-rated young keeper Michael Poke (Southampton). They've been given a kind start by the fixture computer and if they start well they might challenge for the top spot. More consistency than last season is the key if they are to make a serious challenge to regain Football League status,
Manager: Paul Buckle.
One to watch: Tim Sills.
Last season: 3rd.
Herald Prediction: title challengers.

WEYMOUTH
In what is a very competitive league this season, Terras boss John Hollins may well be happy with a repeat of the last two seasons' mid-table finishes. Stuart Beavon, whose hat-trick at Priory Lane ended Boro's FA Cup run last season, will bang in the goals and ex-Albion and Torquay striker Chris McPhee is back on the south coast after a spell with Ebbsfleet. Former Boro' midfielder Anton Robinson will again captain the side.
Manager: John Hollins.
One to watch: Stuart Beavon.
Last season: 18th.
Herald Prediction: lower mid-table.

WOKING
Former Charlton and Ghana striker Kim Grant was the surprise choice as manager to shake Woking out of their recent slumber. He's shuffled the Cards' pack and set out a code of conduct for his players including stopping all bar the captain from speaking to the referee on matchdays. They lost player of the year Marvin Morgan to Aldershot and are expected to struggle but should have enough to survive.
Manager: Kim Grant.
One to watch: Guiseppe Sole.
Last season: 17th.
Herald Prediction: lower mid-table.

WREXHAM
After 87 years in the Football League, the Dragons are facing their first season in the Blue Square Premier after finishing rock bottom of League Two last term.
A decade ago, boss Brian Little was in charge of Aston Villa and preparing for a UEFA Cup campaign – now he'll be leading his side out at Priory Lane and the Dripping Pan. A wholly revamped squad, including Trinidad & Tobago international Silvio Spann and much-travelled Jefferson Louis, will start among the favourites as they attempt to regain lost pride.
Manager: Brian Little.
One to watch: Jefferson Louis.
Last season: 24th, League 2.
Herald Prediction: Title challengers.

YORK CITY
Four seasons since their relegation from the Football League, York have failed to live up to their fans' expectations of a swift return and will probably fall short of the play-offs yet again. They are unbeaten in pre-season but will need midfielder Martyn Woolford and striker Onome Sodje to fire if they are to break back into the top half.
Manager: Colin Walker.
One to watch: Onome Sodje.
Last season: 14th.
Herald Prediction: mid-table.

The full article contains 1801 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
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  • Last Updated: 08 August 2008 12:47 PM
  • Source: n/a
  • Location: Eastbourne
 
 
  

 
 


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