Tag Archives: national league

Stockport County will be looking for the double bounce promotion, these 2 factors will help that

The Champions of the National League North, Stockport County, are taking a step up to the National League, but what can they do to stay there next season?

As many long-serving Stockport County fans will despise to remember, this huge club was a Championship side until 2002. Due to the club falling into administration, it’s been a downhill slope for the club which has been playing in the sixth tier of English football for the past six years, until now.

This Greater Manchester based club will take the place of its neighbour, Salford City, in the National League next season. If Stockport can follow suit of Salford, they will find themselves alongside them in the EFL League Two, presuming that Salford is capable of remaining in the division.

Stockport County clinched their first league title in 52 years by finishing 1 point ahead of Chorley, but how can they ensure a finish the fans deserve in their new league in the 2019/20 season…

Investment

A sore subject for Stockport County would be finances. However, Jim Gannon himself said “Only the best clubs that are investing well or have strong management and teams have done well. So hopefully we can replicate the likes of Salford and Fylde, Harrogate and Halifax, who have consolidated at that level.”

This suggests that Stockport County’s investment over recent years hasn’t been enough to allow the club to grow, hence how they have stagnated in the National League North. But now that they have established themselves as real contenders, it may be time to invest in the future of the club and allow them to progress even further.

Goals

Stockport County were very impressive last season, scoring 77 goals. However, in the 2018/19 National League North, teams scored an average of 55.8 goals, whereas, in the 2018/19 National League season, teams scored an average of 57.3 goals. This demonstrates the higher quality and ability of teams in the league, and Stockport needs to be able to keep up with that next season.

Fortunately, Gannon has taken this into account. Stockport recently disclosed that they have signed the striker Alex Curran from Colne, a 20-year-old who bagged 22 goals in 44 appearances last season, and 22 goals in 46 the season before. This young talent will no doubt increase the rate of fire for his new club.

And the manager has some strong words to say about him, “With Alex, we think we have got a player with an outstanding C.V. Over the last two years he’s been one of the main players, he’s a regular goalscorer, provides regular assists and I think we’ve provided a great platform for him.”

Another Day, Another Crazy ‘Supposed’ Takeover… This Time Stockport County

Twitter is the place for a joke and if you want a laugh, it’s worth visiting this account. 

There’s a Twitter user named “@NonLeagueITK” who keeps putting out football “news” that has clearly come from dreamland. The other day, I reported that this exact same Twitter account had said that Curzon Ashton would get a new owner, today it’s Stockport’s turn.

This is the tweet they have put out:

No one seems to know where this information is coming from, I think someone clearly has too much time on their hands. However, the best thing about these tweets is the football fans replies. The Curzon Ashton fans were brilliant, their own team page even commented on their made up rumour, and now the Stockport fans have given their humorous response.

Humour aside, some fans don’t want the twitter account to be encouraged and are getting sick of the posts. I just hope this account either gives up or starts giving us real news!

2 Stockport Players that should be looking to move on this summer

The Hatters secured promotion back to the National League this season after winning the North National League title. 

Now that Stockport have a new season to go into, they’ll be looking to do well and keep themselves in their new league. Then hopefully move up the leagues from there. If they want to make a positive impact on their National League run, they’ll have to look into their team. Maybe try to sign or get players loaned that can play in the league.

To make a little room, Jim Gannon could look at these two players as options to loan or completely get rid of…

Connor Dimaio

The 23-year-old midfielder has been with Stockport since 2018. He’s managed 17 appearances and got 3 goals on his record but in 2019, Dimaio was loaned to Ashton United where he made 12 appearances.

He’s on a 2-year contract with Stockport and the club have confirmed that he’s still one of their own, after coming back from his loan spell. It could go one of two ways for the midfielder, he could come back to the Hatters inspired and motivated to get starts and do well, or he could have bad games and not get the starts.

I think he should maybe keep his options open to go elsewhere before Gannon considers his options. 

Elliot Osborne

Another midfielder who started off as just being on loan to the club but then permanently signed for the Stockport in 2018. When the 23-year-old was on loan with Gannon’s team, he impressed after making 5 appearances and bagging a goal.

However when he signed officially, in 24 appearances he only managed one other goal. Maybe Osborne was an exciting prospect at the time and now he could do with some more games somewhere else. 

2 Salford City players that need to leave for the sake of their own careers

The Ammies has an amazing season that saw them promoted from the National League to League Two. 

Salford were promoted when they won their playoff match against Flyde. The class of 92 now have a League 2 season to compete in, and the club have recently put out their list of players they are releasing alongside who they’re keeping on contract.

With that in mind, I’ve had a look at two players I would have also let go or just send out on loan. 

Max Crocombe

The 25-year-old goalkeeper signed for Salford in 2017 after he wasn’t offered a scholarship by Luton or MK Dons, and he’d tried his best to get into other teams so decided to get into non-league football.

In 2017, Crocombe played for Salford against Bradford but he ended up getting sent off after he was seen urinating at the side of a stand. It would be fairly easy for Salford to recruit a replacement whether it be temporary or permanent.

He isn’t their first choice and maybe the Ammies should let him go on loan somewhere while he gets some more appearances, and learns to wait till half or full time to go for a wee. 

Josh Askew

Askew may benefit from going elsewhere also. The 21-year-old defender has had 41 appearances and 2 goals since 2017, but he’s no stranger to loans or other clubs.

He spent nine years at Blackburn before joining the Ammies. At Rovers, he signed his first professional contract in 2016 however, that same season, he went on loan to Ramsbottom. Admittedly he did come away with player of the year but then he ended up at Warrington. Maybe the defender would be better suited somewhere else. 

Wrexham would be silly not to try sign Salford City’s Danny Lloyd – agree?

Salford City fans were excited by a tweet yesterday, that suggested Danny Lloyd has gained interest from Wrexham. 

The tweet basically explained that Wrexham have enquires about the midfielder. With all parties interested, however, the 27-year old’s wages may be too high for Wrexham to pay. 

Lloyd was with Stockport in the 2016/17 season and he finished as the clubs top goal scorer. He managed 29 goals and 19 assists that saw him earn a place in the team of the season. When his contract was up, Peterborough pounced on him and he appeared 37 times for the club, managing 13 goals before he joined Salford on a three-year deal. The midfielder has made 35 appearances for the club and managed 3 goals, and if Wrexham manages to pull off the transfer, he could be a crucial part to their team. 

Wrexham have gone from strength to strength in the National League. They finished 10th out of 24 teams in 2017/18 and an impressive 4th in 2018/19. I hope that the deal can be negotiated as Lloyd would be a great attacking midfielder for the club. It’s been proven he can also help them in the goals department too. Fans think it is unlikely, however, stranger things have happened. 

The 2 Salford City players who could have a major impact on the club’s league football debut season

Salford City have a big season ahead of them as they test the waters of the English Football League.

Salford City achieved a third-place finish in the National League, leading to a play-off final against AFC Fylde which resulted in a 3-0 win for the newly promoted side.

After an impressive season 2018/19 season, Salford City will be aiming to maintain and grow within the English Football League League 2. What can separate this promising side from the many clubs who failed to remain in the top flights of English football?

Here are two players to look out for in Salford City’s venture into the English Football League…

Tom Walker

This 23-year-old wide-midfielder joined the cause in January 2018 from Salford’s neighbours over at FC United of Manchester. After previously being contracted with Bolton Wanderers, and experiencing a year-long loan at Bury FC, this young man has a degree of experience in the EFL which could prove useful as they aim to stay there.

Oscar Threlkeld

Also a previous Bolton Wanderer, Threlkeld is a recent free signing of 25 years of age, whose versatility allows him to play full-back, centre-back and defensive midfield positions.

He already has a wealth of experience in the English Football League with a loan spell and a permanent contract with Plymouth Argyle. Threlkeld accumulated 97 appearances for the club and has played in both League One and League Two. Salford City gaining his signature shows their determination to build a squad suited to the top tiers of English Football.

Gannon has three key areas he needs to strengthen for Stockport to win Double Promotions

After winning the Vanarama National League North last season, Jim Gannon will have his hands full, should he want to compete for a double promotion next season.

The National League North Manager of the Year’s team narrowly won the league, beating Chorley by a single point on the final day. With their position in the top flight of Non-League guaranteed. All eyes will have turned to next season, and just how far Jim Gannon can take County.

In Gannon, County certainly has a manager with enough pedigree to take them back into the Football League. With the manager having experience higher up the pyramid, and even in European competition. With this experience in the game, Gannon will certainly have the contacts to help with recruitment.

Since promotion, the overhaul of the squad at Stockport has already begun, with 9 players leaving the club and 10 arriving – either on loan or on free transfers. Despite this turnaround, we believe there are still some areas that Stockport County need to address if they are to be fighting at the right end of the National League next season.

Goals from the rest of the team

Despite having three strikers in the top scorer’s list, Stockport only finished fourth highest in the goals-for charts. Therefore, the only conclusion is that last season, the team was too reliant on their top three goalscorers, and the rest of the squad didn’t chip in with the odd goals.

If they want to compete at the right end of the National League, others will have to get on the scoresheet. They certainly cannot be so reliant on Matthew Warburton, especially as he’s now left for Northampton Town.

First choice goalscorer

As mentioned previously top scorer Matthew Warburton has left Stockport for Northampton, and as of yet, they haven’t replaced him. They have Nyal Bell from Gateshead, however last season he didn’t set the National League alight goalscoring wise. What the squad at Stockport is missing is a 20 goal a season striker, sadly however there isn’t a great deal of them around without spending a small fortune.

Experience

Currently, Stockport County’s squad is full of experience in the lower divisions. However, if you look at squads around them, especially at the top end of the Vanarama National League. They are filled with players that have experience in the Football League. They bring the right aura of professionalism and experience, to take the club to take that next level.

Stockport County Looking at 3 Reinforcements Ahead Of National League Football

At the end of the 2012/13 season, things weren’t looking great for Stockport as they were relegated to the Conference North League. Skip to 2019 and they will be back playing National League football next season. 

With this being said, the Hatters are possibly going to be needing a few fresh legs on the team in order to remain playing in the league they’ve just been promoted to.

There are only rumours at this point but it’s getting fans talking…

Sean Newton

It was a Twitter source that leaked a possible move for Newton. The current York City centre back May have caught Stockport’s eye again. The 30-year-old was on loan with the Hatters in 2012 where he made 43 appearances in the 2012/13 season when the defender then signed for Lincoln in 2013. He’s been with Notts County and Wrexham since and most recently joined York in 2017. He managed 17 goals in 90 appearances for the club. 

Jamie Stott

Once again, Stockport are looking to put a bid in for Stott after he spent a loan period with the Hatters last season. The defender is currently at Oldham Athletic, although he has been on loan to different clubs since 2016. It’s looking like Stockport were impressed by his efforts and would like him to help with their National League campaign.

James Ball

Finally, the 23-year-old midfielder is rumoured to be released from his contract at Stevenage FC. It may be so that he can sign for the Hatters ahead of their new season. Ball started his career with Bolton before signing for Northwich Victoria, and then he signed for Stockport. He had a good run, made 74 appearances and bagged 14 goals. He spent last year with Stevenage but only managed 18 appearances suggesting that the midfielder could be looking to return to Stockport. 

‘Chester Managers Would Be Mad To Go To Bury’ Chester Fans React To Bosses Linked With Bury FC

Chester joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley are being linked with the vacant managerial position at Bury after, Ryan Lowe departed the club to join Plymouth.

The pair are well regarded after winning promotion from the Vanarama National League North with Salford City, although left the club immediately afterwards. Their first season at Chester saw them finish in ninth place.

Johnson is a lifelong Bury fan, and despite The Shakers having a number of problems off the field, including a winding-up order, it does provide a leap through the EFL for the managerial pair. If the club’s financial issues could be resolved, Bury could challenge next season in League One. Will that opportunity turn the heads of Johnson and Morley?

Let’s see what Chester fans think…

OPINION: Can Altrincham Go One Better Next Season In The National League North?

After defeat in the Semi-Finals of the National League North Play-Offs last season, Altrincham will look to go one better this campaign and get promoted to the National League.

Last campaign there was very few people who would have tipped ‘Alty’ to be anywhere near the playoffs. However, with experienced manager Phil Parkinson at the helm, the club finished 5th in the league 11 points behind title winners Stockport County.

The club has made it very clear they want to be up there again, if not winning the league during the 19/20 season. Tying down their manager to a three-year deal and, securing the core of their squad for another assault on the title next season – including top scorer Jordan Hulme who finished on 20 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.

Last season Altrincham were the highest scoring team in the National League North, however defensively they conceded 20 more goals than title winners Stockport County. With how long manager Phil Parkinson has been in the game, he will know that this is the area that needs work early in the window with already making a signing to improve them defensively from Nantwich in Toby Mullarkey.

It seems like all the right things are happening at free-scoring Altrincham for them to once again compete around the top of National League North again next season, and we see no reasons why on paper they can’t go one better and get themselves promoted. However, as everybody knows The National League North is a funny old league, and every team can go through bad spells or have an injury crisis. However, if they stay fit and keep their consistency from last year minus a couple of the draws and narrow losses, we could see ‘Alty’ in the top tier of Non-League very soon.

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