Reporters from around the country give a rundown of how their clubs are looking ahead of Saturday’s big kick off
Richard Cawley, South London Press
Manager: Wally Downes
New arrivals: Nesta Guiness-Walker, Luke O’Neill, Nathan Trott, Adam Roscrow, Michael Folivi
Major departures: Toby Sibbick, James Hanson, Deji Oshilaja, Andy Barcham
One to watch: Joe Pigott – Some speculation the former Charlton striker could be off before the window closes. Scored 18 goals last season.
Expectations for the season: Anything above mid-table will be a bonus. Had decent form at end of last season as they clicked under Downes – but budget makes it a challenge.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £475 to £275
Charlotte Coates, Lancashire Telegraph
Manager: John Coleman
New arrivals: Joe Pritchard, Colby Bishop, Joe Maguire, Ben Barclay, Wilson Carvalho, Zaine Francis-Angol.
Major departures: Johnny Maxted, Scott Brown, Ben Richards-Everton, Piero Mingoia.
One to watch: Sean McConville – John Coleman said the club would have been relegated without him last season. Andy Holt says he’s one of the best players in Accy’s history.
Expectations for the season: Having beaten Marseille in the summer, surely the title is within Accy’s grasp. Seriously, Coleman will be aiming high but a lot might hinge on whether they can find goals or get Billy Kee back involved.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £219 (early bird) to £264.50
Matt Scrafton, Blackpool Gazette
Manager: Simon Grayson
New arrivals: Jak Alnwick, Jamie Devitt, Ryan Edwards, Ryan Hardie, Sullay Kaikai, Ben Tollitt, Adi Yussuf
Major departures: Not a departure as such but last season’s loanee Ben Heneghan will be a big miss. Jimmy Ryan and Donervon Daniels are among those to have left the club over the summer on free transfers. Other than that, Pool have managed to keep the core of its squad together and haven’t required a single trialist this summer – which is quite the rarity for the Seasiders.
One to watch: Sullay Kaikai – Highly rated as a youngster coming through the ranks at Crystal Palace, the winger has lost his way a little bit after a number of promising loan spells. Returns to England after a short stay in the Eredivisie.
Expectations for the season: New owner Simon Sadler is targeting promotion but, after recent upheaval, the club is in no rush and will be satisfied if it comes within the next two to three years. A play-off finish should satisfy the returning locals in what is a new dawn for the football club.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £249 to £349
Marc Iles, The Bolton News
Manager: Phil Parkinson
New arrivals: None (as yet).
Major departures: Everyone. Bolton only have half a dozen senior players as things stand.
One to watch: Dennis Politic – Loaned out to Salford City last season, the Romania-born winger looks like an exciting talent who might just be able to lift the gloom around the University of Bolton Stadium. Goodness knows we need a lift.
Expectations for the season: Wanderers will start on minus 12 points, bare minimum, so job one is to get away from the relegation zone. Promotion looks a bit of a pipe dream but most fans would settle for stability and a cup run.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Not yet released.
Adam Goodwin, Bristol Live
Manager: Graham Coughlan
New arrivals: Anssi Jaakkola, Jordi van Stappershoef, Mark Little, Josh Hare, Tom Davies, Luke Leahy and Tyler Smith
Major departures: Tom Lockyer, Adam Davies, Chris Lines, Stuart Sinclair, Stefan Payne
One to watch: Jonson Clarke-Harris – Signed by Graham Coughlan to solve Rovers’ goalscoring problems and he didn’t fail to deliver. 11 goals in 16 games and, presuming no Championship clubs take a punt on him, he’ll be key for the Gas next season.
Expectations for the season: Hard to tell how Coughlan will do after just six months as a manager, but has done some good business this window. Mid-table is what’s expected, but who’s ruling out a play-off push?
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £325 to £480
Joshua Murray, Burton Mail
Manager: Nigel Clough
New arrivals: John-Joe O’Toole, Richard Nartey (loan), Kieran O’Hara (loan), , Ryan Edwards, Jevan Anderson
Major departures: Marcus Harness, Jamie Allen, Kyle McFadzean
One to watch: Scott Fraser – Enjoyed an eye-catching debut campaign in English football in 2018-19 after a move from Dundee United. His dynamism on the ball and eye for a pass make him crucial to Albion’s attacking style of play - and he will be targeting double figures in front of goal this season too.
Expectations for the season: Nigel Clough and his players are talking about a promotion push and ensuring they are in contention for the top six deep into the season. If a young and small squad can recreate the quality they showed in the last three months of 2018-19 and add some consistency, that target is not out of the question.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £357 on terrace; £420 seated (prices for new season tickets, existing customers have had bespoke prices via earlybird and price freeze deals over recent seasons)
Marc Iles, The Bury Times
Manager: Paul Wilkinson
New arrivals: None (as yet).
One to watch: Good question. Of the smattering of contracted players remaining Harry Bunn has at least got a decent track record at Huddersfield, albeit his time at Bury has been difficult. Will he stay as part of Wilkinson’s mystery men, though?
Major departures: Five players have quit to join Ryan Lowe at Plymouth – Danny Mayor, Dom Telford, Byron Moore, Callum McFadzean and Will Aimson. Several more have left during a summer of massive financial problems at Gigg Lane.
Expectations for the season: As hot favourites for relegation and with no real squad to speak of, anything but relegation will surely be viewed as a shock for the Shakers. It would be nice to talk about momentum from last season’s promotion, or the good football played along the way, but we genuinely don’t know what to expect with Saturday’s game at MK Dons already off.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £250 (early bird), £350 afterwards.
Andy Turner, Coventry Telegraph/Coventry Live
Manager: Mark Robins
New arrivals: Ten so far with two more expected – Kyle McFadzean, Jamie Allen, Marko Marosi, Ben Wilson, Michael Rose, Fankaty Dabo, Gervane Kastaneer, Wesley Jobello, Josh Pask, Dan Bartlett.
Major departures: From the Ricoh Arena to St Andrew’s! In terms of players: Jordan Willis, Lee Burge, Tom Davies, Jack Grimmer and Liam O’Brien, Conor Chaplin and Bright Enobakhare, David Meyler, Luke Thomas and Dujon Sterling (loans).
One to watch: Summer signing Wesley Jobello – A quick and skilful winger who has been plucked from French second division side Gazelec Ajaccio for an undisclosed fee. He can play on the left or the right and caught the eye with his pace and crossing in City’s opening pre-season friendly.
Expectations for the season: The club have made no secret of the fact that they are looking at the play-offs as a minimum and would, ideally, like to push for automatic promotion, firmly believing they have taken the quality of the squad up a notch after a productive summer in the transfer market.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Lowest ‘early bird’ groundshare season ticket for St Andrew’s for an adult is £260. Just over 2,000 sold as of July 8. 6,850 were sold at the Ricoh last season.
Liam Hoden, Doncaster Free Press/Sheffield Star
Manager: Darren Moore
New arrivals: Brad Halliday, Reece James, Madger Gomes
Major departures: Andy Butler, Tommy Rowe, Danny Andrew, Marko Marosi
One to watch: Ben Whiteman – He marked himself out as one of the best midfielders in the division last season and, with a year of experience in a deeper lying role under his belt, he should only kick on this time around.
Expectations for the season: It’ll be difficult to replicate last season’s success and the run to the play-off semi-finals but the arrival of Darren Moore has sent levels of optimism sky-rocketing. There’s still plenty of work to do however, on recruitment and implementing Moore’s ideas on the squad.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £399/£339
Rosie Swarbrick, Blackpool Gazette
Head coach: Joey Barton
New arrivals: Lewie Coyle, Harry Souttar, Jordan Rossiter, Paul Coutts, Danny Andrew, Josh Morris.
Major departures: Ched Evans, Ashley Nadesan, Ross Wallace
One to watch: Josh Morris – The former loan star has joined Town on a permanent basis. He’s been in the team of the year for Scunthorpe at this level before and gives Town versatility being able to play in a front three, on the wing or in midfield. A great signing.
Expectations for the season: Given the captures of Morris, Andrew and Coutts this looks like a team that should finish in the top six. On paper this is a better squad than the team that finished fourth in 2016/17. A few more additions and a replacement for Ched Evans and this could be something special. But do not forget the off field drama. Boss Barton will be in court on October 9 to answer assault charges after an incident in the tunnel at Barnsley in April.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adult £170/ £300.
Luke Cawdell, Kent Online
Manager: Steve Evans
New arrivals: Connor Ogilvie, Jack Bonham, Lee Hodson, Stuart O’Keefe, Matty Willock, Ouss Cisse, Mikael Ndjoli, Nathan Thomas, Alfie Jones, Mark Marshall
Major departures: Tom Eaves, Tomas Holy, Luke O’Neill, Alex Lacey, Billy Bingham, Nathan Thomas.
One to watch: Mikael Ndjoli – Plenty of new arrivals at Gillingham this summer and with leading scorer Tom Eaves gone, there’s room for a new hero. Ndjoli is on loan for the season from Bournemouth. He’s got pace and an eye for goal, hoping for big things from him.
Expectations for the season: Survival is usually the aim but optimism is in the air. Many fans were unhappy with Evans’ appointment but he’s winning them around and some promising signings have given cause to suggest the Gills might give the play-offs a shot.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £430 top price/£300 lowest if purchased early
Stuart Watson, East Anglian Daily Times /Ipswich Star
Manager: Paul Lambert
New arrivals: James Norwood, Tomas Holy, Luke Garbutt
Major departures: Ellis Harrison sold to rivals Portsmouth. Seven senior players released (including Danish international Jonas Knudsen) and six loans expired (including virtual ever-presents last season Matthew Pennington and Trevoh Chalobah). Squad significantly trimmed, which was needed.
One to watch: James Norwood – Arrived on a Bosman after scoring 32 goals for Tranmere last season. Full of confidence following back-to-back promotions. Big character off the pitch, real competitive edge on it.
Expectations for the season: Hard to say given this is unchartered territory (first time in third-tier since 1957). A losing habit to shake, a young squad still learning on the job and a target on their backs. However, this still looks a strong squad for League One and Paul Lambert has galvanised the fan base. Ultimately, finishing outside the top six would have to be seen as a failure.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adult £333- £831 (premium).
Mark Whiley, Lincolnshire Echo/Lincolnshire Live
Manager: Danny Cowley
New arrivals: Jorge Grant, Jack Payne, Joe Morrell (loan), Alex Bradley
Major departures: James Wilson
One to watch: Jack Payne – A sought after attacking midfielder who was attracting interest from Championship clubs after being released by Huddersfield this summer. He impressed at that level for the Terriers in the season they won promotion to the Premier League, but his career has stalled slightly since then. The kind of player who should help Lincoln step up to the next level.
Expectations for the season: Expectations have been sky high over the last few seasons given the club’s success. I think people are being quite realistic about this campaign and everyone would take a mid-table finish and Danny Cowley will like being the underdog again. But after an incredible three years – featuring promotions, cup runs and a Wembley win – it would be foolish to rule anything out.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adults £369-£599
Toby Lock, Milton Keynes Citizen
Manager: Paul Tisdale
New arrivals: Hiram Boateng, Brennan Dickenson, Joe Mason, Jordan Bowery, Regan Poole, Laurie Walker
Major departures: Chuks Aneke
One to watch: Alex Gilbey – A midfield powerhouse, the driving force in the centre of the park. Voted Player of the Year, despite suffering a serious ankle knock at the end of the campaign, missing the final two months.
Expectations for the season: I think most would be absolutely fine with a comfortable mid-table finish, but the mentality will naturally be to push for a play-off spot, capitalising on their momentum coming up.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adult £396/£336.
David Pritchard, Oxford Mail
Manager: Karl Robinson
New arrivals: Alex Rodriguez Gorrin, Tariqe Fosu, Chris Cadden
Major departures: Curtis Nelson, plus the loans of Jerome Sinclair, Marcus Browne, Ahmed Kashi, Luke Garbutt and Jordan Graham
One to watch: Gavin Whyte – Exceeded expectations in his first season in English football, now much rests on the Northern Ireland international continuing his upward trajectory.
Expectations for the season: Up in the air at the moment while the wait goes on to get incoming deals over the line. The minimum supporters will want is to avoid a repeat of last season – keep clear of the relegation battle and stay out of financial trouble.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adult £299-470
Alan Swann, Peterborough Telegraph
Manager: Darren Ferguson
New arrivals: Christy Pym, Mark Beevers, Dan Butler, Niall Mason, Frankie Kent, Serhat Tasdemir, Mo Eisa, Frazer Blake-Tracy.
Major departures: No-one yet, although Lee Tomlin, Ben White and Josh Knight all returned to parent clubs after decent loan spells.
One to watch: Siriki Dembele – Rapid, tricky winger and scorer of great goals. A real threat on the break and one who is bound to improve under Darren Ferguson’s coaching.
Expectations for the season: I’d be disappointed if they don’t finish in the top six. There are some at the club who fancy a top two finish.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adult £349-449
Neil Allen, Portsmouth News
Manager: Kenny Jackett
New arrivals: James Bolton, Paul Downing, Sean Raggett, Ross McCrorie, Ryan Williams, Ellis Harrison, Marcus Harness
Major departures: Matt Clarke, Nathan Thompson.
One to watch: Ronan Curtis – Energetic left winger with a strut and swagger which irritates opponents. Netted 12 goals in maiden Football League campaign and earned Republic of Ireland honours. Tired in second half of last term, but will roar back.
Expectations for the season: Pompey last term led the table at Christmas but frustratingly trailed off. Regardless, they finished with 88 points and reached the play-offs. The pressure is on Kenny Jackett to build on that – and earn promotion.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £115 to £439 (Full price), £90 to £389 (Early Bird offer)
Mike Minay, BBC Radio Manchester
Manager: Brian Barry-Murphy
New arrivals: Rekeil Pyke, Rhys Norrington-Davies and three squad members up from the academy
Major departures: Daniel Adshead, Brad Inman, Kgosi Ntlhe, Jordan Williams
One to watch: Ian Henderson – How can you not say he’s the one to look out for? He’ll be their talisman up front once again, and despite approaching his mid-30s, has the spirit and desire of a striker 10 years younger.
Expectations for the season: They’ve had two seasons of fighting off relegation so fans will happily take a mid-table finish. At the end of last season they showed some impressive form, if they match that then they’ll easily achieve that goal.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adults £250-£350.
Paul Davis, The Rotherham Advertiser
Manager: Paul Warne
New arrivals: Freddie Ladapo, Carlton Morris, Shaun MacDonald, Daniel Barlaser, Julien Lamy, Matthew Olosunde, Daniel Iversen, Jamie Lindsay
Major departures: Will Vaulks, Semi Ajayi
One to watch: Freddie Ladapo – The £400,000 striker is the club’s record signing and has looked quick and sharp in pre-season since his summer arrival. He scored 19 goals last term for a Plymouth Argyle side relegated from League One so could do even better if he’s in a team at the right end of the table.
Expectations for the season: Rotherham will be big, powerful, fit, fast and hard-working under Warne. They have added significantly to their strikeforce. It will be a disappointment if they’re not in and around the play-off places.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £355 to £470 (adults)
Lewis Cox, Shropshire Star
Manager: Sam Ricketts
New arrivals: Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Daniel Udoh, Steve Morison (loan), Aaron Pierre, Ryan Giles (loan), Joe Murphy, Max O’Leary (loan), Donald Love, Luke McCormick (loan).
Major departures: Mat Sadler, James Bolton, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Lee Angol, Ryan Haynes, Alex Gilliead, Steve Arnold.
One to watch: Ryan Giles – Town beat off competition – through Sam Ricketts’ influence – to land the highly-rated Wolves youngster. Only 19, he will play left wing-back and has pace to burn and a wicked delivery.
Expectations for the season: To improve greatly on last season’s 18th-placed finish where survival was secured on the penultimate weekend. Mid-table would be decent, any better a good job. Rests on how well new signings do.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £310-£460
Chris Phillips, Southend Echo
Manager: Kevin Bond
New arrivals: Brandon Goodship, Mark Milligan and Nathan Ralph
Major departures: Taylor Moore and Sam Hart returned to their parent clubs after completing loan spells. Michael Kightly retired.
One to watch: Stephen Humphrys – The striker kept the Shrimpers up with a late winner against Sunderland on the final day of last season and has been impressive during pre-season.
Expectations for the season: To do much better than last season. I think most people will see a top half finish as a success.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adult price is £395 in all areas.
Richard Mennear, Sunderland Echo
Manager: Jack Ross
New arrivals: Jordan Willis, Conor McLaughlin, Lee Burge, Marc McNulty, George Dobson.
Major departures: Lee Cattermole. A deal was reached between the experienced midfielder and the club and he departed after 10 years. Another big name departure was Lamine Kone, he signed a permanent deal at Strasbourg after a loan spell. Donald Love moved to Shrewsbury Town.
One to watch: Aiden McGeady and Jon McLaughlin are the obvious choices. One to watch, though, is Elliot Embleton. The young midfielder has just signed a new deal after a successful loan at Grimsby and is tipped for a big future.
Expectations for the season: Automatic promotion. The squad and coaching staff know exactly what League One will throw at them, they have added well so far with a few more to come in. No major departures, squad looks balanced and well placed for promotion charge.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: Adults £310-£455
Tom Cavilla, Liverpool Echo
Manager: Micky Mellon.
New arrivals: George Ray, Calum Woods, Kieron Morris, Sid Nelson, Corey Blackett-Taylor, Ishmael Miller, Stefan Payne, Darren Potter, Jordan Ponticelli (loan).
Major departures: James Norwood, Steve McNulty.
One to watch: Paul Mullin - Was often in James Norwood’s shadow last season and struggled for consistent game-time as a result. He is likely to start each week and will certainly have a point to prove up front.
Expectations for the season: Tough one to call. Tranmere were newly-promoted last season and did the unthinkable. Can’t see it happening this time without Norwood, so staying up is the priority. Predicting somewhere between 12th- 17th.
Highest/lowest season ticket price: £440/£380.
Nicholas Tunney, Bucks Free Press
Manager: Gareth Ainsworth
New arrivals: Alex Pattison, Jack Grimmer, Jacob Gardiner-Smith, Giles Phillips, Paul Smyth and Jamie Mascoll.
Major departures: Paris Cowan-Hall and Michael Harriman were among six to leave over the summer. They were two players who regularly featured but with a sparse budget, Wycombe needed to cut their cloth accordingly.
One to watch: Dominic Gape - He signed a new deal recently which is a huge boost and one which pleasantly surprised many. He is one of the best central midfielders in the division and has fantastic all-round ability.
Expectations for the season: Staying up again would be amazing but with the news over new potential investment, don’t be surprised if Wycombe can finish higher than last season.
Season ticket price: £288-£396