National League set for fierce promotion battle in 2018/19

With the National League season complete we now know the line-up of teams for the 2018/19 season.

Macclesfield Town and Tranmere Rovers both secured promotion to the Football League, while Chester, Guiseley, Torquay United and Woking have all been relegated.

Chesterfield have dropped into non-league football after spending 97 years as a league club, while Barnet return to the National League after a three-year stay in the EFL.

Salford City and Harrogate Town won promotion from National League North, with Havant & Waterlooville and Braintree Town matching the feat from the southern division.

Read on as we take a look at four clubs who could challenge for honours in the National League next season.

Chesterfield

Relegation was never on the agenda when Chesterfield moved from Saltergate in 2010 and targeted the Championship in their new 10,000-seat stadium.

That dream has quickly collapsed as budget problems with the stadium, a boardroom walkout and a string of unsuccessful managerial appointments took their toll.

Promoted to League One in 2014, Chesterfield reached the play-off semi-final for another rise to the Championship as recently as three years ago but lost to Preston North End.

Manager Paul Cook left for Portsmouth, key players were sold and the collapse since then has been spectacular.

The club has already made five new signings as it bids to bounce back at the first time of asking. If you think they can achieve the feat use this promo from 10bet to wager on the outcome.

Wrexham

Wrexham have appointed the former Wales international Sam Ricketts on a three-year contract, his first managerial job.

The 36-year-old left his role with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ youth set-up to succeed Dean Keates at the Racecourse Ground.

The Dragons, owned by Wrexham Supporters Trust, missed out on this season’s play-offs by three points having been top of the table as recently as February.

Ricketts won 52 caps for Wales between 2005 and 2014 and played in the Premier League for Hull City and Bolton Wanderers as well as spells with Swansea City, Wolves and Coventry.

His main objective in North Wales will be to gain promotion to the Football League after an 11-year absence and his leadership skills should see Wrexham mount a serious challenge for success next season.

Barnet

Barnet have re-appointed John Still as their new manager following their relegation to the National League.

The 68-year-old replaces Martin Allen, who left the Bees after failing to keep them in League Two.

Barnet were seven points adrift of safety when Allen was appointed on March 19 but they were relegated on goal difference on the final day, despite the former Brentford, Cheltenham and Gillingham manager winning five of his eight games in charge.

Still has agreed a two-year deal at The Hive and returns to Barnet for his third spell in charge of the club.

He has previously guided Maidstone, Dagenham and Luton Town to the title in what is now the National League.

Salford City

Salford City, the club co-owned by Manchester United’s ‘Class of ’92’, have continued their rise up the ranks by securing their third promotion in four years.

Joint managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson celebrated promotion to National League for the first time in the club’s history last month, but ‘irreconcilable differences’ over personal terms have seen them depart.

The duo have been replaced by former Scunthorpe and Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander and he has been tasked with taking the club into the EFL.

Alexander made 981 appearances in a 23-year club career that included spells at Scunthorpe, Luton, Preston and Burnley. He was sacked by the Iron in March following a winless run of eight games.

The 46-year-old has already added Fleetwood captain Nathan Pond to his squad and it would be a major surprise if they are not challenging for another promotion next term.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.