Here’s the fourth and final part of our guide to League One…
Scunthorpe nicknamed ‘The Iron’, play at Glanford Park which has a capacity of 9,088. The team finished 5th in the league last season, losing in the play-off semi-final to eventual winners Rotherham. The team has spent that last four seasons in League One since promotion in 2014. Head Coach Nick Daws is yet to take control of a game as manager, being made permanent in May this year after his second spell as caretaker boss. He will be hoping to push on in his first full season in charge, his first as a full-time boss. He will be hoping to guide Scunthorpe back to the Championship for the first time since the 2010/11 season.
Shrewsbury Town, the team who were so close to promotion last season. They finished 3rd in the league but lost to Rotherham in the final of the play-offs. Former Macclesfield Town manager John Askey is now in charge of the Shrews, taking over from Paul Hurst who was appointed the new manager of Ipswich. They play their games at New Meadow which has a capacity of 9,875. Shrewsbury were one of the best teams in the league last season and deserved to go up, but they must dust themselves down and go again as they look to secure promotion to the Championship for the first time.
The Shrimpers play their home games at Roots Hall, which has a capacity of 12,392 and finished a respectable 10th in the league last season. Manager Chris Powell took over in January and will be excited for his first full season in charge. He has good experience at this level. The club have spent twelve years in England’s bottom two tiers, since being relegated from the Championship in 2007. Chris Powell has good experience at this level and he could be the right man to turn Southend’s fortunes around next season. They could be a surprise package after three successive seasons in League One and could finally make the play-offs after respectable finishes.
I was unsure if I was going to add us into this list, but the difference between us and the rest of the league needs to be shown. We’ve been relegated the past two seasons, dropping from the Premier League to League One. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, with new owners giving the club a fresh sense of direction. Former St. Mirren man Jack Ross is the man in charge of this revival, where he will be expected to comfortably win this league. Last season he guided St. Mirren to the Scottish Championship title. We have by far the biggest stadium in this league, with the Stadium of Light holding 48,707 people, although this will be reduced to around 40,000 with the closing of the Premier Concourse for the new season. This is our first season in the third-tier for thirty years, and the stage is set for us to dominate next season.
Walsall finished 19th in the league last season and we can expect more of the same from the Saddlers. The club have spent the last ten seasons in this division, finishing in the top ten only twice, their highest finish being 3rd in 2016. Manager Dean Keates took over in March, returning to the club after two previous spells as a player. Travelling fans will be heading the Bescot Stadium, which holds a decent 11,300. Walsall are a club that people are used to seeing in League One and I cannot see them producing anything special next season.
The final club on this list, Wycombe Wanderers, are the final club coming up from League Two. They finished 3rd last season, which earned them automatic promotion. They play at Adams Park which has a capacity of 9,617. Manager Gareth Ainsworth has been at the club since 2010 and managing the club since 2012, so he knows the club inside out. They also have ‘The Beast’ Adebayo Akinfenwa upfront, and he has been their top scorer that last two seasons. However, expect Wycombe to be in a relegation battle next season.
It’s hard to believe these are the teams we will be facing next season, but it is reality. But I still cannot wait for the new season to get underway and watch us smash this league to pieces. We really should not be struggling in this league, we are the biggest club in recent times to be in League One and should escape it no problem.