The 2021/22 Sky Bet League Two season isn’t too far away now, with Tranmere Rovers starting their campaign at home to Walsall.
There are six new sides entering the fourth tier - Bristol Rovers, Northampton Town, Rochdale, and Swindon Town were all relegated from League One. Sutton United and Hartlepool United earned promotion from the Vanarama National League.
Tranmere’s season kicks off on August 7th, so here is a preview of the other 23 sides competing in League Two this season.
In their first season back in the Football League after 48 years, Barrow managed to avoid relegation as they finished in 21st place. Former Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper was appointed as the club’s new manager in May, and has already brought in a number of players this summer – including Mark Ellis. We host Barrow on Boxing Day, before heading to Holker Street on February 5th.
Last season saw Bradford City finish in mid-table, with the Bantams in 15th. A managerial change has seen Derek Adams swap promotion-winning Morecambe for Valley Parade. Liam Ridehalgh has already made the switch to Bradford, along with former Rovers man Andy Cook. The Bantams make the trip to Prenton Park on November 23rd, before we are away on April 15th.
A disappointing campaign for Bristol Rovers last season saw the side finish bottom of League One, and relegated to the fourth tier. Joey Barton’s appointment in February couldn’t stop the Gas from relegation. Barton has brought in a number of reinforcements already this summer, with Paul Coutts and Sam Finley joining from former club Fleetwood. We face an away trip to the Memorial Stadium in November, with the reverse fixture in April.
A strong campaign from Carlisle last time out saw the side finish in 10th, only seven points away from the play-off places. Chris Beech’s side will look to push on this season, and the manager has already brought in Tristian Abrahams, Zach Clough and Corey Whelan. We face a trip up to the Cumbrians on October 16th, before welcoming them at the start of April.
The U’s will look to build on from their disappointing campaign last season, where the club finished in 20th place. Hayden Mullins was made permanent manager of the club, following his time in charge as interim. Colchester have brought in a number of new faces, with Cole Skuse, Luke Chambers, Freddie Sears and Alan Judge all joining from Ipswich Town. Our home fixture against Colchester is on October 9th with the away fixture pencilled in for March 26th.
John Yems’ side finished in mid-table last season, sitting in 12th place. The Reds have welcomed two new signings to the club so far this summer, with Jack Payne and Harry Ransom joining from Eastleigh and Millwall respectively. Crawley make the trip to Prenton Park on October 2nd, whereas we will go to the Broadfield Stadium on January 22nd.
Missing out on last season’s play-offs by three points, Matt Taylor’s Exeter City side will look to get back into the hunt for promotion next time out. Josh Coley is the Grecians’ only signing so far this summer, with the winger joining from Maidenhead United. Our away trip to St James Park is on December 11th, with the home game on April 18th.
Forest Green Rovers
A semi-final defeat to Newport County in last season’s play-offs ended Forest Green Rovers’ dream of promotion in May. Newly appointed Head Coach Rob Edwards will be hoping to take the Nailsworth-based side into the third tier for the very first time. Opi Edwards, Regan Hendry and Ben Stevenson are all new faces at the New Lawn this summer. Our first trip to Gloucestershire will be in September, and the home game will take place at the end of January.
A 17th place finish last season saw Harrogate Town finish comfortably away from the threat of relegation, following their play-off final win in 2019/20. Former Wycombe Wanderers man Alex Pattison is the only new face manager Simon Weaver has brought in so far this summer, with more arrivals expected. We make the trip to Wetherby Road on October 19th, before Harrogate visit us on March 15th.
After beating Torquay United in the National League play-off final, Hartlepool United booked their return to the Football League after four years in non-league. Finishing in 4th place in the National League, Dave Challinor defeated Bromley and Stockport County in the play-offs. At Bristol City’s Ashton Gate, Pools booked their ticket to League Two via a penalty shoot-out. Hartlepool make the trip to Prenton Park on September 4th, with the reverse fixture on December 29th.
An 11th place finish last season for Leyton Orient, with the club finishing comfortably in mid-table. Jobi McAnuff’s interim spell in charge at Brisbane Road came to an end, with former Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett the new man at the helm. Darren Pratley, Omar Beckles and Connor Wood have all joined the O’s so far this summer. We welcome Leyton Orient on December 18th, before making the trip to the capital in the final fixture of the season in May.
Last season saw Mansfield Town finish in 16th place. Nigel Clough replaced Graham Coughlan in November 2020, and will look to improve in his first full campaign with the club. Oliver Hawkins, Elliott Hewitt, Danny Johnson and Stephen Quinn are all new recruits for the Stags. We visit Field Mill on October 30th, before we welcome Mansfield on March 12th.
Newport County suffered play-off heartbreak last season, as they were beaten in the final by Morecambe. Michael Flynn guided County to a 5th place finish and guided the side to Wembley, where an extra-time penalty ended their promotion dreams. The Exiles will look to go one step further next season. The club have already brought in three new faces – Joe Day, Cameron Norman and Ed Upson have all joined. On August 21st, we host Newport County, with the away fixture scheduled for February 26th.
Another of the sides relegated from League One last season, Northampton Town will look to bounce back next season. Jon Brady’s interim spell as manager was made permanent, and the manager has already brought in new faces. Paul Lewis has already joined the Cobblers, as has Liam Roberts, Dylan Connolly, Nicke Kabama, Mitch Pinnock and Jordan Flores. Our home fixture against Northampton is October 23rd, with our fixture at the PTS Academy Stadium on March 5th.
Keith Curle replaced Harry Kewell in March of last season, as the Latics finished in 18th place. Now in his first full campaign at Boundary Park, the manager will look to improve on the finish. Hallam Hope, Sam Hart, Jordan Clarke, Jayson Leutwiler and Harrison McGahey have all been brought in so far this summer. We play Oldham away on December 7th, and play them in our final home game of the season on April 30th.
A mid-table finish for Port Vale last season, with Darrell Clarke being brought in as manager in February and finishing 13th. In his first full season in charge, Clarke has signed a number of players so far this summer – Ben Garrity, Lucas Covolan, Dan Jones, Aaron Martin, Brad Walker, and James Wilson have all made the move to Burslem. Our first away game of the season is to Port Vale on August 14th, with the home fixture taking place on February 19th.
A 21st place finish in League One last season saw Rochdale drop into the fourth tier. Brian Barry-Murphy and his side will hope to have a better campaign this time out, with the Irishman yet to bring in any new signings so far this summer. Our trip to Spotland takes place on September 11th, and we host the Dale on January 15th.
Missing out on last season’s play-offs by two points, Salford City’s season saw them finish in 8th position in League Two. Gary Bowyer’s temporary spell in charge at the club was made permanent, with the 50-year-old signing a two-year-deal to remain. Salford have already brough in two new faces, with the signings of Josh Morris and Liam Shepherd. We host the Ammies at Prenton Park on September 18th, before making the trip to the Peninsula Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Finishing three points off relegation, last season was one to forget for Scunthorpe United. Neil Cox’s side finished in 22nd place, and will hope to be much higher up the table next season. The Iron have already made moves to strengthen their side, with Alex Kenyon joining from Morecambe. The trip to Glanford Park is on August 28th, and our home tie against Scunthorpe is on January 8th.
Middle of the pack last season for Stevenage, as the club finished in a comfortable 14th place. Alex Revell has already brought in four new signings to the Lamex Stadium, with James Daly, Arthur Read, Jake Reeves and Jake Taylor all joining the club. We host the Boro on November 27th, with the away fixture taking place on April 23rd.
The 2021/22 season will be a historic one for Sutton United, as they play in the Football League for the very first time. Matt Gray guided his side to the National League title, earning a spot in League Two for the first time in their 123-year history. So far this summer, Donovan Wilson from Bath City is the club’s only signing. We welcome Sutton to Prenton Park on November 13th, before a trip to Gander Green Lane on March 19th.
Finishing 23rd in League One last season meant it was only a solitary season away from League Two for Swindon Town, as they were relegated back to the fourth tier. John McGreal has been appointed as the club’s new manager ahead of the new campaign, with Joe Wollacott and Pierce Sweeney already signed so far this summer. Our trip to the County Ground is on August 17th, with the reverse fixture on February 8th.
A disappointing season last time out for Walsall, with the club finishing in 19th place. Former Premier League player Matthew Taylor is the new man at the helm at the Bescot Stadium, taking his first steps into first-team management. There have been a number of new signings by the Saddlers, with Manny Monthe joining the side, along with Joss Labadie, Jack Earing, and Conor Wilkinson. Our season opener is at home to Walsall on August 7th, with the away fixture taking place on February 12th.