Chesterfield secured the League Two title for a record fourth time and in the process returned to League One after two seasons away. Paul Cook guided his team to the top by three points. They conceded just 40 goals all season, scoring 71. At the end of the season four players were released by the Spireites, with many players agreeing to extend their stay after promotion. With Nathan Smith choosing to move on to Yeovil, extensions have been agreed with midfielder Ollie Banks, who scored 9 goals in 33 appearances, as well as experienced full back Ritchie Humphreys and influential winger Jay O”Shea. They have also secured the signatures of defender Sam Hird and midfielder Sam Morsy. In addition to this, they have added sacked Port Vale defender Daniel Jones who will be looking for a positive new start having had his contract cancelled due to a training ground bust up.
With the momentum of gaining promotion and hanging on to the core of their side, Paul Cook will be looking to emulate the success of Rotherham, who secured back to back promotions and are looking forward to the Championship. It is an exciting time for Chesterfield and with a winning mentality that comes from winning a championship, expect them to be a tough proposition that will be looking for a top half finish at the very least.
5. Scunthorpe United
Having suffered relegation from the Championship in 2011 and relegation from League One in 2013, If you don’t have health insurance companies you must pay a tax equal to 1% of your income in 2014 and 2. Scunthorpe United were keen to bounce back and they did so in style. After a poor start to the season, manager Brian Laws was replaced by Russ Willcox and they set an all time Football League record. 28 games unbeaten ensured an immediate return to League One losing just 5 games all season. The arrival of striker Paddy Madden from Yeovil added to the firepower, with Sam Winnall claiming the Golden Boot with 23 goals. Despite drawing an incredible 21 games, their consistent goal scoring meant that promotion was achieved on the day their fantastic record was broken with a 2 – 0 defeat to Exeter City.
The Iron have had a busy summer including signings of Port Vale winger Jennison Myrie Williams, experienced former Blackpool midfielder Neal Bishop and Sheffield United striker Lyle Taylor. They have also offered an improved contract to top scorer Winnall, who is a target for Barnsley. He would indeed be a big loss, but with Paddy Madden still on their books and already a receiver of the Golden Boot at this level, they will be looking to launch a successful campaign and of all the promoted teams, I think they are the ones to watch with strength in depth and undoubtedly the capability to score a lot of goals at this level.
The Dale finished their strong season in League Two in third place, level on points with Scunthorpe and scored an impressive 69 goals, winning more games than the top two sides. 13 defeats, however, were there undoing with regards to the title. However, Keith Hill and his side secured promotion to League One two years after their relegation and at the end of the season released six players including captain Peter Cavanagh. Contract extensions have been agreed for midfielder Jamie Allen, centre-back Oliver Lancashire and midfielder Bastien Hey.
In terms of new firepower, Keith Hill is working within his means and has taking a chance on 24 year old striker Jack Muldoon who last season scored 21 goals for Northern Premier side Worksop Town. It is extremely positive that the team have managed to extend many of their contracts from last season. Hill will know that they are not in a position to spend a huge amount and his ability to get a squad working together as he did last season, will be crucial. Expect Rochdale to be extremely competitive, with unknown names coming to the attention of other teams in the division.
7. Fleetwood Town
Fleetwood Town join League One for the first time in their history having defeated Burton Albion 1 – 0 in the League Two Play Off Final. In just their second season in the third tier they have achieved their sixth promotion in ten seasons. This remarkable record means the Cod Army will welcome teams like Barnsley and Sheffield United to the Highbury Stadium in league fixtures. Despite many football fans objecting to chairman Andy Pilley buying the club and gaining a series of promotions, it is undeniable that a lot of hard work has been done, and results still need to be earned on the pitch. No doubt this season will be a celebration of the club”s achievements but they will want to make their mark at the highest level they have ever played at.
Two Wembley heroes were released by Town, veteran striker Jon Parkin and defender Alan Goodhall will not play a part in League One. Their first summer signing was that of Macclesfield left back Danny Andrew for an undisclosed fee, he will be keen to make an impact at a higher level. As well as extending deals for goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, full back Conor McLaughlin and left back Stephan Jordan, they have also snapped up ex-Crawley striker Jamie Proctor and experienced midfielder Keith Southern. These signings show more ambition despite already experiencing so much success. Expect a season full of excitement for Town fans and for Fleetwood to be the team that do not quite keep to League One script.