Hang on, why are we waffling on about the 2019-20 League Two season already? It’s barely a month since we laid the last campaign to rest and it’s not even cold in the – um – ground. Yet, here we are now; hitting up the new term for a cheeky insight or two. It’s early doors, but it’s under two months until the big kick off and that time won’t hang around long.
And, before you know it, it’ll be May 2020 and we’ll sat on the beach toasting a title-winning season*.
*Not sure whose, but we’ll toast it nonetheless in our own way.
Maybe all we’re doing is keeping our editorial bods ticking over. If we aren’t keeping our razor-sharp wit at its lukewarm best during these cold and lonely summer months, there’s a horrible chance we’ll only be good for pushing out HuffPo op-eds or Guardian Voices tirades. So, it’s not just how Boro’ and the other 23 are shaping up going into the 2019-20 League Two campaign. It’s also to make sure we’re ready to do whatever it is we do.
It’s a team effort.
League Two 2019-20: Dates and that…
- 20 June – fixtures out at 9am (look out for the seaside trip on a Tuesday night in December)
- 3 August – first game (Port Vale home or away)
- 12 August – Carabao Cup Round One (Peterborough or Ipswich)
- w/c 2 September – EFL Trophy Round One (Gillingham, Reading U23s, Würzburger Kickers U6 Girls)
- 1 March – Carabao Cup Final
- 5 April – EFL Trophy Final
- 16 May – League Two Playoff Final
The runners and riders
It’s inevitable to find the early money on who’ll win the 2019-20 League Two title is going on them what did a relegation last season. Plymouth, Bradford and Scunthorpe are the newest League One rejects in these parts – and all three are among the top four favourites at this point in time. The Pilgrims top the pile at 8/1 at Betfair (and others), with the other two bobbling around 8s, 9s and 10s. Also in the mix are Salford City, but we don’t know much about the latest non-league graduates. Are they owned by someone famous and have some cash?
The shortest-priced side out of last year’s class of the bottom division of the 92 is Mansfield Town, who are in as much as 8/1 with BetVictor. As for us? You’re likely to find us around 33/1 for the title or 7s for promotion. And if the odds are to be believed, we’re only slightly less likely to be relegated than promoted (8/1). You’ll be able to find the right price for what you’re thinking with freebets.co.uk – the best bookmaker comparison site, although much could change as squads take shape over the summer.
The new boys
Walsall, Bradford, Plymouth and Scunthorpe are all down from League One. And there ain’t a new face among them. From the Conference Square Vanarama National come Leyton Orient and Salford City. Not our fault.
Looking closer to home, our new North Stand is finally nearing completion and will bring us up to a full quota of stands. It was nice to have that one season knowing what it’s like to be Oxford United, but that three-stand isn’t our bag and we’ll be glad not to need a man in a hard hat patrolling behind the goal to rescue stray balls.
Well, you’d like to think nothing needs saying on this front. If we roll up for the 2019-20 League Two campaign in the same mood as we finished the last one, we’re in a good place. It took a while for the gaffer to decide on his best team and approach (or best approach for the players he had). But once we put it into place, it did the world of good and nearly snuck us into the playoffs. The what ifs and maybes of tactics and results from earlier last season are long forgotten. You’re only as good as your last result, after all. Right?
A little more movement than we’d anticipated, if we’re honest. We thought a smattering of new additions; the bulk of the squad kept in house, was the order of the day. It’s a little more serious than that, however. Out are a fair few players, although few (if any) were a major surprise. Recruitment has started early with the arrival of the two lads Cowley and Fielding. No doubt we’ll start seeing yet more player unveilings on Instagram over the next few weeks as the boss finalises his dealings.
It’s nearly 10 years since we dropped the Borough from our name and, to be honest, Borochat ain’t quite the same. So, we’ve been given a new badge to breathe new life into the forum. Even Paulio’s returned out from whatever pseudonym he’d been using. What a time to be alive. It really is, don’t you think…?