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Club News

New to League Two 2024-25

7 June 2024

Club News

New to League Two 2024-25

7 June 2024

With 2024/25 fixtures set to be released later this month on June 26th, we take a closer look at our new opponents for the upcoming season.

Four teams have come down from League One while two sides will join us from the National League.

We take a closer look at the six new clubs who will be competing in the division next term.

 

CHELTENHAM TOWN

Manager: Michael Flynn
Stadium: Completely-Suzuki Stadium (7,066)
Last Season: 21st (League One)

A disastrous start to the 2023/24 season proved costly in the end for Cheltenham Town.

They were cut adrift at the bottom after 11 games and had just one point and had yet to score a goal.

Former Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke replaced Wade Elliott in late September and turned their fortunes around as they clawed their way back into contention and kept themselves within touching distance of survival until the final game of the season.

The Robins were level with Stevenage on the final day, needing to find a winner to avoid the drop but it was their opponents who landed a crushing blow with a 90th minute goal to end their three-season stay in the third tier.

Clarke has since departed to join Barnsley and the Robins have turned to yet another former Walsall boss in Michael Flynn who will be tasked with pushing for promotion back to the third tier.  

The Saddlers and Cheltenham have met just 11 times and it’s the Gloucestershire side who have the upper hand with five victories to Walsall’s three.

Mat Sadler’s men will be hoping to record their first victory over the Robins since 2008 in 2024/25.

 

FLEETWOOD TOWN

Manager: Charlie Adam
Stadium: Highbury (5,327)
Last Season: 22nd (League One)

Fleetwood’s 10-year stay in League One finally came to an end.

A draw and five consecutive defeats cost Scott Brown his job and Lee Johnson was tasked with turning their fortunes but the appointment didn’t have the desired effect so they turned to Charlie Adam and despite finishing with three wins in their last four matches, they couldn’t avoid the drop.

They will be looking to rebuild their squad ahead of the League Two campaign.

Walsall have won eight of the 13 meetings between the two clubs. The last came in March 2019 as the Saddlers won 2-0 with goals from Morgan Ferrier and Dan Scarr.

 

PORT VALE

Manager: Darren Moore
Stadium: Vale Park (15,036)
Last Season: 23rd (League One)

A welcomed short journey for those who follow the Saddlers on the road is back in the division after Port Vale’s relegation.

After losing 7-0 to Barnsley on the opening day of the 2023/24 season, The Valiants recovered well and a six-match unbeaten run to propelled them to second.

The next 30 league games saw just three victories though. In amongst that run, Andy Crosby was relieved of his duties and replaced by Darren Moore but he couldn’t halt the slide and they fell through the trap door.

Walsall have a good recent record against Port Vale and haven’t lost any of the last six meetings.

The most recent came in April 2022 as goals from Sam Perry and Emmanuel Osadebe secured a 2-0 victory at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Another memorable encounter between the two clubs came in December 2020 as the Saddlers edged a seven-goal thriller by four goals to three.

 

CARLISLE UNITED

Manager: Paul Simpson
Stadium: Brunton Park (17,949)
Last Season: 24th (League One)

It was a disappointing return to League One for Carlisle United as they finished bottom and 16 points adrift of safety.

Some may say they beat the odds to win promotion after their penalty shootout victory over Stockport County in 2023 but they more than earned their place in the third tier as just rewards for a fantastic 2022/23 campaign.

Their season in League One never got going though and they spent the vast majority of it in the bottom four.

The Cumbrians had a busy January transfer window and the arrival of prolific forward Luke Armstrong certainly caught the eye.

Simpson will be looking to freshen up his squad as they will no doubt eye an immediate return to League One.

The Saddlers and Carlisle have met 66 times overall. Walsall are unbeaten in four against the Cumbrians.

Our most recent encounter came in April 2023 at the Poundland Bescot Stadium as the points were shared in a goalless draw.

 

CHESTERFIELD

Manager: Paul Cook
Stadium: SMH Group Stadium (10,600)
Last Season: 1st (National League)

Chesterfield have been knocking on the door for a number of years now but finally got over the line in 2023/24 as they comfortably won the National League.

After three consecutive years in the play-offs, suffering an agonising penalty shootout defeat in the 2023 final against Notts County, Cook added former Saddlers striker Will Grigg to help fire the Spireites back into the EFL.

There is certainly good momentum at the Derbyshire club and as well as Grigg, the likes of Ollie Banks, Michael Jacobs, Ryan Colclough and Liam Mandeville all have previous EFL experience so that coupled with Cook’s impressive record of winning promotions, the Spireites could be a force in the division.

Walsall and Chesterfield have met 94 times with the Saddlers winning 35 compared to Chesterfield’s 31 victories.

The last meeting came back in March 2017 and it was the Saddlers who came out on top as Scott Laird scored the only goal of the game.

 

BROMLEY

Manager: Andy Woodman
Stadium: Hayes Lane (5,150)
Last Season: 3rd (National League)

Bromley will compete in the EFL for the very first time after winning promotion after a penalty shootout victory over Solihull Moors in the 2024 National League Play-Off final.

Andy Woodman was appointed in March 2021 and has done an impressive job at Hayes Lane. He guided them to the play-offs at the end of that season and in the 2022/23 season as well.

He also led Bromley to victory in the 2022 FA Trophy final against Wrexham, his first piece of silverware as a manager.

Bromley finished third in the regular National League season in 2023/24 with 81 points before winning the play-offs and they will now embark on their first adventure into the EFL and will come into the as a club on an upward trajectory.


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