A View From Grimsby Town
VR: So then, it all kicks off on Saturday, who do you see as the favourites for Promotion and Relegation & how do you think Grimsby & Rochdale will do?
MC: After a poor season to their standard last year I can really see Bradford being main contenders for the title this year and especially with the addition of Boulding to their ranks if he can pull off the kind of form he did for Mansfield they will be favorites for promotion.
Also Shrewsbury are looking good for promotion with their new manager Paul Simpson and a huge cash injection. After that I feel it could be anyones race for that third position with teams like Gillingham, Lincoln, Chesterfield, Darlington, Wycombe, Port Vale and Brentford.
Unfortunatly this season its going to be a different story for the bottom half of the table with the points deductions of Luton, Bournemouth and Rotherham. I really think Luton will struggle to pull themselves from that -30 and come the end of the season will be still around that bottom 2 if not bottom. Also unless Bournmouth and Rotherham can string wins together it maybe the same story from them as well.
I'd like to think Grimsby are going to be a top 10 side this season so its important for us to put this poor pre-season behind us fast and get a run of good form starting Saturday. I'm hoping to see us challenging up their this season so we have something to shout about.
Grimsby have experienced a play-off final loss like Rochdale did last year and its tough to pick yourselves back up from it but I feel Rochdale can and even though it may take a few games once they get a league win behind them the misery of a play off final loss will be far behind them. If they can do this then I see them having no trouble being in the top 10 throughout the season.
VR: Former Dale Manager Alan Buckley is having yet another spell at your gaff. How do you think he's doing?
MC: I've always thought Alan is a great football manager if not the opinion of everyone associated with this club. I like his style of getting the ball down and playing it and more clubs should adopt this to make League 2 more attractive. With a poor league performance towards the end of last season it really left a sour taste in mariners fans mouths after a roller coaster end to the season with a trip to Wembley.
VR: You've made a few signings this pre-season, take us through them and tell us how you think they'll fair.
MC: Our first signing of the summer was Robbie Stockdale from Tranmere and he has a tough task in trying to replace John Mcdermott at right back. With his wealth of experience in the higher leagues im sure he can help us defensively. We have also made 2 more signings in defence with Matt Heywood from Brentford and Richard Hope from Wrexham I believe these 2 will form a good partnership fast and hoping they will bag plenty of goals from set pieces. We also made the signing of Chris Llewellyn in midfield this is the signing i'm personally most excited about hes a Buckley style of player and will hopefully supply Butler up front constantly throughout a game and also grab plenty of goals from midfield himself.
We've also secured Simon Heslop on loan for 3 months which should soften our injury troubles in this area
VR: Obviously you'll be aware we've signed Ciaran Toner off you guys. How do you think he'll do for us? And do you have any decent songs for him cos we're struggling...
MC: If he is played in the middle and not on the left out of position like we did he will shine he is a quality midfielder and can pass the ball with great skill and accuracy. Sadly Buckley didnt play him much last season so we never had the chance to sing any songs for him well at least I didn't. I just spent time shouting out TONER IN THE MIDDLE! were he's suppose to be!
VR: Turning our attention to Saturday then, what's your prediction for the game?
MC: Im hoping for an exciting opener but with the play-off final loss and a tough away trip to us I think we will clinch it 1 - 0.
VR: We're being put in the Harrington Corner this season for a change, what are the facilities like in there?
MC: Its still part of the Osmond Stand so all the facilities will be the same as last season.
VR: Finally, for all the travelling Daley's where's the best place for a pre-match pint?
MC: My tip is if you're here early enough head straight into the center of Cleethorpes as theres not much for away supporters now around the ground if you head 5 minutes down the road theres plenty of pubs on the seafront however mid summer it will be very busy!
Grimsby Town Fan from Grimsby
Up The Mariners 2008/2009