The new Football League season is almost upon us. The thrills, the spills and the excitement that all comes with it is not far away. I'm going to pick out a few of the clubs from the Football League which I think are going to surprise us this season.
I'm going to start in the Championship, the Second Tier of English Football. A hotbed of talent, both for our domestic players, and promising youngsters from overseas. The Championship has become more and more competitive each year with clubs eyeing the big prize of promotion to the Premier League. Here's who I think will do it this time around...
The Owls are a club who I believe won't be suffering with a footballing hangover this season, they narrowly missed out on promotion last season, losing in the Play-Off Final to Hull City. However, Carlos Carvalhal has taken them from stride-to-stride since he took over, his brilliant motivational skills along with a great squad which keeps developing constantly should be enough to finish the job this season and get them back to where they deserve to be!
Predicted Finish: 4th
Dropping down to League 1 now. A very transitional league where clubs such as Bolton have now disgracefully ended up, on the other hand the fairy-tale stories of Burton Albion's heroic rise through the leagues included a promotion last year from league 1. Here's a club I think could defy odds next year. Is a consecutive promotion on the cards for them?
Now although this may not be a very 'surprise package' for some, I have chosen the U's as I believe they may well be rising further this season if they play their cards right.
The U's were promoted from League 2 last season, the club has grown and grown since their promotion from the conference back in 2009-10. Their crowds have increased, the teams have got better, and now finally settled into his managerial reign, Micheal Appleton has Oxford United playing some wonderful stuff. With the addition of Kane Hemmings recently, I think if Oxford can get him scoring, and play how they did last season, then they may be looking up rather than down.
Predicted Finish: 8th
Finally, my League 2 surprise package. League 2 is the doorway into the Football League, the stepping-stone on to better things, or the 'basement division' as some people like to call it. The club I feel are going to have a season to remember is in fact, my club.
Yes, I know this may be a little bias but hear me out. Clubs have a tendency to be promoted consecutively these days, a prime example is Crawley Town, who reached the football league and then were promoted straight into League 1 the season after.
Cheltenham have recently 'bounced-back' into the Football League after a 1 year absence, The Robins won the league in emphatic style, and we are looking to continue that in the 2016/17 season. With a few new additions such as James Jennings from near rivals Forest Green and Danny Whitehead on-loan from Wigan, and perhaps a new goalkeeper to replace the excellent Dillon Phillips who has returned to his parent club Charlton, then I believe we should be good to go for a realistic aim of a top-half finish, if not pushing for play-offs.
Predicted Finish: 7th
I hope you have enjoyed this round-up of my hot-tips for this season, any feedback is appreciated!
Do you think these clubs will be the surprise packages of the Football League this season? Let us know in the comments below!