Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Fixture News

Meet the newcomers

2 July 2017

Notts will face six new teams in Sky Bet League Two next season. Here is a guide to the newcomers to the fourth tier.

Chesterfield

The Spireites dropped back into League Two at the end of last season, finishing bottom of the table and 13 points adrift of safety.

The arrival of Gary Caldwell, a League One title winner as manager of Wigan Athletic in 2015-16, could not save them from relegation as they lost 27 of their 46 league fixtures.

The manager has wasted little time in making moves in the transfer market, bringing in experienced frontman Chris O'Grady to hopefully spearhead a promotion push alongside seven other new faces.

Notts' first home game of the season will be against the Derbyshire outfit on Saturday 12 August with the return game at the ProAct Stadium scheduled for Saturday 24 March.

Coventry City

Despite the return of Mark Robins, who had a win ratio of more than 50% during his first spell in charge of the Sky Blues, and winning the Checkatrade Trophy, Coventry fell through the League One trapdoor to find themselves in the fourth tier of English football for the first time since 1958-59.

The Midlands outfit have endured a difficult few years on and off the field but with the eye-catching additions of Michael Doyle, Mark McNulty and Peter Vincenti to their squad ahead of pre-season, City fans have reason to harbour hopes of a first promotion since 1966-67.

Kevin Nolan's side will travel to the Ricoh Arena on the opening day of the 2017-18 season, Saturday 5 August, with the Sky Blues visiting Nottingham on Saturday 7 April.

Forest Green Rovers

Managed by former Notts boss Mark Cooper and with ex-Magpies midfielder Liam Noble in their ranks, Forest Green have been making history both on and off the field in recent years.

The Gloucestershire outfit were promoted to the EFL for the first time as they beat Tranmere Rovers 3-1 in the National League play-off final at Wembley last month, making them the smallest-ever side to play in the top four divisions of English football.

Indeed, Rovers hail from Nailsworth, which has a population of only 5,794 people, giving them their nickname of 'the little club on the hill'.

The club has adopted an eco-friendly policy under the ownership of Dale Vince, a green-energy tycoon who took charge at the New Lawn in 2010.

A fully vegan club since 2014, meat is off the menu for players, visitors and supporters, the grass is cut using solar-powered lawnmowers and FIFA named Forest Green as "football's greenest club" in May earlier this year.

Notts have come up against FGR once before in an FA Cup third-round tie in January 2010 with goals from Stephen Hunt and Lee Hughes securing safe passage for the Magpies.

Rovers will come to Meadow Lane on Saturday 7 October while Notts' first visit to the 5,141-capacity New Lawn will be on Saturday 10 March.

Lincoln City

The Imps have returned to the EFL after six seasons in the National League, pipping Tranmere Rovers to the title by four points.

Danny Cowley's men managed to juggle a lengthy nine-game FA Cup run, which saw them overcome Oldham Athletic, Ipswich Town and Burnley before being knocked out by Arsenal in the quarter-finals, and six more games in the FA Trophy with their league campaign.

It meant they had to play more than 60 games in 2016-17 but the squad dealt with the heavy workload to write themselves into Lincolnshire folklore by winning their league for the first time in almost 30 years.

With more than 5,500 season tickets sold, Lincoln fans are optimistic that they can repeat the feat of other promoted clubs in the past and secure successive promotions into League One, a level they have not played at since 1998-99.

Their transfer business so far includes the acquisition of strikers Matt Green and Ollie Palmer, who both scored against Notts last season, and former Gillingham midfielder Billy Knott.

Notts will host the Imps on Saturday 23 September before making the relatively short journey to Sincil Bank on Saturday 13 January.

Port Vale

The Valiants are back the fourth tier after four seasons in League One and were put up for sale by owner Norman Smurthwaite following relegation, which saw him leave his position as chairman.

Despite not being able to rescue the club from their precarious position, former Sheffield United and Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown was given the managerial role on a full-time basis at the end the campaign.

Their promotion hopes have been boosted by the return of striker Tom Pope, a Vale fan who scored 31 league goals the last time the Staffordshire side were promoted into League One in 2012-13, while Bury captain Antony Kay is another impressive acquisition.

The Magpies will travel to Vale Park on Saturday 2 September before kicking off 2018 at home to the Valiants on Monday 1 January.

Swindon Town

The Robins finished six points below safety in League One last term.

Luke Williams left his position as head coach during the summer to be replaced by former Bury boss David Flitcroft.

Tim Sherwood, the former Aston Villa and Tottenham manager, also left the club after serving as director of football for a large part of 2016-17 as the footballing structure of Swindon was revamped.

Flitcroft, 43, has wasted little time putting his stamp on the Town squad, bringing in six players so far including central defender Olly Lancashire, who has won promotion from this division before with Rochdale, and Morecambe striker Paul Mullin for an undisclosed sum. 

Notts will welcome the Robins to Meadow Lane on Tuesday 12 September and face a long trip to the County Ground over the festive period on Saturday 30 December.


Advertisement block