The new season brings about renewed optimism for clubs, particularly for those who have new managers at the helm, with a change in leadership often sparking excitement.And three bosses will be making their dugout debuts on the opening weekend of the Sky Bet League Two season – Saturday 6th August – along with two managers who have had their caretaker positions made permanent in the close-season.
#FixtureReleaseDay: EFL Season 2016/17 fixtures announced
Colchester United and Blackpool are new to the division this term following relegation last time around, and both have new bosses in charge.
At the Weston Homes Community Stadium – home of Colchester – John McGreal is the number one having stepped up from the under-21's boss to the first-team role, replacing the departed Kevin Keen. The 44-year-old becomes the third recent U's manager to move up from the youth set-up, following Joe Dunne and Tony Humes, and the former defender's first game in the dugout is away to Hartlepool United.
Blackpool were relegated alongside Colchester and they opted to appoint former Blackburn Rovers boss Gary Bowyer as their new leader.
Read more: Sky Bet Championship - Managers set for dugout debuts to kick-off 2016/17
A returning manager who knows the division well, however, is John Sheridan. The former Chesterfield, Plymouth Argyle, Newport County and Oldham Athletic boss is back in the division after being appointed at Notts County.
The 51-year-old led the Spireites to the League Two title in 2010/11 and worked in the division last term, taking charge of Newport County for 17 games before a switch to League One Oldham, who he guided to safety with nine wins from 22 outings.
Sheridan has been busy sharpening his squad in the transfer window ahead of their opener at Yeovil Town and he has made some impressive signings, including that of striker Jonathan Forte.
Darren Sarll was in charge of Stevenage from February onwards after the sacking of Teddy Sheringham, and led the club to an 18th-placed finish with a win rate of 29.4 per cent.
Read more: Sky Bet League One - Managers set for first matches at new clubs in 2016/17
Founded in 1976, Boro will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this term, and Sarll's men will be rocking a classic shirt for the campaign ahead, which, for them, starts at home to Crewe Alexandra.
The other manager now in a permanent role is the well-known Andy Hessenthaler, at Leyton Orient. The ex-Gillingham and Dover boss was assistant to former O's managers Ian Hendon and Kevin Nolan, prior to taking charge of the final five games of last term.
EXCLUSIVE: The one you have been waiting for... we're bringing back a classic for our 2016/2017 home shirt. 😎 😍 pic.twitter.com/7OmoU0otie— StevenageFC Official (@StevenageFC) July 1, 2016
He is now the main man, though, and the O's start the campaign at National League champions Cheltenham Town – a fixture he knows is a challenge, but one he is relishing.
“They [Cheltenham] will be on a high and I am sure they are excited,” Hessenthaler told leytonorient.com. “They will look at us as one of the bigger clubs in this division, which doesn’t make it easier.
“It is a tough start but one we are looking forward to. Cheltenham have a good manager in Gary Johnson who has a wealth of experience so he knows what they will be coming into and will get his players ready.”
Managers who will be making their dugout debuts at new clubs on the opening weekend of Season 2016/17:
Gary Bowyer (Blackpool)
John McGreal (Colchester United)
Andy Hessenthaler (Leyton Orient)*
John Sheridan (Notts County)
Darren Sarll (Stevenage)*
*Caretaker in 2015/16 before being made permanent in the close-season.