The 2022/23 Sky Bet League Two campaign is right around the corner and it's time to take a closer look at how the division is shaping up ahead of Season Launch Day...
Under the new management of former Charlton Athletic head coach Johnnie Jackson, AFC Wimbledon have turned to Jackson’s ex-employers to pick up new recruits in a bid to bounce back after relegation last term.
After guiding FC Halifax Town to the National League Play-Offs last term, Barrow manager Pete Wild, appointed in late May, will be hoping to build upon a 22nd-place finish in 2021/22 for the Bluebirds.
Mark Hughes will be looking to make an impression in his first full season in charge at Valley Parade. The Bantams boss is aiming for promotion, and a host of new faces, including the impressive capture of former Hull City captain Richie Smallwood and frontman Vadaine Oliver, could help with that.
Having only previously managed Clubs in the top flight, Mark Hughes is preparing for his first full season as an EFL boss.— Sky Bet League Two (@SkyBetLeagueTwo) June 22, 2022
He explains what attracted him to return to the dugout with @officialbantams.#EFL | #SkyBetLeagueTwo
Paul Simpson preserved Carlisle’s League Two status last season with the Cumbrian Club sitting in the relegation zone upon his arrival. The 55-year-old is regarded as a cult hero by the Blues fanbase, having also masterminded successive promotions in his first spell in charge.
The U’s picked up form under Wayne Brown at the tail end of last season and his squad includes a mix of youth and experience, including League Two’s 2022 LFE Apprentice of the Year, promising defender Junior Tchamadeu.
The marquee arrival of last year’s League Two leading marksman winner Dom Telford, who notched 25 goals in 37 appearances to land the Golden Boot, and new manager Kevin Betsy has given the Reds hope of being in the mix this season.
✍️ Crawley Town Football Club is delighted to confirm the signing of 2021/22 @SkyBetLeagueTwo top goalscorer @DomTelford9!— Crawley Town FC (@crawleytown) June 24, 2022
🤝 Welcome to the club, Dom!#TownTeamTogether🔴
The Railwaymen were demoted from Sky Bet League One this season and Academy graduate Alex Morris has been tasked with helping Crewe get back to the third tier. The loan signing of Courtney Baker-Richardson in particular has caught the eye.
Doncaster’s last outing in League Two five years ago saw the South Yorkshire side make an immediate return at the first time of asking. This year, most notably, the addition of Luke Molyneux from Hartlepool United has set Rovers’ stall out early.
Gills boss Neil Harris will test himself as a manager for the first time in League Two this season, following relegation on the final day of the 2021/22 League One campaign but he will be looking to pick the Club back up again.
Grimsby’s short stint away didn’t last long, as the Mariners triumphed in the Play-Offs to secure their spot in League Two this season under Paul Hurst - the second time he has taken them up from the National League.
The EFL’s longest serving boss Simon Weaver has helped the Sulphurites record mid-table finishes in their last two seasons in the League. The news of striker Luke Armstrong’s contract extension is positive news for the North Yorkshire outfit.
Making the step up from the Scottish League Two, Paul Hartley was named the new Pools manager in June, preparing to enter his maiden managerial campaign in the EFL, having represented Millwall and Bristol City during his playing days, this weekend.
O’s boss Richie Wells secured the League Two title with Swindon in 2019/20 and the 42-year-old will look to go again with Orient. One of his latest recruits coming is George Moncur, whose dropped down two divisions to link up with Wellens.
The Stags will be hoping to put last season’s Play-Off Final heartbreak in the past. Nigel Clough’s side recently netted new deals for star performers Jordan Bowery and Stephen McLaughlin.
Despite the loss of top scorer Telford to Crawley, who helped Newport finish 11th last season, the Exiles still have the experience of skipper Mickey Demetriou with promising young manager James Rowberry in the hotseat.
Last season was a rollercoaster ride for the Cobblers, pipped to the post on goals scored by Bristol Rovers in the automatic promotion fight. Jon Brady’s side look to regroup with the signing of Danny Hylton, who hit double figures last time out in League Two, from Luton Town.
Two years after his departure, prolific goalscorer Ian Henderson is back on the books at the Crown Oil Arena, whilst the Dale have also held on to midfielder Liam Kelly, who inked a new two-year deal back in August.
The Ammies slipped out of contention for the Play-Offs late on last season, having been in and around the top half of the League Two standings since winning promotion in 2018/19. Neil Wood will lead the charge as head coach this year, joining from Manchester United.
Boro boss Steve Evans has something of an impressive CV at this level, with promotions from the division with Crawley and Rotherham United on his side. The Scotsman is building a strong side, featuring the return of Michael Bostwick, for the new campaign.
Stockport’s return to the EFL after an 11-year absence has been long-awaited and the Hatters have lofty ambitions, with signings including marksman Kyle Wootton from Notts County and Fraser Horsfall from Northampton.
An impressive debut season in the League saw Sutton narrowly miss out on the Play-Offs and make a Cup Final at Wembley. Matt Gray’s side will be looking to follow up and that and go one better this season to write another chapter in the Club’s fairytale narrative.
💛 Hold your heads high, @suttonunited! 👏#EFL | #PapaJohnsTrophy pic.twitter.com/aVXP4lPL1J— Papa Johns Trophy (@PapaJohnsTrophy) April 3, 2022
Serving as Ben Garner’s number two last year, Scott Lindsay earned the title as the Robins’ first team manager, having played an integral part in Swindon reaching the Play-Off Semi-Finals in 2021/22.
Micky Mellon has five promotions during his managerial career, two of which came with Tranmere, and he could add to his personal accolades this season, after finishing in ninth last season.
An influx of new recruits, such as experienced defender Peter Clarke and forward Andy Williams, could help the Saddlers to build upon last year’s 16th-place finish in League Two under Michael Flynn.