So who has either been to a League One game, or even heard of the division? Anyone? No? Ok then… League One is England’s third division, below the Premier League and Championship, and above League Two. It sends three teams up to the Championship and four teams down to League Two each year. I came to love League One football when I lived in Colchester and began following Colchester United. The teams in this league are your traditional local teams that local people love to support. You will see the players and staff out and about around town. All the teams have professional players and for some players this is an opportunity to show larger clubs (including Premier League sides) what they can do. It is extremely common to see young players from top English clubs on loan to teams in this division in order to gain first-team experience.
In order to introduce you to the league, or at least get you up to date if you are already a League One die-hard like me, I have written a team preview for each team in the division. In the series I will look at what each team has done in this transfer window so far and what to expect for each team. In this article I will preview Barnsley, Bradford City, Bristol City, Chesterfield, Colchester United, Coventry City, Crawley Town, and Crewe Alexandra.
Newcomers to the League
Relegated from Championship: Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley, Yeovil Town
Promoted from League Two: Chesterfield, Scunthorpe United, Rochdale, Fleetwood Town
Barnsley – 2013/2014 Position: 23rd (Championship)
After letting their top scorer Chris O’Grady go to Brighton for an undisclosed fee, the former Championship side is looking for a quick bounce back to the second division. So far most of their transfer business has been letting people go rather than strengthening the team. Manager Danny Wilson will hope that forward Kane Hemmings can replicate the amazing year he had at Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Championship. Additionally, Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos is currently in talks with Barnsley’s keeper Luke Steele. Unless Barnsley can bring in other players to help Hemmings and former Plymouth Argyle midfielder Conor Hourihan, The Tykes might not be able to bounce back to the Championship.
Bradford City – 2013/2014 Position: 11th –
People might remember Bradford City for their magical League Cup run a couple of seasons ago that abruptly ended with a 5-0 loss to Swansea City in the final. After their first season in the third division since the 2006-07 season, The Bantams are not only solidifying their place in League One but making moves that might see them challenge for promotion. The experienced squad, which includes Norwich legend Adam Drury, Gary Liddle, Alan Sheehan, Jonathan Stead and Mark Yeates, will have the experience and to get promoted. Maybe manager Phil Parkinson can use his previous league promotion and cup experience to get his guys to play to their full potential.