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October 24, 2012

England: League Two – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

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England: League Two – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data




Note: to see my most recent post on the English 4th division, click on the following: category: Eng-4th Level/League 2.

At the top of the map page, the 2012-13 home jersey badges of the clubs in England’s 4th division are shown in alphabetical order. I added the clubs’ names under the badges mainly because if I had not, I am pretty sure I would have confused a few folks because, for the club’s Centenary, Gillingham’s kit badges and jersey colors this season are very different than their usual. Gillingham 12/13 Centenary Vandamel Football Shirt Design (Footballshirtculture.com). The badge is the Kent-based club’s original kit badge from 1911-12, and their home jersey color this season is not the Gills’ present-day royal blue, but the 1911-12 version – red-with-royal-blue-sleeves.

Here are the other League Two clubs this season which have home kit badges that are different from their official crests…
Bradford City sport a star (for their 1911 FA Cup title) – black stars seem to be a new kit-design trend, as both Huddrsfield Town and Man City also feature black stars on their home kit badges this season. Like Nottingham Forest, Southend United’s badge is, as usual, a reverse of their official crest. For 2012-13, Exeter City sport a striking shield device, with their flanking-winged-horses-coat-of-arms sitting in a larger version of the black-and-red-shield that is in the center of the crest itself. Exeter City’s badge has a sort of MC Escher feel about it {see it here (exetercityfcshop.co.uk)}. Since 1986, Torquay United have had, for most seasons, a seagull-in-disk device on the kits which is different, and more simplified – in a good way, I feel – than their official crest. Torquay United’s official crest, with its tacky color-blend effects, looks too much like a cheap clip-art design. Finally, League 1/League 2 yo-yo club Wycombe Wanderers are celebrating their 125th anniversary, and on their badge this season they sport gold olive branches flanking their chained-goose-with crown-in-disk device (which is based on the Buckinghamshire coat of arms). You can see it here (jerseyrevival.com).

Gillingham FC, League Two leaders as of 24 October 2012 -
After 14 games played for most of the clubs in the fourth division, Kent’s only Football League club, Gillingham FC, hold a 2-point lead in League Two, ahead of Port Vale in second place. Gillingham have spent the lions’ share of their years in the 3rd Level (ie, League One), with 56 seasons in the third division (last in 2009-10). Gillingham’s highest league placement was in 2002-03, when they finished in 11th place in the second division. That was during a 5-season-spell when Gillingham were, for the only time in their history, a second division club. That era coincided with the almost complete redevelopment of Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium [known since 2011 as MEMS Priestfield Stadium for sponsorship purposes].

Much-traveled motivator/quick-fixer Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Allen is the Gills’ manager, after he helped keep Barnet from dropping out of the League in May 2012. This was a good karmic ending because you could say Allen was atoning for his sin against Barnet 13 months earlier, when he bolted from the the small North London-based club after just 3 games, leaving Barnet twisting in the wind and needing to find another way to once again save off relegation (which they did – just). The reason Allen bolted then was because Notts County, then in a relegation-battle of their own in League One, made Allen a better offer. Allen kept Notts County up in 2011-12, but poor league form the next season saw the Notts County board sack Allen in February 2011. So Allen then went back to Barnet and Barnet avoided relegation on the last day of the season for the third straight year. Then in July 2012 Allen made it nine job hires as manager in 9 years, with his appointment as the manager of Gillingham. [Clubs managed by Martin Allen - 2003–04, Barnet. 2004–06, Brentford. 2006–07, MK Dons. 2007, Leicester City. 2008–09, Cheltenham Town. 2011, Barnet. 2011–12, Notts County. 2012, Barnet. 2012, Gillingham.]. With the blossoming of Kent-born Gillingham striker and captain Danny Kedwell, Gillingham have held the top spot in League Two for virtually the whole season. Some observers feel Kedwell can forge a similar path to the top level like another rough-and-tumble ex-Non-league striker – Grant Holt, of Norwich City. The only problem with that scenario is that Kedwell is 29 years old.
Below, Danny Kedwell, Martin Allen, Priestfied Stadium…
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Image and Photo credits above – kentonline.co.uk. businessforkent.co.uk. bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view. Interior photo of Priestfield from PA via dailymail.co.uk.

New Stadium in Rotherham
The good news for Millers fans up in South Yorkshire is that Rotherham United have a new stadium, the 12,021-capacity New York Stadium, which was built by, and is owned by Rotherham United FC. The bad news for Millers fans is that their new manager is the felonious controversy-magnet Steve Evans, late of Crawley Town. Evans’ latest dust-up sees Evans banned and fined (the FA.com). Well, once Evans eventually takes his act elsewhere, RUFC supporters will still have their shiny new ground, which, as you can see below, looks rather nice. First of all, the New York Stadium is located in the city-center of Rotherham, not out in some god-forsaken lot many kilometers outside the town’s core, like with Coventry City’s Ricoh Stadium or Colchester United’s Colchester Community Stadium. And as far as the design of the New York Stadium goes, you can see in the photo below how the stands are very close to the pitch and they have a steep incline, making for excellent sight-lines. The staggered roof line prevents the stadium from having a bland, cookie-cutter look. Plus, Rotherham top brass didn’t pull a Notts County and over-expand – 12,000 capacity suits Rotherham United just fine. Rotherham is only 9.5 kilometers (or 7 miles) from Sheffield in South Yorkshire. So it has always been an uphill battle for Rotherham United to build a larger fan base. That is because the club is situated right in the midst of the fan bases of Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, both of whom can draw in the the high 20K-range when playing in the upper reaches of the football ladder. The last time Rotherham United were in the second division was a 4-season spell from 2001-02 to 2004-05, and they drew in the mid-7,000-per game range then. In their new stadium this season, Rotherham are currently averaging 8,135 per game and will probably end up averaging around 7 or 8 thousand this season, maybe a bit higher than that if they can maintain a promotion drive (Rotherham are currently just within the play-off places in 7th place).

Rotherham’s new ground is called the ‘New’ York Stadium because the RUFC chairman Tony Stewart insists that this was what this section of Rotherham was nicknamed a century ago. Whatever. He just thought that the name would garner attention, and maybe it would lead to some sponsorship tie-in with the actual city of New York or even the New York Yankees (dream on). The stadium was built on the former site of the Guest and Chrimes Foundry {which you can still see via Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here}.

Below, The New York Stadium, Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Opened 18 August, 2012. Capacity 12,021 (all seated). Built and owned by Rotherham FC.
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Photo credit above – unattributed at rotherfm.co.uk/news/local-news/new-york-stadium-good-for-rotherham/.

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Thanks to Soccerway.com, for attendance figures and stadium capacities, http://www.soccerway.com/national/england/league-two/20122013/regular-season/ .
Thanks to Footballkitnews.com, for info on 2012-13 jerseys- http://www.footballkitnews.com/category/english-football-league-two/.
Thanks to Footballfashion.org, for info on 2012-13 jerseys – http://footballfashion.org/wordpress/category/201213-kits-jerseys/.
Thanks to Footballshirtculture.com, for info on 2012-13 jerseys – http://www.footballshirtculture.com/.
Thanks to Wycombe Wanderers site for 125th anniversary crest – http://www.wwfcshop.co.uk/collections/all-products/products/kuk01703 .

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