billsportsmaps.com

September 10, 2016

2016–17 Football League Two (4th division England), map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./Plus the 2 promoted sides (Cheltenham Town, Grimsby Town).

2016-17_football-league-two_map_w-2016-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_f_.gif
2016–17 Football League Two (4th division England), map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division



By Bill Turianski on 10 September 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-2016–17 Football League Two (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…League Two [Summary] (soccerway.com).
-New font and logos for Football League…2016-17 English Football League [new logos and new font, with branding info] (switchimageproject.blogspot.com).
-Kits…Sky Bet League Two 2016 – 2017 [Kits of teams in 16/17 League Two] (historicalkits.co.uk).
-Predictions, from a favorite blog…TTU Go Predicting: A Club-by-Club League 2 Preview 2016-17 (from 4 August 2016 by Lloyd at thetwounfortunates.com).

    The 2 promoted clubs from Non-League/5th division into the Football League Two for 2016-17
    (Cheltenham Town & Grimsby Town)

Cheltenham Town bounce straight back to League Two; while Grimsby Town are back in the Football League for the first time in 7 seasons.

Cheltenham Town FC
The well-traveled and West-Country-fixture Gary Johnson stepped in as manager of Cheltenham Town in March of 2015, when the Robins were in the League Two/4th division relegation-zone. Cheltenham were relegated to the National League a few weeks later. Johnson stayed on and did a huge house-cleaning, releasing over a dozen players and signing on 18 players, many of whom were added to the Robins’ roster thanks to “…a windfall of £200,000. It was the lion’s share of the estate of a long-standing Cheltenham fan, Bryan Jacob, who passed away in 2013 and generously bequeathed his life savings to the Robins Trust. Last April they voted to invest the money in the club and Johnson embarked on a recruitment drive…” {quote by Barry Glendenning at Gary Johnson has mapped Cheltenham Town’s clear course to promotion (guardian.com/football)}.

Cheltenham Town started slow, but stormed to the top of the 5th-division-table in late-December 2015, and never looked back, coasting to the 15/16 National League title by 12 points over nearby rivals Forest Green Rovers. The Robins began to put distance from the rest during a mid-winter 22-game-unbeaten run. The Gloucestershire side scored the most (87 goals), conceded the least (30), and finished with a whopping +57 goal difference. Cheltenham clinched promotion with two games to spare, in front of 5,245 at Whaddon Road on 16 April 2016 (see the fans’ pitch invasion below). In 2015-16, Gary Johnson did what no Non-League manager had done in 27 years…Cheltenham Town’s automatic promotion back to the Football League was the first time a just-relegated team had won the 5th division title since 1988-89 (when the original Maidstone United (I) had first accomplished the feat). Gary Johnson told the BBC, “[After last season) we had to change our thoughts, we had to change our attitude and we had to change our players and when we did that and when we got the right characters in, this is what happens."

Many of the players Johnson brought in last summer had never played in the Football League, and many of those 18 that Johnson recruited before last season have stayed on for 2016-17. Those staying include the top 7 goals scorers from last season (Wright, Holman, Waters, Munns, Pell, Downes, Morgan-Smith). In the illustration below, you can see photos of the 3 top scorers for Cheltenham Town last season: Danny Wright (age 31), who scored 23 goals; Dan Holman (age 26), who was joint-top-scorer in the 5th division in 15/16; and Billy Waters (age 21), who scored 11 goals. Holman was signed in January 2016, from Colchester United, after a successful loan spell at Woking. Dan Holman ended up scoring a National-League-leading 30 goals last season (14 for Woking, and then 16 for Cheltenham), (Holman was joint-top-scorer, with Pádraig Amond [then of Grimsby Town; now playing for Hartlepool United]). Below, you can see a photo of Holman scoring what ended up being the promotion-clinching goal for the Robins.

I added two more Cheltenham Town players to the graphic below, both defensive standouts and both centre-backs: Danny Parslow and squad captain Aaron Downes. Downes, who is Australian-born (from the New South Wales interior), does have League experience (captain at Chesterfield, Torquay Utd). I pictured Downes below after one of his 5 goals last campaign [away to Kidderminster], when the squad were wearing their fan-voted-upon and weird-in-a-nice-way away kits of purple-and-yellow-with-the-red-robin-badge. (Downes suffered an ACL leg injury in January, was out for the remainder of the 15/16 campaign, and finally made it back into the squad with a game appearance on 10 September as a late sub in Town’s 2-2 draw with Newport County.) The Welsh-born Danny Parslow, who also has had League tenure (with York City), was selected to a 5th-division-Team of the Year (by pitchero.com, here: Pitchero’s non-league teams of the season [2015-16/Non-League]). Also selected to that Team-of-the-Year was the aforementioned Dan Holman.
cheltenham-town_whaddon-road_promoted-2016_national-league-winners_danny-wright_dan-holman_danny-parslow_billy-waters_aaron-downes_2016-pitch-invasion_r_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Small illlustration of 15/16 & 16/17 CTFC kits, from en.wikipedia.org. CTFC 16/17 jersey, photo by CTFC at cheltenhamtownfc.9drw.uk/home-shirt-2016-17. Aerial shot of Cheltenham, photo by Arpingstone at File:Cheltenham.from.leckhampton.arp.jpg. Aerial shot of Whaddon Road, photo unattributed at punchline-gloucester.com. Whaddon Road, photo unattributed at skysports.com. Exterior shot of Whaddon Road, photo by Owen Pavey at footballgroundguide.com. Danny Wright, photo by ctfc.com. Dan Holman, photo by ProSports/Rex/Shutterstock via theguardian.com/football/cheltenham-town-promotion-halifax. Billy Waters, photo by ctfc.com. Danny Parslow, photo by Mike Ripley via lusoweb.co.uk/altrincham15-16 w. Aaron Downes, photo of him and teammates celebrating after scoring, photo by ctfc.com. Cheltenham Town fans’ pitch invasion [16 April 2016] at Whaddon Road, 1st image from screenshot of video uploaded by Elliot Richmond at youtube.com, Cheltenham town FC league champions 2016 (youtube.com). 2nd image of pitch invasion, screenshot from video by bbc.com/football. 15/16 & 16/17 CTFC away jersey, segment of illustration by CTFC at ctfc.com/news/article [fan-vote-on-purple-kit].

Grimsby Town FC

From Cod Almighty site [Grimsby Town fansite],
-A brief history of [Grimsby] Town (from 2005, at codalmighty.com).
-Under the flyover: Town’s Conference years (from 2 August 2016, by Rod Counte, at codalmighty.com).

After being relegated from the Football League in May 2010, Grimsby Town had an awful time of it stuck in Non-League football. Grimsby, who drew between 3.0 K and 4.3 K in the 6 seasons they spent out of the League, were one of the biggest clubs there in the 5th division during this time period (2010-16). But it still took the Mariners three seasons to even qualify for the 5th division play-offs. There then followed three consecutive play-off disappointments, losing to Newport County in the 12/13 play-offs 1st round, then losing to Gateshead in the 13/14 play-offs 1st round, then losing to Bristol Rovers in the 14/15 play-offs Final, in penalties.

Grimsby Town wins promotion after 6 seasons in Non-League…
However, in 2015-16, the fourth time in the play-offs was the charm, as manager Paul Hurst finally led Grimsby out of Non-League, beating Forest Green Rovers 3-1 at Wembley, on 15 May 2016. {See screenshots of highlights below; and see video highlights here, Forest Green 1-3 Grimsby Town (youtube.com).} The crucial point in the game was a two-minute span late in the first half, when Grimsby striker Omar Bogle scored twice. As Trevor Green of the the Grimsby Telegraph wrote, “six years of non-league hurt is finally over.” {See this, Grimsby Town PROMOTED! Mariners 3-1 Forest Green (from 15 May 2016, by Trevor Green at grimsbytelegraph.co.uk).}

grimsby-town_2016-promotion_2016-national-league-play-off-final_wembley_omar-bogle_nathan-arnold_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Photo of Omar Bogle scoring, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. Screenshots of video uploaded by dids99 at youtube.com, Forest Green 1-3 Grimsby Town (youtube.com). Photo of Omar Bogle and his Grimsby teammates celebrating 2-0 lead, photo by Grimsby Telegraph at grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/grimsby-town-forest-green-result... Photo of 16/17 jersey, photo by GTFC at grimsby-townfc.co.uk/new-201617-kit-unveiled Photo of cheering Grimsby fans at Wembley, photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images at gettyimages.ch. Aerial photo of Blundell Park, photo by GTFC at grimsby-townfc.co.uk/club/contact_us.

___
Thanks to the following…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm;
Non-League attendances from soccerway.com.
-Thanks to the contributors at RSSSF page, England – First Level All-Time Tables 1888/89-2015/16 (rsssf.com_.
-Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia, at 2016–17 Football League Two.

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