billsportsmaps.com

September 3, 2017

2017-18 Football League Two (4th division England, incl Wales): map w/ 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ 2 promoted clubs for the 2017-18 4th division (Lincoln City, Forest Green Rovers).

2017-18_football-league-two_map_w-2017-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_b_.gif
2017-18 Football League Two (4th division England, incl Wales): map w/ 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division




By Bill Turianski on 2 September 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-2017–18 EFL League Two (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…LEAGUE TWO [Summary] (soccerway.com).
-Sky Bet League Two 2017 – 2018 [kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).
-League Two 2017-18 season preview (by Ben Fisher at theguardian.com/football).

A brief re-cap of 2016-17 League Two [the 4th division]…
Promoted to 3rd Div…Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool {see this post: 17/18 EFL League One, featuring: Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool}.

Relegated from the 3rd division down to the 4th division are…Port Vale, Swindon Town, Coventry City, Chesterfield.

Promoted up from the non-League 5th division and into the 4th division are the two clubs profiled below…

    Below: the 2 promoted clubs for the 2017-18 fourth division (Lincoln City, Forest Green Rovers)
    • Lincoln City FC.

Est. 1884. Nickname: the Imps (or Red Imps). Colours: Red-and-White [vertically-striped jerseys]. Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire, situated (by road) 39 miles (63 km) NE of Nottingham; and situated (by road) 156 miles (261 km) N of London. Population of Lincoln: city population of around 97,000; built-up-area-population of around 114,000 {2015 estimate}. Lincoln, Lincolnshire is the 69nd-largest Urban Area in the UK {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom}.

Manager of Lincoln City: Danny Cowley (age 38; born in Havering, East London). Danny Cowley has absolutely revitalised Lincoln City. Cowley is a 38-year-old who was formerly the manager of two small-and-overachieving Essex-based clubs. First, with the now-6th-tier-side Concord Rangers (from 2007 to 2015, which included 3 promotions, from the 9th level to the 6th level). And then Cowley had one year at the helm of the then-5th-tier-side Braintree Town (two seasons ago in 2015-16, when Braintree punched above their weight and finished in 3rd place in the 5th division; Braintree has since been relegated to the 6th tier). Then Lincoln City signed Cowley in the summer of 2016. Then Cowley led Lincoln City to both FA Cup glory (first non-League team into the 6th round in over a century), and Cowley also guided Lincoln City back into the Football League by winning the 2016-17 Natinal League title.

Counting 2017-18, Lincoln City have played 105 seasons in the Football League (previously in 2010-11). {Source.} Lincoln City have the unenviable distinction of being the club with the all-time-most demotions/relegations into Non-League Football – the Red Imps have been sent down into the non-League Wilderness 5 times. Lincoln were voted out of the Football League in 1908, in 1911, and in 1920; and Lincoln were relegated out of the Football League in 1987, and in 2011. In all but the last of these (2011), Lincoln City had bounced back to the Football League the following season. But for the 5 seasons after their most-recent drop (from 2011-12 to 2015-16), the club had been mired in the lower-half of the Conference/National League table, with no real hope in sight of getting back into the League. And Lincoln City’s attendances had dropped off from 5.1 K ten years ago, to just 2.5 K in 2015-16.

Then, in May 2016, Danny Cowley was hired as Lincoln City’s manager, and the hard-working Cowley, along with his brother-and-assistant-manager Nicky, invigorated the Red Imps. The Lincoln City gig was the Cowley brothers’ first full-time job in football: the two were previously PE teachers in Essex, when both were also part-time employees of Concord Rangers and then Braintree Town. The Cowley brothers introduced novel training techniques…“…‘The benefit of having been PE teachers is we can transfer little bits of other sports into football,’ Nicky, 34, the Lincoln assistant manager, says while sitting in their modest office a few hours before kick-off. ‘Game calls, for example: they’re used in rugby and basketball — there’s never a lineout taken in rugby without a game call. It amazes me that there’s never any in football. He proceeds to flick through a book of set pieces (corners and free kicks), with names such as Cluster, Stagger, Box, Shoehorn . . . ‘On a Friday in training, I’ll shout, ‘Shoehorn!’ and the players all have to run and show me their starting positions. Then from there, they have to show me their runs’…An app called Hudl, which allows clips to be sent to each player’s mobile or tablet after a game, is a tool they used at Braintree as well as with the Lincoln players and, an average of 45 minutes is spent on team video analysis every day before training”…{-excerpts from From playground to dugout: PE teaching brothers schooling Lincoln in ‘Moneyball’, on 19 Sept. 2016 by Gregor Robertson at thetimes.co.uk / link to article at a Braintree-Town-fans’-forum site, here).

The thorough preparation that the Cowley brothers introduced to the Lincoln squad showed, and Lincoln were in 1st place by late November 2016. And then the Imps continued their great FA Cup-run, holding their own – and then some – against upper-League opposition. Meanwhile, Lincoln remained atop the 5th division table despite strong pursuit by Tranmere and Forest Green. Lincoln City ended a dreary 6-season-stint in non-League football by winning the 2016-17 National League title, four points ahead of Tranmere Rovers, clinching the title and automatic promotion with 2 games to spare. As the 16/17 season progressed, they saw large crowds at their 10.1-K ground, Sincil Bank, with consecutive 9-K-plus crowds in January and February FA Cup matches, and then a full-capacity crowd of 10,031 at their promotion-clinching game on 22 April 2017 {see screenshot below}. Lincoln City’s average attendance (for their National League matches) very nearly doubled – it went up 98%: from 2,594 two seasons ago, to 5,162 (which was the second-best best average attendance in non-League football last season, marginally behind only Tranmere [11 less per game than Tranmere]).

And Lincoln City became the first non-League side to reach the FA Cup Quarter-finals in 103 years (since 1914, when a then-non-League Queens Park Rangers did it). Lincoln beat two 2nd-division sides: Ipswich Town 1-0 in the 3rd round replay, before 9.0 K at Sincil Bank {see photo below}, and then they beat Brighton 3-1 in the 4th round, before 9.4 K at Sincil Bank. And then they beat Premier League side Burnley 0-1 in the 5th round, away at Turf Moor. In the 6th round, occupying one of the last 8 spots in the competition, Lincoln City then bowed out to the eventual FA Cup champions, Arsenal.

Lincoln City’s two runs – their successful promotion-run and their historic Cup-run – fed off each other. In 2016-17, Lincoln City, under Danny Cowley, showed that a team can try for a good FA Cup-run AND conduct a successful league campaign. And can make a town fall back in love with its football club. And the love affair continues…as of the 2nd of September 2017, Lincoln City is drawing second-best in the 4th tier (behind only Coventry City), averaging 8.5-K-per-game at Sincil Bank, after 3 home matches.

lincoln-city_promoted-2017_sincil-bank_danny-cowley_matt-rhead_nathan-arnold_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Lincoln City 2016-17 home and away jerseys, photos unattributed at uksoccershop.com/blog. Steep street in Lincoln with Lincoln Cathedral in background, photo by Barry Samuels at beenthere-donethat.org.uk/lincolnshire. Photo of Lincoln Cathedral, photo by Richard Croft via geograph.org.uk. Photo of street in Lincoln by a canal, with Lincoln Cathedral in background, photo by YTFC independent site ciderspace.co.uk/[match gallery 23 May 2004, Lincoln City 2-3 Yeovil Town (3rd Div match)]. Photo from June 2015: Lincoln Cathedral (in background) seen from a stream adjacent to the Sincil Bank ground, photo by clivecatton.co.uk; also see clivecatton.co.uk/tag/lincoln-city-football-club/. Aerial shot of Sincil Bank, photo unattributed at 68.media.tumblr.com. Exterior shot looking in to Sincil Bank, photo by Andrew Scott at thelincolnite.co.uk. Danny Cowley and Nicky Cowley, photo by Ben Queenborough/BPI via dailymail.co.uk/football. Nathan Arnold, photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Matt Rhead, photo by Andrew Vaughan/CameraSport via gettyimages.com. Lincoln fans’ pitch-invasion-/-celebration for clinching promotion, screenshot from video uploaded by TwistedxLion at Lincoln v Macclesfield! – Vlog – All Goals + Highlights – CHAMPIONS AT LAST! – ABSOLUTE SCENES (youtube.com). Danny Cowley and Nicky Cowley with National League title-winners’ trophy, photo by CameraSport/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football.

    • Forest Green Rovers FC.

Est. 1889. Nicknames: the Rovers; the Little Club on the Hill; the Green Devils. Colours: Lime-Green-and-Black [hoop-striped jerseys]; away kit: White-and-Black [hoop-striped jerseys]. Location: Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, situated (by road) 29 miles (47 km) N of Bristol, and is situated (by road) 106 miles (171 km) W of London. Population of Nailsworth: around 5,794 {2011 census}. Population of Stroud, which is 4 miles (7 km) to the south of Nailsworth, and which is the nearest larger town to Nailsworth: around 13,200 {2011 census}.

Manager of Forest Green Rovers: Mark Cooper (age 48, born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire). ‘We’ve had a lot of animosity towards Forest Green. When I played for them, they were a friendly little club, part-time. Everyone loved them because they weren’t a threat.’ -{quote by Mark Cooper from article linked to at second link below [South Wales Argus]…}

-From Guardian/football, Forest Green: the eco-friendly club with a robot mower and big ambitions (by Stuart James on 31 July at theguardian.com/football).
-From the South Wales Argus, Forest Green Rovers should ignore the critics and keep dreaming big (by Andrew Penham on 16 May 2017 at southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/columnists).
-Forest Green Rovers shake up league with big dreams — and a vegan menu (by Ian Chadband on 3 Aug. 2017 at espnfc.com).
-From the UN Climate Action twitter feed, [Video]…exclusive interview w/ @DaleVince owner of the #greenest #football club on Earth @FGRFC_Official! (twitter.com/UNFCCC).
-So where is Forest Green? [infographic from dailymail.co.uk/sport/football].

forest-green-rovers_promoted-2017_mark-cooper_christian-doidge_kainye-woolery_wembley_fgr_3-1_tranmere_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
FGR 17/18 jerseys, photos from shop.forestgreenroversfc.com. Road to Nailsworth, photo from nailsworthtowncouncil.gov.uk. Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, photo from stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk. The New Lawn, aerial shot unattributed at Forest Green Rovers – the little club on the hill! (by Stuart Ward on 13 Sept. 2013 at pitchcare.com [Pitchcare Magazine #50]) jpg. Solar panels on roof of New Lawn, image from screenshot of video by UN Climate Council at twitter.com/ [UN Climate Action]. Robotic lawn mower at New Lawn, photo by ITV West Country at itv.com/news/westcountry/2017-08-01/meet-the-vegans-forest-green-rovers-prepare-for-life-in-the-football-league/. Exterior shot of New Lawn, with electric-car-spots in lot, photo by Martin Godwin for the Guardian at theguardian.com/football. Christian Doidge, photo from Forest Green Rovers FC at twitter.com/fgrfc_official jpg jpg. Mark Cooper, photo unattributed at sport.co.uk. Kainye Woolery 1st goal, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. Chris Jennings (Tranmere) goal celebration (with Tranmere fans), photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images via liverpoolecho.co.uk/football. C Doidge goal (2nd FGR goal), photo unattributed at walesonline.co.uk/football. Kainye Woolery, photo of celebration after his 2nd goal by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images via guardian.com/football. Kainye Woolery celebrates with FGR fans at Wembley (3rd goal/winning goal), photo by Press Association via dailymail.co.uk/wires.

___
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.
-5th division attendances from us.soccerway.com/[conference-national/2016-17].
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia, at 2017-18 EFL League Two.

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