Notts County supporters will have dreamed of their teams opening weeks of last season. Away wins over Barnsley and Coventry City set up Shaun Derry’s side in strong position for a play-off push. Following that victory over the Sky Blues, the season turned into a nightmare, just 5 from Christmas onwards, including a 11 game winless run. Fans favourite Derry was sacked following the 4-1 demolition at the hands of MK Dons. The newly appointed manager, Ricardo Moniz, lead the Magpies to five draws in his opening 5 games, would couldn’t keep their heads above water to keep them safe.
The squad has been heavily invested in over the summer, with an influx of international flavour being added. Former Belgian international Gill Swerts will tighten up the right back spot, a position that been notoriously weak over recent years. Other defensive additions include Mawouna Amevor from Go Ahead Eagles and Scot Bennett from Exeter City. Bennett captained the Grecians last term, but will now look forward to a campaign in Nottinghamshire, making a change from his seven years in Devon.
Genaro Snijders will be certain to have fans on the edge of their seats. His wing wizardry and creativity from the flanks have caused havoc in Holland for years, and he is now ready to apply his trade in England. He seems a high calibre signing for a League Two club in my eyes, although so do many of the other continental recruitments. Snijders will be supported by Slovenian centre forward Filip Valencic and fellow flying Dutchman Julian Jenner. Jon Stead is another name on the fans lips, the former Premier League striker has an abundance of experience, but has rarely dipped down to dorth tier level. His natural scoring ability and physical presence will be handful for any League Two defence, this could be a really exciting season for the new Notts target man.
The only result that I can expect is an immediate return to League One. The firepower of Stead and artistic dribbling from the wings give Moniz the edge over many of his rivals. Alan Smith remains a tough tackling, and at times overly aggressive midfielder, but still has the quality to rise to the top. Playing alongside the former England man will be Rob Milsom. A more attack minded midfielder, with a sharp eye for goal and an accomplished range of passing. With Milsom pulling the strings and Smith ancoring in the centre of the park, County should not be overuned, their enormous squad will play to their advantage, with suspensions and injures becoming less relevant. I have no doubts that the Magpies will pick up the trophy in May.