Last season’s League 2 Play-Off finalists Cheltenham Town will no doubt be looking to go one better this season, although it is being considered a much more difficult division this time around. New signing Chris Zebroski will no doubt provide them with some much needed fire power as he joins from Bristol Rovers.
It’s Round and It’s White caught up with Cheltenham fan James Lewis (@whyalwaysjimbo) to get his view on whether the side can go one better and seal promotion to League 1.
How did last season measure up, compared to your expectations?
It exceeded all expectations. We’d hoped for maybe a top half finish at best, so to get to Wembley was incredible, as well as a good cup run. It didn’t end in the way we would have liked, but I’m still incredibly proud. To think we finished above so called “bigger” clubs for example Northampton, Gillingham and Bristol Rovers was a great achievement.
What do you think of your club’s summer transfer activity, are there more arrivals/exits on the horizon?
It took a while to get players in and I think a few fans had itchy feet. I’m not sure why anyone doubts Mark Yates though-when you see the calibre of players he’s bought in. Pack, Garbutt, Butland, Penn, Summerfield and the like. Shaun Harrad is the 15-20 goal a season striker we need, Deering has always impressed me while playing for Barnet and Billy Jones is a solid left back. Chris Zebroski will add power and pace and hopefully Connor Roberts will challenge Scott Brown in goal. I believe we’re after one more central midfielder to complete the jigsaw and are hoping to get a half season loan in. Losing Summerfield is a blow, but hopefully this mystery loan midfielder will be a more than adequate replacement.
What would be a dream new season for you?
Promotion. And a good cup run. Drawing Spurs in the cup last year was brilliant as we usually get depressingly dull draws like Doncaster or Colchester away. I’d also like to see us make a go of it in the JPT.
What would be your worst nightmare?
Relegation, though I’m sure that won’t happen.
Who will be your most important player/s this season?
There are many to choose from. Jermaine McGlashan I think will have a big season this year.He looked to be settling in and finding his form towards the end of last season, as was shown in the play offs. Harrad will hopefully chip in with his goals and a lot will also depend on Marlon Pack being on song.
Any players you would happily see the back of?
Definitely not. I know a few will be happy to see Danny Andrew go but I think he’ll be an able deputy for Jones at left back.
Do you have the best manager for the job?
Yes, certainly. Especially being a former Cheltenham captain. He’s obviously not perfect and can make a few questionable decisions at times but what he’s done with a limited budget has been nothing short of incredible.
Opposition players that you respect?
League 2 only? I like Adebayo Akinfenwa. Always scores against us, and is a real handful. Any ex Cheltenham players also so Ashley Vincent at Port Vale and Steve Gillespie at Fleetwood.
Opposition players that you despise?
Can’t think of any really. No one’s particularly rubbed me up the wrong way while watching Cheltenham.
Best away fans/ground in your league?
Fans, certainly Plymouth. Despite all they’ve been through, they’ll still be happy to travel in their thousands for Tuesday night away game at Macclesfield. Ground wise, in terms of grounds I’ve been to, I’ve only been to three of the league 2 grounds this season, including ourselves shockingly so I’d say Memorial Stadium, it’s quite quirky. In terms of the whole league, definitely Home Park.
Which teams do you really want to beat this season?
I’d have said Hereford and Crewe but one has gone down, the other up. Always nice beating Bristol Rovers. Rotherham because I can’t stand Steve Evans.
Finally, where do you honestly think you will finish?
I’d say about 5th, winning the play offs.
Cheltenham fans, do you agree or disagree with James’ comments? Why not sign up and have your say in the comments section below?