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League Two contenders for the upcoming season

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New Portsmouth manager Paul Cook has wasted no time since his arrival at Fratton Park with rebuilding his squad.

But he began by having a sort through his backroom staff, getting rid of former assistant manager Gary Waddock amongst others, and bringing in his former Chesterfield assistant, Leam Richardson.

Cook began his transfer activities with an unavoidable departure. Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers were in contact with the club prior to Cook’s arrival about their talented young winger, Jed Wallace. Cook was unable to prevent the sale going through, but the former Chesterfield manager replaced him quickly in the shape of Doncaster Rovers winger Kyle Bennett, who scored eight goals in 50 appearances for the League One side last season.

Cook also snapped up fellow wingers Kai Naismith and Gary Roberts shortly after the arrival of Bennett. Naismith, who began his career with then Scottish Third Division side Rangers, arrived at Fratton Park having spent last season at Accrington Stanley, whilst Roberts worked with Cook at Chesterfield, and was part of the squad that won the League Two title two seasons ago.

Another midfielder, and another player from League One, Adam Barton arrives from Coventry City. The 24 year old made just under 30 appearances for the Sky Blues last season. Other players from higher leagues have also been tempted with a move to Fratton Park. Aston Villa youngster Enda Stevens, who made seven league appearances for the Premier League side, has had a couple of seasons on loan in League One and Two with Notts County, Doncaster Rovers and Northampton Town. The other defender is Peterborough United’s Christian Burgess. The 30 year old made 30 appearances last season for the Posh.

Burton Albion, the side that won League Two last season, have also lost a player to Portsmouth, striker Adam McGurk. The Northern Irishman scored seven goals last season for the Brewers, and could form a perfect partnership upfront with last season’s League Two top scorer, Matt Tubbs.

Given the money that Portsmouth reportedly have at their disposal and the players that have arrived at Fratton Park, it’s difficult to see why Portsmouth would not be favourites to gain promotion.

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About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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