AFTER a summer of sleepless nights, still mourning their absence from English football’s second tier this season, Brentford fans will be as glad as anyone when the new League One campaign kicks off on Friday night.
A final-day Marcelo Trotta penalty miss cost the Bees automatic promotion last term and more heartbreak was to come as they lost 2-1 to Yeovil in the play-off final at Wembley.
Manager Uwe Rosler has put the most spectacular of collapses behind him this summer though and hung on to top-scorer Clayton Donaldson, while the addition of Northern Ireland’s Will Grigg, who hit 19 goals for Walsall last term, is a major coup.
Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade has used his limited budget to bring in forwards Yohann Lasimant and Shaun Batt to provide competition for David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie.
However, the O’s look a little light on creativity in midfield with veterans Lee Cook and Martin Rowlands among nine first team departures.
Slade’s side have finished agonisingly close to a play-off place in two of the last three seasons, but are perennial slow starters and their summer activity provides no foundation to think that fortune should change.
Sheffield United get the ball rolling at home to Notts County on Friday night and look likely to be among Brentford’s closest challengers for promotion, along with Peterborough and Wolves, both relegated from the Championship last season, as well as ever-improving MK Dons.
THIRD TIER TROPHIES
Major honours won by clubs playing in League One next season
■ League titles: six
■ FA Cups: 13
■ League Cups: three