Daggers armed for another stab at dodging drop

Josh Richards previews the new League Two season, which starts on Saturday

ROOKIE manager Wayne Burnett has added more firepower to his slim Dagenham & Redbridge squad this summer in the hope of defying the bookmakers and beating relegation from League Two.

With Daggers favourites to lose their Football League status, 41-year-old Burnett, embarking on his first full season as a manager, has signed former Arsenal product Rhys Murphy, a Youth Cup winner with the Gunners in 2009, and Alofabi Obafemi.

The east London minnows struggled for goals last term after striker Dwight Gayle was sold to Peterborough and survived only on the final day of the season at the expense of London rivals Barnet.

AFC Wimbledon, under Neal Ardley, have made eight new signings in the close season as they look to avoid the same struggles endured last term, having finished 20th.

Exciting winger George Porter has joined on loan from Burnley and should provide the ammunition for striker Jack Midson, clinical at this level, and new arrival Charlie Sheringham, a former City trader.

By contrast, Southend United will hope to be challenging in the top half of the table. Manager Phil Brown has streamlined his squad with eight players, including retired veteran striker Neil Harris, leaving Roots Hall.

However, Brown has made shrewd additions in defender John White and midfielder Will Atkinson, from Colchester and Bradford respectively.

Cash-strapped Portsmouth, FA Cup winners five years ago, are favourites for the title, but their squad lacks depth and manager Guy Whittingham could find the congested Christmas period particularly tough.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
Premier League players now League Two managers
■ James Beattie
■ Neal Ardley
■ Gary Rowett
■ Paul Cook
■ Wayne Burnett
■ Paul Tisdale
■ Graham Alexander
■ Colin Cooper
■ Justin Edinburgh
■ John Sheridan
■ Guy Whittingham
■ Keith Hill
■ Brian Laws
■ Gareth Ainsworth
■ Nigel Worthington