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Npower Leagues 1 and 2 can be just as exciting as the Premiership

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Npower Leagues 1 and 2 can produce some riveting footballAs a regular attendant at Spotland, home of the Rochdale AFC, I feel that the lower leagues of the English football system get no way near the amount of coverage that they deserve. The football played in the N Power League’s One and Two can be as attractive and competitive as any Premiership game and yet they only get any air time in the early hours of a Sunday or during the international weeks when that is the only other football on. Therefore people are not as aware of the teams, players and managers who are plying their trade in these leagues. I shall try to show up the best teams and who to look out for in the future seasons.

Chesterfield this season have done superbly. At the beginning of the season they moved into a brand new stadium and haven’t looked back since. The new stadium can have a variety of effects on a club from the very bad to the very good. Arsenal moving to the Emirates has done them no favours on the pitch. Thankfully for The Spireites it has had the new 10 000 capacity stadium has had the desired effect. With a hint of luck and a few shrewd buys in the summer Chesterfield could be coming to a championship stadium near you.

Another team who have played remarkably well this season are both Oxford United and Stevenage who both came up last season from the division below. As of a few weeks ago both were very much in contention for a play-off spot but now Oxford have stuttered a bit and look like they will finish in a comfortable mid table position. Stevenage on the other hand find themselves in sixth spot and with a definite shout of landing a trip to Old Trafford for the play-off final with only two games to go.

The N Power League One this season has been packed of thrills and spills. Charlton, Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday were all dead certs to make their return to the Championship but as the season draws to a close it would appear that it will have to be next time round for the Addicks and Wednesday. Thankfully for Southampton they have had somewhat of a mid-season revival and now find themselves battling with Huddersfield for second spot. The fact that all the teams that came down last time around from the Championship are struggling to pull away from the other teams would suggest that the league’s one and two are getting much better.

The newly promoted sides have had different seasons. With Rochdale and Bournemouth both looking certs for top half finishes, and possibly even a top six spot for the team by the sea, they have to be congratulated. The fact that Dale did the double over Southampton would suggest that money does not matter in these lower leagues as much as it does in the top divisions. This can only be a good thing. Notts County and Dagenham and Redbridge though have not had joy filled seasons. Both are worryingly close to the drop zone and with games running out I would not be surprised to see them both make an immediate return visit to League Two.

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