This season’s League Two table will show a number of teams with much-changed line-ups from 2009-10, but nowhere is this more the case than Barnet, where a quick look at their squad from last year shows few old faces.
League Two betting pundits note how the Bees were one of the worst sides in the division in the second half of the year, as has happened to them before, and action was probably needed as they flirted with relegation until the last couple of weeks of the campaign.
The biggest change came in the dug-out, with Ian Hendon dispensed with towards the end of last season and replacement Paul Fairclough returning to his role \’upstairs’, with Mark Stimson the man chosen to take over the reins at Underhill.
Stimson is a well-known face around the lower reaches of the league and in non-league circles, but he is a coach with a good reputation and probably just the sort of man Barnet need as they look to build a team that could get out of the bottom division.
He had an excellent record with Grays and Stevenage in the Conference, although most of his success came in cup competitions, but his abilities shone through at Gillingham, despite being unable to save them from relegation from League One at the end of his first season.
Stimson soon repaid faith in him by getting the Gills promoted straight back through the playoffs but his yo-yo time at Priestfield ended with another relegation at the end of last season.
Being appointed at Barnet, he soon set to work rebuilding his squad, and barely a day has gone by without news of another new boy ready for the League Two campaign.
With the addition of veteran striker Steve Kabba and former Bee Daniel Leach, who had been released earlier in the summer before Stimson’s appointment, he made it 13 signings, with plenty of variety.
Although they have lost the class of Albert Adomah to Bristol City and John O’Flynn to Exeter, the likes of Kabba, Rossi Jarvis, Mark Byrne and Darren Dennehy should all be decent players at this level.
One to watch out for in particular is striker Ricky Holmes, snapped up from Conference South side Chelmsford City, who could be the next player to progress quickly from non-league after moving into full-time football – he scored the winner for Barnet in a pre-season win over Watford and would love to be part of League one betting at the very least next season.