The new season is upon us, infinite possibilities lie ahead. But who in the Football League is going to rip it up this season? The Totally Football League show’s Adrian Clarke has one man picked out…
Walsall were theoretically taking quite a risk when they recruited Andy Cook from Tranmere Rovers last season. After all, the striker had never previously played in the Football League, all of his work to that point done in the National League.
The jump up two divisions to League One could have been one far too big, but while his teammates didn’t do so well, Cook flourished despite Walsall’s relegation.
Which is why Mansfield were so keen to recruit him this summer, and also why the Totally Football League Show’s Adrian Clarke picked him as his banker for success ahead of the new season.
“This is a guy who is almost guaranteed to score over 20 goals this season. He’s 28, so still pretty much in his prime. Cast your mind back to his days in the National League when he played alongside James Norwood, who tore it up in League Two last season. Cook was the senior partner, he would always outscore Norwood.
“He got 18 in all competitions last season for Walsall in a pretty poor side. At Mansfield, alongside Nicky Maynard – another excellent striker – I just can’t see it going wrong. Injury is the only thing that can stop him starring and getting the Golden Boot in League Two.”
Mansfield will be among the favourites for promotion from the fourth tier this season, broadly because of their recruitment this summer, building on a side that only narrowly missed out on going up last season.
The Stags essentially missed out on automatic promotion because they didn’t score enough goals and drew too many games (particularly away from home). Tyler Walker, on loan from Nottingham Forest, was their top-scorer with 22, but only one other player broke double figures. They needed more firepower, and in Cook and Maynard they have – in theory, at least – got it.
Cook might be miffed he didn’t quite get the full treatment when he signed like Maynard, but together they should be a force this season.
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