After a gruelling 6 year absence, Paul Hurst’s Grimsby Town made an emphatic return to the Football League, after a dominating 3-1 win against high flying Forest Green Rovers in the Vanarama National League play-off final last term.
The Mariners looked inevitable for automatic promotion in the early stages of the 15/16 campaign, with prolific forward Padraig Amond firing on all cylinders and resultantly ending up top scorer with 31 goals last campaign. However, stuttering form and a great deal of underperforming individuals led them to only just clinching a play-off spot, to which they then went on to win the ultimate prize of promotion at Wembley.
Fast forward a month or so, and key players who played a vital part in that promotion winning team have departed, the likes of Amond and centre-half Aristote Nsiala sealing moves to Craig Hignett’s Hartlepool United, and others such as exciting winger Nathan Arnold and Richard Tait, also leaving the Cleethorpes club.
Paul Hurst has counteracted this however, with 12 new signings made, but will these new signings be able to fill the boots of those who produced such quality last term, will they be able to cope with the tough, wearying League Two campaign, enough so to form yet another push for promotion this time around?
Here, Football League World writer George Harbey identifies THREE players who will be vital in achieving the Mariners’ ambitions for the forthcoming 16/17 season.