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MEET THE OPPONENTS: Cheltenham Town

We continue our look at next season's visitors

29 June 2017

With the 2017/18 season rapidly approaching, we continue our look at the 23 teams who will be visiting Brunton Park in Sky Bet League Two this season.

Up for review this time is the second side to visit Brunton Park in the new campaign - Cheltenham Town.

Nickname: The Robins

Club Colours: Red & White

Who are they?

Cheltenham were founded in 1887 by Albert Close, a local teacher, with the side playing non-league football for the first century of their existence.

They earned promotion to the Conference in 1997 and reached the Football League only two years later. This was under the guidance of Steve Cotterill, who took the side to Division Two via the play-offs in 2001/02 before leaving to take over at Stoke City.

Steve Cotterill

The Robins returned to Division Three after just one season before returning to the third tier in 2007 after a play-off triumph over Grimsby. However, they were relegated back to League Two under Martin Allen in 2009.

Cheltenham then fell into the Conference in 2015, but returned to the Football League as champions after only one season and have remained in League Two ever since.

Did You Know?

+ It was originally thought that the Robins were founded in 1892, but recent research suggests it was actually five years earlier.

+ Former Aston Villa and Wolves striker Andy Gray ended his career at Cheltenham in 1990, netting seven goals in 20 appearances at Whaddon Road.

Andy Gray

+ In 2015 it emerged that supporter Bryan Jacob left Cheltenham’s Supporters’ Club £222,000 in his will - the Supporters’ Player of the Season Award is now named after him.

How did they get on last season?

The Robins finished 21st in Sky Bet League Two last season, four points clear of the drop zone after an impressive end to the season.

This was made even more impressive by the fact that assistant manager Russell Milton led the side for the last few months of the campaign after Gary Johnson underwent heart surgery.

Who’s in charge?

The experienced Gary Johnson is in charge at Whaddon Road having joined the Robins in 2015. The 61-year-old has previously managed the Latvian National Team alongside Yeovil Town, Bristol City and Peterborough United, and brings a wealth of experience to the dugout. Johnson signed a new two-year contract with the club this summer as they seek to push on in Sky Bet League Two.

Gary Johnson

How has their summer transfer business looked?

After releasing 11 players at the end of last season, Cheltenham have added some real quality to their squad over the close season. Former Portsmouth midfielder Nigel Atangana joined on a free transfer while the exciting Kevin Dawson turned down a new contract at Yeovil to join the Robins. Also joining them is centre back Jamie Grimes, who captained Dover Athletic last season.

Nigel Atangana

Winger Billy Waters has left the club, however, as the multiple Player of the Year award winner joined Northampton Town for an undisclosed fee.

They’ve Played For Both

Ben Marshall spent time at both Cheltenham and the Blues as a youngster. He initially joined the Robins on loan from Stoke City in November 2009 and scored twice in six appearances during his one-month loan. Marshall then moved to Brunton Park and made over 50 appearances during two separate loan spells with United.

Ben Marshall

Memorable Meeting - Cheltenham 2-3 Carlisle (17 September 2005)

A high-scoring affair gave United three points on their way to the League Two title. JJ Melligan gave the hosts an early lead but Karl Hawley levelled the scores moments later. Hawley handed the Blues the lead in the second half before a two-goal cushion came courtesy of Zigor Aranalde. Grant McCann’s late penalty gave Cheltenham a glimmer of hope but the Blues held out to claim victory.

When Did We Last Meet?

The two sides last met on 28 February 2017 when Danny Wright’s 85th minute goal handed Cheltenham a narrow victory.

We last met at Brunton Park in August last year. The highlights from that game are below:

When Do We Meet Next?

The Robins make the trip to Brunton Park on 19 August, while we make the return journey on 31 March.


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