Peterborough United`s first opponents of the season, Rochdale, are the next team we look at ahead of the League One campaign.
Last season didn`t start off very well as Dale won just once in their opening five league matches! They soon got going though as they then went on a run of six wins out of their next seven games.
Their form and the goalscoring exploits of Scott Hogan certainly got noticed by higher Leagued teams including Posh who couldn`t agree terms for Hogan after his agent asked for “silly money”.
Going in to the final day of last season, Dale were top of League Two but suffered a final day defeat at Newport County. The defeat saw them swap places with Chesterfield who had started the day in third place but that was still good enough to get promoted.
THE MANAGER – KEITH HILL
Hill is in his second spell at Rochdale after departing Barnsley. His first spell, between 2006 and 2011, saw him take the club from League Two to League One in 2010 finishing in third place behind Bournemouth and Notts County.
At the end of the 2010-11 season, Hill was given permission to speak to Barnsley and agreed to move to the Championship side. He lasted just over a year though before being sacked.
Hill returned to Rochdale just three weeks later and in his first full season back at Spotland oversaw them to third place and promotion.
As a player, Hill spent his time in the lower reaches of the League. Hill played for Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale, Cheltenham Town (with a brief loan spell to Wrexham during his time there) before finishing his playing career in 2003 at Morecambe.
VISITING THE GROUND?
Spotland has been the home of Rochdale since 1920. It has a capacity of just over 10,000 and houses visiting fans on one side of the Willbutts Lane Stand. This can accommodate 1,500 fans but it can be increased if there is the demand.
Posh head to Spotland on the first day of the season; next Saturday [9th August, 2015].
Post Code for SAT NAV: OL11 5DR
Distance from London Road: 146 miles
SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
Following their promotion to League One, Dale released six players including their captain, Peter Cavanagh. The others leaving Spotland were Godwin Abadaki, Reece Gray, Craig Lynch, George Porter and Robbie Thomson.
Coaches Brian Barry-Murphy and Steve Collis both accepted new two-year contracts while goalkeeper Josh Lillis and winger Matty Done also accepted new two-year deals.
Dale also took up the options on the contracts of striker George Donnelly, Rhys Bennett, Bastien Hery and Joe Rafferty.
As Dale look to life in League One, they started their recruitment with the signing of Worksop striker Jack Muldoon. Muldoon signed a one-year contract as has former Manchester United youngster Sean McGinty. The 20-year-old defender spent the closing weeks of last season at Spotland after leaving Sheffield United.
Rochdale have lost the goalscoring exploits of Scott Hogan after the striker agreed terms with Championship newcomers Brentford. The money received for Hogan will not be plowed back into the playing side of things but instead will safeguard the future of the club.
Dale hope Calvin Andrew will help ease the loss of Hogan after signing a two-year deal with the club.
THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH
Striker David Ball was the last player to have donned both teams shirts after he spent time on loan at Spotland from Posh in the 2011-12 season. Four years prior to that, Guy Branston did the same thing.
Other players to have played for both teams down the years include Paul Carden, Liam Dickinson, Dean Holden, Rene Howe, Clive Platt, Reuben Reid, Miguel de Souza and Lee Thorpe.
There have been 43 competitive matches played between these two sides with all bar one match being in the League.
Posh have a much better record of the two sides with 19 League wins to the Dales 7 wins! There have been 16 draws though.
The one FA Cup match played between the two sides came in November 2002 when Dale beat Posh 3-2. Clive Platt was one of the goalscorers for Dale who raced into a 3-0 lead after an hour but two goals in the final 10 minutes, through Neale Fenn and Andy Clarke, wasn`t enough for Posh to get back into the game.
The last time these two sides met was back in the 2010/11 League One season. Posh won the match at London Road 2-1 thanks to goals from Aaron McLean and Craig Mackial-Smith. John-Louis Akpa Akpro did pull a goal back for Dale with elevn minutes remaining but they couldn`t find the equaliser.
The return fixture, saw Akpa Akpro give Dale a flying start with a goal in the first minute. Posh eventually got themselves on level terms on the stroke of half-time through a strike from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. Posh were quickest out of the traps in the second half as they themselves scored a goal in the first minute of the second period through Lee Tomlin but unlike the fixture at London Road, Dale did manage to equalize. Craig Dawson scored the vital goal with just three minutes of the match remaining.
WHAT THE BOOKIES THINK
Dale are priced at 50/1 to win the League One title this season and 18/1 to achieve back-to-back promotions.
They are also one of the outsiders to finish in the top six with odds of 7/1 but they are fifth favourites to be relegated! They have odds of 5/2 to go straight back down.
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