League Two Lowdown: Cheltenham Town
Feature by Jim Bonner
Updated Monday, 15th July 2013
A closer look at the Robins and an interview with fan Chris Houlton.
Chairman: Paul Baker
Last Season: League Two - 5th
Nickname: The Robins
Portsmouth vs Cheltenham Town: Saturday, March 8th (3pm)
Cheltenham Town vs Portsmouth: Saturday, September 7th (3pm)
Cheltenham Town: A brief history
Founded by a local teacher, Cheltenham didn't turn professional until the 1930's and spent a long time in non-league before promotion to the Football League in 1999 under a certain Steve Cotterill.
The former Pompey manager led the Robins to promotion to the third tier of English football but left for Stoke soon after and relegation back to League Two shortly followed.
Another promotion followed in 2006 but after another relegation and changing managers regularly, Mark Yates was appointed in 2009 and has come close to winning Town's third promotion back to League One.
The Manager: Mark Yates
Yates spent the majority of his playing career at the two clubs he'd eventually go on to manage; Kidderminster Harriers and Cheltenham Town.
After hanging up his boots in 2004, the 44-year-old joined Steve Cotterill's coaching staff at Burnley before taking the top job at Kidderminster in 2006.
His success at Harriers led to Cheltenham appointing him as manager in 2009 where he guided them to the play-off final in 2012 where his team lost to Crewe and last season's semi-final when they were beaten on aggregate by Northampton Town.
The Robins in-depth: An interview with fan Chris Houlton
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
Automatic promotion is the aim after two play-off defeats.
What do you think of your manager?
He is excellent with player recruitment but at time his tactical flaws are obvious.
Who are your key players?
Jamie Cureton, Jermaine McGlashan and Sido Jombati would walk into 99% of teams in this league.
What is your club most famous for?
Not much, being near a racecourse probably.
Describe Whaddon Road.
Small and basic but better than average for League Two. Can accommodate 1,100 away fans in the all-seater stand with a decent view.
Describe your rivalries with other clubs.
Our historic rivals are Gloucester City and Hereford United. In the league Bristol Rovers, Swindon and Oxford are our local derbies.
What is the most interesting fact about your club that is little-known to fans of other clubs.
We are actually called the Rubies and not the Robins as often reported.
Predict your team's finishing position: 2nd
And finally, what do you think of Portsmouth and how will we fare this season?
4th, you will do well but the new team will take time to settle.
The Stadium: Whaddon Road (Capacity: 7,000 - Away: 1,100)
Pompey have never played Chelenham and so this will be the first visit to what is now known as the Abbey Business Stadium for sponsorship reasons. The ground is said to have one of the best away ends in League Two but until we can experience this for ourselves, check out the Football Ground Guide's Cheltenham Town page.