In the spotlight: Notts County

In the spotlight: Notts County

Fact File

Full Name: Notts County Football Club

Year Formed: 1862

Nickname: The Magpies

Stadium: Meadow Lane

Capacity: 19,841

2021/22 Finish: Fifth in the National League

Review of the 2021/22 season

Notts County started the 2021/22 season as one of the pre-season favourites and endured an indifferent start to the campaign – losing three in a row around September/October. The Magpies floated around the title race alongside the Spireites, Boreham Wood, Wrexham, Stockport County, etc. However, from February County were pulled into a play-off race. Whilst their form started to pick towards the end of the season, a 1-0 victory over Maidenhead United secured a fifth-place finish. The Magpies were drawn against Grimsby Town in the National League play-offs at Meadow Lane. Reuben Rodrigues scored a second half penalty before Gavan Holohan popped up with a 96thminute equaliser to force the game into extra time. Emmanuel Dieseruvwe struck in the 119th minute to send Notts County crashing out of the race for promotion to the EFL. Manager Ian Burchnall left his role a couple of days later to join League One outfit, Forest Green Rovers.

Manager – Luke Williams

Notts County’s new head coach replaced Ian Burchnall following his abrupt departure end to the 2021/22 National League season. Following a brief playing stint, Luke Williams became the U21s manager at Brighton & Hove Albion where he spent three years. The former Norwich City and Bristol Rovers youth prospect joined Swindon Town in 2013 where he became assistant to manager Mark Cooper. After Cooper’s departure in 2015, Williams was given the job on caretaker basis before getting the job permanently. Swindon were relegated from League One at the end of the 2016/17 season and the 40-year-old left the club by mutual consent. He has spells at Bristol City, MK Dons and Swansea City after leaving The County Ground before joining Notts County in June of this year.

Luke Williams

Star Player – Rueben Rodrigues

The Portuguese forward started his career out in the Netherlands signing his first senior contract with Wilhelmina Boys. Rueben Rodrigues spent three years with the lower division side before joining Gemert in 2017. He only spent a year with the Dutch side before moving to Den Bosch; he played for the Hertogenbosch based side for two years. Rodrigues decided in 2020 to move to England and joined National League Notts County. The 25-year-old quickly became a fan favourite a Meadow Lane scoring 11 goals in 25 appearances during his first full season in Nottingham. Rodrigues’ second campaign was even better, bagging 18 goals as the Magpies once more made the National League.

Rueben Rodrigues

Overall Head-to-head Record

P76   W24   D20   L32

When Chesterfield and Notts County clash, you can be promised of an eventful and usually close game. The first fixture last season, saw County go into the break with the lead thanks to an Eli Sam opener. However, a brace from Laurence Maguire and a penalty from Akwasi Asante gave the Spireites a 3-1 win under the lights at the Technique Stadium. The reverse fixture saw almost 3,000 Chesterfield fans travel to Meadow Lane for the televised game. Goals from Alex Whittle and Kyle Wooton secured a share of the spoils.

Played for both – Calvin Miller

The former Scotland youth international started out at Celtic in 2016. Unfortunately, injuries and loan spells limited his playing time at Celtic Park and the wing-back left the Scottish champions in 2020. He joined newly promoted Harrogate Town but was loaned out to Notts County in January 2021. Calvin Miller impressed at Meadow Lane as well as impressing Chesterfield fans during the Magpies’ 3-2 play-off win over the Spireites at the end of the 2020/21 season. The 24-year-old joined the Technique Stadium in June 2021 and played 39 times during his first season in north Derbyshire. Miller bagged his first National League goal in March of this year during the Blues’ 2-2 draw at home to Southend United.