The BIG voice of Sport: July

Sports Editor Tony Bugby brings us the latest from Oldham Athletic

NEW SIGNING: Korey Smith
NEW SIGNING: Korey Smith

THE PUBLICATION of the fixtures brings about the realisation that the new football season is just around the corner.

And a look at the list reinforces the view that League One could be the most competitive for many years.

Wolves, Sheffield United and Coventry all graced the Barclays Premier League not so long ago – the case of Wolves as recently as 2011/12.

The likes of relegated Bristol City and Peterborough are likely to be a force as are clubs like MK Dons, Brentford and Swindon Town.

It will be a challenge for Latics and manager Lee Johnson who embarks upon his first full campaign in charge of the Boundary Park club.

There has been considerable player movement so it will be a new-look team on which Johnson will be able to stamp his own personal mark.

The four new signings so far have included three midfield players – Dutchman Sidney Schmeltz, James Dayton and Korey Smith – along with striker Jonson Clarke-Harris.

The capture of Smith has been a coup as he was coveted by a number of other clubs following his release by Norwich City.

Smith, who had a loan spell with Latics at the end of the 2012/13 season, revealed he could have received more money elsewhere, but chose to return because he enjoyed his previous time playing for Johnson.

Latics’ manager still needs to resolve the goalkeeping position having released Dean Bouzanis and Alex Cisak while centre backs Jean-Yves M’voto and Cliff Byrne both possibly will also be departing.

And up front 6ft 6in Matt Smith and Robbie Simpson have left leaving Latics short of firepower so that is another area which still needs addressing as Johnson still has much to do before the start of the new campaign.

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