Canaries look for southern comfort

PUBLISHED: 10:57 25 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 10 September 2010

Southern comfort could be the key to success for Norwich City next season after the completion of the League One line-up for 2009-10.

The Canaries' last two opponents for the new campaign were finalised at the weekend as Gillingham won promotion with a 1-0 success over Shrewsbury in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Saturday, while Millwall's 3-2 defeat by Scunthorpe in yesterday's thrilling League One final means four trips to the capital for Bryan Gunn's men.

Southern comfort could be the key to success for Norwich City next season after the completion of the League One line-up for 2009-10.

The Canaries' last two opponents for the new campaign were finalised at the weekend as Gillingham won promotion with a 1-0 success over Shrewsbury in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Saturday, while Millwall's 3-2 defeat by Scunthorpe in yesterday's thrilling League One final means four trips to the capital for Bryan Gunn's men.

Two trips into the former dockland strongholds give the new travel itinerary for City fans a strong southern bias, with no fewer than 14 of their 23 opponents in the south and west.

Colchester effectively become the Canaries' East Anglian derby rivals and there is one Midlands fixture at Walsall, with just seven games in the north - at Carlisle, Hartlepool, Huddersfield, Leeds, Oldham, Stockport and Tranmere.

Despite their dreadful season en route to relegation, Norwich will still be regarded as one of the prize scalps in League One, and Gillingham manager Mark Stimson was delighted at the prospect of welcoming Leeds, Southampton, local rivals Charlton and the Canaries to the club's Priestfield Stadium.

He said: “It's massive financially. There are several local teams we can attract and with Leeds staying down and Norwich and Southampton coming down we will have some big gates.

“We brought over 30,000 fans to Wembley and we need to attract as many of them as we can every week.

“We had already arranged meetings with some players for next week regardless of what league we were going to be in.

“We need to improve the squad and we have to try and become a good League One side.”

Millwall's 45,000 followers at Wembley were left to contemplate another season in the third tier after defeat by Scunthorpe in a see-saw game.

“We had a couple of key chances,” admitted Millwall boss Kenny Jackett.

“It's no consolation but it was a fantastic game and it looked about 50-50 chance-wise - but unfortunately it's gone against us.”

League One line-up 2009-10: Brentford, Brighton, Bristol Rovers, Carlisle, Charlton, Colchester, Exeter, Gillingham, Hartlepool, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leyton Orient, Millwall, MK Dons, Norwich City, Oldham, Southampton, Southend, Stockport, Swindon, Tranmere, Walsall, Wycombe, Yeovil.

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