Thoughts on the fixtures

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:03 pm

So we've had 24 hours to digest the new season's fixtures - what are your thoughts?

First up are Braintree, Weymouth and Welling who will be a good test for our new look squad - one relegated, one promoted, one lost in the play off final after finishing 3rd.

Hopefully City supporters are taking early holidays this year as the season opens on 3 August (I think that's the earliest ever) and we'll have played a quarter of our home fixtures by 3 September! Hopefully the excellent attendances of last season will be maintained and even improved.

It's great that we face Chippenham twice over Xmas/New Year - two very large crowds should watch those.

The final five home matches should also create a lot of interest, especially if we're title/play off contenders.

In a way it's a pity we go to Weymouth midweek, but it was always a strong possibility and it will be in the school holiday so supporters can make a long day of it as with the corresponding evening last year at Torquay.

Following that the next seven away trips see the team head along the M4, including consecutive Saturdays to Essex - we go there again on two Saturdays in three in February.

While we all hope for a long run in the cup, if we or St Albans reach the 4th QR the popular visit to Clarence Park (and The Mermaid!) will be off. The scheduled trips to Maidstone, Braintree and Dartford are also at the mercy of clubs' cup and trophy progress so bear that in mind before booking train tickets and hotels! Likewise as many as five home Saturday fixtures coincide with ko rounds.

Things change at some clubs so much over the summer that there's a danger of looking too much into how they did in the previous season. Many of us thought that Welling were possibly the best we faced over the 42 matches but will they be the same force without Steve King? Previous high fliers Dartford and Hampton had disappointing seasons but will they return stronger? Relegated clubs sometimes find it difficult to adjust (Torquay!) but Maidstone, Havant and Braintree have all played relatively recently at this level. And we know that promoted clubs often hit the ground running - that could well be the case with Tonbridge, Weymouth and Dorking.  

Anyway, plenty to look forward to and it all starts in less than a month!
comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by Luton Roman on Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:23 pm

Usual suspects will contend I guess though interesting movements in close season:

- Concord manager and several of the team inc top scorer Alex Wall to Hemel;
- Paul Doswell new reign at Havant looks to inc a decent budget with experienced higher level signings making them early favourites;
- New boys Dorking rapid rise built on big budgets which look to be continuing;
- Hampton have gone public on cuts to playing budget, but sometimes hungry young talent can compensate to a degree;
- Likewise Welling seem to have resigned themselves to a budget cut with Chairman Goldberg back in charge with key players leaving, inc City nemesis Danny Mills to Dulwich;
- Braintree have gone to a local manager from a level below National South for their return which could also signify trimming their budget;
- Cant imagine Dartford not contending after faltering last season, and the play offs wouldnt be complete without Chelmsford competing and failing !
- Weymouth will have to compete without leading scorer Goodship off to Southend, and similarly Oxford despite their best endeavours have lost Tshimanga to Boreham Wood.

As for us, interesting Q for JG at the next Meet the Manager would be why he thinks this seasons team will do better than last season's when the defence has been dismantled. All down to now having a goalscorer?

Luton Roman

Posts : 1575
Join date : 2014-02-24

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:39 pm

Yes, two key components of last year's excellent defence are no longer with us but who's to say that their replacements will not make us just as miserly in the GA column?
comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by tovid on Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:01 pm

It looks like a strong league this season but having 9 games in the first month does clubs no favours at a time when lots of fans are on holiday.
tovid
tovid

Posts : 256
Join date : 2018-06-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by Maurice Ashman on Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:08 am

I see that the last game is at Tonbridge.
I am planning to go by train to arrive early enough to enjoy a tour of the local hosteries  in the company of my good friend and Tonbridge resident, Ernie,

Maurice Ashman

Posts : 109
Join date : 2014-03-06
Age : 69
Location : St George Bristol

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by Jon_BOA on Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:32 am

I've never hidden my complete dislike (hatred? Who knows) of the Conference South as a league and have advocated its scrapping before...having seen the state of the fixture list this time I'm back to thinking the same!

While I know a fixture list means you play each team home & away, and therefore shouldn't really matter, but having Weymouth on a Tuesday night, Oxford on a Monday has taken a lot of the second and third main fun away days I was looking forward to.

The rest of the league is the usual uninspiring fayre, I imagine the early fixtures crammed into August are to ensure there isn't a fixture backlog in April, but playing 20% of our league fixtures by early September is absolutely ludicrous and can't help either a) the players or b) the clubs as I know I won't be going to games I normally would and I imagine that is the same for a lot of fans across the league.

That being said I'm sure once the season starts I'll get dragged into the usual ups and downs of a season, but I'm hoping against hope we have a decent cup run this year to provide some excitement!

Jon_BOA

Posts : 238
Join date : 2014-02-26

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:31 am

From a selfish point of view, the earlier start suits me, means I can probably make the first eleven. Haven't looked but can confidently say that we haven't played eight league games in August before. Used to be four or five maximum until recent years.

Weymouth away was always going to be on a Tuesday. Of our last ten visits there, only two have been on a Saturday, one of which was an FA Cup tie in foul weather and brought forward to about 1pm. I think one might have been re-arranged but even then it was probably from Xmas/New Year. I thought there was the possibility of it being either our August/Easter Bank Holiday games, rather than Oxford which isn't really a pull, but you can't please all. Everyone would have looked at Weymouth for their weekender so someone had to miss out. I'll make a day of it, but again I'm fortunate to have that option. Sober day of it, mind. Would make an interesting commentary otherwise.

I wonder if the league could have left a blank Saturday for FA Cup 4Q. Fifteen clubs reached it last season so it's unlikely many of the scheduled games would take place anyway. If it meant an October midweek against someone like Wealdstone so be it, instead it's likely we'll be away to St Albans in November/December. With their entry prices I can't see it quite hitting the 1000+ of the last two years... If a couple of clubs are out by then, they could always look to slot in a fixture. I think one or two might have brought forward their match between Xmas and New Year (Hampton away in our case) for fear it'd be off.
stillmanjunior
stillmanjunior

Posts : 1796
Join date : 2014-02-21
Age : 33
Location : Defending it confidently

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by Corstonian on Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:49 pm

Five home fixtures including two midweekers by 3rd September ?!! I don't want to sound negative but that's going to hammer our gate receipts - August is the peak time for family holidays so plenty of both adults and kids will be unavailable, and if they are the parents may well be a little light in the wallet for a while, and missing a football match is an easy place to make some savings. In my opinion it would be better to scrap the FA Trophy altogether, free up some Saturdays as a result and reap the rewards of both less midweek games and a sensible season start date.

Corstonian

Posts : 82
Join date : 2014-03-02

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:52 pm

It’s going to get worse - provided we don’t get relegated (only two go down) there will be four extra league fixtures this season. Personally it’s something I’m not in favour of, 42 in the league is plenty.
stillmanjunior
stillmanjunior

Posts : 1796
Join date : 2014-02-21
Age : 33
Location : Defending it confidently

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by 2weirdtown on Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:42 pm

Jon_BOA wrote:I've never hidden my complete dislike (hatred? Who knows) of the Conference South as a league and have advocated its scrapping before...having seen the state of the fixture list this time I'm back to thinking the same!

While I know a fixture list means you play each team home & away, and therefore shouldn't really matter, but having Weymouth on a Tuesday night, Oxford on a Monday has taken a lot of the second and third main fun away days I was looking forward to.  

The rest of the league is the usual uninspiring fayre, I imagine the early fixtures crammed into August are to ensure there isn't a fixture backlog in April, but playing 20% of our league fixtures by early September is absolutely ludicrous and can't help either a) the players or b) the clubs as I know I won't be going to games I normally would and I imagine that is the same for a lot of fans across the league.

That being said I'm sure once the season starts I'll get dragged into the usual ups and downs of a season, but I'm hoping against hope we have a decent cup run this year to provide some excitement!

Agreed, especially the bit about a cup run which in my opinion is the only hope of getting in the money needed to progress up the ladder.
However you try and dress it up this is a dreadfully unattractive league to the casual supporter. Playing so many games so early is of no help to anyone. It's a wonder that non league football has survived this long.
2weirdtown
2weirdtown

Posts : 657
Join date : 2014-02-20
Location : Bridport via East Twerton

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by turnstyle13 on Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:50 pm

As mentioned above we are starting earlier than ever and consequently playing many more games than is traditional before we are out of August; 8 (5 Saturdays + 3 mid week).
Div 3 (or League 1 for the kids) start on the same day as us and play 7 (incl 1 cup match) in August. They of course play 4 more league games than us overall and their league goes on 1 week longer, so there are vary many midweek games for them.

Back to us though and our league.
We're already grumbling about too many fixtures at this early stage. Managers will soon be claiming about burn-out, fatigue and injuries sustained on hard summer pitches. Clubs will be concerned at reduced revenue brought on by poor attendances where limited personal budgets mean that not all can afford to spend money to attend all games, and then there is the personal time in travel and attending a situation compounded by families being away on school holidays.

So my open question is who decides to cram in 8 games in August?
If the answer is 'the league' and the league is made up of representatives of each club, isn't everybody thinking the same thing. Therefore at the league AGM in May/June isn't it there that the clubs can express their view and agree when the league, starts, finishes and the appropriate number of games to play in the period.
I'm sure its something that Paul W could provide insight on. Comrade could you raise please?

turnstyle13

Posts : 126
Join date : 2014-02-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:30 pm

Your wish is my command!
comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by LB on Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:46 pm

I think part of the problem is that the season finishes two weeks earlier than it used to to fit in the play-offs so consequently has to start earlier, but I agree that 3rd August is ridiculous as is playing 10 games by the first Saturday in September. It is almost as if the league has forgotten that these players all have jobs as well.

I wasn’t surprised that the game at Weymouth is on a Tuesday, because Chippenham was a couple of seasons back (much as I try to forget that game!) and we often seemed to play at Truro on the first Tuesday. It wouldn’t have been unreasonable though, in view of how few ‘local’ games there are, for us to have played them on August Bank Holiday and Easter Mondays.

As for the league itself the geographical imbalance is getting a bit ridiculous as well. With four Kent and four Essex teams plus Eastbourne and all the London area ones I almost feel like East should be added to its title! I don’t envy the inveterate away travellers their frequent trips to the capital and beyond.

LB

Posts : 634
Join date : 2014-02-23

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by OliverH on Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:32 am

turnstyle13 wrote:

So my open question is who decides to cram in 8 games in August?
If the answer is 'the league' and the league is made up of representatives of each club, isn't everybody thinking the same thing. Therefore at the league AGM in May/June isn't it there that the clubs can express their view and agree when the league, starts, finishes and the appropriate number of games to play in the period.
I'm sure its something that Paul W could provide insight on. Comrade could you raise please?

Very good point - also I'm not sure if the Society is a member of the new Football Supporters Association (the result of a merger between Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation), but it has a non-league group where concerns like this can be raised and non-league supporters can collectively voice their concerns.
OliverH
OliverH

Posts : 399
Join date : 2015-01-04
Age : 38
Location : Bath

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:57 pm

Jon_BOA wrote:I've never hidden my complete dislike (hatred? Who knows) of the Conference South as a league and have advocated its scrapping before...having seen the state of the fixture list this time I'm back to thinking the same!  

Jon, out of interest what would you replace Conference South with? After our two seasons there I have misgivings about the premier division because for me it's no longer what non league football should be about. Perhaps make it League 3 as it's basically full time and then ours and the northern section would revert to the pinnacles of the non league pyramid as they were up to the late 70s. But the Ryman will still be an issue.

comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:00 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:It’s going to get worse - provided we don’t get relegated (only two go down) there will be four extra league fixtures this season. Personally it’s something I’m not in favour of, 42 in the league is plenty.

You mean next season (20/21). What I hadn't realised was that this is just for the one season - apparently to even things up after last season's reorganisation lower down - and it will be back to 22 clubs from 21/22.
comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:16 pm

Turnstyle, you're correct that Paul Williams is the best person to shed light on the league's thinking and I think this would be worth raising at a 'meet the manager evening' which I'm sure we'll arrange once the season has settled down. I'm sure all supporters would agree with your complaints and maybe if there's a groundswell he can represent our feelings to the league.

Talking to him today I learnt that the close season AGM is in effect a rubber stamping exercise for things which have been agreed at the January EGM. Paul added that from the playing point of view the busy first month means that there are less matches to play later on, when of course bad weather and cup runs can interfere. You assume that midweek rearranged games in winter are not going to attract the same crowds as in late summer.

As for the early start, I was reminded that up until a couple of years ago the north and south divisions started a week later than the national (which has 2 extra clubs) but there was a wish to have the big kick off on the same day.

He certainly accepted the points raised on here.
comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by Jon_BOA on Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:52 am

I'd probably want to scrap the whole North/South concept and have three regionalised leagues below the Conf National/League 3 as you just rebranded it! (Can definitely see your thinking on that as well). A Northern League, Southern League and Isthmian League.

The trade off of having that I guess would be lack of promotion opportunities as 3 champions could go up, but then you'd either have the super-playoffs idea like last years Southern League did, or just accept that it is champions only, which could mean a lot of teams aren't playing for anything early in the season if one or two sides streak ahead.

Whether or not I'd sacrifice the potential of playoffs/meaningful games for more local games (and therefore perhaps more meaningful anyway?) is undecided, when I see fixtures out at Concord and the like I tend to think I would sacrifice it.

Jon_BOA

Posts : 238
Join date : 2014-02-26

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by tovid on Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:00 pm

The problem with rearranging the leagues is the shape of the country itself and the way that London dominates the country as a whole.

Personally I think from League 1 down should be regionalised but clubs don't appear to want it.

But given that the SW is a bit of a backwater as far as football is concerned I would not like to see the quality of the teams we play diluted. If you are in the NW, for instance, there are lots of strong teams to form a league.
tovid
tovid

Posts : 256
Join date : 2018-06-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by Beau Nash on Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:56 pm

Jon_Boa and tovid have good ideas that many of us have advocated for a long time.

A north/south divide with league 2 and conf nat;  then three feeder divisons of conf north, conf south and conf east.

With three down from each of the north/south there would be six up...so champions from the three conf divisions plus play offs winners.

The advantages:
More local games for ALL the clubs ought to yield higher attendances.
Less travel time and expense for most clubs and supporters.
Beau Nash
Beau Nash

Posts : 977
Join date : 2014-02-20
Location : Bath

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:25 pm

Beau Nash wrote:
The advantages:
More local games for ALL the clubs ought to yield higher attendances.
Less travel time and expense for most clubs and supporters.

Local derbies with Chipp (and long ago Yeovil) certainly do attract large attendances, but playing them at Christmas/New Year certainly helps a lot. But the likes of Weston, Gloucester, Hungerford and Poole has not created much interest at home fixtures although I agree that they have been a magnet for our fans who only occasionally travel away.

As for your second advantage, those four I've listed above are not great for getting to whether by road or rail. The best transport routes radiate from London and for that reason I'm not bothered about the number of matches we play in the south-east. As one who regularly travels by train to away fixtures most clubs are a doddle to reach. Evesham (Gloucester) was a nightmare and for the direction I'm coming from Hungerford isn't much better. Perhaps that's a selfish view but public transport and the road network is not great in the west country.


comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by stillmanjunior on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:05 pm

Jon_BOA wrote:or just accept that it is champions only, which could mean a lot of teams aren't playing for anything early in the season if one or two sides streak ahead.

It would be horrendous and a total throwback to how things used to be. Seasons used to be non-events from February onwards, and attendances were pathetic. I recall our 8-0 pummelling of Boston, played when Nuneaton had already (or all but) won the league drew in under 400. Ok, it was a Tuesday in April, but I think we were both in and around the top five. As there was nothing to play for with play-offs, no-one was interested. I'm not keen on play-offs going down to 7th, personally, but keeps things watchable, I guess.

I don't agree with all this 'if it was more local more people would come' theory. How local are we talking, here?

I'll tell you what'll get people to games, up to you how you order them in importance:
* Entertaining football
* A winning team
* Friendly atmosphere
* Reasonably priced

With that in mind, we could be playing Cirencester or Concord. More local games could get more of us to travel away, but does it really matter our home attendances? I'm thinking of some Easter Monday matches we've had. Farnborough in 2014 - attendance 571. Poole in 2017 - 602. Oxford City this year - 1,164. Three teams from similar-ish distances, probably similar amount of away support, yet the crowd for this year jumped because we were closing in on play-offs and the matchday experience has vastly improved.

We just have to accept that we're not handily placed for local matches, and if we stay where we are, we're relying on teams in the league below from the south west joining us. We had that spell in the Southern League when we were always playing Clevedon, Mangotsfield, Yate, Cirencester, Gloucester, Chippenham etc. Obviously Chippenham attracted more, but no-one can surely say they would watch us play Clevedon at home but not Corby because Clevedon are more local?

The other way we can have more local football is if we keep getting relegated, then we can rock up at Odd Down and Bradford Town week in week out.

I know our division isn't exactly full of mouthwatering matches, and it can be a hard sell for some of them, especially away, where many aren't enticed by yet another trip to Concord or whoever. I just can't see any logical solution. Regionalising the FL doesn't appeal to me at all, and don't think it'll ever come back.
stillmanjunior
stillmanjunior

Posts : 1796
Join date : 2014-02-21
Age : 33
Location : Defending it confidently

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by comrade powell on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:53 pm

Top post, Junior, which I totally agree with except for one thing. I found the 8-0 slaughter of Boston very interesting!
comrade powell
comrade powell

Posts : 4703
Join date : 2014-01-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by stillmanjunior on Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:16 am

I meant no one was going into it. It was so eerie, I don’t think the tannoy worked either. Before my time, I would’ve struggled holding back my joy.
stillmanjunior
stillmanjunior

Posts : 1796
Join date : 2014-02-21
Age : 33
Location : Defending it confidently

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by tovid on Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:51 pm

Excellent post junior and makes a pretty convincing case.

As you say some of the fixtures seem unattractive but that is because of the league we are in. Most ex league sides remain professional so we aren't going to see a Torquay very often at this level.

But we certainly made the most of it.
tovid
tovid

Posts : 256
Join date : 2018-06-27

Back to top Go down

Thoughts on the fixtures  Empty Re: Thoughts on the fixtures

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum