The Coming Season

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Post by 2weirdtown on Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:15 pm

Wondering if there are any thoughts on who the favourites are for promotion/relegation this coming season?
I see our first opponents have had to rebuild from only 2 players and on a 'limited' budget - whatever that means.  At the other end of the scale Billericay are throwing money around again.  They and Havant are apparently full time and maybe favourites to go up?
As a side issue regarding 'full time', our old chums at Ebbsfleet are looking shaky again with players being paid late and the season not yet begun.
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Post by LB on Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:56 pm

Billericay’s throwing around of money hasn’t always worked out too well in the past - will be interesting to see if Tamplin throws his toys out of the pram again this time. Dorking’s rapid rise through the divisions has apparently also been backed by ‘silly money’.

Welling and Wealdstone have apparently both reduced their budgets - Dave Pratt is back at Chippenham - so will be interesting to see how they fare this season. No doubt Chelmsford will do their usual trick of reaching the play-offs and then bottling it! Hopefully we can be in the mix again.

As for relegation, have to think that Hungerford have got to be one of the favourites and I wonder how Weymouth will do without Goodship’s goals?

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Post by comrade powell on Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:50 pm

Havant & Waterlooville
Maidstone United
Welling United
Bath City
Billericay Town
Chelmsford City
Dulwich Hamlet
Hemel Hempstead Town
Dartford
St Albans City
Dorking Wanderers
Chippenham Town
Slough Town
Wealdstone
Braintree Town
Concord Rangers
Eastbourne Borough
Oxford City
Hampton & Richmond Borough
Weymouth
Tonbridge Angels
Hungerford Town

Not my predicted final table (as I'm totally useless at doing it and tend to ignore who has signed and left other clubs). it's taken from this article by someone who seems knowledgeable....

https://thegrassrootstourist.com/2019/07/26/vanarama-national-league-south-season-preview-2019-20/

Junior, do you agree with him/her?
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Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:17 pm

Don't get the Welling prediction but a lot of mine is similar:

1. Havant & Waterlooville
2. Billericay Town
3. Hemel Hempstead Town
4. Bath City
5. Chelmsford City
6. Dartford
7. Wealdstone
8. Maidstone United
9. Dorking Wanderers
10. Dulwich Hamlet
11. Slough Town
12. St Albans City
13. Eastbourne Borough
14. Braintree Town
15. Weymouth
16. Welling United
17. Chippenham Town
18. Concord Rangers
19. Oxford City
20. Tonbridge Angels
21. Hampton & Richmond Borough
22. Hungerford Town

It's not exactly the most research I've done. Some of it is hunches.

For the record, this is what I had last season, with the actual positions in brackets:

1. Billericay Town (Cool
2. Hemel Hempstead Town (16)
3. Woking (2)
4. Welling United (3)
5. Bath City (5)
6. Wealdstone (7)
7. Chelmsford City (4)
8. Torquay United (1)
9. Dartford (10)
10. Chippenham Town (13)
11. St Albans City (9)
12. Concord Rangers (6)
13. Dulwich Hamlet (14)
14. Hampton & Richmond Borough (15)
15. Weston-super-Mare (22)
16. Oxford City (12)
17. Eastbourne Borough (18)
18. Slough Town (11)
19. East Thurrock United (21)
20. Gloucester City (17)
21. Truro City (20)
22. Hungerford Town (19)

Hemel is the biggest mess-up. Had they kept Brennan I think they would have had a good season, signed some decent forwards but in the end they didn't do much at all. And I didn't predict Torquay appointing such an excellent manager. I tipped Welling for the play-offs.
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Post by PHILB1973# on Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:31 pm

The grass roots tourist was an interesting read, although they didn't mention Straker as one of Havent's decent signings.
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Post by GRTourist on Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:54 pm

PHILB1973# wrote:The grass roots tourist was an interesting read, although they didn't mention Straker as one of Havent's decent signings.

Apologies for jumping in your forum - I got a notification that people had referred to my website from here.

I should say that I do really rate Straker as a good signing for Havant. Couldn't believe the engine on the guy at his age when I watched you at Hungerford last season. Doswell has form for asking a lot of his full backs in terms of stamina - the likes of Dan Wishart, Aswad Thomas etc spend as much time in the opposition half as their own, and with aerial strikers such as Kedwell and Ayunga up top, expect to see Straker being encouraged to get forward a lot.

Looking forward to seeing how Bath do this season - I watched Hartridge a bit at Truro and he's a good player, but probably not as solid as Straker yet. Connor Riley-Lowe is a really good acquisition, and seems to have gone a bit under the radar outside the South West. Definitely been overshadowed by the Tyler Harvey signing.

Sadly though I don't have quite enough room to write all my thoughts on each team!

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Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:16 pm

GRTourist wrote:Couldn't believe the engine on the guy at his age when I watched you at Hungerford last season.

Hope you weren't unfortunate enough to only see us once last season. That game was atrocious. A very rare non-event.

My reason for Welling finishing lower is the King effect. I believe a lot of their players have gone as they must have gone all out with the budget last season. Gamble didn't quite pay off, and they could pay the price. Look what happened to Whitehawk and Lewes after he left both, each time, for example. I've chosen Havant ahead of Billericay because if the latter get a few suss results, it'll become a circus. The fact they missed out on the play-offs last term is shameful. Havant always have a feeling of stability about them. Even after their ridiculous relegation in 2016 they stuck by the manager and it paid off. They've replaced him with someone that knows the level and is well-respected in the game. Unless Billericay click, or spend obscene sums, I can't see Havant blowing it. Play-offs, relegated last day, champions last day, champions last day, relegated despite scoring a bagful of goals. Not exactly dull following them.
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Post by comrade powell on Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:22 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:For the record, this is what I had last season, with the actual positions in brackets:

Lord Bear (sadly no longer of this forum) used to run a pre-season competition based on predicting our final position. Basically you were docked a point for each position away from the prediction. Using that scoring for yours last season I calculate on average you were out by 1.7 per club which ain't bad! Do you ever place bets on this sort of thing?
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Post by comrade powell on Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:26 pm

stillmanjunior wrote: Havant always have a feeling of stability about them.

I always suspected that you were a Havant fan! Very Happy
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Post by Steve Whites Missus on Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:54 pm

Mark’s predictions will have us going out of the playoffs against Wealdstone for a second season!

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Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:02 pm

Steve Whites Missus wrote:Mark’s predictions will have us going out of the playoffs against Wealdstone for a second season!

Who says we'd lose...

Wealdstone are one of the teams who I changed my mind on quite late. Had them finishing just outside initially and St Albans in, but Saints' odds are quite long so I'm not sure if anything has happened there. They've finished just outside in the last three seasons.
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Post by Luton Roman on Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:21 pm

As a resident now I keep an eye on St.Albans progress and while they have had decent performances in their pre season v. Barnet, Stevenage and Watford teams, a lot of attention has been on their walk up admission price increase to £18 for league games, though you can buy in advance for £16.30, makes scouting a bit expensive !

They have had no stand out signings and have lost some goal threat. They have Murrell Williamson back from Hampton and will be relying on goals from new signing 20 year old Iaciofano who has been on loan from Northampton at sub National South level clubs. Elsewhere a couple of players from Biggleswade where the manager Ian Allinson's son manages ! Core players remain from last season inc a decent keeper means they should be top half.

I think there is a common view that Havant have bought well and Billericay have been surprisingly sensible, the latters recent signing of Matt Rhead from Lincoln a good example. What could possibly go wrong there !

While there is no Torquay or Woking like clubs this season (i.e., down from the National with loads to spend to get back up), I think the league overall is stronger and competition will be just as keen as last season.

My thoughts on City's recruitment are twofold:

1. Can the much changed defence be as mean as last year; and, more importantly I think,
2. Can we create the chances for Harvey and others to consistently stick away to improve our goals for column significantly?


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Post by 2weirdtown on Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:54 pm

LB wrote:Billericay’s throwing around of money hasn’t always worked out too well in the past - will be interesting to see if Tamplin throws his toys out of the pram again this time. Dorking’s rapid rise through the divisions has apparently also been backed by ‘silly money’.

Welling and Wealdstone have apparently both reduced their budgets - Dave Pratt is back at Chippenham - so will be interesting to see how they fare this season. No doubt Chelmsford will do their usual trick of reaching the play-offs and then bottling it! Hopefully we can be in the mix again.

As for relegation, have to think that Hungerford have got to be one of the favourites and I wonder how Weymouth will do without Goodship’s goals?
Weymouth have Josh McQuoid up front.  Bags of experience up to Championship level albeit in an injury hit career but knows where the goal is.  He missed much of last season but has come through pre-season OK.

Any news on Batten's injury?
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Post by GRTourist on Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:10 pm

2weirdtown wrote:
LB wrote:Billericay’s throwing around of money hasn’t always worked out too well in the past - will be interesting to see if Tamplin throws his toys out of the pram again this time. Dorking’s rapid rise through the divisions has apparently also been backed by ‘silly money’.

Welling and Wealdstone have apparently both reduced their budgets - Dave Pratt is back at Chippenham - so will be interesting to see how they fare this season. No doubt Chelmsford will do their usual trick of reaching the play-offs and then bottling it! Hopefully we can be in the mix again.

As for relegation, have to think that Hungerford have got to be one of the favourites and I wonder how Weymouth will do without Goodship’s goals?
Weymouth have Josh McQuoid up front.  Bags of experience up to Championship level albeit in an injury hit career but knows where the goal is.  He missed much of last season but has come through pre-season OK.

Any news on Batten's injury?

He played 15-20 games at Aldershot the season before last though, and was really poor. Hopefully he finds a home at Weymouth, but I'd be quite surprised if he hits double figures.

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Post by SteveS on Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:26 pm

As has already been said Havent and Billericay look to be the teams most likely to challenge. Matt Rhead would seem a very good signing who will make if very difficult for defenders but you have to ask will he stay all season or will there be more upheaval at Billericay. Havent have to be favourites as the set up would seem stable.
As for us the Jack Batten injury is a major blow. If, as it seems, he is out for a while then we need to bring someone else in and a lot depends on who this is. I heard Dan Ball say he would be fit for the weekend but he has missed all pre season so you cannot gamble on him. Losing Jack, Cundy and Strakes is bound to take a toll, at least for a while. Harvey looks like he will get goals but he must stay fit as support for him still looks thin.

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