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Post by comrade powell on Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:55 pm

So today's playoff results mean we face another trip to Havant but possibly lose Weymouth. Still, there's the chance for revenge against Dorking...
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Post by stillmanjunior on Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:03 pm

And eight opponents on 3G pitches:
Billericay
Dorking
Eastbourne
Havant
Hemel
Maidstone
Oxford
Slough

Will be interested to see what it looks like at Billericay and Hemel who both had quite noticeable slopes.
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Post by Midsomer-steve on Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:59 pm

I expect that it would be popular amongst our fans if Dartford beat Weymouth next week. We always lose to them at their place - and it is a far longer trip for us than our other 'local derby' - and Weymouth is a good day out (provided it is in the Summer or Spring).
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Post by Luton Roman on Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:46 am

Regardless of location any Steve King side will have money so let's hope Dartford go up. Weymouth can burn their crowdfunding on a home tie.

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Post by tovid on Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:27 am

I think Dartford are in a better position to make a decent fist of it in the higher division. No disrespect to Weymouth who have been solid this season but it is always more difficult for sides that rise rapidly and would they get the gates to support it?
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Post by stillmanjunior on Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:31 am

Steve King has lost play-off finals with four clubs and doesn’t tend to stick around long afterwards when he does. The clubs usually cut their budget afterwards so it appears he takes a massive gamble and to date it hasn’t paid off.

That said you still need something about you to turn these teams around. I don’t think Dartford have a massively different squad to the one he inherited. I’d prefer them to go up.

Another factor is I wonder if we will start the season in line with others, ie September, which would potentially be 4-6 games behind closed doors. Might make sense for the league to give us some horrible midweeks to places like Concord and Braintree. Pain to get to on Tuesday night but they are out of the way and it doesn’t effect fans. Then save potential crowd puller games for later. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they give us Chippenham early on and make some sort of joke about it.
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:14 pm

Wash your mouth out with soap, Junior. That’s no way to talk about the NL! Evil or Very Mad

Yes, Steve King has done a remarkable job at Dartford and their fans worship the ground he walks on.

Both Weymouth’s and Dartford’s grounds are among the best in this league with plenty of terracing. Despite the attraction of the seaside and that it’s much closer to Bath the Weymouth ground is a pain to get to by public transport. Located miles from the station the nearest bus stop is over ten minutes walk away. And the nearest pub is no closer.
Better choice in Dartford including the excellent working men’s club!
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Post by yuffie on Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:46 am

stillmanjunior wrote:
Another factor is I wonder if we will start the season in line with others, ie September, which would potentially be 4-6 games behind closed doors. Might make sense for the league to give us some horrible midweeks to places like Concord and Braintree. Pain to get to on Tuesday night but they are out of the way and it doesn’t effect fans. Then save potential crowd puller games for later. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they give us Chippenham early on and make some sort of joke about it.

Hang on, don't forget photographers and radio commentators!

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Post by LB on Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:00 pm

I don't see the point in starting before spectators can be allowed in - I doubt if there are many clubs outside of the PL who could sustain that, and certainly not at our level. If the Government sticks to the plan (stop laughing out there!) that spectators are allowed from October then start the season then and run it into June - if it takes 2 or 3 seasons to get back to the old August to April/May model so be it.

The way both the FA and the National League handled the end of last season (and I know it hasn't quite finished yet) there is no reason to be confident that the start of the next one will go any better.

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Post by pete mac on Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:52 pm

Looks like 3/10 start. End 29/5 with playoffs by mid June.

There are moves to bring spectators back by September/October

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Post by comrade powell on Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:51 am

I hope that you’re right, Pete. But with this Government’s record on u-turns I’ll believe it when we’re actually in the ground watching the 7-0 thrashing of Dorking! 😄
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Post by LB on Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:02 am

LB wrote:I don't see the point in starting before spectators can be allowed in - I doubt if there are many clubs outside of the PL who could sustain that, and certainly not at our level. If the Government sticks to the plan (stop laughing out there!) that spectators are allowed from October then start the season then and run it into June - if it takes 2 or 3 seasons to get back to the old August to April/May model so be it.

The way both the FA and the National League handled the end of last season (and I know it hasn't quite finished yet) there is no reason to be confident that the start of the next one will go any better.

When I posted this at 8 o'clock yesterday evening I didn't really expect that about an hour later the NL would announce almost exactly that! The dates apparently need ratifying by the FA, so hopefully they won't take as long over this as they did the playoffs or we will still be waiting in mid-September!

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Post by Luton Roman on Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:55 am

NL reporting this morning that NLN and NLS start with FA Cup 2nd Q on 3rd October. That is pressure right from the start on increasing the budget with cup money.

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Post by yuffie on Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:55 pm

Luton Roman wrote:NL reporting this morning that NLN and NLS start with FA Cup 2nd Q on 3rd October. That is pressure right from the start on increasing the budget with cup money.

Especially if we draw a lower league team as they could have already played half a dozen proper games.

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Post by comrade powell on Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:02 pm

LB wrote:When I posted this at 8 o'clock yesterday evening I didn't really expect that about an hour later the NL would announce almost exactly that! The dates apparently need ratifying by the FA, so hopefully they won't take as long over this as they did the playoffs or we will still be waiting in mid-September!

Luton Roman wrote:NL reporting this morning that NLN and NLS start with FA Cup 2nd Q on 3rd October. That is pressure right from the start on increasing the budget with cup money.

Maybe it's me, but where are you finding this information? I can find nothing on the NL's website...
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Post by Luton Roman on Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:48 pm

https://nonleaguedaily.com/national-league-give-proposed-2020-21-start-date/?fbclid=IwAR11vyraiAEC3ROmV94EKwnPAAKn5ha7OLEL-Prl7n2HGibhflmDRBaeTe4


Member clubs say they have received notification from the league outlining the plans, which are as follows:
• The scheduled start date of the 2020/21 season is Saturday, 3 October 2020.
• 46 league fixtures will be scheduled in the National Division, and either 42 or 40 league fixtures will be scheduled in the North and South Divisions.
• The North and South Divisions will commence the season with The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round on Saturday 3 October.
• The final league match of the normal season is scheduled for Saturday 29 May 2021.
• The end of season play-offs are scheduled to take place in June 2021.
Please note the season end date and the scheduling of the play-offs in June is subject to FA approval.
The (National League) board is aware that all clubs will face significant challenges in preparing to return to football. The National League will issue protocols containing guidance for clubs under the following headings:
• Stage 1 Return to Training
• Stage 2 Return to Training, Close Contact
• Stage 3 Return to Competition, No Spectators
• Stage 5 Return to Competition, Safe Return of Spectators

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Post by comrade powell on Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:24 pm

Thanks for that link. Must admit I've never used that site but it looks impressive and is clearly kept up to date.
But it still begs the question why there is nothing on the NL site (yes, I know the answer is obvious...)
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Post by kermit on Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:31 pm

What happened to Stage 4
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Post by LB on Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:52 pm

kermit wrote:What happened to Stage 4

It is a test to see if we are paying attention!

I see that according to Supermarine's website we are playing a friendly there on 12 September. Presumably the NL teams will have to mainly play friendlies amongst themselves in September as everybody else will be in league or cup action by then. As somebody else pointed out, our first competitive game could be an F A Cup tie against a team that has already played 3 or 4 games - perhaps might be best to get another NLS team this time.

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Post by tovid on Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:05 pm

This press release doesn't link the stages to a time frame. The hope is that Stage 4/5 happens at the same time as the start of the season. Knowing the league they could easily insist clubs start the season even if no supporters are allowed. Could clubs refuse to start? Indeed can clubs at a lower level afford to start with no spectators?
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Post by kermit on Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:05 pm

I think I read somewhere that Comrade Powell said we were playing Dorking Very Happy
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Post by comrade powell on Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:45 pm

That was before I learnt about us starting in the cup. And as they’re just about the only Essex club we haven’t been drawn away to in recent years I can reveal that we will be travelling to Braintree! 🏆
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Post by Luton Roman on Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:16 pm

Twerton Park would be a good place for a pilot game with fans. Large ground for a non league club, different entrances, ability to segregate home and away fans, mix of seating and standing areas, now experience of COVID protocols. Hope we are putting our name out there.

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Post by comrade powell on Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:30 pm

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Post by City 'til we're relegated on Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:35 pm

Salisbury website states they are playing City in a friendly on 1st September.

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