OK, you’ve probably seen them now, but if you haven’t, the Non League Daily website has where we’re playing next season:
AFC Wimbledon (that’s us, obviously), Ashford Town, Banstead Athletic, Bashley, Bromley, Burgess Hill Town, Corinthian-Casuals, Cray Wanderers (unless they can’t confirm their groundshare at Bromley, in which case we’ll get Fleet Town), Croydon, Croydon Athletic, Dorking, Dulwich Hamlet, Hastings United, Horsham, Leatherhead, Metropolitan Police, Molesey, Newport IOW, Sittingbourne, Tooting & Mitcham, Walton & Hersham and Whyteleafe
All subject to confirmation etc etc etc.
Initial thoughts. Firstly, how much will playing against T&M rock? I’m also looking forward big time to Met Police (or rather, the SW19 report for this one), Dulwich (because my dad once lived by Dog Kennel Hill) and Walton and Hersham (Allen Batsford, Dave Bassett, and a couple of other people). Everyone seems to want Newport IoW for August, personally I think it’ll be in October. We all know how to get to Leatherhead and Whyteleafe.
On the minus side, not too sure if I fancy going to Bromley twice next season. Let’s hope that Fleet get in. Hastings and Sittingbourne look like Ned Central, so you’ll have to bring bars of soap to fend off the locals.
Measured thoughts. Suddenly, my enthusiasm for football has been reignited. With all due respect to the CCL, playing on grounds a step up from park pitches really started getting depressing after a while. Which I suspect might have been reflected in the tone of some of my reports. Don’t think anyone noticed though. Make no mistake, this will be a more difficult league, we may even – shock, horror, gasp – lose a game or two. On past form, I suspect half our fanbase will commit suicide if we lose our first game.
I doubt if we’ll see many ground switches this year, Croydon FC play at Croydon Arena, which I hope isn’t anything like Feltham Arena. It even has a tram stop with the subtly titled “Arena”. And it’s in SE25 as well. That said, something tells me at least one game will be switched to somewhere like Selhurst. Come on, it has to happen one day…
Other thoughts. One of the first things I do for a fixture list is to look for certain dates – first game, last game, Boxing Day and my birthday. We are bound to have T&M on Boxing Day, and I bet my birthday will see us play Newport. Though I’ll be away for that 🙂 We should have more Saturday games at KM next season, and by the time the fixtures will come out – lateish June, apparently – we’ll know by then. It’s nice to be in something resembling a proper league anyway.
There’s probably many more thoughts I have which typicially I’ll remember when I upload this. So one final thought : we will finish top eight. We won’t get promoted, our fitness, dodgy defence and naievity will put paid to us, certainly for the first part of the season. Of course, if we settle down quickly, who knows…..