Southern League 2015/16

Jemfy

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Instead of a Diamonds thread like before I thought I would go for a Southern League one and hopefully we'll see a few more posters in here slowly from other Southern League clubs from all divisions, I think the Isthmian threads year by year have helped grow the forum a bit, hopefully this can too!

First off, I have a bugbear against the sponsor names, but I'm still greatful for the sponsors so Evostik Evotik Evostik. I'll just explain that these make it confusing as they change so regularly, but pretty much everyone knows what the Southern League is. Do they know that the Evostik Premier Division 1 South is actually part of the Northern Premier and not the Southern... I'm not so sure. Southern League = easy.

We've got the preliminary lineup of teams, just waiting for ratification at the AGM. Past the AGM if things go wrong, then it's running a team short rather than shuffling about! Here's the listings as things stand...

Premier:

Bedworth United
Bideford
Biggleswade Town
Cambridge City
Chesham United
Chippenham Town
Cirencester Town
Dorchester Town
Dunstable Town
Frome Town
Histon
Hitchin Town
Hungerford Town
Kettering Town
Kings Lynn Town
Leamington
Merthyr Town
Paulton Rovers
Poole Town
Redditch United
St Neots Town
Slough Town
Stratford Town
Weymouth

Division 1 Central:

AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Arlesey Town
Aylesbury
Aylesbury United
Barton Rovers
Beaconsfield Town
Bedford Town
Burnham
Chalfont St Peter
Egham Town
Flackwell Heath
Godalming Town
Hanwell Town
Kings Langley
Leighton Town
Marlow
North Greenford United
Northwood
Potters Bar Town
Royston Town
St Ives Town
Uxbridge

Division 1 South & West:


AFC Totton
Banbury United
Bashley
Bishops Cleeve
Bridgwater Town
Cinderford Town
Clevedon Town
Didcot Town
Evesham United
Fleet Town
Larkhall Athletic
Mangotsfield United
North Leigh
Petersfield Town
Shortwood United
Slimbridge
Swindon Supermarine
Taunton Town
Tiverton Town
Wantage Town
Wimborne Town
Yate Town
 

Jemfy

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Focusing now on AFC Rushden & Diamonds, we come in to the SLD1C having won the UCL by a bit of a margin at the end as none of our opponents could hold their nerve. The final points tallys do not show the picture of the whole season, where it was very neck-and-neck for a long time. Despite a late scare Diamonds did finish unbeaten at home in all but a Hillier Senior cup defeat to Conference North side Brackley (3-4).

Moving in to this season, I don't see a huge turnover in players from those that got us out of step 5. A large proportion of them have played step 4 or above before, and we've got a few talented youngsters I would like to see a bit more of now there is less pressure to succeed in the higher league! We're short on defenders, because we finished the season with just 2 recognised CB's, with Darren Purse having signed on dual-registration terms to help plug the gap with Liam Dolman and Jack Ashton thankfully remaining mostly fully fit.

With the talents we currently have at our disposal, or equivalent replacements should some leave, then I would see it as realistic to aim for an upper mid-table position with an outside shot at the playoffs. This would represent a very successful season on the pitch, hopefully precipitated by a cup run or two. Now we're in the FA Trophy instead of the Vase we can have a shot at meeting some of the bigger clubs around in that competition and getting to test ourselves.
 

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Do you still have the base of the side that were also the vast majority of Corby's youth side that did fairly well? Never even heard of some of those teams that are in the league with you. Is Barton Seagrave related?
 

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Do you still have the base of the side that were also the vast majority of Corby's youth side that did fairly well? Never even heard of some of those teams that are in the league with you. Is Barton Seagrave related?

I hope this question has nothing to do with Barton Rovers who play in Barton-le-clay, Bedfordshire.

Should AFCR&D play at Barton, Bedford, Leighton or Arlesey early on in the season I'll likely attend. I watched Barton's playoff semi final at Royston and their final defeat at Bedworth. Hard to gauge on the step up from Step 5 to Step 4 because it's been years since I watched a Step 5 match but Barton were organised and had two or three players who displayed some flair.

St. Neots will spunk loads in the Premier Division yet again.
 

Jemfy

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Do you still have the base of the side that were also the vast majority of Corby's youth side that did fairly well? Never even heard of some of those teams that are in the league with you. Is Barton Seagrave related?

Nope, unfortunately. It was weird having players representing both sides at youth levels. Most of those moved on, a couple are playing UCL I think, but I think a lot fell to the drop off that happens between youth team and adult football. Life distractions get in the way.

Not sure on your last question, if it's are Barton Rovers from Barton Seagrave, the answer is no, it's Barton-le-clay. I think if there was a Southern League team in Barton Seagrave then Kettering would have made their latest cuckoos nest there rather than continuing to play off Burton Park Wanderers and Corby this year, and investing in BPW originally.

A shame for the purposes of this thread that you guys went up, but genuinely pleased for Corby!
 

Jemfy

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I hope this question has nothing to do with Barton Rovers who play in Barton-le-clay, Bedfordshire.

Should AFCR&D play at Barton, Bedford, Leighton or Arlesey early on in the season I'll likely attend. I watched Barton's playoff semi final at Royston and their final defeat at Bedworth. Hard to gauge on the step up from Step 5 to Step 4 because it's been years since I watched a Step 5 match but Barton were organised and had two or three players who displayed some flair.

St. Neots will spunk loads in the Premier Division yet again.

I thought the money was mostly all gone from St Neots! Not that they aren't still spedning beyond their means, but many clubs are in one form or another. I have no problem with the ones that do it as a chairmans sponsorship because then at least the money is contracted to come in, just so long as they don't go giving out multi-season contract. St Neots were very good to us during our U18s year, so I genuinely like them as a club, even if they do throw a bit around.

The obvious question is if you're going to make it on the 25th July to watch yourselves at the Dog & Duck!
 

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I thought the money was mostly all gone from St Neots! Not that they aren't still spedning beyond their means, but many clubs are in one form or another. I have no problem with the ones that do it as a chairmans sponsorship because then at least the money is contracted to come in, just so long as they don't go giving out multi-season contract. St Neots were very good to us during our U18s year, so I genuinely like them as a club, even if they do throw a bit around.

The obvious question is if you're going to make it on the 25th July to watch yourselves at the Dog & Duck!

I noticed that they had paid a fee to sign somebody from Dereham Town on a two year deal. Not my prerogative to get involved on financial matters (as much as I love to) because as you allude to, the majority of clubs aren't sustainable.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be there, I'm scheduled to work every Saturday throughout the summer but I'll see if I can change my days around. It would be another ground to tick off.
 

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I have a keen interest in Bideford as I used to live down that way for a couple of years, so I'll be popping by this thread from time to time. Jemfy, if you get the chance to go to the away game there you should - it's a nice town... not a lot of night life there though.
 

Jemfy

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I noticed that they had paid a fee to sign somebody from Dereham Town on a two year deal. Not my prerogative to get involved on financial matters (as much as I love to) because as you allude to, the majority of clubs aren't sustainable.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be there, I'm scheduled to work every Saturday throughout the summer but I'll see if I can change my days around. It would be another ground to tick off.

I'm not certain I can make it either, but if we can both get there, I'd happily grab a pint with you. We've got a good local ale on most of the time, though I'm not sure what changes in the rules for alcohol being pitch-side will mean at step 4 it shouldn't be a problem for the pre-season games.

Hmm I guess we'll just have to wait and see! They have fantastic facilities, which hopefully won't suffer from the same problems Nene Park has with regards to upkeep costs, and I know they have in the past gotten income from Peterborough for use of their 3G. Lewis Hilliard is a hell of a player for them too! (former R&DFC youth team player with a few first team appearances).

Speaking of former R&DFC players, a couple of interesting bits of Southern League news:
Gary Mills (the shit one - as trademarked by Wrexham fans) has become manager of premier side Rugby Town. It is worth noting this is his first top spot position. I'll be interested to see how they do after they finished 6th and just missed out on the playoffs this season! Though technically they are now a NPLD1S side! I believe this was announced before they were confirmed as being moved.
David Bell (who used to run the show in League 2) has been released/left Kings Lynn. He was not around at the same time as Peaksy obviously, but was at the same time as Mills, so maybe he will join his old midfield partner.
 

Jemfy

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I have a keen interest in Bideford as I used to live down that way for a couple of years, so I'll be popping by this thread from time to time. Jemfy, if you get the chance to go to the away game there you should - it's a nice town... not a lot of night life there though.

We aren't in the same division! We're in SLD1C of course, while they are in the premier! You are of course welcome to post about them, I'm hoping all three divisions will grow to be well represented.

I can't actually remember which clubs we went to on a pre-season tour of Devon before (as R&DFC), but Bideford might have been one of them!
 

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Oh yeah, my bad... there's always the League Cup!

As for drinking pitch side, you can at step 3 & 4 depending on your own bar & ground regs in league play but not in FA competitions. IIRC Carshalton were one of the only Isthmian teams that allowed this... I think Margate may have allowed it too, either that or we just took our beers out of the bar anyway! They were served in plastics though so that might be the giveaway.
 

mnb089mnb

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Oh yeah, my bad... there's always the League Cup!

As for drinking pitch side, you can at step 3 & 4 depending on your own bar & ground regs in league play but not in FA competitions. IIRC Carshalton were one of the only Isthmian teams that allowed this... I think Margate may have allowed it too, either that or we just took our beers out of the bar anyway! They were served in plastics though so that might be the giveaway.

You can do it at Conference South level. I do it at Maidenhead sometimes. You can't for FA Cup/Trophy or Vase though.
 

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[

Speaking of former R&DFC players, a couple of interesting bits of Southern League news:
Gary Mills (the shit one - as trademarked by Wrexham fans) has become manager of premier side Rugby Town. It is worth noting this is his first top spot position. I'll be interested to see how they do after they finished 6th and just missed out on the playoffs this season! Though technically they are now a NPLD1S side! I believe this was announced before they were confirmed as being moved.
David Bell (who used to run the show in League 2) has been released/left Kings Lynn. He was not around at the same time as Peaksy obviously, but was at the same time as Mills, so maybe he will join his old midfield partner.[/QUOTE]

So are Kings Lynn in the Southern League now then?
 

Jemfy

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Oh yeah, my bad... there's always the League Cup!

As for drinking pitch side, you can at step 3 & 4 depending on your own bar & ground regs in league play but not in FA competitions. IIRC Carshalton were one of the only Isthmian teams that allowed this... I think Margate may have allowed it too, either that or we just took our beers out of the bar anyway! They were served in plastics though so that might be the giveaway.

I might be wrong, but I believe it is against the rules and a few clubs just don't bother enforcing them, or may even be ignorant of them! I believed it was step 4 when you come under the central FA stance that things changed. Maybe Chester fans could help on this one? I know they had a switch at some point. If it's step 2 then it's great for us. Pretty sure it's officially against the rules there, it certainly is at Conference National level and it would be odd if it wasn't in other competitions ruled over by the Conference.

The Vase was the stupidest one to enforce that as as all clubs involved can definitely serve alcohol through all their normal matches, and within sight of the pitch.
 

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[

Speaking of former R&DFC players, a couple of interesting bits of Southern League news:
Gary Mills (the shit one - as trademarked by Wrexham fans) has become manager of premier side Rugby Town. It is worth noting this is his first top spot position. I'll be interested to see how they do after they finished 6th and just missed out on the playoffs this season! Though technically they are now a NPLD1S side! I believe this was announced before they were confirmed as being moved.
David Bell (who used to run the show in League 2) has been released/left Kings Lynn. He was not around at the same time as Peaksy obviously, but was at the same time as Mills, so maybe he will join his old midfield partner.

So are Kings Lynn in the Southern League now then?[/QUOTE]

Yeah according to the FA document, from which I lifted the above listings, they are switched to the Southern Premier from the Northern.

OK so it's a bit liberal to use both of the above as Southern League as one is in each Southern and Northern right now, and both are being switched over, but it's that time of the season when you can bend the definitions a little ;)
 

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Yeah it was are Barton Rovers from Barton Seagrave, didn't know there was another one but knew there was no mainstream team from Barton. I think they had a Northants counties league side though or whatever they were but they were like step 14?

Not seen Corby at all this season sadly, anytime I was back they were away. Not sure how the leagues will align but am selfishly hoping they go back into the Northern side.
 

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Yeah it was are Barton Rovers from Barton Seagrave, didn't know there was another one but knew there was no mainstream team from Barton. I think they had a Northants counties league side though or whatever they were but they were like step 14?

Not seen Corby at all this season sadly, anytime I was back they were away. Not sure how the leagues will align but am selfishly hoping they go back into the Northern side.

They have been placed in the Conference North, with Oxford City moving back south as a result.
 

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Brilliant, not sure how I missed that, but can't say I have seen it on the twitter feed or the club website.
 

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I might be wrong, but I believe it is against the rules and a few clubs just don't bother enforcing them, or may even be ignorant of them!

Carshalton's regime ignorant? Yeah, that sounds about right.

I think maybe the enforcement in the FA Vase is to see if clubs are prepared & can handle such (completely pointless IMHO) enforcement for if they progress up the pyramid.
 

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All change in Southern League Division One Central, and South & West. With Clevedon Town being thrown out due to ground grading, it's prompted a reshuffle, with Marlow, Burnham and Flackwell Heath heading to the S&W, Petersfield and Fleet Town going the other way and Ware joining from Ryman North.

To be honest looking at the map it would have made more sense to move Godalming Town to the S&W (although I am a bit biased since it adds a bit more mileage for us next season).
 

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I might be wrong, but I believe it is against the rules and a few clubs just don't bother enforcing them, or may even be ignorant of them! I believed it was step 4 when you come under the central FA stance that things changed. Maybe Chester fans could help on this one? I know they had a switch at some point. If it's step 2 then it's great for us. Pretty sure it's officially against the rules there, it certainly is at Conference National level and it would be odd if it wasn't in other competitions ruled over by the Conference.

The Vase was the stupidest one to enforce that as as all clubs involved can definitely serve alcohol through all their normal matches, and within sight of the pitch.

Just spotted this and remember our first season at Ratcliffe Borough (step 4) they were selling beer from little kiosks on the terrace.
 

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Signings just beginning to come through now that we're in to July, including those resigning or choosing to sign forms elsewhere.

So far only two players we have asked to stay have decided not to. Matt Gearing and Adam Confue move on to Cogenhoe in the UCL, and Daventry in the NPLD1S respectively. Both players will be missed, and obviously we can only speculate as to why they moved. Confue apparently lives in Daventry and was given an offer we couldn't match, Daventry being the club he joined us from. Gearing appears to not want to test himself at step 4, and goes with best wishes. Frustrating still that we are losing players we wanted to keep, but at least we aren't prepared to offer players too much to stay.

Incoming is Jason Kilbride from Peterborough Nothern Star (UCL), who I don't remember playing against us, however he is apparently an England international for futsal. Hopefully that means he should bring some good technical skills. He appears to be a direct replacement for Confue as he plays as an attacking midfielder.
 

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Watched the Gosport Borough Evesham friendly Saturday. 2-2, and although they faded in the last 15 minutes, Evesham were in control for a lot of the game and looked very strong. Good show from the Evesham support too, with at least 40 of the 150 crowd from the Midlands.
 

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Fixtures are apparently out Thursday morning at 9.00am

It's going to be almost surreal to actually have a full league season of fixtures to be released at once!

Edit: It appears that the UCL have already released their first month of fixtures rather than waiting for the above leagues to release theirs. This is particularly pertinent as both us an Kettering in the Southern league share grounds with UCL clubs.

In this farce Wellingborough Town have been given completely home fixtures for their first 4 league fixtures (making 5 with an FA Cup draw which takes precedence). Either we are going to start away for these dates, or Wellingborough are going to have to have these games rescheduled.

The situation is even more farcical for Kettering Town, who would only be able to play a home game on 15th August if Burton Park Wanderers fixtures were allowed to remain in tact. 6 league fixtures for them released, 5 of which are at home.

We might be out of the UCL, but it appears we aren't clear of their ability to ignore common sense!
 
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Jemfy

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We've signed ex-Northampton forward Courtney Herbert. He impressed in preseason so far and has his reward. We are also apparently trying to get winger Steve Spriggs to join, he was previously at Kings Lynn.

Edit: Like the Isthmian our fixtures also came out yesterday. Nothing special of note in there. We play at Bedford on boxing day, no NYD game which we've had in the UCL, though it's a Friday, so normal fixtures on the Saturday. No pairing of that game with the boxing day fixture though.
 

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We have Bridgewater away boxing day rather than our normal trip to taunton??
 

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