Premier Division

 With the advent of “sin bins” and a 21 team division, the 2019/20 season promises to be interesting to say the least. I see no reason for sin bins personally as we already have the (admittedly) much maligned “respect” campaign and dissenters to match officials should simply be cautioned. Quite how this will be policed remains to be seen but if you are going to “trial” this sort of thing, then do it in the professional ranks where you can see dissent on a regular basis in every game! It's not like we have an excess of officials to run this at this level after all.

We have lost Chertsey Town (champions and promoted) and AFC Hayes and Walton & Hersham (Relegated – see division 1 preview) and gained Molesey and Egham Town (relegated), Sheerwater and Frimley Green (promoted) and Ascot United (sideways move from the Hellenic League).

This looks a tough season to predict so let's take it one team at a time in alphabetical order.

Abbey Rangers – Very much a club on the up and I am absolutely certain they will be right up there all season having finished 3rd in 2018/19.

Ascot United – Having lost Windsor to the Hellenic League, I was surprised that Ascot were moved across to the CCL but they are most welcome. The installation of a new artificial pitch (ready in September) may take getting used to but I am sure they pose a threat as newcomers and a rather unknown quantity.

Badshot Lea – Buoyed by their new stadium in Wrecclesham, The Baggies should improve on last season where they flirted with relegation for much of the season to, eventually, finish 9th.

Balham – The South Londoners survived on the final day of the season but they are better than that. That flirtation with relegation should make them stronger this season. 18thlast season (on goal difference)

Banstead Athletic – The A's fell away to finish 8th last season after a fine start. Difficult to assess so early on but there are concerns that the end of season fade just might continue.

Camberley Town – Another team that slipped towards the end of last season, eventually finishing 16th. A marked improvement will be required for a top half finish.

CB Hounslow United – There were deep concerns over at Green Lane regarding their ground but they finished 19th and I am expecting a big improvement on that this time around.

Cobham – A comfortable enough 14th place last season and I see no reason why that cannot be matched or improved on.

Colliers Wood United – Under new management and difficult to assess objectively for obvious reasons. Wood are the longest serving club in the division and I hope they can maintain that record at the absolute minimum. Finished 13th last season.

Egham Town – Relegated from the Bostik Isthmian (now BetVictor) South Central Division, The Sarnies must be hoping for a change of fortune after a harrowing campaign including just 4 wins. However, history suggests that relegated clubs need time to adjust to the demotion.

Frimley Green – Having won their appeal to the FA (and quite right too) The Green take their place in the premier division having finished runners up in CCL division 1. There have been lots of improvements at The Rec and they will be looking to consolidate at the very least.

Guildford City - 7th last season and always a competitive side. They will be hoping to improve on that and the return to The Spectrum could be a useful aid.

Hanworth Villa – Having clawed away from the relegation zone last season to finish 15th, The Villans will be looking for a better start to their campaign and some early momentum.

Knaphill – An 11th place finish last season will have been a disappointment for The Knappers but they are capable of some improvement this time around.

Molesey – Relegated along with Egham Town from the Isthmian League, their return to the CCL will be a disappointment and it may take a while to come to terms with the demotion.

Raynes Park Vale – Their 5th place finish, their second best ever. (where they came with a wet sail at the end) augurs well for the Grand Drive outfit who, via the grapevine, may be fitted out with a new ground in the near future. Very much a dark horse this season.

Redhill – Another team that slipped away (to 12th) and need to be careful so as not to continue a downward spiral. Should be fine though.

Sheerwater – Deserved division 1 champions last season and a great reward for the hard working helmsman, Trevor Wenden. Playing at Woking again this season ahead of their own new ground soon. Things are looking up for The Sheers.

Southall - 4th last season but always just off the pace. Certainly one of the favourites for promotion this season.

Spelthorne Sports - 6th place for the Middlesex club last season and they look capable of similar or better this season. Don't write them off.

Sutton Common Rovers – Whilst a distant runner up (13 points) to Chertsey last season, no club appears to carry the clout that The Curfews did and, therefore, SCR are deserved favourites for the title this season. Their facilities are a big attraction to players at this level and, no doubt, Darren Salmon will have been busy through the summer.

So, it's SCR (once again) for me with Abbey Rangers, Southall and Spelthorne to be the main challengers.

I hope you all have a great season.

 

Division 1

CCL Division 1 will run with a full compliment of 20 teams and this will make it the most competitive division 1 ever. Of that I am sure. As for predicting the winner, well it isn't easy.

AFC Hayes and Walton & Hersham were relegated from the premier division, Westside (now playing at Chessington) were promoted from the Surrey Elite League (where they finished 4th) and Jersey Bulls will look to emulate Guernsey in their first season of pyramid football. I think we were all delighted that Cove won their FA appeal against relegation and we have a new name in member club Kensington & Ealing Borough.

Once again, let's have a look ast the competitors in alphabetical order.

AFC Hayes – Relegated last season (which surprised me I have to say) they had a good team early in the season but something drastic went wrong. However, I would not be surprised to see them bounce back at the first attempt.

Ash United – Though never a serious promotion threat, The Ash Trees at least found some consistency last season and they will be looking to build on that this time around.

Bagshot – They had an improved season last time around finishing 13th and they will be the next CCL club hoping to secure their own home ground. Any further improvement this season will be welcome again.

Bedfont & Feltham – The Orchardmen rather ran out of steam to, eventually, finish fifth but some shrewd signings made should see them in the shake up this season.

British Airways – Their 10th place finish suggest the club have found their feet quickly and they are another club to have recruited well. A potential dark horse for a high flying campaign.

Chessington & Hook United – Always in mid table, and finishing 9th, Chessy will have to step up this season if they are to challenge for elevation and they will look to their own youth set up to bolster the squad.

Cove – Although finishing bottom, The Wasps finished the season as one of the in form teams and their reprieve from relegation to the Hampshire League will have given everyone there a huge boost. Expect improvement.

Dorking Wanderers Reserves – With the 1st team now in the National League, it would be right to assume that the 2nd string will be stronger this season and they look set to improve on their 11th place finish.

Epsom & Ewell – The E's serve as a warning to the relegated clubs that immediate elevation is not easy at all. They faded badly to finish 8th and they will need to improve on their discipline record to get in the shake up.

Eversley & California – Their 16th place finish will have been a huge disappointment last season and they will have to strengthen to improve on that. Plenty of potential there however.

Farnham Town – An improved pitch at The quaint Memorial Ground should see The Town improve on their 4th place last time around and a couple of decent signings will have helped their cause.

FC Deportivo Galicia – Their brand of football was most welcome to the division but they will need to add a little something else to improve on 14th place last season. They do love a cup though.

Fleet Spurs – Six points off the bottom in penultimate position and it is clear that a marked improvement will be required to avoid another season of struggle.

Godalming Town – There is a friendly welcome, and plenty of potential at Wey Court and there should be an improvement on their 12th place of last season.

Jersey Bulls – 2 high profile pre season games so far, attracting around 1000 fans each time, suggest that The Bulls will be a solid threat (a la Guernsey) at this level. Something for the visiting CCL clubs to really look forward to.

Kensington & Ealing Borough – A tough debut season (15th) last season and they will need to match their off field ambitions of their own ground on the pitch to better that finish.

Sandhurst Town – The potential is there to be a challenger having finished 6th last season. An improvement defensively will assist their cause no end.

Tooting Bec – Possibly the division 1 success story of last season where they finished 3rd on debut. The move to Imperial Fields will assist this well run club to challenge once again.

Walton & Hersham – Relegated last season, and now run by a youthful football committee. It will be interesting to see if the “project” proves a success for this famous old club. Their fan base appears divided on this however.

Westside – Nice club but they will have their work cut out to make the step up unless they know something we don't. However, The Surrey Elite League is decent and they have a sporting chance.

Tough to call eh? I will go for Farnham Town again with Jersey Bulls, Bedfont & Feltham, Tooting Bec and British Airways well on the pace.

Have a great season all.