WIE Previews the Season
Contenders - Nuneaton, Worcester, Stafford.
In WIE's opinion it will be a Northern battle for the Championship this season. Most people would agree that, man for man, Nuneaton have by far the
best squad in the league this season. They are clearly pushing the boat out for an immediate return to the Conference but it may take a while for them
to gel together and also they will be the "big fish" that a lot of smaller clubs will want to turn over. Worcester may sustain a better challenge this
year as they have improved thier squad and have a decent fanbase to support them. Stafford did very well last year (after WIE tipping them the season
before!) and will hope to kick on and challenge for promotion.
"Wannabes" - Tivvy, Creepy, Dover, Havant, Weymuff, Hednesford.
WIE considers Tivvy an outsider for the Conference but we're not sure they have the resources to go that extra mile and they have a great deal of
travelling to consider as well. We always tip Creepy to do well as if we don't they might actually do the unthinkable! They have signed some quality
players who have played at a higher level but expectation always seems to outweigh results. The squad numbers thing is typical of them and WIE suspects
names on the back of shirts is next on the agenda. They should qualify for Conference South with some ease but we're not sure their manager quite knows
what he is doing?
Dover will be strong defensively but may still struggle to score enough goals whilst Havant would appear to have a very potent attack but may
struggle defensively. Weymuff are the "talking horse" in betting terms but second favourites is a bit ambitious. WIE can only suspect that their manager
has a few quid on! They should again comfortably qualify as they will be in a position to invest more if things are not working out. Hednesford have
struggled big time in the last couple of years (which has surprised us) and WIE expects a better season from them. We would like to add another team
to this group but we're not in the habit of predictions for our own team.
Strugglers - WSM, Merthyr, Dorchester, Eastbourne, Hinckley, Cambridge, Grantham.
WIE doesn't know much about the two Western Division teams but recent history suggests that the promoted teams on the whole tend to find life
difficult and the two Champions from last season are both back where they came from. Of the fourpromoted sides we think that Dorchester will probably
fare the best. Hinckley were probably the poorest team WIE saw at PVR last season (apart from us) and we see no reason why they should drastically
improve. Grantham started well last year and it was just as well or they would not still be with us and Cambridge are perennial strugglers who have
dodged relegation for a number of years and may find it harder still to survive this season.
Don't Knows - Chippenham, Barf, Newport, Moor Green, Chelmsford.
Chipp may well suffer from "second season" syndrome where they will find it very hard to repeat their showing of last season. WIE also believes they
have lost their keeper to Exeter and he was a big factor in their success. Barf are a team who really should be pushing for the Conference but are just
meandering around in mid-table and they could go either way. WIE has tipped Newport to go well in previous seasons but they must be the most
inconsistent club in the division and WIE hopes they get off to a very poor start!
Moor Green continue to surprise us as they would appear to have the least resources in the league. Their home form is good and may be down to their
pitch - let's hope another club WIE knows can take advantage of a good pitch (at last). Last but not least the Essex boys who seem quietly confident
that they will make Conference South. We still think they may struggle especially if injuries and/or suspensions kick in for some of their better