It’s now time for Part 2 of the teams to look out for in the season ahead. We finished part with a good array of teams, but we have another 6 to look at in Part 2.
Since 2015, the club has been on an upwards trajectory when local businessmen Geoff Thompson took over the club. Since then the club has gone from Step 10 to Step 7and in the 2019-2020 season had a 12 point lead at the top of the table when COVID-19 struck and the league was declared void. Only 5 years ago the club averaged 70 at their home games and now average 1600. During these years they have also had some impressive FA cup and Trophy runs. South Shields have an impressive array of players who mostly come with experience of a higher level, so you would expect this club to fight for the title once again when the 2020-21 season gets underway.
Next up is Stowmarket Town in Suffolk who play in the Eastern Counties premier division. Another club that should/would have been promoted if not for COVID-19, this impressive club had score 95 goals in 28 games and had not lost a game up and until the season ended. Their 2 strikers Joshua Mayhew & Christy Finch scored 53 league goals between them. The club have never played beyond Step 5 in their history, but they will be looking to pick up where they left off when they return to action next month. The club will no doubt look to strengthen in pre-season.
We now look at Chesham United from Buckinghamshire who will be targeting a place in the National League south at the end of the 2020-2021 season no doubt. Under the impressive joint managers of James Duncan and Michael Murray who had done well at Potters Bar and made the move to Buckinghamshire in 2018. In the first season in charge they finished 10th, but in the 2019-2020 season were sitting 2nd on 66 points, 1 behind leaders Truro City. The team had score 70 goals, the highest in the division and no doubt would scored more if the season had run it’s course. The club has a history of play-off disappointment in the past 10 years, so no doubt will be trying to win the division. But expect stiff competition from Hayes and Yeading and Hendon to name just 2 sides.
We now travel to North east London to look at another side in the Essex senior league. The club were in 3rd before the season got voided and would have been part of an exciting conclusion with 3 teams battling for the title. In the 2018-2019 season the club had finished 3rd, so will be looking to take the extra step in the season ahead. But they will have competition from Hashtag United. They will also have to do without Dwayne James who scored 39 goals in the 2019-2020 season who has signed for Hendon, but no doubt the manager Max Mitchell will be looking for a replacement. Can the club return to Step 4 of the non-league pyramid this time?
It’s not time to look at a team on the south coast with AFC Totton of Southern League division 1 south, managed by Glenn Howes and have the 4th highest attendance in the league. Craig Feeney was the team’s top goalscorer as the club struggled in the league after finishing 10th the season before. The club has experience in the form of Brett Williams and Robin Nicholls. Alongside this Hisham Kasimu and Lewis Waterfield will be two players to look out for next season. If the club can win promotion next season they would play at Step 3 again, as they did nearly a decade ago. I think this club will be in and around the promotion places next season.
We move to the Spartan Premier division now, with Dunstable Town who over the last few years have played between step 3 and 5. The club were 14th in the 2019-2020 season before COVID-19 stopped the league but had several games in hand on others. With an impressive mix of youth and experience, i believe Dunstable will be in with a shout in the season ahead.
What do you think of these choices and predictions? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!