This morning is one of the most exciting days in the football calendar, the day the league allocations are confirmed. Ahead of today’s announcement by the Non-League Paper, rumours were running wild as to which league our sides would be playing in.
Let’s start with Gloucester City in Step 2. After a season that saw 8 of the bottom 9 in the National League Premier division all coming from the South, it was pretty nailed on that Gloucester City and Oxford City would be transferring from the National League South into the North. And that is how it unfolded.
One of the reasons the move is a positive is the prospect of massive gates, the likes of which City last saw when they were in the North whilst at Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road. Kidderminster Harriers will be one of the larger gates whilst the prospect of crunch matches against Hereford are mouth-watering, especially when you add the fact that ex-City managers Tim Harris and Marc Richards are currently at the helm at Edgar Street.
Next, we move down to Step 4 and the Southern League Division One South and the rumours were that Evesham United would be moving to the Central Division, however that has not been the case. Evesham United stay in the Division One South with Cirencester Town, Cinderford Town and Slimbridge.
The Gloucestershire sides are joined by Basingstoke Town and Frome Town who were relegated from the Southern League Premier Division South, whilst Sholing and Willand Rovers have gained promotion. After the season we saw from the Gloucestershire sides, they have a great chance in the 2019/20 season.
In Step 5 last season we saw six Gloucestershire sides in the Hellenic League and once again we see all six sides in the Hellenic Premier. After Longlevens and Tuffley Rovers avoided relegation, they remain with Fairford Town, Lydney Town and Bishops Cleeve. Brimscombe & Thrupp will also be in the division after finishing 2nd last season, there had been rumours that the Lilywhites may have been promoted but that isn’t the case.
Along with the six Gloucestershire sides in the division, Burnham and Easington Sports have been promoted from the Hellenic League Division One East & West respectively, whilst Chipping Sodbury Town and Westfields have moved across. Hellenic League fans will notice that Ascot United have also moved out of the division, with the Combined Counties their new home from the new season.
Cheltenham Saracens missed out on promotion in Step 6 last term and they are staying in the Hellenic League Division One West with Newent Town, Cirencester Town Development and Shortwood United, who have transferred across from the Western League.
Now on the announcement of the allocations it does say that the Division One West and East leagues are still being negotiated. There still may be two more sides added to the Division, but for now there are four lateral moves into the division that sees Hereford Lads Club, Malvern Town, Pegasus Juniors and Wellington all moving across to make the division very competitive!
With the allocations now complete, sides will confirm their pre-season friendly lists and we can now sit back and patiently wait for the fixtures to be revealed.