Cirencester Town into Hellenic Premier, Gloucester moved South and confusing Hellenic One – Steps 1-6 Allocations for 2024/25 season revealed


Friday saw the provisional league allocations for Steps 1-6 ahead of the 2024/25 revealed and the day was met with typical drama and answered some questions – whilst leaving fans with more to ask.

Let’s go back to this morning. Rumours circulated that Cirencester Town were going to withdraw from the Southern League due to financial issues caused by operating in the Southern League Division One Central for two seasons.

At lunchtime, the Centurions released the following statement on their website:

As many of you will be aware, there has been a lot of talk in the last few days regarding the status of Cirencester Town Football Club and what league we will be competing in next season.

Sadly, we have requested a voluntary relegation for the 2024-2025 season due to various reasons and we will be resigning from the Southern Football League with immediate effect.

We felt it was only right to make our supporters and members aware of this change before the league allocations are announced by the FA.

A meeting date will be announced in the next 14 days so our members and supporters can convene to hear more detail and information regarding this decision.

This raised a number of questions, mainly, where next for Cirencester Town?

Hopefully the meetings that will take place between the playing squad, current management and club members will end with Ciren able to move forward and look to rebuild over the next few seasons.

But with the allocations due, would they go into the Hellenic Premier as expected? In short, yes.

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The Hellenic Premier is mouth-watering (left) with Cirencester and Hartpury University joining the league.

We now have more actual Gloucestershire based sides in the Hellenic Premier than you do in the Gloucestershire County league!

Malmesbury Victoria also come up into the Hellenic Prem following their play-off win, whilst Corsham Town, Royal Wootton Bassett Town and Highworth Town remain in the division after they were beaten in the play-offs this season.

At first glance, this league looks very, very exciting for the neutral.

Another question ahead of allocation day was, will Gloucester City be placed in the Southern Premier South, as expected, or will they be placed in the Central in only the way Gloucester City can be?

Thankfully, they are in the South and being honest, the league looks pretty good.

Gloucester are joining Bracknell Town, Basingstoke Town and Hungerford Town to reunited Gloucestershire with Berkshire – something I am pleased about!

Elsewhere, the prospect of a local game with Swindon Supermarine and reunions with sides to have knocked them out of the FA Cup recently in Merthyr Town and AFC Totton will provide the Tigers with plenty of tests.

In the Southern League Division One South, Cinderford Town join Bishops Cleeve and Evesham United as the local points of interest in the division.

Cribbs, Bristol Manor Farm, Larkhall Athletic, Malvern Town, Westbury Town and Yate Town provide local-ish competition – with the introduction of Thatcham Town to please Butler with the Berkshire connection.

Once again trips to Mousehole and Tavistock won’t appeal to many, plus there are now trips to Falmouth Town and Helston Athletic just for good measure.

Lastly, we have the Hellenic League Division One and, in my opinion, it is a mess!

Cheltenham Saracens, Moreton Rangers, Newent Town, Shortwood United, Stonehouse Town an Tytherington Rocks are our points of interest – with 16 other sides from Wantage Town to Wellington and FC Bristol to Ludlow.

22 teams from a fairly vast area will mean more games, longer trips and more scope for a fixture pile up should the weather have a major influence once again.

Initially looks tough to call, as most people won’t know much about 5 or 6 of the sides…other than they will be competitive, but it doesn’t look like an obvious winner.

All league allocations are subject to appeal and final ratification from the FA, but with all being well, fixtures should come out in July – following the early round draws for the FA Cup and FA Vase.

Based on previous seasons, the Hellenic Premier is expected to start on midweek of Tuesday 2/Wednesday 3 August with the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup and Hellenic Division One opening day set to take place on Saturday 6 August.

The Southern League is likely to kick-off on Saturday 13 August, but is yet to be confirmed.

What do you make of the league allocations? Let us know on Twitter @SevernSport

Cover photo taken by and copyright to Graham Hill. Check out his Cirencester Town FC match photos here

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