2019-20 National League South

Aberstone

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The 2nd announcement is not really a signing but that Connor Stevens has signed a 2 year contract, a very accomplished centre half. Hopefully he will move back in to the football league at some point.
Pleased with that. He was linked with Sunderland last season (potentially fake news) but a two year deal works for both parties.
 

Luke Imp

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I'm not certain what their training regime is, but they're presumably paying him similar or better money than he was on at Lincoln if he's agreed to move so soon after signing a new contract with Lincoln, and if he's not going to relocate then I wouldn't think Stoke to Billericay is going to be any easier than travelling between Stoke and Lincoln.

* Edit

Apparently Billericay have just reverted to part-time training 2 evenings a week:

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/sport/1...on-and-sign-ben-nunn-from-dagenham-redbridge/
That's maybe why he's taken it then, money aside. Two evenings a week for the money he's getting is fine.

He also spent some Monday's in Stoke rather than Lincoln and did his own thing.
 

Aberstone

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I heard we only plan to segregate Dartford, Tonbridge, Wealdstone, Chelmsford and Billericay.
Surprised at the two Essex sides being segregated (ourselves, Dartford and Tonbridge I understand). Are Billericay being segregated just in case anybody gets wound up over Harry Wheeler?
 

Pink Panther

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Surprised at the two Essex sides being segregated (ourselves, Dartford and Tonbridge I understand). Are Billericay being segregated just in case anybody gets wound up over Harry Wheeler?
It really shouldn't be necessary to segregate at this level unless you're expecting a very large away following in a ground at or close to full capacity. Dulwich hosted Chelmsford and Billericay at Champion Hill last season with unsegregated crowds of around 3,000 and there was no bother. I always think segregation encourages and emboldens any idiots if there's no danger of opposition supporters directly challenging obnoxious behaviour.
 

Raymondo316

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Surprised at the two Essex sides being segregated (ourselves, Dartford and Tonbridge I understand). Are Billericay being segregated just in case anybody gets wound up over Harry Wheeler?
Yep that's the reason.

A load of fans have made it well known they are showing up specially just to give Wheeler abuse, so the owners have come out and said they've got to bring in a load of extra security staff specially for that game.

In his last month or so as manager he was regularly getting into arguments with our fans mid game when they dared to criticise him (comically even told one to meet him outside after the game for a fight). So if he's still manager when Billericay visit in October its really gonna be a clown show of epic proportions......specially if our idiot element show up.

As for the reason behind Chelmsford being segregated, I'm really not sure to be honest. There's been no trouble whatsoever when we played them in the past.
 
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GRTourist

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I posted one of these for the National League, and (unsurprisingly) met with some stiff opposition to a few opinions - so I'm buckling myself in when I post this as well...

https://thegrassrootstourist.com/2019/07/26/vanarama-national-league-south-season-preview-2019-20/

My views on Charlie Wassmer and David Pratt have been forcefully corrected since writing this. I mainly saw Wassmer at HRBFC, where to be fair, he was absolutely solid under Dowse. Whilst with Pratt, I had to go mainly off stats as I haven't seen much of Wealdstone... this would appear to have been the wrong approach!
 

Pink Panther

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I posted one of these for the National League, and (unsurprisingly) met with some stiff opposition to a few opinions - so I'm buckling myself in when I post this as well...

https://thegrassrootstourist.com/2019/07/26/vanarama-national-league-south-season-preview-2019-20/

My views on Charlie Wassmer and David Pratt have been forcefully corrected since writing this. I mainly saw Wassmer at HRBFC, where to be fair, he was absolutely solid under Dowse. Whilst with Pratt, I had to go mainly off stats as I haven't seen much of Wealdstone... this would appear to have been the wrong approach!
:bg:
It's not always easy to judge a player on just a couple of sightings. I saw Dave Pratt for Chippenham two seasons ago and he looked sensational in a 5-2 win at Bath. Former Dulwich manager/chairman Martin Eede is youth team secretary at Chippenham now after moving to live in Wiltshire and when I told him how impressed I was with Pratt he echoed my thoughts, saying he's different class. I barely noticed him in two games for Wealdstone last season. I saw Charlie Wassmer several times in the Isthmian League and thought he was very ordinary at that level. However he was apparently voted into the National South Best XI with the Hampton team that lost the play-off final under Alan Dowson.

It's too difficult to rank all 22 teams in order at this stage but as I see it there are three basic groups: (1) the top seven probables, (2) the top seven possibles, (3) the also rans.

I reckon (in alphabetical order) Bath, Billericay, Chelmsford, Havant and Maidstone ought to occupy five of the coveted top 7 places and it's hard to see the champions coming from outside this group. I think most of us would be surprised at this stage if any of those five missed out altogether.

There's a larger group of clubs who I think will be confident that they can claim a top seven place: Braintree, Dartford, Dulwich, Hemel, St Albans, Slough, Wealdstone, Welling. Wealdstone and Welling were in the playoffs last time, Dartford and St Albans just missed out; Dulwich and Slough consolidated following promotion and will be looking to push on; Hemel had a poor season after losing their established manager in early Autumn, while Braintree have just come down from the level above. However unless any of the probables falls short most of these will ultimately miss out on the top seven and at least a couple won't even finish in the top half.

Then there's the rest: Chippenham, Concord, Dorking, Eastbourne, Hampton, Hungerford, Oxford, Tonbridge, Weymouth. These are the clubs that are either newly promoted or finished in the lower half last season, and in many cases in previous seasons too. (Concord managed a top seven place last time, but that looks like a one-off for a club that's traditionally been an underdog with a modest playing budget.) One or two of these clubs may well get amongst the "possibles" and finish in the top half, but given the depth of competition I find it hard to see any of these landing a top seven place. Two of this group will inevitably go down.

Having followed a newly promoted club last season I think it's a really tough division for a newly promoted team. The type of football is different and teams seem tactically more savvy even if they have no great individual quality. As a strong team at the lower level there were always a few relatively easy games where you could just blow away teams who were having a bad day or weren't quite up for the battle. Any of the new boys who manage to finish halfway will have had a good season in my view.
 
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Aberstone

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I posted one of these for the National League, and (unsurprisingly) met with some stiff opposition to a few opinions - so I'm buckling myself in when I post this as well...

https://thegrassrootstourist.com/2019/07/26/vanarama-national-league-south-season-preview-2019-20/

My views on Charlie Wassmer and David Pratt have been forcefully corrected since writing this. I mainly saw Wassmer at HRBFC, where to be fair, he was absolutely solid under Dowse. Whilst with Pratt, I had to go mainly off stats as I haven't seen much of Wealdstone... this would appear to have been the wrong approach!
Nobody can deny Dave Pratt's workrate and he's very much a team player but for a guy who (rightly or wrongly) was paid a lot of money to score goals, he missed too many guilt-edged chances.

The second player who Chippenham nabbed off us, Rhys Tyler is a canny bit of business at this level, more than dependable right back with a great engine on him.
 

Seventyseven

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I posted one of these for the National League, and (unsurprisingly) met with some stiff opposition to a few opinions - so I'm buckling myself in when I post this as well...
Good read GRT. Your assessment of Tonbridge Angels is spot on... just finishing one place above your predicted final league position will be seen as a good season. However, last time (the first time ever) the Angels were promoted to the NLS they finished a credible 9th in their first season. It'll be a tough season that's for sure.
 

Aberstone

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Well that was encouraging!

4-1 win which Dartford will understandably argue flattered us (and it did based off the 2nd half) but they were mightily lucky to be level at the break as we should have been out of sight before they even had a sniff.

Both full backs, Nick Arnold and Michee Efete were very impressive and Ross Lafayette is the number 9 we've been crying out for these past few years, he's more of a focal point and it allows others to break forward as a result.

Dulwich will be a good test on Tuesday, looking forward to the visit and glad to read that there's more terracing around Champion Hill for this season.
 

Seventyseven

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Was at Longmead today to witness one of the worst refereeing performances of all time.

Dulwich players were conning him left right and centre all game...and he fell for it... every time. Talking of 'falling for it', there should have been about 16 minutes added time not 6... Dulwich players spent more time on the floor play-acting than they did on their feet. And ex-Angel Ijaha should learn to keep his thoughts to himself. I hope the footage of him giving the one-fingered salute to the Angel's faithful finds its way to the authorities.

2 sending offs. 2 penalties. a great last half hour from the Angels.

A message to the idiot Dulwich fan who was singing '2-1 to the terrorists' as he left the ground at the end obviously having had one to many shandies ... fucking grow up.
 

Pink Panther

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Was at Longmead today to witness one of the worst refereeing performan

Dulwich players were conning him left right and centre all game...and he fell for it... every time. Talking of 'falling for it', there should have been about 16 minutes added time not 6... Dulwich players spent more time on the floor play-acting than they did on their feet.
What goes around comes around. Many Hamlet supporters haven't forgotten Tonbridge indulging in timewasting and gamesmanship (or cheating) on an epic scale when inflicting our last Isthmian League defeat for the foreseeable future in April last year. I particularly recall your keeper sitting down on the edge of the box and delaying the game by pretending to be injured when the play was up the other end, so it was especially satisfying that he got sent off yesterday.

You can expect a lot of this in National South. The attitude and approach of teams is much more cynical and attritional than in the Isthmian Premier.
 

Farleigh

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I heard we only plan to segregate Dartford, Tonbridge, Wealdstone, Chelmsford and Billericay.
We didn't segregate Weymouth and there were some minor issues, from both sides. Alcohol almost certainly played a part. I'm guessing the overweight topless lad celebrating their goal on the pitch had one or two beers. When you've got used to opposing fans being segregated, it comes as a culture shock to have 30 pissed up away fans stood next to you.
 

Raymondo316

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We didn't segregate Weymouth and there were some minor issues, from both sides. Alcohol almost certainly played a part. I'm guessing the overweight topless lad celebrating their goal on the pitch had one or two beers. When you've got used to opposing fans being segregated, it comes as a culture shock to have 30 pissed up away fans stood next to you.
Really doesn't help that we employ night club bouncers instead of actual proper stewards. They're more bothered with moaning at kids and anyone who dares standing in the yellow lines than dealing with actual problems. Then when they actually do something they majorly over react.

Our security team has been a problem for years now, but the owners never do anything about it.

Sad to say I can see us reverting back to segregating everyone within a month or so. Shame really because I like having the freedom to stand wherever I want in the springfield end.
 

Pink Panther

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Dulwich will be a good test on Tuesday, looking forward to the visit and glad to read that there's more terracing around Champion Hill for this season.
There's a bit more, but don't expect anything comparable with last season's temporary home at Tooting. It's been lengthened behind each goal and an extra step has been added at the back of all three sections of terracing, along the side and behind the goals. The aim is to improve sightlines, not to increase capacity.

It's our first midweek home league game at Champion Hill since November 2017 when we beat Harrow Borough 2-0 in the Isthmian Premier Division in front of a crowd of 1,199. It's hard to gauge what sort of crowd we'll pull with no recent sample to draw on. Our midweek crowds are traditionally well down on Saturdays but (unlike Saturdays) tend to be highest at this time of year. Our Saturday crowds increased sharply following our return from exile in December and the Stones generally bring a few hundred so hopefully 1,500+.
 
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There's a bit more, but don't expect anything comparable with last season's temporary home at Tooting. It's been lengthened behind each goal and an extra step has been added at the back of all three sections of terracing, along the side and behind the goals. The aim is to improve sightlines, not to increase capacity.

It's our first midweek home league game at Champion Hill since November 2017 when we beat Harrow Borough 2-0 in the Isthmian Premier Division in front of a crowd of 1,199. It's hard to gauge what sort of crowd we'll pull with no recent sample to draw on. Our midweek crowds are traditionally well down on Saturdays but (unlike Saturdays) tend to be highest at this time of year. Our Saturday crowds increased sharply following our return from exile in December and the Stones generally bring a few hundred so hopefully 1,500+.

I would have thought no more than 1,500 too due to the reasons above. We have quite a few regular away fans on holidays, me included. Silly that this game is midweek so early in the season.
 

Pink Panther

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I would have thought no more than 1,500 too due to the reasons above. We have quite a few regular away fans on holidays, me included. Silly that this game is midweek so early in the season.
I suppose it's a fairly local "Oystercard" derby and the league seem to schedule relatively local fixtures for midweek. It's sod's law our two midweek home games are Maidstone and Wealdstone, for which I'd expect the biggest away followings on a Saturday. Only Torquay and Woking brought as many/more than Wealdstone last season.
As expected the club over react and have decided to go back to segregating everyone.
That's a shame. Which part of the ground do away fans get?
 

Raymondo316

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Banning drinking why watching the game will be next :rolleyes:

You just know idiots will start throwing pints across the segregation ''fence'' and boom one of the few decent things about being in this league will be taken away.
 

DontBringBertie

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Was at Longmead today to witness one of the worst refereeing performances of all time.

Dulwich players were conning him left right and centre all game...and he fell for it... every time. Talking of 'falling for it', there should have been about 16 minutes added time not 6... Dulwich players spent more time on the floor play-acting than they did on their feet. And ex-Angel Ijaha should learn to keep his thoughts to himself. I hope the footage of him giving the one-fingered salute to the Angel's faithful finds its way to the authorities.

2 sending offs. 2 penalties. a great last half hour from the Angels.

A message to the idiot Dulwich fan who was singing '2-1 to the terrorists' as he left the ground at the end obviously having had one to many shandies ... fucking grow up.
What? Dulwich fans?? Never! They’re a perfectly behaved bunch who get to decide how non league football should be watched.

They may also call you racist for failing to agree that 5 Woking fans singing about Tommy Robinson means every single Woking fan is scum.

If you ever want a laugh go on their forum and have a look at the ‘editor’ guy. He’s so desperate to appear WOKE that he’s jumped on so many bandwagons but forgotten which ones contradict each other.
 

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Lost 2-3 to a Bi££ericay side where Matt Rhead is probably on more/week than our entire budget. That said we gave them a real run for their money and a dubious penalty decision probably cost us a point. Play like that and IMO we will be ok this season. Disappointed but not disheartened.
 

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