A whole host of clubs will be aiming for a top seven finish. But with quality coming up and down into the league, it won’t be easy.
Here are some of the potentially crucial games coming up in the next nine months of National
League South football.
Billericay Town are the team causing a stir but a quiet, more considered approach from the club could see them go under the radar.
A close fought title run last season saw their rivalry with Dulwich Hamlet hit boiling point. The pair traded 3-1 wins in their two encounters and will have a chance to settle their differences in a higher division – first, at the AGP on October 27 with the second meeting at Imperial Fields on March 30.
Rickie Hayles’ transfer from Dulwich Hamlet to Billericay should add extra spice.
Rod Stringer’s Chelmsford City have suffered in the play-offs the last two seasons and a new year clash with relegated Torquay United will no doubt have fans licking their lips at the prospect of two title contenders going head to head on February 9. They meet on the first day, too.
Jamie Coyle led Welling to a tenth-place finish last season but begins the new campaign at Dartford.
Steve King is now in the hot seat for the Wings and will be looking for yet another promotion to add to his roll of honour – his signings certainly show intent.
Coyle and King will be confident of successful campaigns and will trade blows twice in a week over the Christmas period – first on Boxing Day and then New Year’s Day.
Gary McCann will have a job on his hands to maintain the level of last season for Hampton & Richmond but will be spurred on by promotion heartbreak last season with Hendon.
Woking’s new manager Alan Dowson will have promotion in his sights this season and will go up against his previous employers for the first time on Boxing Day.