The new Toolstation NCEL Division One season promises to be one of the best ever.
Not since 2007 have there been more than two promotion places. Teams can now have a sustained assault on winning promotion as there are four slots available.
Non League Yorkshire expects ten clubs to be in the mix for the promotion spots.
At the bottom end, NLY also believes one particular club will struggle to record points and be cut adrift and will finish bottom. The battle to avoid being second bottom will be quite a tussle involving a few teams.
In our predictions, we’re highlighting who we think will finish in the top ten from Yorkshire and are our contenders for promotion (in alphabetical order). Seven are from Yorkshire, with the three from outside the region listed at the bottom.
Finishing second and not going up was cruel on Campion who were a fabulous advert for the league last season, with their free-flowing football. The bulk of last season’s heroes have remained so expect them to challenge again.
Hallam were another of last season’s favourites, and only fell short in the final few games when a defeat to Campion dealt a fatal blow. Like Campion, they have retained their key men – many who have been there and done it. Quality players such as Callum Greaves, Gareth Griffiths, Julian Lawrence, Jack McCarthy, James Reed, Tom Roebuck, Sam Smith, Archie Sneath and Richard Tootle are all experienced NCEL men and know what it takes to succeed in the league.
Railway seem to have found the man who will finally halt the slide the club have been on since Billy Miller’s departure in 2015. Des Macorison has his head screwed on and he has brought a number of excellent players to Station View – with Joe Jagger’s long-awaited step-up to the NCEL being the stand-out signing. Many expect Jagger to cause similar waves to what Eli Hey caused when he burst on the NCEL scene. Expect Railway to possibly get off to a tough start as they face some hard fixtures, but they’ll come strong.
North Ferriby are back to life and clearly hoping to kick-start life as a reformed club with a promotion. The appointment of Chris Bolder and the arrival of the likes of BetVictor striker Tom Corner, Jamie Forrester and others, demonstrates their ambition.
Nostell Miners Welfare
Nostell did not have to make many changes from last season. Simon Houghton and Jason Dodsworth are experts in creating teams which know how to grind out wins. Scoring goals is clearly a concern, but they have made a superb signing in wing wizard Richard Collier who is bound to be a big player for them. Defensively they are also solid. Talismanic captain Rhys Meynell, a fine leader, is back to his best and controls his defence magnificently.
Can Parkgate continue their excellent from the end of last season? Up and coming boss Andy Dawson has done a wonderful job since taking over – making his side one of the toughest to play against in the league and candidates for promotion this around. He’s also got a lot of players who have been there and done it.
Mid-season slumps have cost Selby Town in each of the last two seasons. If their form is good over the winter, it will be interesting to see where Selby can go.
Discipline must also improve. Although even though they were on the receiving end of at least three ridiculous refereeing displays, Selby’s red card count was way too high.
Clearly though, they have one of the most exciting attacking line-ups in the Division, with Chris Jackson, magic man Joe Dale and Josh Walker available to Christian Fox.
The rest of the contenders (from outside Yorkshire): Dronfield Town, Skegness Town and Winterton Rangers).