FA decide next season's pyramid

By David Watters

The Ryman League’s fans, players and officials can start getting ready for next season after the Football Association announced the make-up of the 2016-17 Non-League pyramid.

The 72 clubs set to compete in the Ryman's Premier, North and South divisions were confirmed on Thursday following the annual end of season reshuffle at Steps 1-4 by the FA’s Leagues Committee at Wembley.

Like those of the Football Conference, Evo-Stik League Southern and Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, the league’s constitution, listed below, is subject to appeal and will be confirmed at the Ryman League's AGM on Saturday 18 June at the Hilton Hotel Wembley.

The reprieve of Wroxham from Ryman North, the return to the top flight of 2014 Ryman Premier play-off winners Lowestoft Town and the arrival of Havant & Waterlooville are the headline news with the rest of the shake-up panning out roughly as expected.

Hampshire's Hawks, a former Southern League club and the returning Trawler Boys, were both relegated from National League South last season. They are now preparing for Ryman Premier action come August, along with the promoted quartet of AFC Sudbury, Folkestone Invicta, Harlow Town and Worthing.

Ware will be back in Ryman North in August after a season in the Evo-Stik League Southern's Central Division along with two more familiar names, VCD Athletic and Brentwood Town back following their relegation from the Ryman's top flight in April. Two clubs new to the Ryman make up the division's 24 club line-up, Essex Senior League champions Bowers & Pitsea and Norwich United, the Eastern Counties League's champions.

Ryman South will also feature two clubs new to the league, Southern Counties East League champions Greenwich Borough and Godalming Town, switched sideways from the Evo-Stik League Southern's Central Division after the Surrey outfit's tenth-placed finish in April.

After dropping out of the Ryman in 2014, Horsham are back as Southern Combination Football League champions, along with relegated Lewes and Cray Wanderers, their switch south and sideways making up the numbers in Ryman South.

Ryman League 2016-17 Constitution

Ryman Premier
AFC Sudbury, Billericay Town, Bogor Regis Town, Burgess Hill Town,Canvey Island, Dulwich Hamlet, Enfield Town, Folkestone Invicta, Grays Athletic, Harlow Town, Harrow Borough, Havant & Waterlooville, Hendon, Kingstonian, Leatherhead, Leiston, Lowestoft Town, Merstham, Metropolitan Police, Needham Market, Staines Town, Tonbridge Angels, Wingate & Finchley and Worthing.

Ryman North
AFC Hornchurch, Aveley, Bowers & Pitsea, Brentwood Town, Brightlingsea Regent, Bury Town, Cheshunt, Dereham Town, Great Wakering Rovers, Haringey Borough, Heybridge Swifts, Maldon & Tiptree, Norwich United, Phoenix Sports, Romford, Soham Town Rangers, Thamesmead Town, Thurrock, Tilbury, VCD Athletic, Waltham Abbey, Ware, Witham Town and Wroxham.

Ryman South
Carshalton Athletic, Chatham Town, Chipstead, Corinthian-Casuals, Cray Wanderers, Dorking Wanderers, East Grinstead Town, Faversham Town, Godalming Town, Greenwich Borough, Guernsey, Hastings United, Herne Bay, Horsham, Hythe Town, Lewes, Molesey, Ramsgate, Sittingbourne, South Park, Three Bridges, Tooting & Mitcham United, Walton Casuals and Whyteleafe.

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Where next?

Brown signs on for new season Jody Brown is looking forward to guiding Heybridge Swifts in Ryman North again next season after confirming he was staying on for the 2016-17 campaign.
Legend returns as new manager Grays Athletic legend Jamie Stuart has been unveiled as the Ryman Premier club's new manager.

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