If predicting the outcome of a football season was easy, every bookmaker in the country would go out of business, wouldn’t they?
That said, although there is no such thing as a dead cert, our Premier Division predictors back in July did manage to get the top two right, and in the right order- although given the largess of Billericay the biggest surprise, perhaps, was that Dulwich Hamlet came so close to catching them. The fans also deserve credit for their predictions on the final positions of Leiston and Leatherhead, which were only just incorrect, and fans of Burgess Hill Town will be delighted that they proved you wrong, if only just, by not finishing at the bottom of the pile.
In truth, however, the unpalatable fact is that when you compare the final table and the predicted table- and you can, they are both below- the outcome is more notable for what our fans got wrong, not what they got right! Hendon and Folkestone Invicta were meant to finish twentieth and seventeenth, not third and fourth. Tonbridge Angels and Enfield Town, according to our soothsayers, were going to finish 3rd and 5th, yet came in at 11th and 17th. Tooting & Mitcham United should have had a comfortable mid-table season, but instead…well, let’s not dwell on that.
Bostik Premier prediction table, 2017-18
They were also ten places or more out with their final placings for Lowestoft Town, Harlow Town, Met Police and Harrow Borough- but were right on the money where Wingate & Finchley were concerned.
Now, just for a bit of fun- there is no prize apart from permission to boast about your prowess- we’ve been through all of the Bostik Premier Supporters predictions we received, and come up with a winner. We gave three points for a correct prediction and one point for being within two places.
The outcome was actually rather close- although, in truth, nobody did brilliantly (damning with faint praise just a little here)- and after the final numbers were checked and checked again, the winner was Martin Black, representing Margate! Martin only got two positions exactly right- those of Staines Town and Wingate & Finchley- but was almost right with nine of the others. Congratulations Martin, you win Kentish bragging rights for the Premier Division! Tooting & Mitcham United’s Andy Harrup was just behind and got four positions entirely correct, whilst Laurence Ball of Leiston and Daniel Baquero of Billericay were level in third place.
We’ll be doing this again for the new season, so if you fancy representing your club, answering questions about your favourite moments of last season and your hopes for the next one, and then putting together your prediction table, email Ian on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Premier Division 2017-18, courtesy of the Non League Paper