Bookmakers, supporters, players and managers. At this time of year everyone has an opinion on how the season will turn out, and most are confident that the outcome will be positive- particularly the bookmakers and Glenn Tamplin, which is probably just as well as they undoubtedly have the most to lose!
The supporters who took part in our season previews, which you have probably been reading for the past month, didn’t buck that trend- although in the main they seemed to elect to place their own club around 5th just in case they were accused of bias! We asked each of our participants to rank all of the clubs in their particular league from one to twenty four, and used those predictions to compile an overall league table, which is what you see here. It isn’t scientific, no complicated computer programme was used to calculate the results (just one bloke with a calculator and a headache), and we’d recommend that you don’t use it as a guide to how to beat Mr Ladbroke nor Mr Patrick Power, as we will take no responsibility if you waste your hard earned wonga. That said, we hope you’ll find the results rather interesting, as each prediction was made by someone who has actually watched the sides involved and is putting their years of football knowledge to the test.
So, here for your enjoyment and to undoubtedly start a number of arguments down the pub, are the results for our North Division.
Bostik North prediction table 2017-18
You’d think it would be easy to predict who is going to be North Division Champions, but we when all of the votes were counted we found ourselves with a three-way tie for first place. So, as a tie break, we looked at the number of participants who had ranked each club in first place, as we were sure that would sort it out.
So we looked at the number of participants who had ranked each club in second place, as that would obviously be decisive.
However, finally, after getting to how many times each club was ranked third, we managed three degrees of separation, and as such are pleased to announce that you expect Canvey Island to be crowned North Division Champions 2017/18. Maldon & Tiptree ended as runners-up, with AFC Hornchurch in the first play-off place- we suppose you could say on goal difference! Canvey kick off the new season away at AFC Sudbury- who you ranked in fifth place- on Saturday, whilst Hornchurch are at home to Soham Town Rangers and The Jammers away at Ware.
Your decision to crown Canvey flies in the face of the bookmakers, who have placed them in fourth place, however your favouring of Maldon & Tiptree and Hornchurch is reflected in the odds, as they are first and second favourites with the moneymen.
At the wrong end of the table it is sad news for the fine folk of Ware. A full 40% of those who cast a preference put the side rock bottom, and the bookmakers agree, making them joint favourites with Waltham Abbey to find themselves hovering about the trap door in the spring.
Enjoy the season! We’ll check back in May to see whether you were right- and by the way, we’ll announce your favourite Bostik North ground on Saturday.
Here are Saturday’s fixtures:
AFC Hornchurch v Soham Town Rangers
AFC Sudbury v Canvey Island
Aveley v Bowers & Pitsea
Barking v Waltham Abbey
Brentwood Town v Hertford Town
Bury Town v Romford
Dereham Town v Cheshunt
Heybridge Swifts v Mildenhall Town
Norwich United v Haringey Borough
Tilbury v Grays Athletic
Ware v Maldon & Tiptree
Witham Town v Potters Bar Town