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 South Division.
Bostik South prediction table, 2017-18
It should perhaps come as no surprise that you’ve predicted that five of the top six finishers at the end of this season will be sides who were also in the top seven at the end of the last campaign. All of the relegated sides from last season’s Premier Division ended up in the Bostik North Division, so you expect the most competitive sides this year to be the ones who challenged most strongly last year- and with an extra promotion place available you can be sure that they all hope you’re right.
What is perhaps worth commenting on is just how far you expect Gary Alexander’s Greenwich Borough to be ahead of the chasing pack. A colossal fifty percent of those who voted believe that the boys from the Royal Borough will end the season on top of the pile. The battle for second place, however, you expect to be extremely close between Carshalton Athletic and Corinthian-Casuals; so close, in fact, that the two were only divided by Athletic getting one more first place prediction than their rivals from Tolworth. The bookmakers also agree with you, placing Borough as favourites, but they place Casuals and Hastings Utd as the two sides battling for the runners-up spot, with Ashford United in fourth and Athletic in fifth.
At the wrong end of the table you were adamant that the Musselmen of Shoreham would be heading straight back from whence they came- understandable given their preparation was delayed by six weeks and they are somewhat of an unknown quantity- but they will be striving to prove you wrong. The bookmakers have them priced as joint fourth favourites for promotion, so we shall see who will have egg on their face at season end.
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 South ground on Saturday.
Here are Saturday’s fixtures:
Ashford United v Carshalton Athletic
Chipstead v Sittingbourne
Cray Wanderers v Thamesmead Town
Greenwich Borough v Whyteleafe
Guernsey v East Grinstead Town
Hastings United v Corinthian-Casuals
Herne Bay v Lewes
Hythe Town v Walton Casuals
Molesey v Horsham
Ramsgate v Phoenix Sports
Shoreham v South Park
VCD Athletic v Faversham Town