We asked supporters of our Isthmian League clubs to preview the new season, reflect on the old and predict the final outcome. Their predicted 1-20 (or 22) will be worked into a final table which you will see just before the big kick off.
We’re off to the Pitching In Isthmian South East, and taking a trip to Burgess Hill Town, courtesy of Sam Rattle. Remember, if you’re coming by train, you want Wivelsfield!
1. How do you feel about the return of football?
I think everyone’s just excited to get back supporting their club! It certainly feels like an age since watching a game of live football.
2. The world has changed enormously since you were last able to watch a live football match. Will the pandemic change your approach to watching the game- will you attend as many matches as you used to, and spend as much time at the ground/in the clubhouse, etc?
It’s important that all clubs have the correct measures in place. I know down at Burgess Hill a lot of time and money has been spent to ensure that the ground is COVID-19 compliant. Personally, as long as people are sensible and follow club guidance, I think we’ll all continue to enjoy Non-League football.
3. Last season had many exciting moments before its premature end. What was your favourite moment?
Our opening day victory over Hythe Town, surely! To score seven in front of a bumper crowd was completely bonkers! On a side note, off the pitch, our Light Up Leylands Crowdfunder campaign was a huge success that needs mentioning. We raised an amazing sum of money to renovate the floodlights, and, as importantly, it bought all our fans, local businesses, and the wider community together.
4. And what was your worst moment?
The season being brought to a premature end! Jay looked like he had a decent squad in place to build some momentum heading into the new season. The home game felt like an end of season game, nothing more to add (ironically it was our last game before the season was ended).
5. How will you do this season?
I reckon we’ll do well. It looks as though the new signings are all settling in well, and we’ve retained the bulk of last season’s young squad. I’m confident we’ll be in and around it come the end of the season!
6. Which matches are you most looking forward to going to- and why?
I love both fixtures against Whitehawk. They’re a proper club with a great set of fans – both home and away. They always bring a good following to our place, and as do we to them.
7. What is your favourite away ground?
Again, the TerraPura Ground (Whitehawk) has to be up there. A more left field shout is Salters Lane (Faversham) – never seen us drop a point there!
8. Who do you consider your biggest rivals- and why?
There’s a fair few Sussex-based sides in this division, so we have plenty of local derbies!
9. What advice would you give to any away supporter visiting you for the first time?
Get the train to Wivesfield...not Burgess Hill! Also, if you value your ears, don’t stand anywhere near George and his drum.
10. Who is your favourite player of all time (for your club)- and why?
There’s been a few proper players over the years. It’s hard to look past Pat Harding. Club legend, over 400 appearances and counting, and would still make most manager’s Team of the Season! Josh James has also been a fantastic servant and in my opinion is one of the best ‘keepers around. Greg Luer could obviously play a bit(!), and Darren Budd on his day was different gear.
11. Who will be in the top five at the end of the season?
Whitehawk, Hastings United, Ashford United, Whyteleafe, Burgess Hill Town
Image- Chris Neal
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