We're asking fans from each of our clubs to answer a series of questions about the past, present and future- and to predict the final league table for 22-23. Daniel introduces us to family-friendly Beckenham Town, and encourages you to bring your Non League dog!
1. Thinking about last season, what were your highlights?
The obvious highlight was the emotional 3-0 win against Camberley Town on the final day that sealed our first league title for 94 years. But there were plenty of memorable moments along the way. Our opening day victory against previously undefeated Jersey Bulls (we played with 10 men for an hour), the tense 1-0 win away to title rivals Walton & Hersham in February and the 4-0 win at Redhill that sealed promotion were all momentous occasions. Our FA Vase run that took us across four counties was great fun too.
2. Moving on to your current squad- which players do you think will make a big impact during the 2022-23?
That we have retained the majority of our title winning squad says a lot about the unity and feel-good factor around the club. Inspirational skipper Danny Waldren and prolific striker Louie Theopanous have experience at this level and above, and our brilliant young wingers Steve Townsend and Freddie Nyhus will step up effortlessly. Our defence was outstanding last year and picks itself. Plus, we have made some really exciting additions in the summer- Bradley Goldberg coming out of retirement to sign for us is a tremendous coup!
3. Realistically, how do you think you’ll do this season?
The heart says we have enough experience and quality to challenge for a play-off spot. The head says we will consolidate our position in a really competitive and even league. A cup run would be lovely too- the dream is an FA Trophy tie against a step 1 or 2 club.
4. Which matches are you most looking forward to going to- and why?
All of them! When I saw we were placed in the South East I was rubbing my hands together. We have trips to the coast plus visits to some of our old friends from our SCEFL days, and I plan to get to most of them. I wanted a coastal visit in August so was delighted when the computer fixture served up Lancing away on day 1!
5. What is your favourite Isthmian away ground?
We're new to this level so you might need to ask me that again at the end of the season! Ramsgate's ground is set to a stunning backdrop so I am looking forward to that one. Outside of the South East, I grew up in Bury St Edmunds so have visited Bury Town's Ram Meadow plenty of times. Maybe we will play them in the league cup!
6. Who do you consider your biggest rivals- and why?
Having spent a year apart, following our transfer to the Combined Counties League, it will be great to lock horns with Chatham Town and Sheppey United again. Both clubs always bring decent followings to Eden Park Avenue, games are tightly contested and there is plenty of friendly banter between the fans. Looking forward to coming up against Corinthian too after COVID curtailed our epic title battle in 2020.
7. What advice would you give to any away supporter visiting you for the first time?
First of all make sure you have visited an ATM as it is a cash only venue! If you're coming from London get the train to Eden Park station, which is just 5 minutes walk to the ground. Get there with enough time to grab a burger and have a drink in our clubhouse. The atmosphere at Eden Park Avenue is always friendly and families (especially four legged members!) are welcome. After the game head up to Beckenham (short bus or uber ride if you don't fancy the 20 minute walk) where you will find plenty of bars and restaurants.
8. Who is your favourite player of all time (for your club)- and why?
Our former player Alfie Nunn passed away suddenly earlier this year. Alfie was our striker and captain in our historic cup treble winning season in 2014. Our league win was dedicated to him.
9. Who do you predict will finish in the top five this season?
Whitehawk, Haywards Heath Town, Sevenoaks Town, Ramsgate, Ashford United
Thanks Daniel- right, who's next? If you'd like to represent your club, email Ian at email@example.com and he'll be in touch shortly.
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