With Selsey marking the start of pre-season friendly action on Saturday, travel plans can start to be made for the return to competitive fare on Thursday, when the league unveil the who v who of 2019-2020.
If July is too soon for some to be watching the beautiful game again then you can start crossing off the days until August 10th, when the newly named BetVictor Isthmian League computer spits out the full and comprehensive list of who’s going where and when for the next nine months, just in time for the weekend.
While we may have said goodbye to Burgess Hill Town, Whitehawk, Harlow Town, Dorking Wanderers and Tonbridge Angels, it’s ‘Hello again’ to Horsham, Cray Wanderers, Cheshunt, East Thurrock United, and a first time welcome to, Bowers & Pitsea.
Our Sussex neighbours will provide another new ground for some but others may see The Hornets at their fourth different base in a little over a decade. They are another to join ‘The 3G Revolution’ along with the side we met most recently in The FA Trophy a couple of campaigns ago, Cray Wanderers.
It’s been a bit longer since we last locked horns with both Cheshunt and East Thurrock United but have enjoyed more recent tussles with The Amber’s Manager, Craig Edwards. The Hertfordshire side sit a mere stones throw from Enfield Town.
North Division Champions, Bowers & Pitsea have experienced quite a rise in recent years and continue to go through significant changes on and off the pitch. Can they make a bid for National League South or will consolidation be more realistic ?
Merstham have lost their charismatic and hugely successful Manager, Hayden Bird to Kingstonian, along with most of their players but have appointed Frank Wilson to succeed him and he’s brought in a raft of signings from his previous team, Tooting & Mitcham United. Will it be a case of roles reversed for those two clubs this term ?
WIth the early rounds of the main FA competitions also coming out a day later – although we won’t be involved in The FA Cup quite yet – it promises to be a tense time for those who have been forced to spend their days since the end of April getting all those odd jobs done around the house.
Who’s up first ? Where does it all end ? Are we home or away on Boxing Day and can I enjoy a shandy or two on New Year’s Eve because we’re not playing New Year’s Day ?!