Non-League Preview 2008/09

Right, here we go, then. The new season starts for the Blue Square, Ryman, Unibond and BGB Southern Leagues tomorrow, so I’ve managed to fit in a quick preview of what I think is going to unfold this season. Last season was a good season for well-run clubs, but this year looks like being a year in which money talks. There are a number of clubs starting this season with wealthy backers, which would all point towards a depressing season of chest-beating. So, which egos will be left standing at the end of the season? The Blue Square Premier: At least English football’s fifth division is stating with everyone on zero points, which is a start, although they lost Halifax Town to the primordial gloop of the Unibond League after their financial situation finally became untenable. The pre-season favourites are Stevenage Borough. During the 1990s, Stevenage’s regular attempts to muscle their way into the Football League provoked much mirth on the other side of Hertfordshire , where I come from, and they haven’t launched a sustained title bid for several seasons. Last year, they flopped dismally under the tutelage of Peter “The Man That Made David Beckham England Captain” Taylor, but they got rid of him after failing to make the play-offs, replacing him with the unctuous Graham Westley. They are stronger than they were last season and have,...

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