The Football Association Non League System committee has just announced the constitutions of the leagues and divisions for the forthcoming 2021/2 season.
After some speculation that Staines Town would be shuffled back to the Southern League, it is with a degree of relief that we are remaining as Isthmian members, still in the South Central Division 1 in which we have played for the past two aborted seasons.
Fourteen of our twenty opponents remain, but we will be saying goodbye to six clubs located in the northern and eastern extremities of the division, namely Barking, FC Romania, Harlow Town, Hertford Town, Waltham Abbey, and Ware.
Replacing them will be two promoted sides from step 5 – Binfield located near Bracknell, and previously members of the Premier Division of the Hellenic League, and Sutton Common Rovers, who have been playing in the Combined Counties League Premier Division at Sutton United FC’s stadium. We have never played Binfield before at any level, and our matches against Sutton Common Rovers have only been at Reserve and Youth levels.
The quota is completed by four sides who have been shuffled sideways from other step 4 divisions. Two of these are old friends and adversaries from Basingstoke Town (formerly in the Southern League, whom we last met in 2018/19), Whyteleafe from the Isthmian South East (last senior meetings being in 2003/4).
Thatcham Town are also moving our way from the Southern League, and – apart from a 1992 friendly – it will be constitute our first League meeting since 1955/6). The final club is the one that will cause the most excitement, as we will be off to another former Isthmian South East member whom we have never met before – Guernsey FC!