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The Non-League Football Paper

The NLP’s Guide to the National League 2018/19

AFC FYLDE

Mill Farm, Coronation Way, Wesham, PR4 3JZ

Opening Week: Bromley (h), Wrexham (a), Havant & W (a)

NLP Star Signing: Ryan Croasdale (Kidderminster)

NLP Verdict: Signalled their intent this summer in the transfer market and look strong enough to finish in the play-offs again.

 

ALDERSHOT TOWN

The EBB Stadium, GU11 1TW

Opening Week: Barnet (H), Chesterfield (a), Solihull Moors (a)

NLP Star Signing: Regan Booty (Huddersfield on loan)

NLP Verdict: Having lost the core of a successful side last season, Waddock’s new brigade have big shoes to fill.

 

BARNET

The Hive, Camrose Avenue, London, HA8 6AG

Opening Week: Aldershot (a), Braintree (h), Eastleigh (h)

NLP Star Signing: Dan Sparkes (Dagenham & Redbridge)

NLP Verdict: With so much competition, a play-off spot might be John Still’s best hope.

 

BARROW

Holker Street, LA14 5UW

Opening Week: Havant (h), Halifax (a), Leyton Orient (a),

NLP Star Signing: John Rooney (Guiseley)

NLP Verdict: It could well be a baptism of fire for Ian Evatt in his first permanent managerial position.

 

BOREHAM WOOD

Meadow Park, WD6 5AL

Opening Week: Dagenham (h), Havant (a), Wrexham (a),

NLP Star Signing: Manny Parry (Wrexham)

NLP Verdict: Tough to replicate the heights of last season but Luke Garrard is a talented manager and gets the best out of a squad with a good blend of youth and experience.

 

BRAINTREE

Ironmongery Direct Stadium, CM7 3RD

Opening Week: Halifax (h), Barnet (a), Chesterfield (h)

NLP Star Signing: Michael Clark (Leyton O)

NLP Verdict: National League survival looks set to be a tough test.

 

BROMLEY

Hayes Lane, BR2 9EF

Opening Week: AFC Fylde (a), Dover (h), Harrogate (h),

NLP Star Signing: Bobby Joe-Taylor (Aldershot)

NLP Verdict: Outsiders, but a good start like last year will only breed confidence.

 

 

DAGENHAM?& REDBRIDGE

Victoria Rd, RM10 7XL

Opening Week: Boreham Wood (a), Maidstone (h), Maidenhead (h)

NLP Star Signing: Alex Davey (Boreham W)

NLP Verdict: It’s been a chastening few months for Daggers fans but you’d fancy they have enough to be OK.

 

CHESTERFIELD

Proact Stadium, S41 8NZ

Opening Week: Ebbsfleet (a), Aldershot T (h), Braintree (h),

NLP Star Signing: Shwan Jalal (Macclesfield)

NLP Verdict: Consecutive relegations often spell the worst. But Martin Allen is a manager who can guide Chesterfield back.

 

DOVER ATHLETIC

Crabble, CT17 0JB

Opening Week: Wrexham (h), Bromley (a), Gateshead (a),

NLP Star Signing: Moussa Diarra (Barrow)

NLP Verdict: Strong last year and have recruited well but is a play-off spot too much to ask for?

 

EBBSFLEET

Stonebridge Road, DA11 9GN

Opening Week: Chesterfield (h), Leyton Orient (a), Hartlepool (a),

NLP Star Signing: Ebou Adams (Norwich)

NLP Verdict: The Fleet have added wisely but also kept hold of last season’s play-off squad, and will be challenging at the top this term.

 

EASTLEIGH

Ten Acres, SO50 9HT

Opening Week: Solihull Moors (h), Sutton United (a), Barnet (a),

NLP Star Signing: Alex Wynter (Maidstone)

NLP Verdict: No Stewart Donald, but could that bring the squad closer together? We expect an improvement on last season’s 14th-place finish.

 

FC HALIFAX TOWN

The MBi Shay Stadium, HX1 2YS

Opening Week:  Braintree T (a), Barrow (h),Maidstone Utd (h),

NLP Star Signing: Josh Staunton (Woking)

NLP Verdict: Another club to feel if the benefits of going full-time are worth it. Will be interesting to see how the new signings can settle as they bid to beat the drop.

 

GATESHEAD

International Stadium, NE10 0EF

Opening Week: Maidenhead (a), Salford City (h), Dover Athletic (h)

NLP Star Signing: Luke Armstrong (Middlesbrough on loan)

NLP Verdict: Lost some big players in the summer but boss Watson knows the task ahead.

 

HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE

Westleigh Park, PO9 5TH

Opening Week: Barrow (a), Boreham Wood (h), AFC Fylde (h),

NLP Star Signing: Paul Robinson (AFC Wimbledon)

NLP Verdict: After hitting rock bottom, this Havant side under Lee Bradbury have gone from strength to strength and they may surprise a few.

 

HARROGATE TOWN

The CNG Stadium, HG2 7SA

Opening Week: Sutton Utd (h), Hartlepool Utd (a), Bromley (a),

NLP Star Signing: Aaron Williams (Brackley Town)

NLP Verdict: Turning the 3G pitch-equipped Wetherby Road into a fortress again this season will be key for the newcomers, who should have enough to hold their own.

 

HARTLEPOOL UTD

Victoria Park, TS24 8BZ

Opening Week: Maidstone U (a), Harrogate T (h), Ebbsfleet U (h),

NLP Star Signing: Liam Noble (Notts County)

NLP Verdict: After a season of turmoil, Pools fans will hope stability will finally help their cause.

 

LEYTON ORIENT

Brisbane Road, E10 5NF

Opening Week: Salford (a), Ebbsfleet (h), Barrow (h),

NLP Star Signing: Dale Gorman (Stevenage)

NLP Verdict: With a season under his belt, Edinburgh can push Orient on to new heights and a top-three finish, or maybe even better than that. Watch this space.

 

MAIDENHEAD UNITED

York Road, SL6 1SF

Opening Week: Gateshead (h), Solihull Moors (a), Dagenham & Redbridge (a),

NLP Star Signing: Ryan Bird (Dover)

NLP Verdict: The Magpies are looking up, not down, so don’t be surprised to see them improve on their 12th place last season. Play-offs, though, may be just beyond them.

 

MAIDSTONE UNITED

Gallagher Stadium, ME14 1LQ

Opening Week: Hartlepool Utd (h), Dagenham & Redbridge (a), FC Halifax (a)

NLP Star Signing: Alex Finney (QPR)

NLP Verdict: Struggled last term following some high-profile departures but there’s a reason Macclesfield wanted boss Jay Saunders this summer.

 

SALFORD CITY

The Peninsula Stadium, M7 3PZ

Opening Week: Leyton Orient (h), Gateshead (a), Sutton Utd (a),

NLP Star Signing: Danny Lloyd (Peterborough United)

NLP Verdict: With their spending power, Salford City have to be the favourites. They will want to get off to a strong start to keep those waiting for any early slips at bay.

 

SOLIHULL MOORS

Damson Park, B92 9EJ

Opening Week: Eastleigh (a), Maidenehad United (h), Aldershot T (h),

NLP Star Signing: Danny Wright (Cheltenham)

NLP Verdict: There seems to be a good vibe at Moors and they could be a surprise package this season!

 

SUTTON UTD

Gander Green Lane, SM1 2EY

Opening Week: Harrogate (a), Eastleigh (h), Salford (h)

NLP Star Signing: Dan Wishart (Forest Green)

NLP Verdict: Sutton have recruited well and replaced what they’ve lost – there’s no reason why they can’t finish in the top seven again.

 

WREXHAM

The Racecourse, LL11 2AH

Opening Week: Dover (a), AFC Fylde (h), Boreham W (h)

NLP Star Signing: Luke Young (Torquay)

NLP Verdict: The signing of Luke Young is a massive coup for the club but Wrexham need to start turning single points into three – a lack of goals cost them dearly last season as their challenge fell meekly away.

 

*This article originally featured in The @NonLeaguePaper which is available every Sunday and Monday

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