Sunday, 25 May 2014


*subject to appeals - to be fully confirmed at league's AGM
24 teams 

HAYES & YEADING UNITED (relegated from Conference South) 
LEATHERHEAD (promoted from Ryman Division One South)
PEACEHAVEN & TELSCOMBE (promoted from Ryman Division One South)
TONBRIDGE ANGELS (relegated from Conference South) 
VCD ATHLETIC (promoted from Ryman Division One North)
WITHAM TOWN (promoted from Ryman Division One North)


HAYES & YEADING UNITED were formed in 2007 and took Hayes FC's place in the Conference South which they had held since 2004. The new club were promoted to the Conference National in 2009 and spent three season's in non-league's top division before relegation in 2012. The club played at Church Road until 2011 when the last game was played at the spiritual home of Hayes FC. They have since ground shared at Woking's Kingfield Stadium whilst a new stadium is developed on Beaconsfield Road where Yeading's old ground stood. "The Sharda Glass Community Stadium" is still a work in progress so the club will start 2014/15 away from their home borough in Middlesex agreeing a ground share deal with Conference South side Maidenhead United.

Ex Liverpool, Conventry City and Sunderland defender Phil Babb is the manager who is assisted by Tristan Lewis (who spent six years with Reading FC prior to joining H&Y). Ground Sharing has put a dent in the club's crowds with an average of just 154 attending for their league games in 2013/14 - just 97 and 94 saw the games v Bath City and Concord Rangers.

TONBRIDGE ANGELS will be under new management for the 2014/15 season. Tommy Warrilow, who had been in charge for six and half years, left the club after relegation from the Conference South was confirmed on Easter Monday. He has been replaced by Steve McKimm who had been head coach at Sutton United for six years. He had played a massive part of the U's Ryman Premier Championship campaign in 2011 and their second placed finish in the Conference South last season. The Angels website report "Throwing money at promotion attempts is not the Tonbridge way, so the new boss will be given time to build his squad, though as a fierce competitor he is unlikely to settle for second best." - They seem a club run in the correct manner and it is clear to see McKimm will be given time to build a squad capable of promotion. 

Three new players have been signed for the new campaign being James Folkes a 24 year old right back/midfielder and former Queens Park Rangers trainee who has also played for Ebbsfleet United, Sutton United and last season at AFC Hornchurch. Twenty one year old left-back Ben King has previously at Barnet and Crawley Town and played for McKimm at Sutton United towards the end of last season. Harry Harding, 22, started his career with Bromley and moved into the football league with Reading who subsequently loaned him back to Bromley. He was released by Reading and went on to represent Lewes and Carshalton Athletic. 

After over forty years in the Sussex County League PEACEHAVEN and TELSCOMBE joined the Ryman League for the 2013/14 season. They were 40/1 outsiders for the Division One (South) championship at the start of the season but cruised to the title to record their second successive promotion in as many seasons. The completed a league and cup double when lifting the Sussex Senior Cup for the first time courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Ryman Premier Bognor Regis Town in front of over 2,000 people at The Amex Stadium. 

Shaun Saunders is the man in charge at Piddinghoe Avenue and has been for the past three seasons. Peacehaven is just six miles away from Brighton so if Enfield Town are lucky enough to play them on a Saturday it could be a great chance for a weekend away. The town of Peacehaven only began life in 1914 and now has a population of just under 15,000. The town's famous cliffs were used in the iconic film Quadrophenia's final scenes. 

LEATHERHEAD spent from 1983 to 2011 away from the Isthmian League's top division to return via a dramatic play-off victory over Dulwich Hamlet for just one season (11/12). The Tanner's missed out on the play-offs finishing in sixth place in 12/13. They came third this season and won at runner's up Folkestone Invicta on penalty kicks after extra time in the play-off final. Manager Richard Brady has already secured the services of play-of-the-year and fan's favourite Jerry Nnamani. The former Crystal Palace and Bromley defender has signed for the 2014/15 campaign.   

WITHAM TOWN are another side to celebrate two successive promotions after success in the Ryman Division One (North) play-offs to add to their Essex Senior League title in 2012/13. Manager Gary Kimble has made two signings in preparation of the 2014/15 season - centre-forward Jamie Guy has joined from Heybridge Swifts and has also played for Needham Market, Braintree Town and Colchester United. Winger Paul Burnett has also signed and also makes the step up from Division One (North) side Aveley. 

VCD ATHLETIC make it a trio of clubs who have gained two successive promotions to join the Ryman Premier Division. The club had been somewhat controversially relegated from the Ryman Division One (North) at the end of the 2009/10 season for ground grading problems. They rejoined from the Kent League for last season and won Division One (North) - promotion means Oakwood will see Step 3 football of the first time ever next season. Tony Russell is the boss and will certainly be looking to progress further for the 2014/15 season. 


BURY TOWN have parted company with manager Richard Wilkins who ends a fourteen year association with the Suffolk club. KINGSTONIAN have a new manager in place following the departure of Alan Dowson. Ex Carshalton Athletic boss Tommy Williams joins having played for the K's between 2008 and 2010. He has a wealth of non-league experience and has also represented Boreham Wood and Wealdstone amongst many other clubs. MET POLICE manager Jim Cooper has boosted his attacking options with the signing of ex Poole Town striker Michael Charles. The Met were ranked 21st from 24 teams in the goal scoring charts last season hitting the net 58 times in 46 games. MAIDSTONE UNITED have made two new signings both of which played in the Conference South division last campaign. Left sided midfielder James Rogers joins from Dover Athletic and defender Sonny Miles has moved from relegated Tonbridge Angels. HAMPTON and RICHMOND BOROUGH have secured the services of striker Charlie Moone. The Beaver's front man netted 40 times in the 13/14 campaign and had been chased by numerous clubs further up the pyramid. There is no doubt in my book that Moone will be among the league's top scorers for next season. 

MARGATE have been very busy signing players as Terry Brown builds a squad which looks very impressive. Striker Zac Attwood (24 goals last season) rejoins from Maidstone United. He moved to The Stones nine months ago and will be joined at Hartsdown Park by Ryan Moss (25 goals last season) who joins from Kingstonian. Midfielder Kane Willis, who impressed many fans with his performances for Bognor Regis Town last season, has also moved to the Kent club along with central defender Brett Johnson who spent last season in the Conference Premier with Working. Johnson has played under Brown at Aldershot Town and AFC Wimbledon so knows the new Gate boss well. Margate will start the season as one of the favourites for the league title.

There is also some more great news for promoted LOWESTOFT TOWN. Defender Curtley Williams has signed for Conference Champions Luton Town and becomes another of John Still's acquisitions from lower down the pyramid. I'm sure all fans of The Trawlerboys will wish him well and will be looking out for his performances in the football league next season.  

More good news for The Ryman League as a whole as attendances across the three divisions increased by 14,000 for the 2013/14 campaign with a total of 308,000 people catching a game during the season. The Cold End can only see this increasing for 2014/15 as many football fans are priced out of attending games in the Premier League and football league. 

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