The Moatsiders escaped finishing in the bottom four by just a point ending up in twentieth place of the table last season - it would of been fourteenth but they were deducted three points for playing an ineligible player in one game. This followed a tenth place finish in their debut season at Step Three at 2015/16 - their season will be remembered for their FA Cup run where they beat East Preston, Colliers Wood United, Thamesmead Town and Ebbsfleet United before losing to Oxford United in the First Round Proper.
They have announced four signings for the news season with goalkeeper Chris Haigh returning the club after a spell with Division One (South) East Grinstead Town. He also counts St Albans City and Braintree Town as his former clubs. Nathan Gordon also returns to the club from Walton & Hersham - He has also played for Redbridge, Grays Athletic and Tooting and Mitcham amongst other clubs. Youssef Bamba was recently with Kingstonian and has played for Guildford City, Salisbury City, Farnbrough and Walton Casuals. Sahr Kabba started his career with Millwall but has also played for Weston-super-Mare, Gloucester City, Havant & Waterlooville, Welling United, Lincoln City, Wealdstone and Harrow Borough.
They start their pre-season campaign on Tuesday 18th July with a trip to Division One (South) side Whyteleafe - they welcome an AFC Wimbledon XI on Tuesday 25th July and a Crystal Palace XI on Tuesday 8th August in their stand out games.
Mekhail McLaughlin, Ola Sogbanmu and Roman Michael-Percil have departed Imber Court from last season's squad. As shown below The Blues face a seven game pre-season schedule.
The Marketmen have signed Gareth Heath from Leiston as detailed in an earlier article. Defender (who is known as a ball playing centre-half) Tom Rothery has also signed from Division One (North) side Dereham Town where he has spent the last four seasons where last campaign he was Captain. He has also played for Thetford Town and Haverhill Rovers. The Suffolk side welcome a Colchester United team to Bloomfields on Tuesday 11th July for their first pre-season game.
After relegation from the Vanarama South in 2015 The Swans have finished in 16th and 12th place of the Ryman Premier for the last season. Johnson Hippolyte will start his second full season in charge of the club for the 2017/18 campaign.
Goalkeeper Jack Turner has move on after five seasons with the club and over 270 games for the club. Lewis Driver has joined having played for Hendon but is known to Hippolyte for his time with Maidenhead United. Ben Martin joins having played recently for St Albans City and Welling United.
The Essex club make a welcome return to the Isthmian Premier Division after a four season stay in Division One (North) where they finished 6th, 5th, 2nd and 3rd. Lewis Spence has returned to the club after a spell with Greenwich Borough in Division One (South). He started his career with Crystal Palace and counts Wycombe Wanderers and Dover Athletic among his former clubs. Centre-Forward Dennis Oli has also joined from Farnborough - the 33 year old is well experienced having made 32 appearances for QPR between 2001 and 2004 before playing for Gravesend and Northfleet, Swansea City, Cambridge United, Grays Athletic, Gillingham, Wycombe Wanderers, Havant & Waterlooville and Hemel Hempstead Town before joining Farnborough last season.
The Fleet will have arguably the most experienced manager in the division having managed in the Conference with Grays Athletic & Stevenage Borough and in the league with Gillingham and Barnet before a short spell with Kettering Town. He has been place at Ship Lane since 2012. Between 2005 and 2007 he won the FA Trophy three times in a row - twice with Grays Athletic and then with Stevenage Borough.
After spending much of the 2016/17 season in the play-off zone The Angels will be very disappointed with their sixth place finish at the end of the 46 games played.
One face well known to Ryman League supporters who will be representing the club next season is Jey Siva who joins after spending last season with Division One (South) side Cray Wanderers. He has also represented Enfield Town, Wealdstone and Grays Athletic - He is always popular and a real fan's favourite wherever he plays.
Tooting & Mitcham United
The Terrors return to the Premier Division after a five season stay in Division One (South) which they topped last season with a points total of 105 scoring 120 goals in the process. Manager Frank Wilson has confirmed Bash Alimi and Jack Mazzone who were part of last season's successful squad won't be returning for the 2017/18 campaign. No news of any new signings on the playing front as yet but Phil Fifield has joined as lead goalkeeping coach who has worked with a number of professional clubs at home and abroad.
Crystal Palace u23 will visit on Tuesday 1st August which is a fixture which will likely attract a decent crowd to Imperial Fields.
Wingate & Finchley
The Blues kick off their pre-season campaign with a game against Welwyn Garden City on Saturday 8th July at Barnet Lane Training Centre. A game which is well worth a mention is Wingate's game at Hanwell Town on Saturday 29th July which is a benefit match for Billy Healey who suffered a career threatening injury whilst playing for Hanwell Town last season. A familiar face to local non-league fans we wish Billy all the best in his recovery.
The Rebels have made a two signings for the new season so far. Free-Scoring midfielder James Fraser has joined from Bognor Regis Town - his 26 goals scored helped The Rocks gain promotion via the play-offs last season. Fraser has also represented Eastbourne Town, Eastbourne Borough, Whitehawk, Peacehaven & Telscombe and Lewes during his career. Winger Tony Nwachukwu has also been recruited from Horsham where he made over 250 apperances. It has been confirmed defender Will Hendon will not be playing for the club next season.
In other news former forward Omar Bugiel, who helped Forest Green Rovers with promotion to the football league last season after leaving the Sussex club in February, has recently been called up to the Lebanon International Squad for their recent games with UAE and Malaysia.
The club will start their pre-season games on Tuesday 4th July with a home game with a very local feel to it against their friends from Worthing United.