Title odds 28/1
There have been eighth, fifth and sixth placed finishes for the Kent side since they were promoted back to the league in 2014. Athletic had one of the stand out players in the division last season in forward Ricky Miller who scored an incredible 42 goals in 43 games - The 28 year old has since joined League One side Peterborough United on a three year deal. He counts a huge number of clubs in his career representing Charlton Athletic and Woking as a youth/academy player, Stamford (4 spells), Cottesmore Amateurs, Bourne Town, Rothwell Town, Corby Town (2 spells), Hitchin Town, Fleet Town, Spalding United, Boston United (2 spells), Cambridge City, Aylesbury, Wealdstone, Hemel Hempstead Town, St Ives Town, Arlesey Town and Luton Town before moving to The Crabble. Manager Chris Kinnear has made a number of signings for the club after losing Miller as well as the three players to Sutton United. Defender George Essuman joined in March 2017 from Isthmian League side VCD Athletic - He has also played for Ware, Grays Athletic, Maldon and Tiptree as well as Enfield Town u21s. Forward Jamie Allen (from Southport) and Tobi Sho-Silva (Bromley) have been recruited. Kinnear could be called 'Mr Dover' having been in charge since 2013 which is his second spell at the club having been boss between 1985 to 1995.
COLD END PREDICTION - MILLER WILL BE DIFFICULT TO REPLACE AND THE KENT SIDE WILL MISS HIS GOALS. IT COULD BE A SEASON OF MID-TABLE MEDIOCRITY FOR THEM THIS SEASON.
Title odds 33/1
A respectable 14th place finish for The Stones in the new club's first season in the Vanarama National. Ground improvements have been made at The Gallagher Stadium pushing the capacity up to 4,191 which has probably been the most important development for the club since promotion. Defenders Josh Hare (from Eastbourne Borough) and Joe Anderson (Bromley) have joined along with left-winger Tom Wraight (East Thurrock United) and forward Johan Ter Horst (Hull City). 22 year old Wraight could be a really good signing if he can make the step up from the South to the National division - he scored 43 goals in two seasons for East Thurrock. Ter Horst (also 22) has spent the last three season on Hull's books after joining them from Isthmian League side Folkestone Invicta where he scored 26 goals in the 2013/14 campaign. He could also potentially be a superb player for The Stones.
COLD END PREDICTION - THE STONES ONLY WON EIGHT OF TWENTY-THREE HOME LEAGUE GAMES LAST SEASON. THE PLAY-OFF QUALIFIERS WON AN AVERAGE OF JUST UNDER FOURTEEN TO FINISH IN THE TOP FIVE. THEY WILL HAVE TO IMPROVE BUT WILL THEY ADVANCE THAT MUCH TO CHALLENGE FOR A PLAY-OFF SPOT. IT'S POSSIBLE BUT I THINK IT'S ONE SEASON TOO EARLY AS PLAYERS RECRUITED FROM LOWER DIVISIONS MAY TAKE TIME TO SETTLE AT A HIGHER LEVEL. THE CLUB HAVE REACHED THE FIRST ROUND OF THE EMIRATES FA CUP FOR THE LAST THREE SEASONS SO COULD DO WELL AGAIN THIS CAMPAIGN.
FC Halifax Town
Title odds 33/1
The Shaymen, relegated to the Vanarama North division on the final day of the 2015/16 season, bounced back to achieve promotion via the play offs last season beating Chorley 2-1 after extra time in front of nearly 8,000 people at The Shay. Striker Ben Tomlison has been recruited - he most recently played for Carlise United. Defender/Midfielder Connor Oliver has joined from North Ferriby United - he played 26 times in the Vanarama National last season and has also played for Hartlepool United, Blackpool and Morecambe.
COLD END PREDICTION - WON'T GO UP BUT WON'T GO DOWN. I THINK THE FC HALIFAX TOWN FANS WILL BE HAPPY WITH A MID-TABLE FINISH.
PART SIX TO FOLLOW