Football Is Back – Weather Permitting – Season Preview + Prediction Challenge

Well folks, today hopefully sees the start of our new season and some things never change.

It’s past 1am in the morning and I am still way behind on things to do such as my seasons predictions and this weeks Prediction Challenge.

But before I move onto those points I will take this opportunity to remind people that we are now in a new time of how we approach our matches and our actions prior, during and after each match.

I will take this chance to remind people firstly of the following:

Before leaving home to attend a match, players (or parents/ guardians on behalf of) and staff members should assess whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, for example, a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, new unexplained shortness of breath, loss of taste, or smell etc.

Anyone showing any of the above symptoms should stay home and not attend any sessions when they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

Obviously this is due to Covid-19. Each Club will have done a Covid-19 Risk Assessment and anyone attending will be made aware of what is entailed within these.

As I need my bed and have to be up early to carry on with other football related issues I will have to hurry through my seasons forecast.

We bid farewell to Amblecote Nomads, Corinthians S.K and St Mary’s and as we move into next season it will be 2 Divisions of 8 teams. With these 3 teams leaving Division 1 I think it’s harder to predict the relegation area than the top.

I cannot see anyone stopping Connect Sports from being Champions, I thought the same last year but was persuaded to change my mind, (foolish me, because Connect were a slam dunk to finish last season as Champions in my eyes). So, will we have any new challengers for them or will they just steamroller everyone out of the way? Well, I once saw a steamroller going down a decline on Kidderminster Ring Road and a car overtook it and then pulled straight in front of it, only to have to pull up at an island around 30 yards further down the road. I have never heard a steamroller blast their horn so much and I was relieved that the car got out of the way in time because it would have been flattened, (I was not the driver of the said car by the way)! Well, I saw that in real life and I believe I will see similar this season as Connect totally dominate Division 1.

St Andrews’ Netherton flatter to deceive. I am sure they have more in their locker than they deliver and whilst I think it’s 2nd or 3rd for them, but I would not bank on 2nd.

You can never discount Clarendon but last season they were more like Manchester City than Liverpool, (Connect Sports). A team in transition and discovering what it is like to lose on a more regular basis than usual. Threaten for 2nd ? Hmm, not for me just yet, 4th.

I have a sneaky feeling that a WMCFL ‘sleeping giant’ might actually awaken this season and whilst they will not win the League, with a bit more application and concentration in each and every match I believe they might actually get 2nd over St Andrews’ Netherton. Like the Dwarves reclaiming Erebor in The Hobbit, it will be a battle every week but for Chawn Hill Church I can see 2nd place as a prize they can achieve.

I discounted Rowley College too easily last season predicting that they were bankers to go down. Boy, how they proved me so very, very wrong. I actually believe that the Division will be a harder one to play in with no easier games to play and everyone playing at a decent level. So, do I stick with my belief from last season or did Rowley do enough to convince me to change my mind? I definitely think that 2 teams will finish beneath them so it’s 5th or 6th for Rowley…. not sure which.

One of the 2 teams I believe will finish beneath Rowley will be Charlemont Star. Over the years they have proven to be a very stubborn team to break down but for me and to quote The Style Council. This will be the season where ‘The Walls Come Tumbling Down’ and I see Charlemont finishing bottom in 8th place.

That leaves City Church and Saint Michael and I did say I expected at least 2 teams to finish below Rowley. So which of these will it be? Saint Michael flew out of the blocks last season but fell away alarmingly after a while, although they had already bagged enough points to stay safe. In what I consider to be a tougher Division this year I cannot see any easy points for them, or indeed anyone, but when push comes to shove I think that they will finish above City Church and actually pip Rowley for 5th as well.

So that only leaves 7th place and City Church, a position I predict that they may well pin up and aim to prove me wrong come seasons end. I’m not sure if City have an aging squad or a new influx of youth which has led me to believe the former and that’s why I say 7th for them.

Well, 2am and still bashing away at the keyboard.. so much for a quick prediction!

On to Division 2 and this will be closer than Division 1.

I see a possible 3 teams challenging to be Champions but I will just come right out with it and say it’s St Thomas’ Aldridge for me. If the can keep their consistency from last season I believe they will take the title. I don’t think there will be that much in it though and a couple of slip ups may well see my prediction fail. 1st.

Of the other 2 challengers I see being involved I reckon Christ Church Coseley will be Thomas’ biggest threat. On their day they can beat the best in this Division but to win the title they cannot afford a single slip up. 2nd.

Delph Athletic I am led to believe can play some great football and can in no way be discounted from having a shot at the title. I just wonder about the strength of depth at the back for them and reckon goals let in will be their downfall. 3rd.

What of the chasing 5 teams, can anyone of those threaten? I cannot see it in all honesty.

One of only 2 ever present Clubs, Brierley Hill A.O.G, (Chawn being the other), well, not a chance they will will challenge at the top. I hate to bash a team before the season has even started but I really do see their battle as being one of not ending up bottom. Best thing is that their leader Ian Baker just loves playing football.. it’s great to win or maybe even draw. But even if you lose it’s still great to be able to play football. A vague tale from the past should remind us of this. I believe a football team were losing and there was some moaning going on whereby the manager looked at his players and said the following, ‘there’s a chap in a wheelchair watching this match, how much would he love to be able to be out on this pitch and play football’? It’s all about perspective folks, football is a great game to play and Brierley HIll AOG are a beacon of light for me irrespective of how they do. However, it’s still an 8th place for them from me.

4th to 7th could be anyones in this Division but I have to predict something so here goes with the remaining teams.

I don’t see many goals being scored by Selly Oak Methodist who have had a bit of a torrid time over the past few seasons. This will continue and it’s 7th place for me.

Whilst Living Hope Church United do have goals within them unless they have managed to improve at the back then too many goals let in will cost them. 6th for me.

That leaves Dudley Lions and Monyhull Church for 4th or 5th. Now this is a tricky one. I reckon Dudley are a more battling team whereas Monyhull can produce some lovely attacking football. Again though, it’s all about being tight at the back and I think Dudley may just be a shade better in that department. So it’s Dudley Lions 4th and Monyhull Church 5th for me.

So that’s it, nearly 2.30am and that’s my seasons prediction.

I will give my weekly preview a miss this week as it is quite late plus as the rains continues to bash down I do wonder if we will actually get any football played. However, whilst there is to be no preview there is the weekly Prediction Challenge and thanks to Pete Bennett from Rowley College for being this weeks Challenger, especially as I only asked him after last nights lengthy League Meeting, (ever reliable is Pete… I hope his match is on so that we get at least one Match Report). So here it is;

 

3rd October, 2020
Neil Kovacs
Division One
Charlemont Star 1 Clarendon 4
Chawn Hill Church 2 St Andrews Netherton 1
City Church 0 Connect Sports 6
Saint Michael 1 Rowley College 1
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 4 Living Hope Church Utd 1
Dudley Lions 2 Monyhull Church 2
Selly Oak Methodist 1 Christ Church Coseley 4
St Thomas’ Aldridge 6 Brierley Hill A.O.G 0
*******
*******
Club Secretary (Pete Bennett from Rowley College)
Division One
Charlemont Star 2 Clarendon 4
Chawn Hill Church 3 St Andrews Netherton 1
City Church 2 Connect Sports 5
Saint Michael 2 Rowley College 2
*******
Division Two
Delph Athletic 2 Living Hope Church Utd 3
Dudley Lions 3 Monyhull Church 5
Selly Oak Methodist 4 Christ Church Coseley 2
St Thomas’ Aldridge 5 Brierley Hill A.O.G 1

 

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