Meet the opposition

It’s not been possible to put everything submitted into the printed copy of the new Deranged Ferret. I got two guides to the opposition sent in, one was a well constructed interview with fans of the promoted clubs, the other was…. well it’s below.

We’re going to print this week, but as I’m in Italy from next Tuesday onwards for a week there’s a possibility we won’t be hitting the terraces until the Peterborough friendly. Subscribers can expect their copies weekend of July 23rd.

Meet the Opposition

Your ‘in depth’ guide to teams in our league this season.

Aldershot Town

You’ll probably remember Aldershot Town as the team that sent us down to the Conference. I’ll never forget Danny Hylton’s horrible celebration in front of the Stacey West when he scored the goal that started the defeat off. Dean Holdsworth was their manager that day, and David Holdsworth did his best to take us down further a year or two later. Neither are with The Shots now, so it’s basically just a trip down to London (I know it isn’t in London by the way, that’s the joke…. didn’t get it? I’m not sure this article is for you if you didn’t)

Barrow

Moneybags outfit owned by a Dallas trillionaire (probably) and intent on just buying our good players and everyone else’s too. I suspect Paul Cox believes if he buys everyone in the league then he’ll stand a chance of winning it. He’s wrong. If I had such deep pockets I wouldn’t be trying to tempt Matt Rhead away from Lincoln, I’d be more intent on bringing in Akinola from Braintree.

Boreham Wood

They’re one of those pub teams that make stories of the conference seem horribly real. These guys even have to loan their hooligans from bigger clubs with a Tottenham mob causing havoc in little old Lincoln when we met last year. Exactly the sort of team we should be beating, but in the absence of Welling probably the sort of team we’ll lose to.

Braintree Town

I’m going to be nice, because we’ve done to them what Barrow want to do to everyone. The Cowleys took them to third last season, and now we have taken them, their star player, their star left back and a top notch youth (at the time of writing) and I feel a little sorry for them. I hope they do relatively well, apart from home and away against us. Another trip to London.

Bromley

Whenever I hear the name Bromley I think of Moses Swaibu and his chicken dinners, but there’s much more to them than that. Last year they had lightweight Ali Fuseini as well which maks them a bit of a dumping ground for rubbish ex Imps. Another team who we’ll struggle against. Their badge is an apple. Probably. It’s in London, quelle surprise (French for ‘what a surprise’, a joke about lots of clubs being down south… just in case you missed it)

Chester

They never get a mention on Hollyoaks, if I were them I’d want to know why. Despite so many fit girls on the Chester based show their own fan base is as ugly and weathered as any National League side. They’ll win some games and lose some games and I think we’ll play them twice. That’s all I really know about them.

Dagenham and Redbridge

(I’m genuinely bored writing this already. Unbelievable) Dagenham are a team that give this league a ‘1988’ feel along with Maidstone, Sutton and a few others. They’re back where they belong though now, and that won’t change this season, unless they do a Stockport. It’s in London.

Dover

Wankers.

Eastleigh

Moneybags wankers.

Forest Green Rovers

Vegetarian, hippy led, poorly supported, village based, moneybags wankers.

Gateshead

(Okay I’ll take it seriously against no). Northern wankers.

Guiseley

(Okay, okay I’ll do it properly). A local derby of sorts. Once upon a time they’d be a novelty FA Cup first round draw, like Billingham Sythonia, now they’re a tricky away trip. I expect the Cowleys will want revenge for the ghost goal from last season, and I’d wager that we get it as well.

Macclesfield Town

I thought after the battle of Moss Rose back in the day I’d always dislike Macc, but since Keith and Butch there’s a mutual respect between us and them. They treat the memory of our ex crown jewels in the manner I’d expect a club too, and they shared our pain when those two great men were lost. If I had to pick a team to get promoted alongside us, it’d be these boys. I’d take another 5-3 home win too.

Maidstone Utd

I really wanted Truro to get through the Conference South play offs, but I didn’t get my wish. We now have to travel to the Kent town in London for the first time since something like 1992. (I once did a day’s work in Maidstone measuring stairs for TSM and it’s pretty grim. It’s so bad the nearby castle type tourist attraction was pinched from Leeds).

North Ferriby

The new Alfreton, a real barometer of how far we’ve fallen. If you’re in the away end you can either watch the match, or turn 90 degrees and watch locals tend to their allotment. I can’t wait to see Agnes Murphy tending to those prized carrots next season. They’re here on the back of money, but they’ll be gone now it’s gone. One season wonders, without the wonder.

Solihull Moors

(Until March 2016 I genuinely thought this team were called Solihull Motors. I think they’ll be a surprise package this season, despite me imagining them as a Sunday league team full of mechanics). It’s not in London, but you’ll find the locals just as hard to understand. Not sure if they play on the Moors, but if they do then I’d imagine it will still have better facilities than Dover.

Southport

I quite like Southport for a couple of reasons. The first is we always seem to beat them, and it was the first trip I made away in non league. I actually blagged being ill to miss a wedding to be there, and I found them very accommodating and friendly. Hopefully they’ll keep flying the flag for the north in the Conference, but as they seem to get worse each I doubt it. At least it should be six points. Near Liverpool so make sure your tyres aren’t on display on your car.

Sutton United

(Gander Green Lane caused such merriment for me as a kid, and the same day I worked in Maidstone I also travelled to Sutton. I drove past Gander Green Lane and chuckled to myself like a 9 year old again. I later got a parking ticket so I hope the bastards get relegate).

London, obviously. If you go to Sutton Coldfield you’re going to be very disappointed. More so than usual.

Torquay Utd

Finally a proper team that pops up on our radar. It’s a great trip away if we play them on a Saturday in August, but if it’s a Tuesday in December we’ll take less people than FGR took to Wembley. They had a torrid time last season, but like us they’ll be hoping to regain some dignity by entering the football league again. (I’ve got a mate who runs Topps Tiles down there, if you ever have any tile needs whilst on the English Riviera give him a shout)

Tranmere Rovers

Probably the biggest club in our league now, a team that have fallen even further than us. They’ll be tough, but they’re a proper team again so when we play them it’ll feel like a proper league game. They have a few fans and they won’t want to be in this league for a moment longer. They’ll be a real challenge for us having signed Connor Jennings and Andy Cook (there you go, one team to last and I decide to do some analysis. People often ask why I’m not a journalist…….)

Woking

Another trip to London, this time to the home of McClaren. I’ve run out of funny things to say about endless trips to London. Watch out for their striker who’ll score goals, and also some defender they have who’s half decent. I dunno, I didn’t research this article as you know. If you thought it’d be a bit more in depth and full of analysis then you’re wrong. I just basically wanted to write down all the teams in our league and my research extended to finding out Solihull were not affiliated to a local garage.

Wrexham

A real club but one featuring Sean Newton so there’s no kudos for them. These are the (other) guys that didn’t play Jon Nolan before he fired Grimsby into the Football League. I hope it goes badly for them and that loud mouth scouse prick Newton. They got £50,000 as Danny Ward started for Wales in a Euro 2016 game. (That’s research right there for you. Back of the net)

York City

(I went away to York in 1992 and got into trouble for throwing sucked Polo mints at my Dad’s boss standing a few rows in front. Then we sang ‘you can stick your miners up your arse’ before running back to the car to go home. Great days. Back then it was called Bootham Crescent. Now it’s the Kit Kat or something). They’re having a break from the football league (pun intended) and they’re probably as close as you get to a derby unless you count North Ferriby, and who counts North Ferriby? Signed Matt Fry when some of our fans wanted him to sign for us, so I’d imagine the ill informed will boo him or something.

Hope my guides helped you a bit. Next month we’ll probably put some proper travel information in or something.