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Blue Square Season Preview

11th August 2010

Blue Square Season Preview Below is Blue Square's preview of the Blue Square Bet South 2010/11 season.

Havant & Waterlooville resume their familiar position as favourites for the Blue Square Bet South division after a sixth placed finish when unfancied last season. The Hawks were one point away from extending their 2009/10 campaign via the play-offs and are now the 5/1 market leaders to win a title that has escaped them for the last six years. Newport County’s runaway success last season led to a host of clubs clamouring for the consolation of a play-off place and that kept the league competitive after the Welsh side confirmed the title. Conference stalwarts Woking almost slipped out of the top five last April as their home form let them down. This season the Cards are joint-second favourites at 7/1 along with Dover Athletic. The top of the betting features a number of Dover’s fellow Kent clubs including one of last season’s relegated Blue Square Premier teams, Ebbsfleet United. The Fleet won only one of their first 21 matches last season but their form from then till the closing day would have earned them a highly respectable 8th spot in the top flight table. Boss Liam Daish remains at the helm and despite some inevitable departures they still look to have the right blend to make a challenge at a price of 9/1. Neighbours Dartford enter the league as Ryman champions and that’s usually a decent form guide. A club in the habit of winning are not usually stopped in their tracks by a step up to this level and they warrant respect as another 9/1 chance.

Chelmsford City have made the play-offs in both of the last two seasons, only to fail at the semi-final stage. The Essex outfit are 9/2 to gain promotion this time and another of those teams at 9/1 to lift the title. Farnborough manager Steve King won this division with Lewes in 2007/08 and he leads his Zamaretto champions into this new challenge at 5/1 to win back-to-back promotions. The Hampshire club are 10/1 for the title. Staines Town made headlines with another terrific FA Cup run last season and that momentum carried them to 8th place in the division following their Ryman play-off success. Their form towards the end of Spring was some of the best in the section and they could appeal each-way at a price of 16/1. Eastleigh are about to start their sixth successive season in the division and their best finish was third place in 2008/09. Ian Baird’s Spitfires are 14/1 for the title and 7/1 for promotion. Thurrock took third spot back in 2004/05 but have had to settle for no better than mid-table in the following seasons. They reached the heady heights of second as late as February of last season but their promotion push fell away. Thurrock are 9/1 to go up to the Blue Square Bet Premier and 18/1 to do that by virtue of a title winning season.

Bromley beat well-backed Blue Square Bet Premier side Crawley Town in pre-season which offers some promise for the Hayes Lane outfit. Mark Goldberg’s side have finished almost bang on mid-table in the last three seasons and are 16/1 to win the league this time. Yet another Kent team, Welling United, appear midway in the betting at 18/1. Manager Jamie Day took over in late 2009 and now has a full season to show the Wings’ potential. Budget cuts at Hampton & Richmond Borough have kept expectations in check but manger Alan Devonshire has stuck to his task and they could go well at a price of 22/1. Both St Albans City and Lewes have recent experience of promotion to non-league’s top flight but neither managed to stay as long as they’d have wished. They are 28/1 and 50/1 respectively to reclaim past glories.
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