I still don’t know what’s better: An early season succession of doozys, absent-mindedly sleepwalking through a series of borderline insulting routine victories and setting yourself up for a cruise to the title from the rarefied clean air of the summit, or rolling with the punches against the league’s big boys for the first half of the season before dispatching minnow after minnow as you glide past your faltering opposition to claim top spot.
In truth it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to play everyone at some point and lines in a text file don’t suffer from a crippling loss of nerves or irrational bout of second and third guessing themselves (…although managers do). But surely it’s better to be going into the final game of the season not having to play the team currently occupying top spot?
Here’s the fixtures for season eight, let me take you by the hand and guide you through my highlights:
All eyes will be on Tulse Hill Superior who romped to the title without losing a match. My introduction was entirely redundant for them. Gameday one will see last season’s first vs second as THS take on Opulent Knack with a win for OPK setting us up nicely for the season.
Galacticos start the season with three games against their other three promoted colleagues. They’ll need to be sitting pretty with at least seven points before game four otherwise it might be a long season for them.
Towards the business end of the season, Farsley Celtic could have hoped for a better run in as they face Tulse Hill Superior, Clapton Crusaders and then the crunch derby against Merstham Magic on the final day of the season.
Attention will be on Victorious Secrets who took 4th place in the league but just missed out on the play offs. They’ll be looking to get out of the traps quickly with games against Border Wanderers and CA Buenos Aires. Conversely, CSKA Tulse Hill start the season against two fellow relegated teams and the two beaten play off teams.
Ferly’s Burlys might not appreciate the fixture list computer as their last three games sees them play former Division One teams, however Clapped Out’s run in sees them against teams that were playing Division Two last season.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Yes, there are less games in Division Three as teams have an eight game season…but because there’s five teams in the league one team sits out a week, so the Division Three season is actually longer. We need ten rounds to play all the games. No one else spotted this, I’m holding everyone accountable (and rampantly trying to dodge the blame).
I had originally said Division Three teams get an extra friendly to fill the calendar; there’s no need for that now. I’m not going to add the extra Division Three friendly in elsewhere as the friendly was primarily to fill a gap in the calendar rather than the result of algorithms of algorithms declaring that this is the best way to micro-balance abs distribution. Half of teams that play a friendly stand a good chance of losing abs anyway.
Verulam Romans have been the most active in the transfer window so keen observers will be seeing how their new look squad is equipped for the season. They have the slight disadvantage of their second rested game being the final game of the season, although won’t be burdened by fitness management in the penultimate round. Dan will be looking to take Tokyo Titans immediately up to Division Two after stepping down a tier, however the real unknown quantity is new manager Stuart at Sarsfield Spartans – have we witnessed the next Pep Guardiola joining the game?