Mystic Anorak

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Mystic Anorak 2018/19

If you close your eyes, you can almost smell the eighties and nineties, and the old NWC Division 1, as we turn our back on the Pennines. No big fish this time to distort the league and no obvious baby sugar daddies out to make a name for themselves. Iíve had to stay sober a bit longer this time to read the runes. Still, for a man of my calibre, the outcome is as clear as if we were looking at the NLP final table at the end of April.


Mystic Anorak Predictions - In final Division position order :

1. Trafford - Have felt a bit too good for this league for a couple of seasons since they came down. Nice core of fans following them. Always produce a side full of skill and steel. Could see them getting on a roll. This is the tip for the top.

2. Leek Town
- Lot of peopleís tip. Good set up, strong pedigree, dabbled with the Conference. Also, the scene of a great Paul Beck hat trick in the nineties. Might get on a roll.

3. Prescot Cables
- Always had a soft spot for this lot. Good youthful following breathed plenty of life into this grand old club, now a fully-fledged community interest company. Foiled in last season's play off finals. Think the side is only just getting into its stride.

4. Colne
- Third season at this level and gaffer Steve Cunningham is finding his feet, including changing from older players to a youthful set up mid season. Only just missed the play offs last season having featured in the previous one. Still pushing.

5. Runcorn Linnets
- Reincarnation of the Conference club. Have struggled manfully to get out of the NWC. Earned their right to be here as champions. If they get a good start, that promotion impetus could carry them all the way through.

6. Chasetown
- A great FA Cup run turned them into a very handy league outfit. Our furthest trip of the year. Could be a surprise package.

7. Colwyn Bay
- Heavily supported in the previous couple of seasons by their chair. Their ground is improving season on season, and at some point their Conference North pedigree will tell.

8. Atherton Collieries
- Having thrived at NWC level, they have proved to be a well run and well supported club, providing stern opposition wherever they went, as well as many plenty of friends on their travels.

9. Glossop North End
- Now bedding down at this level after roaring up from the NWC. A couple of changes of manager but the fans have just about stayed true to the club. Could be interesting come the end of the season.

10. Clitheroe
- So, what do we think? New manager, plenty of experience, new team. Will we hit the ground running with so many new components? Maybe an FA Cup run in the offing.

11. Droylsden
- Probably the best ground in the league. Never quite recovered from their fall from the Conference, but I sense that this season might be the one where they start to make more of an impression.

12. Ramsbottom United
- A mercurial side under the tutelage of Mark Fell. Started off last season like a train and finished like a Northern Rail train. Always a dark horse, but Iíll say they wonít shine as previously.

13. Radcliffe
- Good to see Radcliffe have started to make a series of improvements to their ground under the direction of a new, energetic committee. Always a good sign. Too good to struggle although sometimes their youth links to a variety of pro clubs means youíre not sure which team youíre facing.

14. Mossley
- Old sparring partners from the nineties and beyond. Nothing to suggest theyíre going to kick on, but if they did, their old following would not be far behind them.


15. Kidsgrove Athletic
- Poor season in the South division last season, but good enough to send us packing in the FA Cup last season. Big no-nonsense side proved too much for our younger lads. Donít see them threatening.

16. Kendal Town
- Charming people. Old style town team like ourselves. Looking to embed themselves in the community. Their home form normally sees them through.

17. Widnes
- A town of the size of Widnes could comfortably support a team several leagues higher, but not quite lit the local fuse in terms of support. Promoted as runners up last year.

18. Skelmersdale United
- Turfed unceremoniously off their own ground last year but now seem close to returning to Skelmersdale. Had a number of seasons in the NPL Premier under the guidance of Tommy Lawson. Amazing how the spirit of any football club shines through. Work in progress though.

19. Newcastle Town
- The famous cycle track returns. Never pulled up any trees in the South division. I expect the trees to be safe this year as well.

20. Market Drayton Town
- Had a pretty dreadful season last year, topped off with a cameo appearance from our ex manager Paul Moore as chair. A new ground for all of us, but lots to do to transform their fortunes.


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