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Some might say last year was not my most glorious year for predictions. To which I say, this is fake news. Do you know for certain that I actually wrote last year’s predictions? As I said to my mate Donald, if I don’t tweet it, don’t believe it. Probably about time I built a wall around myself – and you’re paying for it. Anyway, for those who still want to know the truth, this is real.
Mystic Anorak Predictions - In final
Division position order :
1. Hyde United – the form team of 2017. Liked this lot and their ground. They travel well and support their team. Decent
2. South Shields – promoted teams always have the wind in their sails. Big crowds mean big income. It will be interesting to see how they react to lots of long journeys and a few defeats along the way.
3. Scarborough Athletic – back in their home town. Certainly still got a few promotions in their back pocket before they find their level. Lively home crowd, will take plenty on their travels until the bubble bursts, plastic will help.
4. Colwyn Bay – having tumbled down the leagues, rumour had it that there was gold in them thar hills for quality players. Whatever, despite hoovering up lots of talent, nothing much seemed to go for the Welshmen. I think they’ll be a bit cannier this time.
5. Trafford – a well oiled machine full of experience. Can see them in and around the play-off places.
6. Ossett Town – really turned on the style last year in getting to the play-offs. Came from nowhere. The question is whether they will go back to nowhere.
7. Colne – getting in the play-offs was just rewards for last seasons new boys. Enjoyed the 20-30 who went singing at every away game. Ground is still East Lancs standard. Lost a couple of players. Still in with a shout.
8. Clitheroe – nucleus of the squad retained and quality grafted in their place. If the boys knuckle down again, another Top 10 place beckons.
9. Atherton Collieries – threatened to go up for a few seasons. Their Vase adventures have added plenty of fans to their cause. The ground looks unchanged from the 80s, when it was unchanged from the 70s. Decent bunch. Will win more than they lose.
10. Brighouse Town – ran the play-off places close. Friendly set up.
11. Glossop North End – Season 3. Season 2 followed the usual tradition of being harder than Season 1. Crowds nudged down. The manager has now gone. A real test for them and for the infrastructure they have created.
12. Tadcaster Albion – one of the big payers from last season and my tip for the title, before they just escaped relegation. They will have learnt a lot from their first season in the league.
13. Bamber Bridge – looked set to kick on last year but failed to ignite. Missed the play-offs for the first time in a few years. Reno now in charge and there aren’t many he doesn’t know about.
14. Droylsden – excellent ground and a solid pedigree but have yet to make the move back up the leagues. I expect a better showing this year.
15. Mossley – seem to be in hibernation still. Always liable to get on a roll, but it’s been a while since that happened.
16. Ramsbottom United – like a soap opera with plenty of falling out off the pitch. Their two managers went down to one, with more subsequent sniping than trench warfare. Depends if they all fall back in love again on and off the pitch.
17. Prescot Cables – well supported, proper team. Still got a soft spot for them. You’ll never get a team from that neck of the woods rolling over.
18. Kendal Town – seem to have leaked a lot of players in the close season. Solid and youthful mid table side, but much depends how the gaps have been filled.
19. Radcliffe Borough – saw us off in the Lancashire Trophy semi. Have a link up with an academy and some cracking young players from a number of pro clubs. Their fortunes may well hang on which team they get out on a regular basis.
20. Skelmersdale United – soon to be without their own ground. Down to ground share with Prescot. Seem to be struggling to get players. Feel for them
21. Goole – the gods were smiling when they were spared from relegation. It was the meat pie which won the casting vote.
22. Ossett Albion – Charming people, perennial underachievers, who couldn’t replicate the success from the season before.
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