We asked supporters of our BetVictor Isthmian League clubs to preview the new season, reflect on the old and predict the final outcome. Their predicted 1-20 (or 22) will be worked into a final table which you will see just before the big kick off.
Stuart Daynes steps up on behalf of Felixstowe and Walton United. The Seasiders had a fine first Isthmian season, so what will the forthcoming campaign hold?
1. What was your favourite moment of last season?
Seeing double with Felixstowe and Walton United- Stuart and his brother Chris
That’s a difficult question, there were loads of highlights as we competed at step 4 for the first time. I guess top of the list would be the first game of the season. Beating local rivals Bury Town 3-1 at home in front of 600 supporters.
2. And your worst moment?
Easy question! The second game of the season, away at Great Wakering Rovers. We were completely outplayed and ended up with a 2-0 defeat. Our eyes were widened to the realities of this league and the toughness of those South Essex sides.
3. How will you do this season?
I think we would all be happy with a mid-table finish again, the management have a three year plan to get to Step 3 so I guess a season of consolidation at this level is probable. We may start slowly due to the turnover of players this summer.
4. Which matches are you most looking forward to going to- and why?
I love away games, I have a few jobs for the club on a match day, including running the club shop, so I often miss some of the action at home. So any away match is a good day out, we must be the best supported away side? We usually take between 50-100 supporters.
5. What is your favourite away ground?
It has to be Histon, they were in the same league as Felixstowe for many years before their rise up the pyramid so I always had a soft spot for them. The ground is still the same from their Conference days and it’s always a thrill going there.
6. Who do you consider your biggest rivals- and why?
I would say any of the Suffolk clubs really, there was a “mini league” going on last season between us. We are all friends and like each other to do well. Coggeshall probably take the crown for biggest recent rivals, with memories still fresh of the epic title race in 2017/18.
7. What advice would you give to any away supporter visiting you for the first time?
Get here early! It is a fantastic town to visit, probably best known for the Port, however Felixstowe offers so much for visitors with 5 miles of stunning Beaches, a brand new Pier, Theatre, excellent shopping and award winning seafront gardens.
8. Who is your favourite player of all time (for your club)- and why?
I’ve been watching The Seasiders since I was 10, 35 years (!)- so I have many favourites. If I had to choose just one... it would be Danny Crump. Our star Goalie who has just rejoined after a season away, played such a crucial role in building our success over the last half dozen years. If I could squeeze another then Liam Hillyard would be top of the list, purely for his superb headed goal vs Bishops Stortford during our incredible F.A Cup run 3 years ago. I can still hear the roar of 500 fans, and the cup run was the catalyst for our crowds going through the roof, alongside the opening of our fantastic new pitch side facilities.
9. Who will be in the top five at the end of the season?
Coggeshall Town, Aveley, Maldon & Tiptree, Heybridge Swifts, Bury Town.
Right, you've read Stuart’s views, and if you'd like to represent your Step Four club, then hurry, as the cut off for entries is Wednesday! Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall see what we can do!