Football in Berkshire
In Depth

Step 6 Season Preview: Combined Counties League Division One

Rob Davies looks ahead to the new season

Step 6 Season Preview: Combined Counties League Division One

In the second of our Step 6 previews we take a look at the Combined Counties Division One before the season begins at the weekend.

The division will run with a full 20 teams and, as with the Hellenic Division One East, there will be 4 teams promoted in order to move more teams up the pyramid to fill the new leagues that will be added at Step 4 and 5 at the end of the season. There will also be 2 teams in line for relegation.

The local Sides

Sandhurst Town finished in 6th place in the CCL1 last season in what was manager Michael Herbert’s first season in charge.

The Fizzers had a strong second half of the season and will be looking to build on that going into 2019/20, and with 4 clubs being promoted come April, Sandhurst will be aiming to be playing Step 5 football in 2020/21.

Most of last season’s squad have signed up for another year and there are a few new additions as well meaning Sandhurst should be well placed to compete.

Where will Sandhurst and Eversley finish? Cast your votes in our CCL predictor here.

Matt Angell and Ashley Cunningham. Photo: Richard Milam.
Matt Angell and Ashley Cunningham. Photo: Richard Milam.

Eversley & California will be looking to put behind them the difficult time they had in 2018/19.

After a promising start the Boars ended up changing managers half way through the campaign, dropping down the division before saving themselves from relegation with 2 wins in their last 3 games. With a pre-season under his belt manager Matt Angell will be looking for a much-improved campaign this time around.

Changes to the league composition

Last season’s CCL1 champions Sheerwater and runners up Frimley Green were both promoted to the Combined Counties Premier Division. Coming the other way are Walton & Hersham who finished bottom of the CCL Premier and AFC Hayes who finished second bottom, falling into the bottom two on the last day of the season and being relegated on goal difference.

Westside join the division after placing 4th in the Surrey Elite Intermediate League last season. The club are based in Wandsworth but will be playing their home games at Chessington & Hook’s Chalky Lane ground in order to compete at this level. They were formed in 1996 and this is the first time in their history that they will be playing at Step 6.

The other new club in the division are Jersey Bulls who will become the first side from Jersey to play in the English League system. The Bulls formed last year after UEFA rejected the islands bid to become an international nation and played their first ever game 4 weeks ago when they narrowly lost 4-3 at home to League 2 Stevenage. Their inclusion means all the CCL1 sides will have an overseas fixture this season; sort of.

The rest of the teams in the division all played in the CCL1 last season, including Cove who received a reprieve from relegation after finishing bottom of the table in 2019/20.

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Rob Davies

Rob is a keen fan of football at all levels and has been watching non-league since he was 12. Since moving to Reading in 2015, Rob has tried to get to as many of the local non-league sides as he can, and can often be found at a game with his dog Filbert.

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