It will be a few weeks before the full line up for the Hellenic Premier 2019/20 will be known. This article aims to pin down what we do know and what we expect to happen over the coming months.
This article is almost entirely speculation and the composition of the Premier Division next season depends on many factors. As soon as we know details for certain we’ll be all across it on Football In Bracknell.
Leaving the league
Wantage Town as Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division champions will be promoted into a Step 4 league. They could well be placed into the Southern League alongside former Hellenic League clubs Thatcham Town and Highworth Town. Though this remains to be seen.
Abingdon United finished this season at the bottom of the Premier Division. This means they will be relegated into Step 6. Most likely they will be placed into Hellenic Division One East alongside local town rivals Abingdon Town.
Ordinarily two clubs would be relegated from the Hellenic League Premier Division but due to the league running short at 19 clubs after Oxford City Nomads’ withdrawal it’s likely to be just the one.
New clubs – promoted
If, as we expect, Wantage Town are promoted and Abindgon United are relegated this leaves three vacant spots in the Premier Division to fill.
The two Hellenic Division One divisions will promote one club apiece.
From Hellenic League Division One West Easington Sports finished top of the pile. They have been a Hellenic League member for decades and will play at Step 5 for the first time. They are situated just north of Oxford in Banbury.
A more familiar club will join the Premier Division from the Hellenic League Division One East as Burnham regain their Premier Division spot after an excellent campaign at Step 6. They will undoubtedly be hoping for a period of stability after a turbulent few years.
New clubs – lateral transfers
This is where it gets a bit tricky and very unpredictable. Often clubs join from other leagues as different areas of the country cope with more clubs than they were expecting, or other leagues that are running short may require a few clubs from the Hellenic League.
Rumours over the past few months suggest clubs such as Westfields (based in Hereford) who are currently members of the Midland Premier Division are looking to be added to the Hellenic League. Other clubs in the Herefordshire area have been rumoured as additions at Step 6 level.
Elsewhere Chipping Sodbury (based in Yate, north-east of Bristol) of the Western League and Aylesbury Vale Dynamos (formerly Aylesbury FC) are on the borders of the Hellenic League and may be options for addition.
Clubs potentially leaving the league
If the Hellenic League Premier becomes oversubscribed then clubs on the margins of the league’s footprint such as Windsor, Viriginia Water and Ascot United may find themselves shifted to the Combined Counties League.
This document is a superb source for what the non-league pyramid may look like this season.
All this information should be treated as pure speculation. We’ll only know the full details of the non-league pyramid when the league constitutions are released.
There’s still a lot of football to be played across the country with promotion and relegation at stake. It’s almost impossible to predict how the leagues will look in August, but it’s good fun trying!