Bracknell based Berks County FC kick-off their 2016/17 season in the Thames Valley Premier League on Saturday with the visit of reigning champions Reading YMCA.
The Swords are Bracknell’s only representatives in the step 7 league and as well as YMCA, will face trips to the likes of Mortimer, Newbury and Woodley as they look to improve on last seasons 13th placed finish which left them second bottom of the table.
County do have a tough start with opening games against the champions and third placed Cookham Dean but have a new manager in place – Gary Wood – after Shay Boyd decided to step down at the end of the season.
A recent post on the Berks County website by Lloyd said: “Gary [Wood] will continue as a manager, continuing his fine work progressing players. I’m sure he will enjoy great success, thus putting the club in good stead going forward. I’m really pleased that Gary, Wayne [Parrott] and Rob [Hunter] are now in for the long haul, to help us reach the heights that a club like ours should be at and provide some much needed stability.”
The Thames Valley Premier League has been very successful in recent years in promoting clubs to steps 5 and 6 and saw AFC Aldermaston make the step up in the summer to Division 1 East of the Hellenic League.
Arguably the biggest success stories of late have been Ascot United and Highmoor-IBIS who have both established themselves as top half Hellenic Premier Division clubs.
Here’s the full opening day fixtures in the Premier Division:
Berks County FC vs Reading YMCA
Cookham Dean vs Newbury FC
Marlow United vs Woodley United Res
Mortimer vs Hurst
Rotherfield United vs Highmoor Ibis Res
Taplow United vs Unity
Wraysbury Village vs Woodcote Stoke Row