The 2020/21 non league football season promises to be an exciting one in Berkshire with the creation of a new step 5 league in West London and the Thames Valley.
That news was announced at the end of last season in the Non League Football Paper, but now the Football Association has confirmed that it will be the Combined Counties League that will administer the new competition, dubbed the Thames Valley Super League.
Both the Hellenic League and the CCL had submitted bids to run the new competition but the latter – already home to Berkshire sides Ascot United, Sandhurst Town and Eversley & California, has emerged victorious.
According to the NLP, both league’s will retain their current step 5 divisions, but it would appear likely the Hellenic will lose a step 6 division: “The United Counties and Combined Counties Leagues have been awarded an additional step 5 division each as part of the FA’s National League System restructuring.
“From 2020/21, step 5 will increase from 14 divisions to 16 and step 6 will reduce from 20 to 17.”
In a separate email seen by Football in Berkshire, the Hellenic League were successful and will continue to run the step 5 Hellenic League Premier Division, but were unsuccessful in the bid for the additional step 5 league and will only have one step 6 division meaning clubs in Division One East will likely be playing under a different league banner next season.
A number of teams in the Eastern area of the Hellenic will move across to the new step 5 Combined Counties Division – it remains to be seen how far west the clubs will be hoovered up from – but depending on promotion and relegation you would expect Binfield, Reading City and Windsor to move across.
As well as all that, with four teams promoted from the CCL Division One and Hellenic League Division One East at the end of the 2019/20 season, we could see them joined by any number of teams including Wokingham & Emmbrook, AFC Aldermaston and Sandhurst Town.