Five of our first six opponents were in the playoff hunt with two weeks of last season to go – Dulwich made it, but Grays, Leiston, Enfield Town and East Thurrock all missed out – the other one, Needham Market, finished last season with the Division One North title and 100-plus points. Also, we have just one Saturday home fixture in both August and September.
On the plus side, our two trips to Suffolk will be completed in August; our first venture into Sussex is on 5 March (Lewes) and the other two are the last two away matches of the season (Burgess Hill on 9 April and Bognor Regis on 23 April). Also success in cup-ties won’t involve much in the way difficult midweek rearrangements until we reach the third round proper of the Emirates FA Cup (Brentwood Town away on 9 January 2016 replaced by our trip to Old Trafford). The other clashes are Leatherhead, Hampton and Billericay away, with Met Police, Grays, Needham Market, Burgess Hill, Bognor and Lewes due to visit us on FA Cup/Trophy dates up to the end of January.
Re: Tough start
Personally, I don't pay much attention to the opening salvos. Last year over on twitter the Gaffer on his initial prognosis mused we may actually challenge for the title aided by the composition of the fixtures. Insight or tongue placed firmly in cheek - I presume the former. He more-so than anybody knows the depth of the squad.
I think we would be well advised to forget last season as we all start with a clean slate.
Obviously interesting dynamics in midfield. Waiting to see if the lad Busby is on board. That lad reminds me of a non-league Paul Scholes. A potential game-changer.
First outing for me Saturday - I'm not really sure I am ready for long slogs on public transport but I am chomping at the bit at the prospect of seeing the lads. - The unrealised potential is there for everybody to see.
Statistically It's going to be very difficult to replicate the kind of form we produced last season and based on that underlying premise we will probably have to grind out results by sheer hard work.
Here's wishing the lads all the very best for the coming season.
Makes a change
Finally, some decent away trips at a decent time of year. Lewes, Burgess Hill and Bognor in spring rather than January is a pleasant change!! Shame that Needham Market clashes with a Millwall away day I've already booked travel for though (hopefully see Charlie Goode in the Scunthorpe squad)
One thing I thought we'd have done this season though is moving midweek "homes" to Wednesday night instead of Monday, as the Saturday-Monday games really did no good to the cabbage patch they call a pitch at the Morgue.
Re: Makes a change
I don't think it matters much which night we play from the point of view of the pitch. If we played on Wednesdays it might ease things early on, but later in the season we'd likely be playing the day after Harrow (Tuesday) and get the absolute worst of it.
The fact that Monday allows us to use Thursday for training every week probably comes helps as well, rather than have to switch training days between Monday and Thursday depending on whether we're at home or away.