My gosh we’re tired. This whole newborn baby lark…why didn’t the midwife tell me about the SLEEP. THE SLEEP!!!!! Gave some shpeil about bottles and nappies (and I definitely heard something about the fact they cry?) but WHY NOT TALK ABOUT THE LACK OF SLEEP!
Anyway, our TVPL (p)review continues with Division One and my goodnesss giddy me, what a 2017/18 season it was!
We’ll start by reviewing our predictions from last summer, before going on to accurately predict exactly what will happen this term in probably the most exciting division of all…
And the season just gone was a belter. Wow. And, we called it;
This division will have all the teams beating each other all season. There will not be a runaway leader and the drop will be until the final few games.
The league was one by Richings Park on the last day of the season after a hard-fought 2-0 win…on goal difference! The race was like those daft cyclists…they go for ages then one makes a sprint at the end to win it. May as well just do 100m rather than 568 miles around some mountains.
An incredible season for the TVPL debutants whose structured play and experience ground out wins over more flamboyant sides such as Eldon and Imaan, but controlled games when needed. It’s delightfully rare to have a league winner lose 6 games – 2 more than 3rd place this time round – but it made for a brilliant climax…huge contrats to the Champs. And we know…we got this wrong!
It was Burghfield that made the running all season with a superb term…pipped to the title on goal difference! Another side that had real cohesion to their play, Burghfield were unbeaten until late-November and will surely lament the fact they only picked up 1 point from their last 3 games as they slipped at the last. Still, promotion achieved, something only dreamt about back in August. Superb.
Our call of Magpies as favourites fell part much like they did as they left the league in November after difficulties. We see many of their players are back this season with different sides, hope most enjoy their football this term. So that bet was void.
We also called YMCA Rapids out…until March this looked rosy as they battled on all fronts, reaching – and winning – the League Cup and several other semi-finals. Sadly, playing catch-up ruined their record of 14 unbeaten and a big title shot as they fell away, losing players to injury and multiple midweek ko’s putting pay to any glory.
Finchampstead were another side we called but they failed to make an impact, inconsistent results leaving them in middle earth.
Imaan had a great term with some brilliant football, but not enough experience to make that final push. To finish just 3 points of the title was an incredible achievement and they will no doubt want to step up this term.
Cookham Dean Res will also lament their term as finishing 3rd, just 1 win away from that title shows promise with Burrows Boys (now under the stewardship of Ollie Webb). A brilliant season, making for a superb title race.
We also have to mention Rotherfield here…from seeming doom of relegation, the United pulled 7 points from the last 9 to pull out of trouble, a superb end of term. That form is championship winning stuff…where were those results in October??? Hats off lads, wonderful end to the season.
So, let’s run our ‘Awards’ and see who moans…
Team of the Season
It’s the title winners, no doubt. To come to a new league and win the hardest one to win takes some going. A close runner is Burghfield but no one can dispute this one.
Tough. Could be the Champs but we’re going with Burghfield here…they won D2, sure. But to back to back promotions is something outstanding. We knew Park had some starlets but the B’s were perhaps an even more compact side. Yup, made our choice. Burghfield.
Close call between two…
We called Finchampstead at the start of the term and they will feel 6th place isn’t good enough. It’s always hard rebuilding a side but Finch will look for more this term, no doubt.
But our ‘winners’ here are Maidenhead Town. From a promising 5th place in 16/17 and a hint of promotion, our Boys in Blue fell to a miserable term, finishing 2nd bottom, only escaping relegation by default. We know they hurt and doubt this season will be the same…
Rotherfield’s late 3-2 win over Frilsham effectively relegated Frils and kept Rotherfield alive yet it was Frilsham that provided the other 2 ‘best games’!
A wonderful 5-4 classic with Westwood in March would normally win hands down, especially as this at time of need for both sides. But a 6-4 win over Eldon Celtic? A game with 2 hatricks, one for each side? A win from the bottom club over a mid-table side?
Take a Bow Frilsham…sadly no longer with us but your glory will always* be remembered…
*for a week or so anyway.
Sportsmen of the Year
Brilliant hosting from Richings Park and Burghfield this term never goes un-noticed. But the YMCA Rapids take this one from us as a great attitude week in, week out should be applauded.
Moaners of the Season
A no-brainer…sadly it was those pesky Magpies that self-imploded after such promise pre-season. After that point, it was probably Eldon Celtic. Every. Single. Game…
What You Up To Award
Kind of already covered this…Burghfield let the title slip but MTFC had a fall from grace. Town win.
The ‘Aly Us’ Follow Me Award
(this one is getting a bit tedious)
Richings Park – always lively on social media with some ‘real’ messages with humour.
Burghfield – they have the goal flash thingy. That’s wicked!
Imaan Lions – an account to stir debate, they’re also really nice to everyone! We reckon it’s mind games….
So there. Review done…we’ll take a little look at the up-coming season later today as Division One kicks off tomorrow!!!
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