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FA Inter-League Cup

The TVPL have been drawn to play in the FA Inter League Cup at home against Spartan South Midlands League.

The game will be played on Satuday 14th October at RiverMoor, RG30 6AT, a 3pm kickoff.

This competition features representative sides from across England and our TVPL squad contains several of the two-time Champs Reading YCMA and perennial contenders Marlow United FC. Managed by Karl Curtis and Mark Letts, the squad is as follows;

Michael Rundle, Joe Jarra, Ryan Britnell, Quam Thomas, Liam Bushay, Sudariu Catalin, James Hardie (Marlow United FC)

Mark Froude, Jamie Piercy, Nick Reynolds, Jordan Cox, Kaser Chowdhary, Lorenzo Medford, Dan Donegan (Reading YMCA)

Carl Jenner (Newbury FC)

Frank Dillon (Woodcote Stoke Row)

We wish good luck to the boys this weekend!

Spartan South Midlands League

The Rep side comes from Division Two and features a large number of last years Runners Up Totternhoe and Unite MK who are going well in this year’s competition.

More details can be found at http://full-time.thefa.com/ProcessPublicSelect.do;jsessionid=7F47AA7D2F8F627214FDA0323D928B3C?psSelectedSeason=753916337&psSelectedDivision=799695204&psSelectedCompetition=0&psSelectedLeague=522238936

TVPL Division Two Preview!

The last of our ill-advised and politically incorrect divisional reviews sees us tackle Division Two, a much changed line-up from the AGM all those weeks ago.

(we’re doing this early as we cannot WAIT to watch England win 2-0 away at Malta, a mind-numbing experience where our football will surely be tepid, slow, lethargic and, like Wayne Rooney, end with 3 points).

So, to the real football. The night after the Transfer window slammed shut (no one should ever slam shut a window. Shattered glass. Did it once at a local charity event at a golf club. Lots of injured kids and several parents weren’t happy at the fact I legged it, blaming fat Roger. Awful name for a 3 year old.) we see our TVPL heroes begin their campaigns.

You know the drill. Each team, quick gloat over their progress then some more words. However we should explain the much changed line-up…

So, Newbury Town Ressies & Barkham bailed early, and Wargrave requested to drop down due to lost players. However, we kept 11 teams due to the bravado and brilliant Brimpton & Hurst Reserves who took the step up from D3 to take on the challenge, along with FC Woodley who have joined. Thanks and welcome to all clubs.

So, lets start with those that dropped down..

On paper, AFC Corinthians had the worst season ever seen in the TVPL, finishing the season with -1 points. Quite unbelievable. We’ve seen these boys first hand taking D1 teams apart for periods last term. We mean they play very good football at times. However, last term proved confidence is everything and these lads needs their star players to compete as the squad depth just isn’t there. We’ve no doubt they will win games this term, but perhaps a regroup and an aim of midtable is wise.

Mortimer Reserves are another who simply found D1 too tough last term, not a bad reflection. A dogged side, ever-willing and defensively pretty good, these lads need a goalscorer to cope with some other free-scoring sides this term. They won’t slide down and know how to play the big Ade Keep pitch over at the Rec. We see top half but with some additions and strong home form, could return first time around.

White Eagles were a bit like an unprepared drug dealer. They simply ran out of puff. Spent a long time topping the D2 table last year but while they, in particularly Lukasz Hryniewicz (an amazing 21 in 18), steamrollered teams below them, they lost almost every game to those above. A true midtable performance. However, with all those sides going up, these lads take a mental advantage into the season & we think will set pace & contend.

Woodcote Reserves are in the mix as well as all the team below them went down! Another strong club with an excellent first team, the Ressies should benefit from the depth and quality to chose from. They need to improve a 50% loss record this season but we see that happening, although with not quite enough to challenge. Topping the bottom half…

So to those coming up. Berks County Ressies cake-walked D3 last term and now find themselves with a rep and being a team to beat. Another well-run club, there have been murmurs this summer of lots of those successful Ressies taking the step up to the Prem. But, we see a free-scoring tight-knit bunch here and will take up the term as one of the favourites to climb again.

South Reading. Just the name reeks of titles. We’re still not sure why they ended up in D4 last season as it wasn’t cricket. Now they’re at the level they need to be at to prove themselves. And, simply, they are the favourites this season without doubt. In Jordan Sawyer they have the best striker outside the Premier Divison and a small, close squad will surely have too much firepower and bite for this year’s D2. Need to keep a handle on defensive shape as they’re not used to stronger sides, but after a month or so, this lot will be lurking near the top, fo’sure.

We’ve already previewed Brimpton who are the ‘Entertainers’. We think Kevin Keegan manages this lot. They score but they concede. If they can plug that leaky defence, they might stand a chance but need to set up with more ‘cleverness’ to stand a chance vs some of these free-scoring sides. Will be great to watch.

Woodley FC are unknown. We just don’t know! Can’t make it up so we just won’t. Welcome to the league and enjoy your opener away at Brimpton.

Hurst Ressies are a joy. Not sure how they’ll fare with the step up, but, like Brimpton, should be commended for the decision. Another side that need defensive shape before they can challenge, but yet another that can score and play neat, passing football. Also have lovely kit. It’s a nice journey to their patch, but we think they might be travelling home without wins more often than not…

(someone will save this and send it to us in May when we’re completely wrong, Woodley have romped it and Reading have asked to drop back to D4…)

Last up we have Marlow Reserves. With a tradition of youth, the Premier machine have dedicated a coach to a young group of talent that will be groomed for the first team. The mere fact these guys have joined D2 rather than D4 shows they must believe in their own ability, but we don’t have an idea as to how they will fare. They need to be technically sound and play well as they will be pushed and shoved about by a few physical teams, but they could be the ones to watch…

So there.

Right, top 3. Hard one as a few new sides and a few making a leap of faith. We’ll have South Reading as favourites, with White Eagles & Berks County as those competing. But watch out for Marlow as they could be the surprise bunch.

Now. England. Urgh. Need a few beers before this…

Follow TVPL on twitter @readingleague and give us your thoughts and opinions!!!

 

 

 

TVPL Division One Preview!!

With the TVPL D1 season beginning this coming Saturday, we’d thought a controversial yet mildly educated preview was a better idea than convincing the missus to go out on Transfer deadline day so we can watch the tele.

So, while we wonder how unproven 21-year old French kids with names that reminds us of the first time we saw braids on ITV primetime and the phrase “50 50” are worth £92m (that’s 36.8 million pairs of Sondico socks from Sports Direct by the way), we’ll “predict” the Division One title race.

Team by team. Key player by key player. We’ll end with a top 3 to try your luck with Paddy Power with (too many “withs”, check before posting)…might even wildly anger some teams with wildly inaccurate details. Mneh. We’ll live.

Before we start, we reckon this is THE hardest title to win, THE hardest division to get up from and, without doubt, the most competitive of all the TVPL races. A royal rumble (hence the childish picture relating to wrestling, something we thought ended with the Ultimate Warrior in 1993). A proper footballing group of clubs. We. Cannot. Wait.

First up, we’ll look at those that romped home in D2 to earn promotion; the champs Burghfield, long-time leaders Westwood Ressies & the much-changed Finchampstead.

A wonderful end of season charge for the Burghs saw just 1 loss in their last 13 games, albeith with several walkovers. With 8 straight league wins to wrap up the title, including a 3-1 win over Westwood Reserves, these boys have bottle. Just missing out on the double (losing the League Int Cup final to Finch), this lot have a good backline but not as many goals as others despite Dom MacKenzie’s impressive haul of 22 in 20 last term. They need him to hit the ground sprinting. Will contest every single game, a good season will be mid-table. An opener at home is a nice start…

Westwood Ressies shout a lot but back it up. Long-term leaders in D2 last term (mainly due to lack of cup runs), these boys were top scorers – Dan Nicholson leading the way – and the tightest at the back. The two losses to their nearest rivals at crunch time shows they are brittle, despite steamrollering some lesser sides. That said, if their much-tipped Firsts improve their squad due to Step 7 football, these boys could benefit. We see a good side, perhaps not as consistent as some other, more seasoned sides. Again, mid-table should be seen as a very good term. Their start? A trip to title favs Magpies. Oh dear.

All the troubles at Finchampstead over the summer have left this side with some ballers. Pre-season was encouraging and with a lovely home surface to play on, these boys could surprise. First hand evidence suggests several that could play at a higher level among the ranks and up top, will be a handful. Squad depth could be an issue but these Finch boys could surprise. Expect a fast start and some big results at home along the way to them finishing mid-table.

There are two big teams down from the Prem that don’t like this D1 lark. Twitter glitterati Hurst want back in, their relegation like the fat kid in the tuck shop queue that lost his place to do his shoelaces; a valid reason for his grief, just bad timing. An end of season blitz saw them score and not lose after an awful term but will they be the Portsmouth or the Newcastle of the league. We honestly have no idea.

Rotherfield will also be a conundrum. In only winning 2 games all term, they will surely be wary of joining a group of clubs where goals are all over the place. That said, a level division should mean the occasional ‘win when playing badly’ can happen more than when facing the brilliant YMCA and Marlow each week. We sense a reality check for these boys. An opening home tie vs the YMCA Rapids will be a great sensor check.

We also have another new club in D1 this term. Following both the Maidenhead sides from the EBFL, Richings Park come with a big reputation and some very experienced ballers. In contention for the Premier title til mid-April, these lads know how to play and how to score…with 25 more goals than ANYONE else in that Prem, the weakness was at the back and having a deep squad to cope with creaking bones. A welcome addition to the league, we think following those Maidenhead sides’ tradition of a debut mid-table, challenging season would be seen a success. A home tie v Finch will be a very good pointer as to how these lads will fare…

So to those Maidenhead sides. Maidenhead Magpies will start as title favourites. Last year’s runner’s up, the stripes have moved to Bisham to play on one of the local area’s best surfaces and have added quality to replace those who left to play Reserves in the lower reaches of the EBFL. A question will be how to replace YMCA-bound top-scorer Lishman’s goals (as Stormzy said, he was big for his boots, but someone gotta fill em) but with a strong, physical yet technical side, we can only see title contention this term and the step to Number 7 come May IF they keep that discipline in check. Hosting Westwood Ressies, we see a few games getting to grip with new faces, then run of wins, wins and more wins.

Maidenhead Town have also had a summer of change. A new third side full of youth. A new first team manager and several new signings for the Senior sides. After a good debut term, the Dessy Park based boys will fancy building and improving from 5th. More goals will be needed to move from middle earth but with a solid core, some good passing football and a growing group of young players, this lot will either be in contention come May for honours, or start slow and be playing catch-up. Full focus is on the league, not the cups, so have the chance to set some pace.

Frilsham are another than play good football but perhaps lack the goals and the consistency to improve from last term. Top of the bottom half of the table last term, we hope they’ve strengthened as all around them have. Could be a tricky season if not.

Cookham Dean have added to the ranks. Burrow’s Boys had a disappointing term last year given their standards but with the Firsts rampaging the Prem and extra faces giving the squad depth, we see a fast start for the Dean this term. If Mr Schaaf is about, they have goals. But a consistent starting XI always been the problem…resolve that, and we may have a push for Top 4. If.

Imaan Lions are an odd bunch. On their day, they can play anyone off the park. Ask Champs Westwood when this lot were 10 mins from derailing their season! But then they capitulate and lose games they shouldn’t. With the South Reading gaffer influence and a good preseason, this lot could be the team to watch this term, provided they have kept the goals from Kallarda and Khan.

YMCA Rapids. A wonderful run last term through consistency and a good attitude. They know how to play the Padworth pitch and if they work as a club and use their excess Firsts to bolster the squad, this lot could run riot. Another well run club with a way of playing and good discipline, the YM need to find more goals to match the likes of Eldon & Magpies, but can scrape a game when not playing well, something other sides can’t. Watch them, as could be top 2, could be fighting relegation.

Eldon, for some reason, are last on our list. Another side that can play any team off the park but let down by the loss of key players on occasion and discipline…not as in red cards, but match shape as they pour forward. Early runners last term, they cracked when playing the big sides in big games, but can stream teams if they get the movement going. Hard to better last term this year but, again, depends on new faces and how they work on their defensive shape and countering teams breaking on them.

Right. Reread that and you’ll notice we haven’t called any of this. It’s impossible. We honestly don’t know. 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.

But, we’re paid (in chocolate buttons and promises) to give the crowd what they want. So here we go.

Top 3; Magpies, Finch, YMCA Rapids (if they get the use of First squad). Agree? Thanks. Don’t? Bike it.

 

 

A Message from our leader

A short message from Ken Clark, the League Chairman. Some say Royalty.

 

All,

Welcome to the NEW 2017/18 and a very warm welcome to all the new clubs who have joined the Thames Valley Premier League.

I wish you all good luck for the season, play hard but play fair, and I look forward to coming to as many matches as possible during the season.

Yours

Ken

TVPL Premier Division – 17/18 Preview!

The Thames Valley Premier League season kicks off on Saturday 19th August 2017 with a full fixture list for its Premier Division, a division that has seen change from last term, followed by midweek games on the following Wednesday 23rd August.

And we are here to ch-ch-check out the ballers, stallers and possible brawlers (we don’t condone that, we have none of those teams in our league, it just rhymed) for the upcoming term.

(You may also notice this will be a mix of the fantastically worded league release, packed with authority, actual fact and well-worded, unbiased opinion….and our bit. A mix of ill-advised humour, uneducated views and a smattering of unadulterated love for grassroots football. Don’t like this mix? Sue us. Go on. Try. Our lawyer is ‘Don’t Call Saul’).

Despite the changes one thing that remains certain is that Reading YMCA will be one of the leading teams as they seek to win a third successive title having gone through last season unbeaten. I know we all hate Arsenal fans banging on about the ‘Invincibles’ but to do that in Padworth is pretty special. The Young Men start their title defence with a home game to new boys Wokingham & Emmbrook Reserves who have transferred into Thames Valley Premier League from Division Two East of Uhlsport Hellenic League. The formidable strike force of Donegan & Adams bagged 53 in just 52 games last term & ill take some stopping this term…we challenge you both to end 1 & 2 in the goal charts. Do that, we’ll be impressed.

W&E are on a rebuild mission after their term last, er, term, where they did not enjoy the best of seasons. It is a tough baptism for the Sumas who follow this trip up with a visit to last season’s runners up Marlow United on Wednesday. The Satsumas are an unknown entity this season but with a lovely ground and a very well run set-up, they are a welcome addition to the TVPL.

Marlow United have (the paper put ‘had’ here, we don’t think that’s grammatically correct. We realise we’re opening ourselves up here for a barrage from the word police but please re-read above…sue us)  a change of ground this year, playing at Derehams Lane Sports Centre, Loudwater while the Environment Agency undertakes work Gossmore Lane. United welcome Wright & Unity Sports to Derehams Lane on Saturday. Wright & Unity Sports is a merger of Wrightchoice CSA and Unity during the close season. The U’s have had a decent pre-season despite losing several players in the summer but can they maintain the standards that took them to the B&B final last term?

Last term’s third place Newbury have also lost a big player as leading goal scorer Danny Langford has moved up a notch to Hellenic side Binfield and, with this being their last season at Farraday Road, face an uncertain future. They will be looking for maximum points on the opening day when Taplow United visit but will find the A4 derby on Wednesday a tougher challenge when they visit YMCA’s The Cauldron ground.

But we see a hungry club and we’ve a hunch that while they may not steam-roller teams this term, they could stay in the Champions League places IF they keep enthusiasm in March and April once the title charge could be done…(we feel bold tonight and are expecting heavy abuse for this prediction…).

A team who have had an impressive pre-season is Woodcote Stoke Row who face a trip into the unknown to Wraybury Village with the villagers having undergone change on and off the pitch in terms of management team, players and committee members. The Oxfordshire side is then at home to Highmoor Ibis United.

We want to believe that the Woodcote training sessions are like the Real Madrid ‘one touch’ piggy session. Like the football equivalent of Willy Wonka’s factory. You turn up, get changed into a gold kit, play mesmeric, Cruyft-esque football for an hour, then go home and relax in a bath filled with champagne. We said last year they (for no reason) were our favourites, but will discipline be an issue? Undoubtedly ballers, these boys could be the dark horse challenge if they can reduce the ‘goals A’ column….

Highmoor Ibis United (who have changed from Reserves), who have also seen a change in the management team during the summer, offer the annual question…how good COULD they be? Fantastic infrastructure. Great pitch. Lovely use of graphics on the Twitter feed. A group of unquestionable talent but can they harness themselves & put up a challenge? The Scours Lane team open at Mortimer.

Berkshire Trophy Centre Senior Cup winners Cookham Dean welcome Woodley United Royals before following this up with a visit from M4 neighbours Wraysbury Village. Cookham and United met in what was United’s final game of last season which Cookham won. We see the Dean as the up and comers this term…new players, including a top stopper, and an influx into both sides that mean business. They don’t have a ‘goal machine’ in their midst (but Lee Hawkins is an absolute baller) which may count against them but watch this space…we see these boys as real contenders.

Woodley United will be looking to improve on last season’s eight placing, the team’s highest in their two years in the top flight to date…perhaps not quite there from either goals scored or stopping them going in, The U’s are in a competitive league and feel to us a little like Stoke. Good. Mid table. Not many decent restaurants and among others that are pushing on. Middle earth for us.

Westwood United return to the division after a five year absence and will be playing home fixtures at Sol Joel Recreation Ground, Earley this season. Finally (those aware of regulations will get that). United start with a visit to Berks County followed by a West Berkshire derby at Mortimer. Two players moving on from the Division One champions Westwood are the Kingsbeer brothers Ryan and Adam who have joined Wright & Unity Sports. A Prem team no doubt but now these boys are among the elite. We see mid-table here, which would be an excellent term.

For some that were missed from the local rag (and these are definitely our words)…

Berks County are building. They want Top 6. They’re like Everton. Pushing. Trying. Good owner. But will come up just shy of their target…will be entertaining though. The first game is always seen as a ‘warm-up’ but Westwood will test credentials.

Taplow feel forgotten. Have they kept Marvin Hinds? That’s the big one…Billy’s Boys will turn up, but will they turn up enough times to keep the wolf from the door? Away at Newbury is a ‘no lose’ but they must want 3 pts on the Wednesday night v Unity whoever Sports someone.

We now like Wraysbury. We weren’t sure but a wonderful pre-season, excellent comms on Twitter and a packed, talented squad; they’ve asked for attention, they got ours. We reckon the Villagers will improve on 7th. Mark these words. We’re going 5th. Prove us right chaps and lose that cardigan tag…

Mortimer have taken a knock & got back on it. Hosting Ibis will be a winnable effort but we hope others’ building won’t push the M’s backwards…how they’ve recruited will be key…

So there. Our view. And the view of someone more important who has better judgement. However, they don’t have our log-in…

So…top 3…tough, but we’ll accept our own challenge. Favourites are YMCA. Have to be. To win 3 in a row will be tough, but achievable for this brilliant side. We’re going Woodcote & Cookham but both to pull back mid-season runs from Wraysbury and Marlow who will complete a top 5 that will be covered by about 8 points, top to 5th. A true league this term.

So, let’s promote this division, the TVPL’s crown jewels. Follow these sides on Twitter & FB and get behind them in cups and the B&B…the better our Premier sides do, the better it reflects on our league!

TVPL

Don’t agree? A member of Wraysbury’s title hunting side that now hates us? Maybe a Cookham glory hunter keen to praise us? Drop your views to us through @readingleague on Twitter and some little box somewhere on this site. Please do. Replying to you will mean we don’t have to talk about the weekly shop or when we’re going to the mother-in-laws for a roast chicken that we obviously do better…

 

Division Three Season Preview

 

This season’s Division Three will be like a Stag Do paintball war in November…muddy, some will take some painful beatings, it will leave battle scars but it could be thoroughly enjoyable. Oh, and it costs about the same (are getting old, paintball is damn expensive!).

Here we go with a thinly veiled attempt to offer some insight in to Div Three, or, as it was called last season, the Berks County Parade. A couple of new teams coming from afar, a rename, some media darlings and teams much changed from last season. Let’s take a look at the runners and riders.

We’ll start with the teams that fell to relegation from D3 last term; Goring United, Highmoor Ibis Athletic (much required name change) and Taplow Reserves.

Taplow endured a miserable season last time around, winning just once in D2. But Billy’s Boys never stay low for long and several new faces into the club will give Taplow hope of a stronger term. They need goals, much like Highmoor, as just 20 and 21 respectively isn’t anywhere near enough to keep mid-table let alone challenging. But, we see Taplow dusting down for a mid table season. Highmoor are another club that simply won’t accept another poor term. If they can bring youth into the mix, we see a better term, but another perched mid-table come April.

Goring are much loved among the TVPL but perhaps a little too nice…more oompft needed this term to peg back the 12 losses from last year. We think these three sides have found a competitive level and their records will read better than last term.

Wargrave’s loss of players means they too fall a division, but if they keep Stuart Moss (10 in 15 in a faltering side) and maintain 14 players each week, they could pose a threat to European places.

Onto the team promoted, Braybrooke. An exceptional debut term matched only by their Twitter account, the Reds are one of our tips this term. They score. They defend. They perform well in the cups so we expect them to be playing catch up after Xmas, but an excellent run last term saw them through, we see a promotion spot for these lads again this term. James Gregory took their Golden Boot last term but with goals spread over the team, we reckon they may need a true hitman to notch 25+ in order to really put champagne on ice.

Another strong favourite will be Finchampstead Reserves. With the club going through huge changes & the previous Senior Saturday side now deceased, there is a uncertainty about the immediate future. But if they have players from the previous Senior regime, these two sides could really put their mark on the TVPL. A lovely pitch to visit, Finch could do bits this term…

Onto last season’s D3 teams…Maidenhead Town Reserves could be one to keep close with…after the acquisition of an actual keeper at Xmas last season, les blue (and they will play in blue this season) went for just 2 losses in their last 10 league games. A heavy recruitment drive this summer has seen new faces join all 3 teams and as long as Town replace the firepower of now First team Chip Duncan, they could pose a threat.

We’re picking Brimpton to build on last year’s debut as well…much like a late night curry’s aftermath, they were simply inconsistent last term. Andy Miller was the goal king but double figures from 3 other players and plenty of high scoring games means these boys are the Entertainers of the Division. If they can tighten up at the back, they could do damage to some teams (remember the paintball stuff? These lads are the loveable rogues of the Stag Do, drinking at 7am but falling just short of the young’uns at the kebab hut).

Woodley A are another like Ibis that will either soar this term or struggle with fielding the same XI each week. In Asa Povey, they have the flattrack bully of the league (30 in just 16 last term proves that) but can they develop into a side for the title? They need a few new faces & while they have strong management & a big club rep, we’re still not sure.

After their new tracksuits last term, Hurst Ressies picked up. But much like the zip on a dodgy NaffNaff jacket at school, they soon tightened up and broke (that doesn’t work but you get the point). They may have won as many as they lost last term, but we see middle earth beckoning again for the cleverly funny Twitter brigade (follow, good value).

So after all that, we’ve no idea what’ll happen this term. Not a jot. We’ll pick three as we did for D4 but it would be wild to place money on it at Ladbrokes (we did ask, they don’t have a TVPL book. Good. Betting is irresponsible*).

We’ll go Braybrooke, Finch Ressies & Brimpton this term to fight out promotion with Maidenhead Town Ressies & Woodley to pose a threat. Probably wrong. Deal with it.

Ha’way we go…

*if any national betting companies are indeed interested in sponsoring our league, or just me as an individual, we (I) are (am) very very open. Very.

TVPL.

Have a view on this rather odd season preview? Let us know on Twitter (@readingleague) or use the little boxes below. Type some letters in ways that make words that are speakable, then click send. We’ll get it. We might ignore it but we’ll get it.

TVPL Division Four – Preview

With the TVPL season nigh, we thought we’d take a look at each division’s runners and riders, try to pick out the teams to look for and any big players to keep eyes on.

We start with Division Four and, as always in this tier, it’s completely un-predictable! With a couple of new teams, the ‘third’ teams of several big clubs and some re-naming going on, Div 4 will be more competitive than last, when a rampant South Reading (reformed from a successful squad the year before) ran riot, winning 18 of the 22 games and staying un-beaten.

(has to be said, an incredible acheivement irrespective of players perhaps playing a level below themselves, but how else do clubs build and progress?)

We’ll start with the 3 clubs that finished 3rd, 4th and 5th as there was little to separate Hurst A, Twyford & Ruscombe and Berks County Rovers…

What did separate those teams were goals. Hurst A actually matched South Reading’s ‘for’ tally, smashing 88 goals in their 22 games (our maths is rubbish, but 4 per game is hot). With Charlie Scope hammering 18 in just 9 games and Blake Brown-Koroma, Peter Jones & Aaron Birch all firing double figures, the Hurst Hotshots will begin as favourites for this year’s title.

Twyford, spearheaded by Mikey Jones who bagged 31 in just 23 games last term, had a good cup run last term, losing to the Reading Runaways in the Junior League Cup final and perhaps were a little inconsistent at the end of the season, winning just 2 of their last 11 games (one of which a walkover). To find silverware this term the Ruskies must improve a 50% win record, but will challenge, perhaps setting the pace?

Due to the club’s development, we think Berks County Rovers could be very strong this season. With excellent management, the teams work as a trio and with the Reserves strolling D3 last term, the summer should have seen plenty looking to join the club. Richard Cumner will need to keep his 1 in 1 goal ratio going and the Rovers will need to stop losing games (they just don’t draw!) to mount a challenge.

White Eagles Reserves fell to the drop last term and will fancy the challenge of heading straight back up, but will need to plug a very leaky defence that shipped 81 goals last term…with the firepower of other teams, we can’t see a title charge, but with a good start and a following wind (along with the excellent recordings of games, edited with Eastern European dance music), the Eagles could fly high at the top end.

Another attractive side is AFC Corinthians A who play nice stuff, but are more like a Roberto Martinez Wigan side than a Winning side…depends on recruitment and whether they’ve kept goal machine Ashraf Ali from last term.

With Goring & Woodley B’s struggles last term, we can’t see a promotion bid from either side unless a Man Utd-esque transfer window. Perhaps cup success on the cards for both as can beat anyone on their day, just need consistency.

After a successful debut term in the TVPL, Maidenhead Town have created a development side, packed with last year’s U18s side, new faces and some older heads with older legs…impossible to say how this bunch will do but could surprise if the team blend quickly enough. Perhaps too early for a promotion bid but will definately mix up the hierarchy, one to watch.

Harchy Hawks are the same…a very good first side secured D3 promotion last term and the club have brought in Youth to add zest to a side in much need. We think this could be the dark horse, the Leicester of the Division…you heard it here first.

So, a mixed bag and impossible to predict. We’ll stick neck out and offer up 3 teams for promotion; Hurst A, Twyford Ruskies & Harchy Hawks (last year’s bottom club). But it will be more competitive than last term with a spread of results. A very interesting season ahead!

TVPL Division 4

Do you agree? Not happy with our version of events? Want to challenge us to a dual at sunset to administer revenge? Let us know on Twitter #TVPL Twitter . Or via a pigeon. We have an aviary at TVPL Towers…