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A preview of the new Olympian League season in Watford
A new season gets underway this Sunday and there have been many changes in the Olympian League structure for the new campaign.
With the loss of eight clubs for various reasons since the end of the last campaign, the league has been reduced to two divisions for the first time since the 1977/78 season.
The implication of this is that no side from the OSFL will be represented in the Herts Senior Cup, with the County rules only allowing leagues with two divisions to play in the Junior and Intermediate Cups.
Domestically, the other change is that the Ken Simmons Memorial Cup, which has been the Division Two League Cup for an more than a decade, is now returned to its original status as a cup for the sides losing in the first two rounds of the Challenge Cup.
Manager: Paul Kinch
Finished third last time around in Division Two, as well reaching the final of the Division Two League Cup in their first season since re-joining the league. Last season’s player-manager Chris Truman is now just a player and they will look to his goals to provide consolidation.
Manager: Derek Fitzpatrick
Having won the Division Two title last season as expected, they also reached the semi-final of the Challenge Cup. They have the experience, namely in several players from the MK Ginder Premier Division title winning team of 2010/11. They look likely to mount a serious challenge for the Premier Division title.
Manager: Eric Shields
The winners of the title for the past two seasons and clear favourites this time around as well, Headstone only took the title by just a single point, and they failed to win the treble after suffering a surprise defeat in the Challenge Cup. With them out of the Herts Senior Cup, they must be considered one of the favourites for the Herts Intermediate Cup.
Manager: Graham Hunt
They have been unhappy at being placed in the 'new' Premier Division, but they had a good season, finishing fourth in Division One and reaching the final of the Chairman’s Cup last year. The two games against Headstone Athletic should be worth the watch.
Manager: Daniel Chariteris
Under new management after having a dreadful season in finishing bottom of the pile in the Premier Division. They have lost several players but have replaced these with several new signings, so it’s hard to judge how they will fair this season.
Old Danes Athletic
Manager: Elliott Treacy & James Styles
Had a respectable mid-table finish last season, and are a good match for anyone on their day, but they struggled to field a consistent team, so that must be their aim this season.
Oxhey Park Mangans
Manager: James Flynn Division
Twice runners-up last year along with winning the Ken Simmons Memorial Cup, they are hard side to beat and with several experienced players in their squad they should have a decent season.
Manager: Aaron Sakoor
As Pavilion Rangers last season, they enjoyed another season of progress, finishing in third place in the Division. The local derby games against Oxhey Park Mangans should be interesting.
Manager: Stephen Lawrence
Had a good season in the cup competitions, losing in two semi-finals along with a sixth-placed finish in the league. Should be helped by the league re-structure. The longest-serving club having been in the league since 1976 and could well be a dark horse.
Manager: Dave Barnes
Many see them to be the main challengers to Headstone Athletic's crown after they finished third in the last two campaigns. Have added some experienced County League players to their squad and could be the team to watch this season.
Manager: Robert Wicker
Only just missed the cut for the 'new' Premier Division on goal difference after finishing fourth in Division Two. Will be one of the front-runners if they can field a solid team each Sunday.
Manager: Ross Fowler
Had a mid-table finish in the division last season. Have a reputation of being a good strong if direct side. Will be interesting to see how they cope with now having a second side at the club in FC Revolution.
Colne Valley Reserves
Manager: Harry Williams & Rob Day
A team that flattered to deceive last season, have lost some players but again if they get a settled side they could be successful.
Manager: James Graham
A new team with most of the players having played at this level before but very difficult to say how they will do.
Manager: Pete Chalis & Ricky Moore
A second team for Cassiobury Revolution, although they are not running as a Reserve team.
Manager: Richard Batson
A new side made up mostly of players aged 21 or below coming from the St Albans area.
Manager: Dan Kenna
Had a strange campaign last season, looked to be finishing in the top five at one point in Division One but had a poor run-in and ended up taking the wooden spoon, despite reaching the semi-final in the Chairman’s Cup.
Manager: John Hall
New side based mostly around players based on the Meriden estate, with a couple that have played in the OSFL before.
Manager: Goher Munir
Not related to the 'old' Radlett Road side that played in the OSFL a few seasons back.
Manager: Mark Wales
Had a poor season last time around, finishing second bottom in the division with only two wins all season. Hard to see anything more than a season of struggle once again.
Manager: Alex Halifax
Looked on course to finish bottom of Division One before two end-of-season wins meant that they ended the campaign third from bottom. Will be looking to carry on that form into the new season.
Manager: Paul Feltham
A team that has moved across from the Watford Sunday League after two reasonably successful seasons with them. Look to have a strong side and should be a title contender.
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