by Peter Scherer
There have been various rumours and speculation about the make-up of next seasons league structure, and Mickleover’s part in it.
Some sources suggested that along with Basford and Ilkeston, Mickleover could be heading back to the Northern Premier League, after just the one season in the Southern Premier League Central Division.
That particular rumour was possibly the closest, as Basford are returning to the Northern Premier League after just one season, along with Ilkeston, which loses two of our local Derby games, as Mickleover are remaining in the Southern section.
Mickleover are one of 14 clubs remaining in the Southern Premier Central, along with runner’s up Coalville Town and fellow play off losers Leiston and Nuneaton.
There will still be the trips to Hertfordshire to play Hitchin and Royston, along with St Ives in Cambridgeshire and Needham Market in Suffolk.
We still have the localish trip to Barwell Town too, along long with West Midlanders Alvechurch, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Stourbridge and Stratford.
Seven teams are new to us though however, including another local Derby, with Long Eaton Utd, who came through the Northern Premier League Division One East play offs.
Halesowen followed a similar route to Long Eaton, but via the NPL Division One Midlands, whereas Berkhamsted means another trip to Hertfordshire, after they took the Southern League Division One title by a massive 19 points.
AFC Sudbury of Suffolk join us after being runners up in the Isthmian Division One North and winning the play-off, and Stamford earned their place after taking the NPL Division One title.
The remaining three teams have all arrived after being relegated from the National League North, with Kettering Town, Leamington and AFC Telford.
There will be more mileage next season though, with only three clubs within a 40 mile radius, compared with seven last season. Leiston is still the furthest at 184 miles, but AFC Sudbury, Berkhamsted, Hitchin, Needham Market, Royston and St Ives are all over 100 miles.
The total mileage to away league games will be approximately 1685 miles, compared to 1499 last season.
The question is can Sports improve on their sixth place?