Runaway champions are not uncommon in the section, but to look at the contenders each year you would always expect it to be close. Again we are at odds with our competitors in having a different favourite to the rest of the industry for this coming campaign. Big spending Eastleigh are our market leaders at 4/1 after acquiring a first-team squad littered with players that could perform at least one rung higher in the pyramid.
Dover Athletic will feel that they've under-achieved in coming 7th two seasons running and surely won't settle for any less than a play-off spot. Nicky Forster's team are our 9/2 second-favourites, just half a point bigger than Ian Baird's Spitfires!
Play-Off final losers Welling United have improved their position by 3 places each of the last three seasons to finish 9th, 6th then 3rd.
Jamie Day is a good young manager and will have to cope with keeping his player's heads held high to bounce back from that defeat at Dartford in which they would concede they were a long way off the pace. The Wings are 8/1 along with Chelmsford City who have gone the other way in terms of year-on-year performance. Form figures of 3rd, 4th then 6th last season suggest they have suffered from the league becoming stronger.
Punters who backed Havant & Waterlooville last season - and there are always plenty of them - knew their fate early last Autumn. They are 12/1 to improve under the new regime of Stuart Ritchie after finishing a disastrous 19th last time out. Bromley's finish in 17th last season was their lowest in the division since promotion five seasons ago from the Ryman Premier.
The previous four campaigns saw them finish between 11th and 13th each time. Mark Goldberg's side are our biggest liability in the division though after being well backed to challenge for promotion. Our price of 80/1 has been shortened to 66/1 and any more money before next Saturday's kick-off will prompt another reduction in their price.
Marcus Gayle takes over at Staines Town and we are keeping them relatively short at 20/1 with the former AFC Wimbledon reserve manager having a big chance of sparking a turnaround with the new players he has brought in. Hayes & Yeading United are also respected in our list at 16/1 with a squad that could challenge for a trend-breaking immediate return to the Premier division under the impressive Nas Bashir.
CHAMPIONS - EASTLEIGH
Play-Off Teams - Dover Athletic, Welling United, Basingstoke Town, Hayes & Yeading United.
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