This week the FA Council rubber stamped proposals for a restructure of steps 4-6 of non-league football. It will see the number of divisions at Berkhamsted ‘s level of the pyramid expanding from 7 to 8. The extra step 4 division of 20 teams is being created in the north. Nine of its 20 clubs will be from three northern step 5 leagues, and the 11 other step leagues will each see one team elevated to step 4. To reduce travelling time and cost, here will be a massive geographical reshuffle with many existing step 4 division boundaries moving south, because of the new division. The new line-ups should be decided by around May 17.
It is possible we may have no coach trips in the new division league as the midlands-based sides might be in a different division, with Bedford and Kempston as far north as we would go and Thame United might be the furthest west for us. Unofficially tipped to transfer into our division from the Isthmian part of the pyramid are Chalfont St Peter, Hanwell Town, Harlow, Town, Hertford Town, Northwood, FC Romania, Waltham Abbey and Ware. It is expected that Colney Heath will be the elevated one from the Spartan South Midlands League, joining on its points per game records over the last two incomplete seasons.
Sadly, for Berko, it seems that vacancies higher up the pyramid are going to be left unfilled by the FA. Our two-year points per game record if used, would make us first in line, if there was to be any promotion this summer from our division to step 3.
There is still a chance that our Spartan South Midlands division 2 side could move up a division to step 6 as part of this summer’s re-organisation. However, there are only 30 spaces going in the whole country and there have been many more applicants than that.
On the field, Berko’s youth teams struggled this week. The under 18’s conceded two second half goals to go down 2-0 at home to London Colney on Thursday night in the Merton Shield. They still have Hemel Hempstead and Kings Langley to play in the Shield’s mini-league. The under 15s went down 2-1 at home to BSC in the Eastern Junior Alliance at Broadwater on Sunday morning after having a man sent off. Vinny Esteban-Wade got the goal for the young Comrades. The under 14s dropped to 4th spot in the table after they drew 3-3 at Barking in the same competition. Nathaniel Arami, Charlie Bradshaw and Tiouwoni Enade got the Berko goals.