Southern League Premier Division South contenders for season 2023/24
AS THE DUST BEGINS TO SETTLE on AFC Totton’s triumphant 2022/23 season, preparations are already underway to go again next season for an all-out assault on more silverware and yet further success for the Snows Stadium club.
The Stags’ Southern League Div.1 South title success means that Jimmy Ball’s men will be playing their football at Step 3 on the non-league football pyramid next season, where they will renew acquaintances will several familiar foes.
Basingstoke Town, who put a premature stop to Totton’s involvement in the 2021/22 FA Cup, have just completed a treble-winning season of their own and, like The Stags, will no doubt be eyeing top spot in the Southern League Premier Division South come the conclusion of next season on Saturday 27 April 2024.
There is a lot of football to be played before then against several other local and not-so-local rivals, including Dorchester Town, Gosport Borough, last season’s Div.1 South Champions Plymouth Parkway, Poole Town, Salisbury, Winchester City and, of course, our good friends from the other side of the Itchen Bridge, Sholing.
There were reports that Harrow Borough were considering an appeal to be moved into another geographical section. They were due to be relegated from the Premier Division South having finished 19th in the 22-team division last season, but were granted a reprieve after Metropolitan Police FC accepted voluntary relegation to the Isthmian South Central League due to financial concerns. However, The Boro confirmed on Monday 22 May that they had decided not to lodge an appeal, after all.
Key dates for the Southern League Premier Division South 2023/24:
- Saturday 05 August 2023: Regular Season Commences
- Saturday 27 April 2023: Regular Season Concludes
- Wednesday 01 May 2024: Promotion Play-Off Semi-Finals
- Monday 06 May 2024: Promotion Play-Off Final
SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH - Season 2023/24
Nickname: The Stags
Home ground: Snows Stadium, Salisbury Road, Totton SO40 2RW
Capacity: 3,000 (500 seated)
Last season: Promoted from Southern League Div.1 South as Champions. Also won the Champion of Champions Super Cup, beating Berkhamsted 2-1, and defeated Sholing 3-0 to retain the SDFA Southampton Senior Cup.
Nickname: The ‘Stoke
Home ground: Winklebury Football Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke RG23 8BF
Ground capacity: 2,000
Distance from Snows Stadium: 34.48 miles (45mins, via M3)
Last season: Promoted from Isthmian League South Central Division as Champions. Also won the Hampshire Senior Cup, beating AFC Bournemouth’s Development Squad in the Final, as well as the North Hampshire Senior Cup.
Nickname: The Rams
Home ground: Holloways Park, Windsor Road, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire HP9 2SE
Ground capacity: 3,500 (200 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 76.76 miles (1hr 17mins, via M3)
Last season: 11th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division.
Nickname: The Robins
Home ground: Bottom Meadow, Old Forge End, Sandhurst, Berkshire GU47 9DY
Ground capacity: 1.950 (250 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 51.13 miles (56mins, via M3)
Last season: Runners-up (2nd of 22) in Southern League Premier Division South; beat Chesham United in the Promotion Play-Off Semi-Final but lost 2-3 to Truro City in the Final. Also won the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup, beating Marlow 1-0 in the Final. Bracknell are currently groundsharing at Sandhurst Town’s Bottom Meadow stadium, having moved from their own Larges Lane ground in 2021.
Nickname: The Generals
Home ground: The Meadow, Fuller’s Close, Chesham HP5 1LT
Ground capacity: 5,000 (284 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 85.48 miles (1hr 32mins, via M3)
Last season: 5th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South; lost to Bracknell Town in the Promotion Play-Off Semi-Finals. The Meadow hosted the Champion of Champions match when AFC Totton beat Berkhamsted.
Nickname: Diddy or The Railwaymen
Home ground: Loop Meadow, Bowmont Water, Ladygrove OX11 7GA
Ground capacity: 3,000 (350 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 62.50 miles (1hr 11mins, via A34)
Last season: 3rd of 19 in Southern League Div.1 South Central; Promoted via the Play-Offs, beating Walthamstow 3-1 in the Semi-Final before overcoming Ware 1-0 in the Final.
Nickname: The Magpies
Home ground: The Avenue Stadium, Weymouth Avenue, Town Centre, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2RY
Ground capacity: 5,229 (710 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 48.95 miles (1hr 3mins, via A31)
Last season: 13th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South. Managed by ex-AFC Totton boss Glenn Howes. His assistant James Wood and players Lewis Waterfield, Jordan Ngalo and Shaquille Gwengwe are all recent former Stags, too.
Nickname: The Boro’
Home ground: The AEI Stadium, Privett Park, Gosport PO12 3SX
Ground capacity: 4,500 (1,000 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 26.45 miles (41mins, via M27)
Last season: 17th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South. Ex-Stags Harry Medway and Brett Williams ended the season at Privett Park, together with Issiaga Kaba who had a loan spell at Totton from Portsmouth.
Nickname: The Geordies
Home ground: Powerday Stadium, Perivale Lane, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 8TL
Ground capacity: 3,000
Distance from Snows Stadium: 81.47 miles (1hr 47mins, via M3)
Last season: 14th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South.
Nickname: The Boro or The Reds
Home ground: Earlsmead Stadium, Earlsmead, Harrow HA2 8SS
Ground capacity: 3,070 (350 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 75.83 miles (1hr 53mins, via M3)
Last season: 19th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South; originally relegated but given a reprieve due to Metropolitan Police accepting voluntary relegation to Isthmian South Central League.
HAYES & YEADING UNITED
Home ground: SkyEx Community Stadium, Beaconsfield Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB4 0SL
Ground capacity: 3,000
Distance from Snows Stadium: 72.62 miles (1hr 30mins, via M3)
Last season: 7th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division. Won the Middlesex Senior Cup, beating Harrow Borough 5-0 in the Final.
Nickname: The Greens or The Dons
Home ground: Silver Jubilee Park, Kingsbury, London NW9 7NE
Ground capacity: 1,990 (298 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 87.45 miles (2hrs 3mins, via M3)
Last season: 18th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division.
Home ground: Town Ground, Bulpit Lane, Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 0AY
Ground capacity: 2,500 (170 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 50.79 miles (1hr 0mins, via A34)
Last season: Relegated after finishing 24th of 24 in National League South.
Formed: 1908 (reformed 2010)
Nickname: The Martyrs
Home ground: Penydarren Park, Park Terrace, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8RF
Ground capacity: 4,001
Distance from Snows Stadium: 159.66 miles (2hrs 39mins, via M4)
Last season: 9th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South. AFC Totton beat The Martyrs 1-0 at Penydarren Park in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Isuzu FA Trophy in October 2022.
Formed: 1988 (as Ex-Air Flyers)
Nickname: The Parkway
Home ground: Bolitho Park, St. Peters Road, Plymouth Devon PL5 3JG
Ground capacity: 3,500 (250 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 145.25 miles (2hrs 48mins, via A38)
Last season: 10th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division.
Nickname: The Dolphins
Home ground: Tatnam Ground, Stanley Green Road, Poole BH15 3AH
Ground capacity: 2,500
Distance from Snows Stadium: 29.33 miles (37mins, via A31)
Last season: 4th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South; lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Truro City in the Promotion Play-Off Semi-Finals. Won the Dorset Senior Cup, beating Weymouth 4-0 in the Final.
Nickname: The Whites
Home ground: The Raymond McEnhill Stadium, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 6PU
Ground capacity: 5,000 (500 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 20.22 miles (45mins, via A36)
Last season: 15th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South.
Formed: 1960 (as Vosper Thornycroft)
Nickname: The Boatmen
Home ground: The Imperial Homes Stadium, Gunners Keep, Portsmouth Road, Southampton SO19 9PW
Ground capacity: 1,000 (250 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 15.7 miles (26mins, via M27)
Last season: 2nd of 20 in Southern League Div.1 South; Promoted via the Play-Offs, beating Wimborne Town 2-1 in the Semi-Final and Hamworthy United 2-0 in the Final. Runners-up to AFC Totton in the SDFA Southampton Senior Cup.
Nickname: The Marine
Home ground: Webbswood Stadium, Supermarine Round, South Marston, Swindon SN3 4BZ
Ground capacity: 2,000 (350 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 72.49 miles (1hr 15mins, via A34)
Last season: 6th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South. The Marine finished two points behind Chesham United in the last of the Promotion Play-Off spots, although The Generals also had a significantly better Goal Difference.
Formed: 1913 (as Tiverton Athletic)
Nickname: Tivvy, Yellows or Gold Army
Home ground: The Ian Moorcroft Stadium, Ladysmead, Bolham Road, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6SG
Ground capacity: 3,500 (520 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 108.30 miles (2hrs 45mins, via A303)
Last season: 12th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South. Won the Devon St Luke’s Bowl, beating Willand Rovers 2-1 in the Final.
WALTON & HERSHAM
Nickname: The Swans or The Sham or The Waltz
Home ground: Elmbridge Sports Hub, Stompond Lane, Walton-on-Thames, Elmbridge, Surrey KT12 1HF
Ground capacity: 2,097 (372 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 69.30 miles (1hr 23mins, via M3)
Last season: 2nd of 20 in Isthmian League South Central Division; Promoted via the Play-Offs, beating Northwood 2-1 in the Semi-Final and Hanworth Villa 3-1 in the Final. Striker Eddie Simon set a new English record by scoring hat-tricks in four successive matches.
Formed: 1884 (as Winchester Swallows)
Nickname: The Citizens or City
Home ground: Charters Community Stadium, Hillier Way, Abbotts Barton, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 7SR
Ground capacity: 4,500 (150 seated)
Distance from Snows Stadium: 19.98 miles (30mins, via M3)
Last season: 16th of 22 in Southern League Premier Division South. City did not enter the SDFA Southampton Senior Cup in 2022/23.
By Ben Rochey-Adams