The forthcoming Thames Valley Churches Football League (TVCFL) season is promising to be just as exciting as last year.
Having won the league title with a 3-0 victory over Wycliffe Wanderers in their last game of the season, Tilehurst Albion will be looking to secure their second league title in their second season.
As per last season, it is expected that Kerith Community Church will maintain pressure on Albion, and having beaten them twice in the closing stages of last season (in the league and Philmar Cup final), they will have the confidence that they can win their first league title.
The great thing about the TVCFL is that you never know what improvements each squad have made over the summer period.
Having finished third last season and with recent rivals Warfield FC having dropped out of the league this year, Brookside Saint Laurence (BSL)will be looking to maintain the pressure on both Albion and Kerith and will certainly have a big say on who wins the league.
Having finished in the top four for the past three seasons, BSL will be looking to go one better and sneak their first league title.
An outsider for the title this year will be Wycliffe Wanderers.
A slow start to last season, losing three of their first four games, cost them a chance of winning the league. A slight improvement in the games against the teams who finished above them last year will certainly see them in with a chance.
It is difficult to tell who else will emerge from the rest of the chasing pack.
Having been challenging for the league title for many years, Bethel United are in a period of rebuilding, but still dangerous.
They just finished ahead of West Reading CFC last season who themselves have been steadily building their club up and will enter a second team into the league, West Reading CFC Reserves.
Greyfriars FC have proved to be erratic over the past three seasons, but with their young squad slowly getting older, perhaps it’ll be their time to shine.
Reading Saints were also erratic but had a stronger second half of the season, so will be looking to keep that momentum going.
Last year’s newcomers Vineyard FC have merged with Finchampstead. The former champions took a break last year, but are back, hoping to pick up from where they left off.
The TVCFL also welcome back Norries FC into the league after a long absence. Norries will start the season with a young squad, mixed in with some experienced players. As the saying goes, ‘you don’t win anything with kids…’ We’ll see!
Look out for match reports, results and tables across the season.