BACK for another season - the Scarborough & District Saturday League promises to offer the usual ups and downs as previous seasons.
With the re-incarnation of Scarborough Town, a host of clubs have lost key players to the Humber Premier First Division and many have voiced their concerns that the standard of the league could be diluted as a result.
First Division champions Edgehill seem to have been affected the most by Shaun Rennison’s squad.
Skipper Baz Gill, Antony Pickles, Ricky Nock, Martyn Ferrey, Ryan Jackson, Lee Cappleman and Chris Ferrey have all left to join Town - and Edgehill will be forced to call upon their large squad if they are to challenge again this season.
They aren’t the only side to lose players. Eastfield’s Kris Tate, West Pier’s Jamie Bradshaw, Cayton’s Neil Fryirs and Newlands duo Sean Exley and Ben Luntley have all joined Town.
This will only stengthen the chances of club’s like Filey, and promoted outfit Ryedale, who will no doubt add fresh impetus to the division.
Eastfield will be many people’s favourites to wrestle the title back from Edgehill after a poor campaign last time round.
Bryn Kneeshaw has taken the reins at the Eastway club and has strengthened his side with the acquisitions of influential Edgehill pair Shaun Dodson and Ben David.
They will be up there along with Shaun Mancrief’s well-drilled Newlands side.
Mancrief has put his squad well and truly through their paces in pre-season and they will be a tough side to beat.
Promoted Fishburn Park have a young side that will be looking to avoid relegation back to division two. Scalby have lost a handful of players and will be battling with the likes of Ayton and Hunmanby United to avoid the drop.
Rhys Howell, manager of Sunday League side Klosters, has taken over the managerial hot seat at Cayton following Rennison’s departure.
Chris Townsend’s Westover Wasps side comfortably stayed up last season and will no doubt be looking to improve on their 18-point haul this time around.
The side to watch out for in Division Two are Whitby Fishermen’s Society.
Promoted from division three in their first season in the Scarborough & District League, Mark Storr’s men claimed the scalps of both Edgehill and Ayton last season.
The Fishermen walked to the division three title last season, and will be looking to the likes of Mark Swales, Karl Storr, Connor Goldsmith and Peter Scaife to take them to another success as they look to secure successive promotions into the top flight at the first attempt.
Their main challengers should be Matty Dawson’s Seamer, who will be keen to return to the top flight at the second attempt, and relegated Flixton, who struggled in their maiden season in Division One.
Promoted side Nelson FC, formerly known as Riskers, will be looking to push for promotion again under boss Kev Creelman.
They will be relying on the goals of strike-force Rob Speight and Luke Delve if they are to finish in the top two.
Two new sides have entered the league in Division Three.
FC Soba look to be strong favourites to pick up the title in their first season.
Manager Mike Keld has secured the services of some superb players including former Pickering Town midfielder Georgie Rose, Craig Rackham from Scalby, and the likes of Lee Luntley, Matty Turner and Liam Vasey.
Another new side, Whitby-based Sleights, will be an unknown entity for most in the division.
Snainton, relegated from division two last season, have a new manager in former Rosette boss Danny I’Anson, and he has moved quickly to bring in the likes of veteran striker Dave Bell.
If Bell can fire in the goals for his new side then they will no doubt be in line to challenge for a quick return to the second division.
l Who do you think will do well this season in the Scarborough & District Leagues? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to Sportsdesk, 17-23 Aberdeen Walk, YO11 1BB