So with only 7 days to go until the 2016/17 National League kicks off, I thought I would take the opportunity to put together a preview of season ahead as well as use it as a time to reflect on the 2015/16 season.

Now this wouldn’t be a true representation of my views and me if I didn’t begin with a #SophieStats. As of today, 3rd September 2016 it’s been 84 days since the 2015/16 season drew to a close that’s an astonishing 7,257,600 seconds or 120,960 minutes or an even crazier 2016 hours. Or put more simply is been 12 weeks. For the geekier ones of you amongst us in the Powerchair Football world that’s 22.95% of 2016 that we’ve used to prepare for the exciting season ahead.

Over the last 2016 hours I have created 264 fixtures, spread over 11 weekends as well as making sure that the regulations we use to sanction our events are up to date and the standard we need to have the most successful and efficiently run season to date! A big statement to make I know, but I’m confident that this will be our best season yet, with 24 teams spread across 2 divisions, the determination amongst our players is easy to see. They all train very hard in preparation before putting everything into action when the time comes, but most importantly they do it with smiles on their faces because they are doing something that they love – playing football!

Before the start of a new season I always make some personal predictions for the season ahead and I haven’t until now ever revealed what they are, but with the launch of our brand new website, I thought that I’d let you in on my thoughts this time in this special piece. So here goes… 

This first number I like to write down is the number of total goals I think will be scored in each division for the entire season, the 2015/16 season totals were 530 in the Premiership and 368 in the Championship so for 2016/17 I predict following: - 575 in the Premiership and 413 in the Championship. Players take note! Your target has been set J The next number I write down is the total number of yellow cards that are given out, now obviously I’d hope that there wouldn’t be any because I just don’t want the extra paperwork! However, as I said before, all of our players are so passionate and competitive they do get carried away sometimes so with that said, for 2015/16 we had 46 across both division so for 2016/17 I’m actually going to predict that that number will decrease slightly to 40, this is because I believe that the standard of our teams and players is always improving so there should be less need. I guess only time will tell!

Excitingly, for the 2016/17 season Championship division we have 2 new teams joining us who up to this point have only participated at Regional League level. This is a great development for the growth of our National League but also our sport as a whole because it shows those people starting at grass roots level what they can be doing if they put in the time to train and learn.

I’m really looking forward to my 3rd season as National League Secretary and can’t wait for things to get under way. There is always a lot that goes into the preparation for a league weekend, some parts frustrating at times, but seeing the players and teams participating and enjoying themselves competitively makes it all worth it. We started with a #SophieStats so its only right that we should end with one… At the closes of the first Premiership weekend we will already have completed 9.8% of the season!

Best of luck to all teams for the season ahead, let’s make it big!

Yours in Sport

 

Sophie Bevan

WFA National League Secretary