The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 27th May 2012
The club promoted via the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division play-offs had been hoping to be placed in the South division but were forced into the north after Kettering Town resigned due to financial problems.
That allowed Maidenhead United to be reinstated and means Mike Ford’s side face some lengthy trips when the season kicks-off in August.
Their schedule will take them as far north as Workington - a mammoth round trip of 544 miles - while Brackley Town and Gloucester City will count as their shortest away days. The greater travelling distance will have financial implications on City.
Long-serving secretary John Sheppard said: “Our preference was clearly for the south division, but it was not to be. It's disappointing, but we will just get on with it.”
Meanwhile, City have received a massive boost after experienced duo Steve Basham and Chris Willmott pledged their future to the Court Place Farm outfit.
Basham, 33, scored twenty-two goals in all competitions, while his former Oxford United team-mate Willmott, 34, was a vital part of the defence as City won promotion. And although the duo have not yet put pen-to-paper on deals, Mike Ford feels it is just a formality.
“Both have verbally agreed to sign,” Ford said. “I would be gob-smacked if they changed their minds. In their own ways, they are both big players. They are superb fellows to have around the place and they give their honest opinions. We are a largely young team, but experience will count for a lot next season. There are no better role models than Steve and Chris.”
City are now hoping that defender James Clarke will agree to stay. Ford added: “James has been offered a new contract and we are just waiting to hear back from him.”
The future of keeper Jason Mooney, who was on a season-long-loan at City from Wycombe Wanderers last season, should become clearer next week following his release by the Chairboys.
“I have had a conversation with Jason and he has had a trial at Cheltenham, so we’re waiting.
“We want him to stay. He’ll obviously be playing part-time and maybe we can help find him a part-time job. A lot of players have shown interest in coming here, but I couldn’t do anything until we knew where we were playing and how it would impact on my budget.”