Next Game: Pre-Season Friendly - Melksham Town Away on Saturday 7th July

Thursday, May 17, 2018

National League North v National League South


Bill Thomas compares the two leagues.

I expect that a lot Bulls fans may suspect that National League North may be a stronger league than National League South.

This season there were eleven teams in National League North with average gates of more than 1000, with three teams averaging more than 2000. Stockport had the highest attendances with an average of 3458. In National League South, Dartford's average attendance was 1023, but all of the other teams had average gates of below 1000. But does this mean that the North is stronger?

To try and work this out, I have compared the National League finishing positions of all the teams that have been promoted from step 2 between 2015 and 2017. Please see below.

Northern Teams.
Barrow - 11th, 7th, 20th (three seasons)
Guiseley - 20th, 20th, 24th (three seasons)
Solihull - 16th, 18th (two seasons)
North Ferriby - 24th (one season)
AFC Fylde - 7th (one season)
Halifax - 16th (one season)

Southern Teams
Bromley 14th, 10th, 9th (three seasons)
Boreham Wood 19th, 11th, 4th (three seasons)
Sutton 12th, 3rd (two seasons)
Maidstone 14th, 19th (two seasons)
Maidenhead 12th (one season)
Ebbsfleet 6th (one season).

These comparisons do appear to suggest that the teams promoted from National League South since 2015 have a better record than those promoted from National League North. None of the southern teams have been relegated, and five of the southern teams have finished in the top half of this season's National League table. Boreham Wood reached this season's play-off final.

Interestingly four of the twelve promoted teams had average gates of below 1000 during their promotion seasons, with three coming from the North. Another comparison factor is that Gloucester City finished 14th in this season's National League South, and 10th in last season's National League North.

Before I looked at the records of the promoted step 2 teams, I thought that the North would be stronger, but now I am not so sure. The attendances in the North suggest that the North is stronger, but the records of the teams promoted between 2015 and 2017 suggest that the South is stronger. Maybe they are about equal? I am simply delighted that we have won promotion!

As for the geography, some will prefer north and some will prefer south. But as we are a team that can be placed in either, I think that we are ideally suited to national football. So I say let's win promotion number four!!!! Up The Bulls!!!!