Early Premier preview
14 runners who will be champions ?
PREMIER DIVISION Review
Seven First teams and seven Reserve teams will contest the Premier Division crown in the forthcoming season, and although many have long history only two of the 14 teams involved have ever won the the Devon & Exeter Leagues major trophy before.
Lapford who will probably start as favourites have been champions for the past two years, while the University Reserves are the only other side to have picked up the crown back in the 2008 season.
There is an argument for Dawlish United to lay claim to the five titles the Sandy Lane based club won as Dawlish Town in their glamour years between 1967 and 1973, but as United they have yet to stamp their mark on the trophy. In fairness this is only the third season for United, and the last Dawlish team to play in Premier was back in 2000 when Dawlish Villa finished last and then disbanded.
Clyst Valley are back in Premier after a brief spell in the Devon Football League, but as one of our oldest clubs they have never been able to get their hands on our biggest trophy. Maybe this will be their year.
Lyme Regis of course spent all their years in the Perry Street League until they came over to us in 2014 and I am sure they would love to add their name to the trophy and also become the first team ever to take it across the County border. Teams from Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset have all had a go in previous years.
Colyton and Kentisbeare are relatively newcomers to Premier both coming up for the first time in the last three seasons, and both could be serious contenders.
For Sandford this will be only their second ever Premier season having finished second from last in 1970 in their only other time with the elite. The interesting thing here as well is that for their neighbours Crediton United Res this is also a first ever Premier season, so a big landmark derby when the two face each other for the first time in the top flight.
That leaves the reserves teams of Alphington, Elmore, Okehampton Argyle, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth Town to try and win Premier for the first time, a tall order but I am sure they will welcome the challenge.
The first teams of Alphington and Sidmouth Town have won it twice, Elmore 1sts and Ottery 1sts once, but Okehamptons 1sts have never managed to get the trophy back to Simmons Park.
Roll on August
Wednesday 6th July 2022