North West Counties League Premier Division Season Preview 2021/2022
It’s been seventeen months since a competitive game was last played at the Moss Rose in Macclesfield but for fans of the newly formed phoenix club Macclesfield FC the wait is almost over. Following the folding of the original Macclesfield Town FC, local businessman Robert Smethurst along with Robbie Savage purchased the Moss Rose vastly upgrading the ground with the ambitions to bring professional football back to Macclesfield. The club start the season at home to Burscough and under the leadership of club legend Danny Whittaker, Silkmen supporters will be hoping for promotion come the end of the season.
Vauxhall Motors will be playing football in the Premier Division of the North West Counties League for the coming season and the club felt hard done by having won promotion during the 2019/2020 season only for it to be taken off them. The hard work has been continuing behind the scenes and a challenging pre-season has seen the club beat several teams from higher leagues as preparations for the new season continues. The club won’t be in the Premier Division just to make up the numbers and teams coming up against the Merseyside based club should be prepared for a tough match.
It’s been a long hard battle for Congleton Town over the post season as the club were originally transferred to a parallel division to make space for their near neighbours Macclesfield FC. However after winning their appeal they have been moved back into the Premier Division meaning they will take on some more local teams this season. Regularly finishing in a mid-table position the club will be hoping to push on in what should be a competitive season.
Alongside Vauxhall Motors four other clubs received promotion from Division One North/South with two Liverpool based clubs in AFC Liverpool and Lower Breck and two Manchester based clubs in Prestwich Heys and Wythenshawe Town joining the Premier Division. Due to Congleton Town winning their appeal however the league will run this season with twenty one teams meaning that each game week one club will have a rest week. Last season’s FA Cup specialists Skelmersdale United have drawn the short straw with no fixture on the opening day this season as they have to wait until the following midweek to kick off as they welcome Longridge Town to their JMO Sports Park Ground.
With 1874 Northwich having been promoted to the Northern Premier League Division One West the supporters club will now play in a higher league than the original club from the town Northwich Victoria. The Vics have been a constant presence in the last few years at the top end of the table and they will be hoping it won’t be long until they can re-join 1874 Northwich in the league above. Another club who are regularly fighting at the top end of the table and will be looking to finally secure promotion this season is Runcorn Town. Before they can play their first league game however Runcorn Town have a Macron Cup Final to play as they entertain now higher opposition 1974 Northwich. The much delayed cup final will become the league opener for the new season.
Squires Gate will be hoping for a better start to the season than their one win in nine games last season when football was abandoned. The club haven’t had the best preparation to the new season losing 7-0 in a pre-season friendly against Blackpool and 4-0 against AFC Fylde before having their match against lower league opposition Springhead abandoned due to an injury with the score 1-1. League debutants Lower Breck are the visitors to the Brian Addison Stadium on the opening day of the season and the Blackpool based club will be hoping to get off to a winning start against unfamiliar opponents.
Litherland REMYCA will be hoping to win their first league match since they beat Congleton Town 3-0 on the 29th February 2020 as they travel to Irlam on the opening day. The club have struggled to win in pre-season and could be in for another tough season and could once again be in a relegation battle as the look to avoid the drop. As we hope for our first full season since the 2018/2019 campaign relegation to Division One could become a threat for teams this season and REMYCA will be hoping that they can do enough to avoid the trap door.
Avro will be a team to look out for this season as the club won five of their eight games last season and have had a successful pre-season to date including an impressive victory against higher opponents Moseley. The club are still yet to complete a season in the Premier Division and will be hoping its third time lucky. Behind the scenes during the long summer break the club have improved facilities at their Vestacare Stadium and will be hoping to finish in the top two for the possibility of promotion at the end of the campaign. Charnock Richard will also be looking for promotion after regularly finishing in the top six of the table over the last few seasons. With only one automatic promotion spot available and one spot in the new inter-step play-off system it is all to play for at the top of the table. As it stands clubs in the North West Counties League have only received their fixtures for the opening month of the season but it’s due to be a busy month with the majority of clubs having six league games as well as an FA Cup match and FA Vase match. The league table should soon start to take some sort of shape by the end of the first month and we should have a rough idea of who will be up there and who will be struggling at the bottom of the table. Of course all eyes will be on Macclesfield FC in their debut season and it will be interesting to see how well they do.
Ashton Athletic v Wythenshawe Town Avro v Padiham Charnock Richard v Winsford United Irlam v Litherland REMYCA Longridge Town v Congleton Town Macclesfield v Burscough Prestwich Heys v Northwich Victoria Runcorn Town v Barnoldswick Town Squires Gate v Lower Breck Vauxhall Motors v AFC Liverpool Skelmersdale United - no fixture