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Feature | A closer look at our new National League opponents

18 June 2019

With the beginning of the 2019/20 National League season edging ever closer, we've taken a deep dive into what new teams we will be facing as well as the players to keep an eye out for this term.

Notts County

The Magpies find themselves playing National League Football having been relegated from Sky Bet League Two last season.

During their time in the Football League, Notts County were proudly the world's oldest Football League Club prior to their relegation, and they will be keen to re-assert that status with a promotion winning season this time out.

Neal Ardley's side are front-runners to gain promotion next year alongside Chesterfield, and with a number of dangerous players still on their books, they will certainly prove a tough test for The Bees this term.

One to watch - Enzio Boldewijn

County signed Enzio from Crawley Town, but the winger's career began in the Netherlands with SC Voorland before joining Utrecht.

Following a loan spell away from Utrecht, Boldewijn joined Almere City where he would make over 90 appearances. 

His switch to England came in 2016 when he joined Crawley Town, and he quickly found his feet with an impressive first year with the Red Devils. The Dutchman went onto score 15 goals during his spell with Crawley before joining Notts County in 2018.

Boldewijn joined the Magpies for a six-figure sum and he currently has five goals to his name in with County.

Yeovil Town

The Glovers were also relegated last time out after they finished rock bottom of Sky Bet League Two.

Their relegation ended a 16-year stint in the Football League which dated back to 2003. Four points adrift with one game to play, The Glovers fate was sealed prior to the final game of the season. 

The National League new-boys play at Huish Park, a 142-mile trip from The Hive London. Barnet and Yeovil boast an equal league record against each other, sharing three wins at peace.

One to watch - Matt Worthington

A product of the AFC Bournemouth Academy, Worthington signed a new long-term deal with the Glovers in January 2019.

During his time with the Cherries, Worthington enjoyed a number of loan spells away from the club at the likes of Eastbourne Borough, Yeovil and Forest Green Rovers. 

Due to his loan spell with Yeovil being the most fruitful, Worthington signed a contract to stay in Somerset in January of this year. 

A box-to-box midfielder at just 21 years of age, he will be certainly one to keep an eye on this year.

Stockport County

The Hatters gained promotion to the National League after being crowned champions of the National League North. They finished in top spot, just one point better off than second-placed Chorley.

Playing their football at Edgeley Park, the Bees will face a good 180-mile trip up to the South of Manchester to face Jim Gannon's side.

The Northern outfit comes out on top when looking at the head-to-head league records, just edging four wins over Barnet's three, however, Darren Currie's side will be sure to put that right this season.

One to watch - Frank Mulhern

The Irishman has played for a host of clubs across non-league. Starting out in the Conference Premier with Southport, Mulhern only went on to make one appearance for the Sandgrounders before leaving for Guiseley. 

Spells at Harrogate Town, Alfreton Town and Bradford AFC followed before he eventually signed for Stockport last season.

Mulhern was pivotal in Stockport's success in the National League North and could play a vital role for the Hatters this upcoming season.

Chorley FC

Having finished in second place in the National League North last season, Chorley had to go through the Play-Offs to gain promotion and in-hand came up trumps following a penalty shoot-out with Spennymoor Town.

As the Play-Off final finished 1-1, the tie was forced to penalties and the Magpies overcame Spennymoor 4-3 to earn their right to play in the National League next season.

Chorley play their football at Victory Park, a ground named after the outcome of World War One. 200 plus miles from The Hive, the Bees face another long distance away day.

One to watch - Marcus Carver

The 25-year-old forward missed just one game last season and racked up an impressive 17 goals in all competitions.

Carver's footballing career began with Accrington Stanley, though he enjoyed a number of loan spells away from the club during his five-year stay. Halifax Town, Barrow, AFC Fylde and Chorley all took the forward on loan and following a successful loan period with the latter, Carver signed permanently in 2016.

Having been credited with 'energy to burn', Carver will be one to watch as we go head-to-head with the Magpies.

Torquay United

Torquay rather ran away with the National League South having finished a comprehensive 10 points above second-placed Woking.

The Gulls won 27 of their 42 games last season, losing just eight and will be looking to have a positive season in the top flight of non-league football.

Playing their games at Plainmoor, Barnet face a 200-mile journey to the South-West to face the Gulls. 

In terms of head-to-head record, Barnet just edges Torquay having won 11 games compared to their 10.

One to watch - Jamie Reid

Reid's career began in 2012 when he represented Exeter City, but in search of first-team football, the forward was loaned out on several occasions.

First to Dorchester Town, Reid scored three goals in 12 games before securing a loan spell with Torquay. Proving a success, the forward enjoyed two more loan moves to the Gulls and is now contracted with the South-West club.

A local lad, the pacey forward has become a fan's favourite and will certainly prove a threat in the upcoming season.

Woking FC

Last on the list of new opponents for this season are Woking, who secured their place in the National League after coming through the Play-Offs in the National League South.

The Cardinals finished in second place last season on 78 points before beating Welling United 1-0 in the Play-Off final courtesy of an Armani Little free-kick.

Woking play their games at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, under 50 miles from The Hive. 

The last time these two sides met, Barnet came out 2-1 winners courtesy of goals from John Akinde and Joey Jones

One to watch - Paul Hodges

Hodges' performances last season earned him a contract extension which he signed this Summer and he will be looking to be just as important to his team this time out.

He made 46 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring seven goals and was often called upon as an impactful substitute.

His willingness to run in behind and create chances has made him extremely popular amongst the Woking fans and they will be delighted to have him on board for the upcoming season.

 


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