Pre-season is now moving into its final stages and most clubs will have their seasons off and running by this time next week. Only our local Premier League, Conference South and Southern League clubs will have to wait until 17 August.
My football week has gone back to being quiet, certainly in terms of live action. However, Non-League Day (NLD) preparations have continued.
On Monday we officially launched our new website which seems to have been received pretty well - many thanks to all those who have contributed to its development.
|It's just over a month away!|
We've also got t-shirts available this year which have been designed by Cult Zeros. They've been good enough to donate 15% of the profits to our designated charity the Free Kicks Foundation so get buying!
Also, in order for NLD to succeed we need help in spreading the word so if you've got your own website or blog and would like to support us by displaying one of our banners then I'd really appreciate it.
Anyway, that's enough about my week. Remember to let me know what you've been up to and if you're interested in reviewing a ground within the London area for this blog then get in touch. Also keep the general correspondence coming, I enjoy answering your questions and offering advice if I can.
You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via Facebook, Twitter or even by good old email.
LATEST TICKET NEWS
Friday 6 September, 8pm - Moldova, World Cup qualifier, Wembley
Friday 11 September, 8pm - Montenegro, World Cup qualifier, Wembley
Nothing currently available
Saturday 10 August, 3pm - Lazio, friendly (booking history required)
Saturday 10 August, 3pm - Parma, friendly
Saturday 24 August, 1245pm - Arsenal, Premier League
Saturday 5 October, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League
Saturday 23 November, 3pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Sunday 25 August, 4pm - Swansea City, Premier League
Saturday 14 September, 3pm - Norwich City, Premier League
Saturday 17 August, 3pm - Cardiff City, Premier League
Saturday 31 August, 3pm - Stoke City, Premier League
Although not a special deal, the chance to see a Premier League club play for £10 is well worth a mention. That's apparently all you'll have to pay to watch the south-east London derby between Dulwich Hamlet and Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. The hosts managed to secure the friendly against an Eagles first team as part of the transfer of Michael Chambers.
Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.
Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures
View London match map 5-11 August 2013 in a larger map
2. Watford v AFC Bournemouth - the Championship season got under way on Saturday and saw wins for both these sides. The Hornets got to last season's play-off final but suffered the heartbreak of losing to Crystal Palace. They are, among many bookmakers, second favourites to win the title this time round and you would struggle to find many to disagree. The Cherries finished runners-up in League One last season and now find themselves in the second tier for the first time since 1990. Their 2-1 home win over Charlton on opening day will fill them with confidence but they will still arrive at Vicarage Road as second favourites. (Championship, 10 August, 3pm. Ticket info)
3. Leyton Orient v Shrewsbury Town - the O's enjoyed a decent season last time out, only missing a play-off spot by three points. On Saturday their new campaign got off to a dream start as they thrashed Carlisle United 5-1 away to become early League One leaders. Shrewsbury managed a more modest 0-0 draw against MK Dons and are among the favourites for relegation so the east London club could well remain top by teatime on Saturday. (League One, 10 August, 3pm. Ticket info)
4. AFC Wimbledon v Wycombe Wanderers - over at Kingsmeadow we have a derby of sorts. Given League Two is a national division, the 27 miles which separate these clubs makes them relatively local in my book. The Dons managed to avoid relegation from the Football League by the skin of their teeth last season thanks to a final day win over Fleetwood Town and sadly very little is expected of them this season either. A solid point at Torquay on Saturday should allay the gloom for now but a loss to Wycombe, managed by former Wimbledon player Gareth Ainsworth, could put the naysayers back in business. (League Two, 10 August, 3pm. Ticket info)
5. Barnet v Chester - while Wimbledon stayed up last season, the Bees fell through the trapdoor to return to non-league football for the first time since 2005. On Saturday they entertain another former Football League club, albeit a reborn one, in what will be the first competitive match at their new stadium - The Hive. It should be quite a game with both sides among the favourites for promotion and the visitors usually among those whose fans travel in relatively large numbers. (Conference Premier, 10 August, 3pm. Ticket info)
6. Dulwich Hamlet v Lowestoft Town - the Isthmian League also gets under way this week with title favourites Lowestoft heading to London. The Suffolk club have come unstuck in the play-offs for the last two seasons so will be desperate to claim automatic promotion this time round. Dulwich had suffered several play-off disasters themselves until they took the Isthmian League Division 1 South crown last season to finally get back to the top division. For seventh tier clubs, these are two of the best supported around and I would be disappointed if there was much less than 600-700 in attendance and there could well be more. (Isthmian League Premier Division, 10 August, 3pm. Club info)
7. Thurrock v AFC Sudbury - the 'will they or won't they be relegated' saga surrounding Thurrock finally came to an end earlier this week. In short, they were penalised three points for fielding an ineligible player and got relegated. Thurrock appealed, got turned down and finally went to arbitration where their claims were dismissed again. Consequently they will start the new season in the Isthmian League Division 1 North where they will join AFC Sudbury as one of the favourites for promotion so a good game looks likely. (Isthmian League Division 1 North, 10 August, 3pm. Ticket info)
8. Waltham Forest v VCD Athletic - the Stags are another team to be moving grounds this season but they're going from being tenants at Ilford back to their home at Wadham Lodge which they were forced to leave in 2008. Newly promoted VCD provide the opposition for the first competitive game back at the stadium with a special commemorative programme being produced for the occasion. (Isthmian League Division 1 North, 10 August, 3pm. Club info)
9. Chipstead v Hastings United - the Chips ended up having a pretty poor season last time out, finishing third from bottom. They'll hope for much more this year but in Hastings opening fixtures don't get much tougher. The Sussex club have just come down from the Isthmian Premier and have been installed as title favourites. Head down to the capital's most southerly club to see if they live up to their billing. (Isthmian League Division 1 South, 10 August, 3pm. Ticket info)
10. Croydon v South Park - last season the Trams had a very unspectacular midtable campaign so their 4-1 drubbing of newly promoted Frimley Green on Saturday which put them top of the Combined Counties League came as a bit of a surprise. On Wednesday they entertain South Park who hail from leafy Reigate rather than the wilds of Colorado. The Sparks finished in the top four last season and comfortably saw off Hanworth Villa 3-1 on Saturday to surely install themselves among the title contenders. (Combined Counties League Premier Division, 7 August, 745pm. Club info)
If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via Facebook, Twitter or email.