Provisional 2017-18 Hellenic League constitution released

Saturday 27 May 2017 - by S (Updated on 27 May 2017 at 11:31)

The provisional Hellenic League constitution for the 2017-18 season was published by the Football Association on Friday.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town are set to be joined by 19 other sides in the Premier Division, with an increase of two teams in the division compared to last season.

New for next season are three former foes – including one local rival – and two sides Bassett have never before played in league contests.

After three seasons in the Southern League Division One South and West, Wantage Town re-join the Hellenic League following their relegation.

Bassett last faced Wantage in the Alfredians' 2013-14 Premier Division title winning campaign, falling to 4-0 and 1-0 defeats.

Overall the teams have met 18 times in the league, with 4 Bassett victories and 14 wins for Wantage.

Heading in the opposite direction to Wantage are Fairford Town, Abingdon United and Woodley United.

After five years playing at step six, local rivals Fairford reclaimed step five status by storming to the Division One West title, losing just three games while posting a goal difference of +105.

Bassett's last competitive meeting with the Reds came in the Floodlit Cup first round in 2015-16, when Steve Robertson's hat trick secured a 3-1 triumph.

In league contests against the Cinder Lane outfit, Bassett have won three, drawn four and lost seven.

Also up from Division One West are Abingdon, who secured their Premier Division return at the first opportunity with a dramatic final day victory against promotion rivals Hook Norton.

They last played in the Premier Division in 2015-16, when they finished 19th. Bassett won both their meetings that year, prevailing 4-2 away and 2-0 at home.

Sixteen total league meetings have yielded four wins for Bassett, six for Abingdon and six draws.

Woodley, meanwhile, gained promotion after finishing runners-up in Division One East, and will be playing step five football for the first time in their history.

Bassett faced the Reading-based side twice last season, winning 2-1 after extra time in a dramatic Supplementary Cup first round fixture before losing by the same score in a Floodlit Cup second round tie.

The final side slated to join the division are Windsor, who are set to transfer from the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

Formed in 2011-12 in the wake of Windsor and Eton's demise, the Berkshire side finished runners-up in their inaugural campaign. Three top six placings followed before they wound up in mid-table positions the last two years.

Bassett met Windsor two seasons ago at the second qualifying round stage of the FA Vase, losing 2-1 after extra time.

Leaving the division are Thame United, who gained promotion to the Southern League Division One Central as champions, and Burnham and Henley Town, both of which have been relegated to Division One East.

The full Hellenic League Premier Division constitution, which is still subject to change, is as follows:

Royal Wootton Bassett Town
Abingdon United
Ardley United
Ascot United
Brackley Town Saints
Bracknell Town
Brimscombe and Thrupp
Fairford Town
Flackwell Heath
Highmoor Ibis
Highworth Town
Lydney Town
Oxford City Nomads
Thatcham Town
Tuffley Rovers
Wantage Town
Woodley United

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