By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Picture courtesy of Ryan Clark of ClarkHirst Photography
Scarborough Athletic have been provisionally placed into the Evo Stik Division One South for next season, the FA announced today.
But, while a lot of Seadog fans will be disappointed as the North Division contains more glitz and glamour clubs, the placement could work to their advantage.
Northern League champions Darlington 1883 head into next season as the favourites for the Division One North title, but with Scarborough in the south, that is one rival eradicated.
On paper, the South Division also appears weaker.
In the North, Darlington, Curzon Ashton, Farsley AFC, Mossley, New Mills, Northwich Victoria and Warrington Town are all potential title winners.
In the South, there is no standout candidate apart from Scarborough.
And it will help that most of the teams they will face are from manager Rudy Funk’s (pictured above) patch.
Nottinghamshire-based Funk will have a reunion with old clubs Eastwood Town and Rainworth Miners Welfare –the place he made his name.
But, he knows the areas inside-out and will attract the best players possible from that side of the country.
They might do already, but Funk might be best setting up a training camp away from Bridlington – meaning that the players only travel to Bridlington on match-days – something similar to what Neil Warnock did when he took charge of the old Scarborough in 1986.
Since most of the away games are Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire, a base at Wakefield, Barnsley or Sheffield might be an idea.
It took four seasons to get out of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
And at the first attempt, Scarborough will not get a better chance to win promotion out of the Evo Stik Division One South.