The 20 clubs who are in the new Eastern Senior League South
The new Step 6 league is made of up of
- 4 clubs relegated from Step 5
- 4 transferred sideways from another Step 6 league
- 6 clubs elevated up from Step 7 (one promotion)
- 2 clubs elevated up from Step 8 (two promotions)
- 1 club elevated up from Step 9 (three promotions)
- 1 club elevated up from Step 12 (six promotions)
- 2 clubs completely new to the football pyramid
Benfleet – Essex Olympian League Div 2 (Step 9)
Braintree Town Reserves – Eastern Counties League (Step 6)
Brightlingsea Regent Reserves – non-pyramid
Burnham Ramblers – Essex Senior League (Step 5)
Coggleshall United – Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier (Step 7)
Fire United –Middlesex County League Div 1 (Step 8)
Frenford – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Hackney Wick – Essex Senior League (Step 5)
Halstead Town – Eastern Counties League (Step 6)
Harwich & Parkeston – Essex & Suffolk Border League (Step 7)
Hashtag United – non-pyramid
Holland FC – Eastern Counties League (Step 6)
Little Oakley – Eastern Counties League (Step 6)
Lopes Tavares – Essex Alliance League Premier (Step 12)
May & Baker – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Newbury Forest – Essex Olympian League Div 1 (Step 8)
Wadham Lodge – Essex Senior League (Step 5)
White Ensign – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Wivenhoe Town – Eastern Counties League (Step 5)
Wormley Rovers – Herts Senior County League Premier (Step 7)
Most of the clubs should be self-explanatory but here’s a bit more information about the clubs without a place name in their title: Fire United are a Brazilian church club who play at the Terence McMillan in Plaistow; Hashtag United are a team who play behind-closed-doors friendlies at New River Stadium in Haringey for a YouTube audience; Lopes Tavares London are a Brazilian club who were playing at West Ham Memorial Park in Plaistow. It’s unclear where they will move to now.
There will be some interesting stadiums in the new league – Harwich & Parkeston’s is a beauty as you can see from the Flickr gallery from when Clapton visited for a friendly in 2013.
Meanwhile Benfleet play at Isthmian League side Canvey Island’s home, Braintree Town Reserves at the Conference South club’s stadium, Holland FC have a new ground in Clacton; and Newbury Forest share Redbridge FC’s Oakside Stadium.
So who else was rumoured to be in the Eastern Senior League South?
AEK London – Middlesex County League Div 1 (Step 8) side.
AFC Sudbury Reserves
Eton Manor – historic former Essex Senior League club who folded last year had been allocated a place at Step 6 but it hasn’t happened
Felixstowe & Walton Reserves – are entering the Eastern Senior League North instead
Laindon Orient – Southend Borough Combination (non-pyramid) side were hoping to join but instead have joined the Essex Olympian League at Step 11
Rayleigh Town – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7) side
Southend Sports – Essex Olympian League Div 4 (Step 11) side
Stansted – given a reprieve from relegation from the Essex Senior League
Sporting Hackney – Middlesex County League Premier (Step 7)
Here’s how we understand the league will work
We have referred to the league as Essex Senior League Division Two in the past, but it will actually be called the Eastern Senior League.
The new Step 6 league is a collaboration between two existing Step 5 leagues – the ESL and the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League, which covers North Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. In fact we believe the league is going to be run by the existing Eastern Counties League officials.
The Eastern Senior League will feature a north and south division, with the geographical split being roughly at Ipswich. So what we have been called ESL Division 2 before is really the Eastern Senior League South.
Over the coming years, any Essex-based clubs currently playing in the Thurlow Nunn League set-up will more than likely end up in the Essex Senior League or Eastern Senior League South.
For instance if a Thurlow Nunn club like FC Clacton were promoted to the Isthmian League but later relegated again, they would be placed in the ESL not go back to the Thurlow Nunn. Likewise if they are relegated from the Thurlow Nunn, they would be relegated to the Eastern Counties League South.
In short, the Essex Senior League and Eastern Senior League South are going to be covering Essex, with Thurlow Nunn and Eastern Senior League North more of a East Anglia only set-up.
The debut season covers a large footprint from Little Oakley to the north, down to Benfleet at Canvey Island to the south. A round trip of 120 miles.