Following last season’s top ten finish, Alfreton Town will be looking to push on this season and return once again to the National League.\r\n\r\nA side who’ve competed at the top level of non-league football and even challenged for the play-offs in 2013/2014 to reach the Football League. Alfreton are a good side with plenty of threats.\r\n\r\nThey returned to the National League North in 2015 following a disappointing campaign where they had previously reverted to their part time status as well as losing key players, including striker John Akinde who would fire Barnet to the National League title.\r\n\r\nThey have some quality in the side, including goalkeeper Matt Duke who has Football League experience, and even played in the Capital One Cup Final for Bradford City in 2013.\r\n\r\nAt the other end of the pitch Joe Ironside can be a threat, and will have to step up his goal ratio due to the reds’ top scorer Sam Jones earning a move to Gateshead in the National League, a side who have made a lot of new signings already this summer. We may see Jones competing at the top end of the division with the Heed this season.\r\n\r\nDan Bradley has spent a number of years at the club and bagged 9 in total last term, and will be another man relied on for the 2016/2017 campaign, as Alfreton will need a goalscorer to compete at the right end of the table.\r\n\r\nHead to head we’ve met a few times in the division in recent seasons, where last year we saw two 1-1 draws.\r\n\r\nWe first met in 2009 in City’s first season in the National League North, succumbing to a 3-1 defeat, whilst Alfreton completed the double over us later in the season.\r\n\r\nThe following year was one to remember for Town, who went on to win the division, as well as smash the Tigers 4-0 in March 2011, however a month later City had revenge with a 2-1 victory thanks to a Darren Edwards brace.\r\n\r\nBack to the here and now, long-serving manager Nicky Law will be delighted with the summer capture of Paul Clayton for a second spell, a man who knows all about winning the National League North having done it will Law and Alfreton in 2011.\r\n\r\nHowever, they have lost the services to Andi Thanoj who has opted to join league rivals Harrogate Town, but are set to announce a number of new signings this week according to chairman, Wayne Bradley.\r\n\r\nDepending on who they are we should see the Reds push on in their second season back at this level. It’ll be interesting to see how the Derbyshire side build upon their 10th placed finish.\r\n\r\nWe look forward to welcoming Alfreton back to Gloucestershire in 2016/2017, as well as our journey to North Street.\r\n\r\n@OllieWills01

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