After keeping themselves in the division on the final day of the 2015/2016 season, we will once again be meeting the Saints. \r\n\r\nFollowing their 1-0 win over Tamworth to take themselves out of the drop zone on that final day, as well as a 1-1 draw for the now relegated Lowestoft against, well Gloucester City, they now face another season in the National League North under manager Kevin Wilkin.\r\n\r\nWilkin made his way to St James’ Park in October 2015, where he had been out of management for eight months following the termination of his contract at Wrexham, less than 24 hours after losing the FA Trophy Final at Wembley to North Ferriby United.\r\n\r\nWilkin had previously taken Nuneaton Town from the Southern League Division One Midlands all the way to the National League, leaving whilst in a hunt for a play-off spot.\r\n\r\nHis time at Wrexham saw him fail to put up any real fight for the play-offs but did reach the FA Cup 3rd Round, taking the lead away at Stoke City before losing 3-1 and reaching Wembley.\r\n\r\nThe Saints and Wilkin have not been slow in delving into the transfer market, with a number of new bodies coming in. The first trio of Steve Diggin, Adam Walker and Jack Bowen at the end of May paved the way.\r\n\r\nIt appears that Brackley are investing in youth this season with David Moyo and Matt Lowe intrusted by their new manager, whilst Ellis Myles returns to St James’ Park for a second stint.\r\n\r\nAlex Gudger and James Armson have also made their way to Northamptonshire, on a day where five new faces were revealed at the beginning of this month.\r\n\r\nIt’s clear that Brackley are looking towards the right end of the table following last year’s near miss, hence a real statement in defence.\r\n\r\nGaz Dean was a big part of Solihull Moors’ success last term and re-join his former manager at Nuneaton for 2016/2017. He could be a big factor in keeping the opposition out over the next year.\r\n\r\nRetention has also been key for the Saints, as Glenn Walker, who played every game last season bar one for the side re-signs. He scored that vital goal to keep them in the division and is a real feather in the Brackley cap.\r\n\r\nIn terms of their record against City, we first me in a competitive fixture in 2007 in the Southern Premier League. We’ve faced off with both sides winning their fair share of matches.\r\n\r\nLast season City didn’t have the best of luck as we fell to a 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park, whilst a goaless draw at Whaddon Road followed in April, extending a winless run of eight games.\r\n\r\nA short trip for us to both make, we look forward to once again welcoming everyone associated with the Saints to Gloucestershire, as well as paying them a visit during the 2016/2017 season.\r\n\r\n@OllieWills01

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