Fleet Town’s future as a Step 4 club edged ever closer to being confirmed last week as they were included in a provisional list to compete in the Calor S&W Division One for next season.
The Blues finished in the bottom two of the division last term but were spared relegation back to Wessex League following the late resignation of Thatcham Town.
It meant a rousing end-of-season which saw Craig Davis’ men recover from being ten points adrift at one stage to leapfrog rivals Guildford City off bottom spot, proved vital in restoring the club’s proud status.
At the same time, some board members at Calthorpe Park had hoped to be spared the gruelling travelling schedule of the South & West division and moved back to Calor Central for next season, but with local rivals Godalming Town given the nod to make the switch in their place, it means Fleet’s closest trip is either Didcot Town or relegated Bashley.
Chairman Steve Cantle, however, was just thankful to maintain the club’s status, commenting: “Remaining a Southern League club is very important to everyone at Fleet Town. Not only does it mean we can provide high level football at Calthorpe Park, but it also helps in attracting players to the club.
“Also, importantly, it provides a key reason why we are able to attract the most able young players from the Fleet area into our youth set-up. This year many players from the youth squad have enjoyed opportunities to play in the first team, and this is so important for their own as well as the club’s development.”
The decision is set be ratified by the Southern League at their AGM in Torquay on June 21.
Meanwhile, hopes of Fleet being joined in higher echelons by neighbours Camberley Town appear to be over after the Krooner Park club were left off the allocation list for the Southern or Ryman League despite a storming season in the Combined Counties League.
Town racked up an impressive 90 points to finish second behind runaway winners South Park, sparking faint hopes of a promotion.
But it seems Dan Turkington’s men must make do with another season at Step 5 level unless there are further withdrawals of clubs in the next month or so.
Top committee member Ronnie Wilson added: “I’d be lying if I told you there wasn't a tinge of disappointment to not be included on the allocation list as we’ve got such a good year at the club.
“What it does provide us with, however, is a great impetus for next season and we’ll really be going for it, so watch this space.”