VAUXHALL Motors boss Owen Brown will be hoping his side can maintain the end-of-season form that secured survival last term. Brown had high expectations at the start of the previous campaign but the Motormen struggled throughout and were dragged into the relegation battle.
But four wins in the final five games proved enough for the Motormen to beat the drop in the last week. While hopes of making the play-offs are high at Rivacre Park, the Motormen are seen as 50/1 outsiders for the title by bookies.
Here's the lowdown on Vauxhall Motors' rivals for the forthcoming campaign.
Manager: Gary Mills Ground: 'The Impact Arena', North Street 04/05 Attendances: Average 404; Highest 837; Lowest 231 04/05 Finish: 15th 05/06 Title Odds: 20/1 Verdict: All change for Vauxhall's first opponents with at least 11 signings. Former boss David Lloyd left at the end of the previous campaign after a disastrous run that saw the Derbyshire side slump from top spot in December.
Manager: Lee Turnbull Ground: Holker Street 04/05 Attendances: Average 868; Highest 1371; Lowest 569 04/05 Finish: 16th 05/06 Title Odds: 16/1 Verdict: Well-backed and with high expectations, the Cumbrians will be demanding a big improvement on last time out following a transitional season.
Manager: Dave Pace Ground: The Butchers Arms 04/05 Attendances: Average 392; Highest 905; Lowest 178 04/05 Finish: 3rd 05/06 Title Odds: 6/1 Verdict: Pushed Southport almost all the way in last season's title race. Should have another decent chance this time but close-season was overshadowed by prospect of FC United of Manchester arriving before the council blocked the move.
Manager: Paul Mitchell Ground: Northolme 04/05 Attendances: Average 404; Highest 926; Lowest 304 04/05 Finish: 11th 05/06 Title Odds: 40/1 Verdict: Ever-presents in the Northern Premier League until reconstruction a year ago. After another mid-table finish, there are concerns over the lack of new signings in a small squad.
Manager: Neil Aspin Ground: Wetherby Road 04/05 Attendances: Average 602; Highest 1913; Lowest 387 04/05 Finish: 6th 05/06 Title Odds: 25/1 Verdict: Backed by former Leeds chairman Bill Fotherby, the North Riding club is planning to move grounds next year. New boss Aspin was handed the manager's job at the end of last season having been appointed caretaker in January.
Manager: Chris Brindley Ground: Keys Park 04/05 Attendances: Average 557; Highest 1143; Lowest 373 04/05 Finish: 4th (Southern League Premier Division) 05/06 Title Odds: 25/1 Verdict: The Pitmen were promoted last season
and like Stafford Rangers a year ago, moving up will actually mean less travelling for them as they'd been stuck in a division with sides from the West County and East Anglia.
Manager: Dean Thomas Ground: Marston Stadium 04/05 Attendances: Average 866; Highest 2029; Lowest 338 04/05 Finish: 12th 05/06 Title Odds: 20/1 Verdict: Made the headlines in a goalless draw with Brentford in front of live BBC TV cameras in the FA Cup but failed to get consistency in league matches. But crowds soared after a move from Middlefield Lane in March.
Manager: Dean Barrick Ground: Watnall Road 04/05 Attendances: Average 422; Highest 713; Lowest 267 04/05 Finish: 10th 05/06 Title Odds: 20/1 Verdict: Lost boss Steve Burr before the season began and replacement Ernie Moss was sacked in September. Left-back Barrick took over and steered the Nottinghamshire side to the FA Trophy final.
Manager: Steve Waywell Ground: Ewen Fields 04/05 Attendances: Average 398; Highest 1301; Lowest 210 04/05 Finish: 1st (UniBond League Premier Division) 05/06 Title Odds: 25/1 Verdict: Were awarded the UniBond title at Farsely Celtic's expense after the FA overturned
the league's decision to expunge dropped-out club Spennymoor's record. Hoping to be among the front-runners.
Manager: Kevin Wilson Ground: Rockingham Road 04/05 Attendances: Average 942; Highest 1403; Lowest 638 04/05 Finish: 4th 05/06 Title Odds: 9/1 Verdict: Former Non-League heavyweights who will expect a serious challenge under ex-Northern Ireland international striker and Northampton boss Wilson.
Manager: Phil Wilson Ground: Giant Axe 04/05 Attendances: Average 316; Highest 762; Lowest 188 04/05 Finish: 13th 05/06 Title Odds: 25/1 Verdict: Wirral-based supremo Wilson will expect improvements this time out after poor end-of-season form almost also saw The Dolly Blues flirt with relegation.
Manager: Andy Nelson Ground: Hilton Park 04/05 Attendances: Average 435; Highest 1540; Lowest 201 04/05 Finish: 22nd (Nationwide Conference) 05/06 Title Odds: 25/1 Verdict: Scrapping with no funds, small crowds and a rapid turnover of both players and managers, Leigh's eventual demotion seemed an inevitability after five years among non-league's elite.
Manager: Bob Faulkner Ground: Damson Park (Solihull Borough FC) 04/05 Attendances: Average 281; Highest 636; Lowest 129 04/05 Finish: 18th 05/06 Title Odds: 66/1 Verdict: Could be another struggle for the club who suffered on and off the pitch. Just stayed in the division after moving grounds following a fire at their Moorlands home in January.
Manager: Steve Burr Ground: Victoria Stadium 04/05 Attendances: Average 864; Highest 1803; Lowest 460 04/05 Finish: 19th (Nationwide Conference) 05/06 Title Odds: 5/1 Verdict: The bookies' favourites for the title after dropping out of the Conference for the first time. Finally moving to their new home which has cost them dearly.
Manager: Roger Ashby Ground: Manor Park 04/05 Attendances: Average 866; Highest 2,182; Lowest 553 04/05 Finish: 2nd 05/06 Title Odds: 6/1 Verdict: The Warwickshire outfit were plying their trade in the Conference a couple of years ago and will look to return soon. Have ambitious plans and will move to the 2,500-capacity Liberty Way Stadium midway through the season.
Manager: Rod Brown Ground: The Valley Stadium 04/05 Attendances: Average 461; Highest 946; Lowest 314 04/05 Finish: 9th 05/06 Title Odds: 20/1 Verdict: Up-and-coming club who progressed from the Southern League Western Division straight into the Conference North. Took the jump in their stride and would have finished higher had they not been deducted three points.
Manager: Phil Robinson Ground: Marston Road 04/05 Attendances: Average 660; Highest 1033; Lowest 422 04/05 Finish: 8th 05/06 Title Odds: 16/1 Verdict: Will be pleased to get away from trips to the South Coast from their Southern League days but the club's golden era in the 1970s when they twice won the FA Trophy seems a lifetime ago.
Manager: John Reed Ground: Bower Fold 04/05 Attendances: Average 522; Highest 920; Lowest 204 04/05 Finish: 19th 05/06 Title Odds: 9/1 Verdict: Reed's arrival from Harrogate in January as Celtic's third boss of the season ultimately saved the club as they embarked on a 'Great Escape'. Will expect a much-improved showing this time.
Manager: Andy Preece Ground: St George's Lane 04/05 Attendances: Average 876; Highest 1,206; Lowest 611 04/05 Finish: 7th 05/06 Title Odds: 10/1 Verdict: New boss Preece, who replaced old favourite John Barton midway through last season, is eager to raise the levels of expectation at a club which has much potential. The former Bury manager has demanded a more professional approach and has signed Des Lyttle.
Manager: Tommy Cassidy Ground: Borough Park 04/05 Attendances: Average 570; Highest 899; Lowest 384 04/05 Finish: 2nd (UniBond League Premier Division) 05/06 Title Odds: 50/1 Verdict: Following promotion through the UniBond play-offs, few sides will relish the long trip to the Cumbrian coast but the Reds have been hit by several retirements and defections over the summer.
Manager: Ronnie Glavin Ground: Babbage Way 04/05 Attendances: Average 456; Highest 765; Lowest 141 04/05 Finish: 17th 05/06 Title Odds: 20/1 Verdict: Only a couple of years ago, The Tigers were one of the league's big spenders but overspending on their stadium meant they went into voluntary administration last season.