The mere fact that Percey Mackrill FC are starting the 2003/04 Winter League is an achievement in itself after the trials and tribulations of the last couple of seasons.

After the glory of the 2000/01 season the decline can be traced right back to the result of that season when the Premier League proved one step too far and gradually the team that got Perceys there fell apart. The last winter season looked set to be the last with team raising problems ruining the campaign that ended – technically at least – in a second successive relegation for Perceys.

However, what was emerging was a new Percey team. The form over the second half of the season was as good as most sides in the division but it wasn’t quite enough to stay up…but what it did offer was a degree of optimism for the Summer League. However, the disaster that was to beset Perceys was unexpected and it resulted in Perceys withdrawing from the league after some serious soul-searching and a near folding.

BUT…a new kit, a couple of new signings have given rise to the belief that the new Winter season might be OK. Perceys are not expecting to win promotion, but relegation might not be a formality either.

It will not be quite as strong a division as it was last season as none of the teams from last years Premier Division have been relegated. The teams that came up from Division 2 are probably going to be among the front-runners…but anyway…here is the annual predictions with previous results against Perceys listed (Percey score first on all occasions). Underlined scores are where a previous match report exists.

ALPINE
Alpine is the new name for the old Boots & Laces side who Perceys have been playing against since their previous incarnation as Torquay Town. Finished a fairly emphatic runners-up to Majestic in last seasons Division Two and with the unpredictable nature of Division 1 this season, they could find themselves promoted again.
Predicted finish: 2nd (runners-up)
Previous scores against Perceys: 5-1, 7-2, 3-10, 1-8, 1-7, 2-0, 8-0;

ASTRA ZENECA
A late season spurt saw Astra Zeneca comfortably avoid relegation last season and a reported recruitment campaign may well mean that they feature at the other of the table this season. What has emerged with AZ is a St. Cuthbert Mayne rivalry via James Down and it is for this reason that we hope they do badly.
Predicted finish: 4th (promoted)
Previous scores against Perceys: 1-4, 5-1, 2-3, 6-3, 3-9, 3-7;

BADGERS
God knows who Badgers are. Apparantly bumped up from Division Two, they must have changed their name for nobody was known as Badgers last season. Name suggests that they might be crap. Relegation beckons.
Predicted finish: 13th (relegated)

BOVRIL BULLETS
Steve Holman’s old team could be a good bet for promotion this season. They were on the edge of the promotion race all season last year until falling away at the end of the season. Look for BB to feature strongly this season.
Predicted finish: 3rd (promotion)
Previous scores against Perceys: 1-8, 6-4

FACTS OF THE COUNTRY
Perceys old rivals from days of yore are still around, which seems surprising seeing as they seemed to suffer team raising problems that were even worse than Perceys. However, of the few games that they actually played, they seemed to do reasonably well in them. However, based on last year, relegation seems more likely than any promotion.
Predicted finish: 12th (relegated)
Previous scores against Perceys: 7-1, 8-2, 0-3, 2-2, 0-7, 1-2, 4-3, 2-1, 4-1, 5-3;

GRAMPUS 7
Like Perceys, Grampus 7 avoided rlegation by virtue of league restructuring. They may not be so lucky thsi time.
Predicted finish: 11th (relegated)
Previous scores against Perceys: 3-1, 5-0, 4-3, 6-6;

KAMAROONS
Just how the OAPs of Kamaroons will get on this season one cannot be sure,as they are an aging team, but one that has a couple of decent players and this year Division 1 is a weaker prospect than last season. A decent start was what saved them from joining Perceys in the relegation zone at the seasons climax, as they faltered badly during the 2nd half of the season. The summer league was only a bit better than Perceys, because they actually completed it but they will not struggle so badly this year, even with a defence that have been playing since laced-up footballs.
Predicted finish: 6th
Previous scores against Perceys:1-1, 1-2, 3-1, 0-2, 5-4, 0-2, 5-4, 6-1, 2-4, 3-8, 4-3;

MAJESTIC
They were promoted as champions of Division two in quite emphatic fashion and it could be that they storm a weak Division 1 in the same style.
Predicted finish: 1st (Champions)

MASTERCRAFT ROVERS
Mastercraft have been knocking around this division now for a few season without ever making any real impact but neither being threatened by realegation either.. Probably more of the same.
Predicted finish:5th
Previous scores against Perceys: 2-3, 3-1, 1-2, 4-2, 7-4, 6-5;

NECAXA
Goodness knows whthe team formerly known as Torquay Hawks feel the need to masquerade as Latin American clubs one doies not know. First they were Vasco da Gama…and now Necaxa. Think of your own name!!! Relegation beckons anyway.
Predicted finish: 10th (relegated)
Previous scores against Perceys: 1-9, 1-2, 6-4, 4-1, 3-8, 4-7

PERCEY MACKRILL FC
Where our favourites end up this season depends largely on their ability to field a regular team. The portents for this at least seem more promising, with the availability of Alex Head confirmed for the Winter League, the return of Faulkner and Scales after missing the Summer League plus the return to the team of Steve Holman, the stated availability of Marek Cole, plus the Faulkner signing of ‘keeper Mark Eaton at just the right time as Percey legend, Colin ‘Cat’ Stych has announced plans to retire, although he could be available on an emergency basis…a jobbing keeper like John ‘Budgie’ Burridge. Perceys are not going to win the league or even be near promotion. relegation is a more likely topic on their minds, but they should avoid some of the canings they picked up last season. However, Perceys are an aging team. the high percentage of mid-30-somethings may still be youthful compared to the ‘Gandalf the Greys’ that operate for Kamaroons, but most teams in this league are not. Hovering above the drop zone is Perceys likely finishing place.
Predicted finish: 9th

UKFS
UKFS used to be Athletico Scorchio (I think) and it has been a long, long time since Perceys and UKFS met. They were always a difficult team to play against and that is likely to remain so. They won promotion last season, although not in especially splendid style. mid-table looms.
Predicted finish: 7th
Previous scores against Perceys: 6-5, 1-4, 2-4;

WOOLY BACKS
It has been a few years since Perceys met Wooly Backs who were always a bunch of balding scousers in those days. Never the best of teams, they were however, always hard to break down and in fact were a bit of a bogey team for Perceys who have never beaten Woolies. they gained promotion last season and some tyre thieves have bound to have come through the ranks. Mid-table with a flirt with relegation
Predicted finish: 8th
Previous scores agsinst Perceys: 1-4, 1-2, 1-2, 1-1, 1-1, 1-2;