BT Sport pundits predict National League title contenders, surprise package, players to watch for the much anticipated 2022/23 season.
The new campaign gets underway on Saturday, and ahead of that, the likes of Matt Smith, Adam Virgo and Adam Summerton, who are no strangers to voicing their opinions behind a camera, have now given their thoughts on who might stand out and do well.
The Latics will be playing non league football for the first time having finished second bottom of League Two in 2021-22 to end their 116-year stay in the Football League. Scunthorpe were relegated out of the EFL after 72 years.
Dorking Wanderers were promoted to this level for the first time in their history last season, while York City, Maidstone United and Gateshead return to the National League.
The Vanarama National League’s return is now just days away!
— The National League (@TheVanaramaNL) August 4, 2022
This is what the BT Sport pundits had to say as they predict the National League title contenders, surprise package and players to watch…
Matt Smith @msmith850 said: “I think Wrexham to win it as they can’t afford not to.
“The contenders will be Notts County, Chesterfield, Solihull Moors and Dagenham.
“This year’s surprise will be Southend United as I think Kevin Maher will get them more competitive and closer to the top seven.
“As for the player to watch, I have a feeling that will be Josh Kelly at Solihull after his move from Maidenhead United.”
Adam Summerton @adamsummerton said: “To win it? Wrexham – they have, on paper, the strongest squad, they also went close last season. They have, for this level, sizeable backing on-and-off the pitch.
“I believe Chesterfield and Notts County will provide the biggest threats to Wrexham. I also expect Southend, FC Halifax, Solihull and Dagenham & Redbridge to be in the top-seven.
“I think York City could surprise some people on their return to this level.
“Ruben Rodrigues could have an exceptional season – he has matured in to a player who could easily grace the EFL, and now – since the departure of Cal Roberts he added pressure on him to deliver for Notts County. I think he will be a contender for Player of the Year.”
Adam Virgo @adamvirgs19 said : “My champions? Wrexham. They have the best squad, have added good quality and will spend and spend to get over the line this season.
“As for the contenders, Solihull have a really good front line and have kept key players, adding into the mix Alex Reid and Josh Kelly to push them on this season.
“Chesterfield should be there with Kabongo Tshimangla fit. They have them best finisher in the league but the manager will be the biggest factor as last season he didn’t do well.
“Southend I think they are going in the right direction under Kevin and have made good signings up top, they could be the surprise package.
“As for the player to watch, Paul Mullin has got a real chance of hitting a very high amount of goals. He will have seen Ricky Miller hit 40 and think it could be a season like that for him.”
3pm – Aldershot Town v Solihull Moors
3pm – Altrincham v Maidstone United
3pm – Barnet v FC Halifax Town
3pm – Dagenham & Redbridge v Gateshead
3pm – Dorking Wanderers v Chesterfield
3pm – Notts County v Maidenhead United
5.20pm – Scunthorpe United v Yeovil Town
3pm – Southend United v Boreham Wood
3pm – Torquay United v Oldham Athletic
3pm – Wealdstone v Bromley
3pm – Wrexham v Eastleigh
3pm – York City v Woking
NATIONAL LEAGUE TITLE WINNER ODDS (SKY BET)
Wrexham – 6/4
Notts County – 7/1
Chesterfield – 8/1
Solihull – 8/1
Dagenham & Redbridge – 14/1
Oldham – 18/1
Southend – 18/1
Boreham Wood – 20/1
Torquay – 20/1
Halifax – 22/1
Bromley – 25/1
Woking – 25/1
Scunthorpe – 33/1
York – 50/1
Yeovil – 66/1
Altrincham – 100/1
Barnet – 100/1
Dorking – 100/1
Gateshead – 100/1
Aldershot – 150/1
Eastleigh – 150/1
Maidenhead – 200/1
Maidstone – 200/1
Wealdstone – 200/1
@CallumRaynor_: Adam Virgo doesn’t know ball
@Danfearn14: Wrexham tinted glasses 👓, money doesn’t always buy success
@swright1999uk: Yet again not one mention by Adam Virgo about @Official_NCFC he really has got something against us 🤣🤣🤣
@richardpotty: Hardly requires a expert opinion to say Aldershot does it 😂
@DamienBurnett7: Swear Adam Virgo never has anything nice to say about Notts . I have never heard him say on live television when Notts are on , anything nice about them
@nottsnutter1862: No surprise there then
@Mal_TQ: If Southend are the surprise by “finishing closer to the top seven then last year”, we are in for an incredibly boring season…
@t_wxbster: Adam Virgo really has a grudge against us
@kazmorgz001: Adam Virgo, what a twat 🤣
@Lawriekelly5: Solihull 👀👀💪💪🏿💙💛
Adam Virgo ignoring Notts pic.twitter.com/0tnorbxBof
— Alex West (@alexwest88) August 4, 2022