IN FOCUS | Gloucester City

It will be a case of readjusting to life in the Vanarama National League North for Gloucester City who join the division after being transferred from the southern equivalent.

The Tigers, led by manager Mike Cook, finished in 17th place in in the National League South last campaign.

Former Coventry midfielder, Cook, took over as Gloucester boss in January, replacing Chris Todd, who could only manage four points during his three months at the helm.

Up until 2009 the Yellows had spent 70 years competing in the Southern Football League, before a play-off victory over Farnborough earned them promotion to the sixth tier of English football.

The club were placed in National League North, and competed in the competition up until 2017 when they were relocated to the southern counterpart.

The last time Southport faced the Tigers was during that first season – one that proved to be a title-winning campaign for Liam Watson’s side.

The home game against Gloucester on the opening day of that season was not only memorable for a 3-2 win, but also saw a long-awaited first goal in a Southport shirt for Earl Davis.

The big defender’s second-half strike saw him open his Port account after more than five years and three spells with the club, earning Trust in Yellow £200 in sponsorship in the process.

Throughout their history Gloucester have had multiple homes. Currently that play at the Jubilee Stadium in Evesham, after previously ground sharing with Cheltenham between 2010 and 2017.

A key player for the Tigers this year could be attacking midfielder, Fabien Robert.

The Frenchman spent last season on loan at the club from Forest Green Rovers, scoring ten goals in 23 games, before making the move permanent this summer.

His displays in the back end of last season saw him named as the National League South’s player of the month for April.

Cook will be hoping that the new additions can be part of an improved Gloucester attack this term, after only registering 35 league goals last season, the lowest in the division.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the field, the Yellows were pretty stable, having the second-best defence in the bottom half of the table, conceding 54 goals.

At the end of last season, Gloucester avoided relegation by eight points, but certainly won’t want to be in another battle at the bottom this time around.

Written by Amos Wynn

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