Non-league football: Rothley Imps are team of year in Senior League
There can be no question that Rothley Imps were the Senior League's team of the year.
Caterpillar were a close second after an impressive Division One title success, and an excellent start to life in the top flight.
But, on top of winning the Premier Division title in style, Imps have set about defending their crown in a determined mood and are currently top of the chart with a nine-point lead over Caterpillar.
The sides behind them might have games in hand, but there is little doubt that Rothley are the team to beat when the Senior League resumes tomorrow.
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It did not look that way on the opening day when the champions were beaten at home 2-1 by Ashby Ivanhoe. Maybe that was the kick up the backside they required. Imps have not lost since then and have been ruthless in front of goal.
Steve Hart led their goal-scoring chart with 23 last term, with Ash Warner adding 20.
Incredibly, Hart has already bettered that this season with 24 to his name from just 11 starts – including half-a-dozen in the 10-goal demolition of Sileby Saints.
Caterpillar can look back on their year with plenty of satisfaction. They ran away with Division One and also landed County Cup honours.
They face a considerable task but, if Imps were suddenly to slip into reverse, they are handily placed to capitalise.
Kirby Muxloe Reserves are 11 points off the top but, with just a game in hand, might be too far adrift.
A bigger danger to Rothley could come from Highfield Rangers. They may be in fourth place, 12 points behind, but they have two games in hand on the leaders.
The clashes between the sides in February and March could be the key to the destination of the title, Rangers having improved greatly since last season when a leaky defence cost them dear.
FC GNG have struggled in their first season and they ended the year in bottom.
It has also been tough for Birstall United, who were title challengers for much of last season. They only edged ahead of GNG in recent weeks and need to string together some wins if they are to stave off the threat of relegation.
Senior League new boys Allexton & New Parks are finding life enjoyable in Division One, 11 successive wins putting them ahead of their rivals.
Friar Lane & Epworth, having returned to county football, remain unbeaten in second place, five points behind with a game in hand. That could develop into a fascinating title race over the second half of the season.