Conference North title is up for grabs, says Boston United’s Spencer Weir-Daley

Weir-Daley in action against Brackley.
Weir-Daley in action against Brackley.

The race to lift the Conference North title is wide open, according to Boston United forward Spencer Weir-Daley.

Last season Chester FC were the runaway champions, finishing 16 points clear of second-placed Guiseley.

But with the Blues moving on up to the Conference Premier - along with play-off winners FC Halifax Town - the 27-year-old striker reckons there are plenty of sides able to win promotion, if they can put a dominant run together.

“It’s hard to say who I’d pick as my favourites,” Weir-Daley told The Standard.

“It’s not like last year when there was one team stronger than the rest.

“But people will look at the teams which came down (Stockport County, AFC Telford United and Barrow) and think they’re big clubs who will want to get back up straight away.”

Weir-Daley was part of the Pilgrims squad which finished third in the 2010-11 season.

That was United’s first campaign back in the Conference North following the club’s promotion from the UniBond Premier.

Having been there himself, Weir-Daley believes there is also a case for the promoted teams - North Ferriby, Leamington and Hednesford Town - to succeed.

“When we came up we were on a high and that run continued the next season,” Weir-Daley added.

“If you can keep a good team spirit then you’ve got a good chance.

“Teams like North Ferriby have come up from a league below, but they’ve already got that winning mentality.”

History shows that Weir-Daley is correct not to write off the challenge of the newly-promoted sides.

In the three years he has played in the Conference North, five of the promoted teams have earned top-five finishes in the season immediately after.

Chester won the title outright, while Boston, Guiseley, Halifax and Brackley Town have all marked their first season back in the division with a play-off place.

As well as keeping his eye on the new sides added to the division, Weir-Daley is also fully aware of the threats that some of the more recently established sides have to offer.

“There are other teams you can’t write off either,” he continued.

“Brackley are a good team and I know a few of their players. They’ve got a good side and did well last season.

“Guiseley have been the mainstay of the play-offs and I think Altrincham were one of the best teams I played against last season.

“They were dangerous going forward.”

But what about United? Do they have a chance?

Weir-Daley continued: “We’ve got some good players and you don’t turn up to pre-season wanting to do anything but win.”