When you’re relegated to the Conference you hope you’re an accidental tourist; the innocent victim of a mathematical anomaly. Like the fact no team has been relegated with more points than us.
Therefore, the initial expectation is that natural law will correct the situation within a year. Or maybe two.
Now we’re in our third year, this perception has changed somewhat. We’re one of those ‘recovery clubs’ – Hereford, Aldershot, Exeter – a team with the infrastructure to succeed, but one who needs to jettison some of its baggage and get its house in order.
In this respect we go into 2008/9 as a proper non-league club. We should therefore approach next season not as a stranger in a strange land, but as a club ready to earn the respect of their peers and the right to be promoted.
Despite this, we look more out of place with each passing season. Next season we open with Barrow, Weymouth, Eastbourne, Woking and Ebbsfleet all in August. It just doesn’t look like a set of league fixtures. Much as I think that stage one of our recovery is to admit that we are non-league club, it still takes some getting used to.