AS the second half of the 2023/24 season gets underway in the Toolstation Western League, it is a good time to look back at the first half.

Currently in the Premier Division, Clevedon Town sit atop of the table with Helston Athletic and Bridgwater United following closely behind them.

Millbrook and Oldland Abbotonians currently sit at the other end of the table and are battling relegation.

Ian Nockolds, presenter of the Western League podcast, shared his thoughts on the campaign.

"2023 has been one of the most remarkable years I can remember in the Toolstation Western League," he said.

"As sorry as I was to see Mousehole leave the League, no one would begrudge them their success. Worthy champions who won friends on and off the pitch.

"Saltash was an incredible story, a team denied promotion in the play offs but pushed for the title until the final game.

"Nailsea and Tickenham were another favourite of mine, triumphing in a First Division I haven’t seen that competitive for a while, or until this season at least!"

Looking forward to what is to come in 2024, he added: "The great thing about 2024 is that nothing is certain and that’s what we all want as fans.

"Helston were my pre-season favourites, but what about Clevedon and can we write off Bridgwater?

"In the First Division, Portishead have led the way, but who would have predicted the rise of Radstock Town or the possibility that newly promoted Cribbs Reserves could repeat the Swags success of last season."

And speaking off the pitch, Nockolds said: "So on the pitch we are in great shape, but every fan and sponsor needs to spare a thought for the volunteers running our Clubs.

"Non League Football is suffering from the same cost of living crisis as the rest of us. The cost of food, utilities, travel are all putting pressure on Clubs, at a time when they are least able to cope and that is why we need every fan to support their local team."

Now for the Western League as an entity, the future is somewhat uncertain as it is across the entire Non-league pyramid.

"The question of where the Western League goes from here is one only the Football Association can answer and it’s not just about the Western League, it’s about the future structure of the Non League pyramid.

"Western League Clubs find themselves on the frontline of managing this socio-economic change and they need the FA to aid them in this fight for the grassroots games future existence."