Hartlepool United's club-by-club guide to the National League
Get your satellite navigation devices ready or national railcards!
Hartlepool United now know the A-Z of the National League. Actually, it’s the A-W, from Aldershot to Wrexham.
Following the weekend play-off finals, the cast list has been assembled for the 2017-18 season.
Pools fans will need plenty of energy – 13 of the awaydays are south of the equator, or are certainly that way on.
It would have been 14 but, fortunately, Tranmere lost to Forest Green on Sunday at Wembley.
There are a number of familiar old haunts – half of the 24 teams are former Football League clubs.
Apart from the fact the majority of clubs are in the south or south east, most grounds have capacities between 4,000-6,000.
Manager: Garry Waddock
This season: Fifth
The Shots were beaten in the play-offs by the excellent Tranmere after a very good season. Boast the meanest defence in the division, conceding only 37 times.
Manager: Paul Cox
This season: Seventh
An old Pools foe from 1922-72, Barrow are a good National League out fit. Draw specialists, had they turned just four of their 15 draws into wins, they would have reached the play-offs.
Manager: Ian Allinson
This season: 11th
With the Eastenders studios just around the corner, Boreham Wood is better known for national TV characters than National League, but Wood, managed by long-serving boss Ian Allinson, completed a solid second season at this level. Not bad for a club whose attendances are just a few hundred.
Manager: Neil Smith
This season: 10th
One of the clutch of London and South East clubs in the NL, Bromley have just clocked up a club record points total in clinching a top 10 finish.
Manager: Jon McCarthy
This season: 19th
Another old FL rival of Pools, Chester finished just two points above the drop zone. They have been managed for the last 12 months by Teessider, Jon McCarthy, who had a brief spell at Pools three decades ago before finding fame with Birmingham and Northern Ireland.
Dagenham & Redbridge
Manager: John Still
This season: Fourth
Proof for Pools that it is possible to recover from the drop. Dire last season when they finished last in League Two, they made the NL Play-offs, losing out to Forest Green. Managed by the wily old John Still.
Crabble Athletic Ground
Manager: Chris Kinnear
This season: Sixth
Having reached the play-offs last season, the Lilywhites finished just three points outside the top five this time.
Watch out for Nicky Deverdics being afforded a warm welcome back.
Manager: Richard Hill
This season: 15th
An ambitious south coast outfit with a demanding owner, Eastleigh were going well early-season under none other than Ronnie Moore.
After club and boss parted company, in came Martin Allen, but he too departed sharply. Mikael Mandron top scored on 18 goals.
Ditton Community Centre
Manager: Darryl McMahon
This season: Second (NL South)
Another member of the Kent enclave, Ebbsfleet enjoyed a stunning season, scoring 96 times in finishing runners-up to Maidenhead in NL South, winning promotion via the play-offs.
Manager: Dave Challinor
This season: First (NL North)
Ambitious with a capital A, the Lancashire side won National League North, plundering over a century of goals. Third (MNL North) and boast a stunning, new, state-of-the-art stadium.
Their presence in the division ensures a trip out to Blackpool for Pools fans.
Manager: Neil Aspin
This season: Eighth
At one stage, the Heed looked good bets for a place in the play-offs, but Neil Aspin’s side lost five of their last six fixtures. Great for Pools to have a derby again!
Manager: Adam Lockwood
This season: 20th
This is not a million miles away either for Pools fans. Survived in the NL by the skin of their teeth.
Manager: Billy Heath
This season: Third (NL North)
Another old sparring partner from days gone by, the Shaymen are celebrating promotion after beating Salford on penalties and Chorley in extra-time in the final.
At a mere 96 miles, it will feel like a home match!
Manager: Omer Riza
This season: 24th (League Two)
It is hard to believe the Londoners were just a penalty at Wembley away from reaching the Championship, just three years ago.
Finished the season in utter turmoil and were forced to field their youth team but it was still good enough to beat Pools.
Manager: John Askey
This season: Ninth
Yet another former rival of Pools, the Silkmen have enjoyed a good season, registering 20 wins and would have been higher but for a five-match sequence without a victory.
Manager: Alan Devonshire
This season: First (NL South)
Under the wiry ex-West Ham winger Alan Devonshire, Maidenhead clinched the NL South title, conceding only 29 times.
The Gallagher Stadium
Manager: Jay Saunders
This season: 14th
Remember Brian Honour’s wonder goal in the 1991 promotion season at Maidstone?
The Kent club collapsed in 1992 and were forced to re-start at the bottom and have climbed back up the ladder.
Manager: Liam McDonald
This season: 16th
A homely little ground just a Keith Nobbs-clearance from the end of Birmingham Airport’s runway. Would have finished in the top 10 but for a run of six straight defeats near the end of the programme.
Gander Green Lane
Manager: Paul Doswell
This season: 12th
Sutton captured the headlines this season in the FA Cup, going all the way to the fourth round and making loads of money before going out to Arsenal. A lesson for Pools next season?
Managed, for free, by Paul Doswell who pumps in 40 grand of his own cash into the playing budget.
Manager: Kevin Nicholson
This season: 17th
The Gulls looked like dropping into the NL South only to pull off a Houdini act by winning their last three matches to stay up at the expense of York City.
Dropped out of the Football League in 2014 and showing no sign of making a return.
Manager: Micky Mellon
This season: Second
Imagine piling up 95 points and NOT winning promotion?
That is the situation on the Wirral, where Micky Mellon’s team missed out on automatic promotion AND then lost 3-1 at Wembley to Forest Green on Sunday,
This season: 18th
Woking have parted company with boss Garry Hill after six and a half years in charge amid talk of the South London club being taken over.
The Racecourse Ground
Manager: Darren Keates
This season: 13th
Last but by no means, Wrexham complete the A-Z and are the 12th ex-Football League member.
Mid-table this season but they should have been much higher, only to win only one of their last 10 matches.