Saturday 22nd September 2018 was a particularly wet day. To my mind this marked the end of summer. That means one thing: The indoor korfball season is due to start! Will Southampton Spartans finally get the better of Bristol Thunder and claim the Western Regional League title? Could Oxford City or Farnborough beat Southampton to become the highest ranked OKA team in the league? Last season, all three teams were separated by 1 point so it should be a cracker!
In OKA 1 it is all change. The league has been reduced from 11 teams to 8 and sees old rivalries renew. Will Southampton Uni have made themselves the team to beat having won every game last season. One of the other Southern clubs seems best placed to take the crown with both Southampton City and Farnborough Jets placing very highly and Basingstoke finishing strongly following a very heavy recruitment drive.
Abingdon and Oxford City will each be hoping to take the title back to Oxfordshire for the first time since 2011 whilst Oxford Isis and Oxford University will be aiming to improve on last season's results and get themselves back to their former glories.
The second division has also had a major shakeup and is arguably the strongest it has ever been with Didcot Dragons, Buckingham Royals and Guildford Thunder all entering the top teams in this league. It seems likely that the title will go to one of these three however expect both Abingdon and Southampton Uni to put up a strong showing. Oxford City 3 were relegated from Division 1 last season so will surely be looking to set things right whilst it will be interesting to see if the second teams from Buckingham and Didcot can finish ahead of their ‘parent’ teams. Grudge matches aplenty.
Division three is split regionally with the North being a straight battle between the three Oxford clubs and Abingdon. The South has started a division three for the first time and will be hotly contested between all of the teams in the south. Farnborough 2 and Reading will start as title favourites, but I have high hopes for Basingstoke 2 in their first season (OK, I may be slightly biased there!)
There is no doubt about it, this season will go down in history with 32 teams competing across 5 leagues. It’s going to be great.