It has been a year of great achievement on the south coast of England. Ahead of the promotion parade on Sunday – we take a look at the other teams coastal teams and their achievements.
Former Premier League regulars, Portsmouth, upset the odds by pipping Doncaster and Plymouth to the League 2 title on the final day. Paul Cook’s side were sitting in third with 84 points and emphatically beat Cheltenham 6-1 to claim the title.
It is the start of the club’s rebuilding job after the Pompey Supporters Trust saved the club from liquidation and bought them in 2013.
Meanwhile, Plymouth had the League 2 title snatched from their clutches after being top of the league with 86 points. Derek Adams side will find consolidation however – The Pilgrims were confined to League 2 since 2011.
Southampton had another respectable season under new manager, Claude Puel. In the Premier League, they are guaranteed to finish slightly lower than last years 6th placed finish. However, they can still finish as high as 8th.
The Saints had a disappointing Europa League campaign – Puel’s side finished 3rd in their group with 8 points. They were narrowly pipped by Israeli side, Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC. Southampton lost 5-0 to Arsenal in the round of 32 in the FA Cup.
Bournemouth ensured a third season of Premier League football. Eddie Howe’s side sit in 11th place with 42 points. They can finish as high as 8th and as low as 16th depending on the last two games of the season. Only ten points separate 8th from 17th this season.
The Cherries had a disappointing FA Cup run. They lost 3-0 to Millwall in the round of 32. The 2016-17 season has been a year of improvement and consolidation compared to last years 16th placed finish.
Brighton achieved promotion to the top flight after a 34 year wait. It also marked 20 years after being kicked out of the Goldstone and the great escape to maintain their Football League status. Since then, the club have been in three different homes and played in League 2, League 1 and the Championship.
Chris Hughton’s side were five minutes away from their first ever Championship title but were denied by a Jack Grealish equaliser. However it was a fantastic season for the Seagulls and there is a lot of anticipation around the club ahead of their first season in the Premier League.
Exeter City finished 4th on 71 points in League 2. Paul Tisdale’s side are preparing for their first leg play off match against Carlisle United. Their second leg is 4 days later on the 18th. Good luck Exeter!
It has been a great year for South Coast football, with three promotions and potentially 4 by the 18th May. Meanwhile, Southampton and Bournemouth can be satisfied with their Premier League campaigns. The 2017/18 season will be interesting, with Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton fighting it out in the Premier League – who would have predicted that all the way back in 2010/11?
Article by George Carden