We continue our summer study in to the opponents Pools will face in the new campaign and today the spotlight moves to South London.
Nickname: The U’s
Who’s in charge?
Paul Doswell is the man credited with rebuilding Sutton United, not only managing the team but also ploughing his own money in to the club to help them climb back up the leagues.
He’s approaching a decade in charge at Gander Green Lane, whilst also running a successful Hampshire property development company from which profits helped pay for the club’s synthetic pitch.
When Doswell took the reins, Sutton had just been relegated from National League South but he’s managed to turn things around in the years since then and become a very popular figure with fans.
How did they get on last season?
The U’s consolidated strongly in the National League last season in what was their first campaign back at that level for almost twenty years.
Finishing 12th marked a successful campaign for the South London side yet it was their remarkable exploits in the FA Cup which captured the hearts of the nation.
They saw off league opposition in the form of Cheltenham Town and AFC Wimbledon before also felling Championship side Leeds United to set up a mouth-watering Fifth Round tie with Arsenal.
A goal in both halves ensured the Gunners avoided embarrassment at Gander Green Lane but by then Sutton had already gained much-deserved publicity from their brilliant cup run.
When did we last meet?
Sutton United are another of the teams in the National League whom we have never before played a competitive game so our fixtures this season will mark a first for both clubs.
Where do they play?
Sutton United play their home games at Gander Green Lane, which currently has a capacity of just over 5,000. In 2015, the club installed a new artificial pitch which remains in place for this season.
When do we play them?
Sutton United will make the trip to Victoria Park on Saturday 21st October before we make the long journey there on Saturday 14th April 2018.
Mark Carruthers of NonLeagueDaily.com gives us his views on what we can expect from Sutton United during 2017/18…
“Last season was one of historic proportions for Sutton United.
“To finish in mid-table in what was the U’s first season back in the National League since the 1999/2000 season was a remarkable achievement for Paul Doswell’s side.
“When you throw in their remarkable run to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, things become even more special.
“It’s only seven years since the club were in the Ryman League, so to be beating the likes of Leeds United and hosting Arsenal in the last sixteen of the FA Cup shows the level of progress that has been made under Doswell.
“It’s been a relatively quiet summer for the club and the signings of former Pools midfielder Simon Walton and a trio of Dover Athletic players (Moses Emmanuel, Ross Lafayette and Aswad Thomas) show that Doswell has gone for quality, rather than quantity.
“Players have departed, as is to be expected for a club that performed so admirably in the FA Cup last season.
“The loss of key winger Roarie Deacon to Dundee will hit them hard. The former Arsenal and Crawley player was their creative spark last season and showed his class in their 1-0 win over Leeds United.
“However, I still think that they will finish in roughly the same position as they did last season.”