This weekend will see the beginning of the 2023/24 National League season, with over 550 exciting matches in-store in what promises to be another jam-packed campaign full of high’s and low’s for each and every side. However, how do some of TheRealEFL’s writers think the scores will finish this weekend?
Taking part in the predictions for League One, League Two and the National League this week will be senior editor Callum (Coventry fan), writers Kelan (Peterborough fan), Ivan (Carlisle fan) and Jordan (Grimsby fan) as well as TheRealEFL founder Gary (Lincoln fan).
This Saturday will see 11 matches begin at 3 pm whilst another kicks off at 5:30 pm, as fans across the nation are gripped to return to their seats or travel up/down the country, following the club they love as they hope to kick off the new season with a victory.
Beaten play-off finalists Chesterfield will be hoping for a flying start as they face Dorking Wanderers, a returning Hartlepool United travel to Barnet and a struggling Southend United side will host Oldham Athletic.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at our overview and predictions for the opening weekend of the National League season…
Aldershot Town Vs Oxford City
Newly promoted Oxford City will make the trip to Aldershot Town in what’s going to be their first ever match in the National League, following their play-off final win in the National League South last season. They have had a quiet window, but have managed to retain the services of Josh Parker, their top scorer from the previous season. Meanwhile, Aldershot will be desperate to bounce back after a disappointing 2022/23 campaign, in which the side was almost relegated.
- Callum: Aldershot Town 0-0 Oxford City
- Gary: Aldershot Town 2-0 Oxford City
- Kelan: Aldershot Town 2-0 Oxford City
- Ivan: Aldershot Town 2-1 Oxford City
- Jordan: Aldershot Town 1-0 Oxford City
Altrincham FC Vs Dagenham & Redbridge
It’s been a very busy summer for Altrincham so far, with around a dozen new signings and they will be hopeful of overcoming the match against Dagenham to earn three points on the opening day. Altrincham secured the permanent services of Chris Conn-Clarke in one of the best transfers of the division so far. However, Dagenham will be hoping to start strong despite losing several key players during the window so far.
- Callum: Altrincham FC 2-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
- Gary: Altrincham FC 1-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
- Kelan: Altrincham FC 1-3 Dagenham & Redbridge
- Ivan: Altrincham FC 1-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
- Jordan: Altrincham FC 1-2 Dagenham & Redbridge
Barnet FC Vs Hartlepool United
John Askey’s Hartlepool United will return to the National League, eager to bounce straight back into the EFL s they make the long trip to North London as they face Barnet. The home side have lost Ryan De Havilland, but will be keen to prove that they have what it takes to push for the play-offs once again. Similarly, Hartlepool have had a tough window but have retained the services of Josh Umerah (so far) and will be targeting a winning start.
- Callum: Barnet FC 0-1 Hartlepool United
- Gary: Barnet FC 3-2 Hartlepool United
- Kelan: Barnet FC 2-1 Hartlepool United
- Ivan: Barnet FC 1-3 Hartlepool United
- Jordan: Barnet FC 1-1 Hartlepool United
Chesterfield FC Vs Dorking Wanderers
Paul Cook’s Chesterfield will be targeting the National League title this season, following their penalty shoot-out loss to Notts County at Wembley. The club have added Championship experience in the form of Tom Naylor and Will Grigg into their National League side. Meanwhile, Dorking have secured the permanent services of Tony Craig from Crawley and will be hopeful of kicking on again next season.
- Callum: Chesterfield FC 3-0 Dorking Wanderers
- Gary: Chesterfield FC 4-0 Dorking Wanderers
- Kelan: Chesterfield FC 3-1 Dorking Wanderers
- Ivan: Chesterfield FC 4-1 Dorking Wanderers
- Jordan: Chesterfield FC 3-0 Dorking Wanderers
FC Halifax Town Vs Bromley FC
Halifax Town have suffered another summer of big named exit’s and will begin their new campaign at home against a strong Bromley side. The home side have lost the likes of Jesse Debrah and Matt Warburton but did land the permanent signing of Adam Senior. Meanwhile, Bromley have also lost the likes of Omar Sowunmi, Reece Charles-Cook and Kellen Fisher and will be desperate to retain their ambitions of pushing towards promotion.
- Callum: FC Halifax Town 1-1 Bromley FC
- Gary: FC Halifax Town 1-1 Bromley FC
- Kelan: FC Halifax Town 1-1 Bromley FC
- Ivan: FC Halifax Town 1-3 Bromley FC
- Jordan: FC Halifax Town 0-0 Bromley FC
Gateshead FC Vs Boreham Wood
One of the opening day’s eye-catching matches will see a resurgent Gateshead side host Luke Garrard’s Boreham Wood, with both sides targeting a place in the play-off places this season. Gateshead have had a very impressive summer, landing the likes of Regan Booty and Callum Whelan, whilst their opponents have had a quiet window but will be hoping that new signing Timmy Abraham can hit the ground running.
- Callum: Gateshead FC 2-1 Boreham Wood
- Gary: Gateshead FC 0-2 Boreham Wood
- Kelan: Gateshead FC 2-0 Boreham Wood
- Ivan: Gateshead FC 2-2 Boreham Wood
- Jordan: Gateshead FC 1-1 Boreham Wood
Kidderminster Harriers Vs Woking FC
Newly promoted Kidderminster will host last season’s dark horses Woking on the opening match of the 2023/24 campaign. Kidderminster have had a very busy transfer window as they continue to build a side that can avoid relegation this season. Meanwhile, Woking have lost two key players to the EFL, but have continued to land several strong signings as they push towards a place in the football league.
- Callum: Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Woking FC
- Gary: Kidderminster Harriers 1-1 Woking FC
- Kelan: Kidderminster Harriers 1-2 Woking FC
- Ivan: Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Woking FC
- Jordan: Kidderminster Harriers 1-2 Woking FC
Maidenhead United Vs AFC Fylde
National League North champions AFC Fylde will make the trip to Maidenhead United on the opening day of the National League campaign. Maidenhead have had a difficult transfer window so far, but have added the services of Swindon Town forward Harry Parsons on a permanent deal. Elsewhere, AFC Fylde have had an unusually quiet summer but did win the race for Kings Lynn forward Gold Omotayo, beating strong competition.
- Callum: Maidenhead United 0-2 AFC Fylde
- Gary: Maidenhead United 0-0 AFC Fylde
- Kelan: Maidenhead United 0-0 AFC Fylde
- Ivan: Maidenhead United 1-1 AFC Fylde
- Jordan: Maidenhead United 0-2 AFC Fylde
Solihull Moors Vs Eastleigh FC
It’s been a summer of change for both sides heading into this weekend’s season opener, with Eastleigh adding several strong additions, whilst Solihull Moors are under new management in the form of former Banbury United boss Andy Whing. The Moors have lost Andrew Dallas, Ryan Boot and Callum Howe, but have added additional quality from the sixth tier as they aim to bounce back. Meanwhile, Eastleigh have added several EFL-proven players such as Jake Taylor and Enzio Boldewijn as they push for promotion.
- Callum: Solihull Moors 1-1 Eastleigh FC
- Gary: Solihull Moors 0-0 Eastleigh FC
- Kelan: Solihull Moors 1-1 Eastleigh FC
- Ivan: Solihull Moors 2-2 Eastleigh FC
- Jordan: Solihull Moors 0-1 Eastleigh FC
Southend United Vs Oldham Athletic
Southend United will begin the 2023/24 season, following an extremely difficult summer in which there has been no new signings and the club were almost removed from the division. However, local lad Jack Bridge is still (for now) at the club, as the players aim to let their football do the talking. Elsewhere, Oldham have had a busy summer, adding the likes of Josh Lundstram and James Norwood as they aim for promotion.
- Callum: Southend United 0-3 Oldham Athletic
- Gary: Southend United 0-4 Oldham Athletic
- Kelan: Southend United 0-2 Oldham Athletic
- Ivan: Southend United 0-3 Oldham Athletic
- Jordan: Southend United 0-2 Oldham Athletic
Wealdstone FC Vs York City
York City will begin their brand new era, with a trip to Wealdstone on the opening weekend of the National League season. The hosts have confirmed the permanent signing of Charlie Baker from Charlton Athletic, as they aim to guarantee fifth tier football. Meanwhile, York have added star quality with the likes of David Stockdale, Callum Howe and record-signing Dipo Akinyemi to their squad as they aim to push for promotion.
- Callum: Wealdstone FC 1-4 York City
- Gary: Wealdstone FC 1-1 York City
- Kelan: Wealdstone FC 1-3 York City
- Ivan: Wealdstone FC 0-2 York City
- Jordan: Wealdstone FC 2-2 York City
Rochdale AFC Vs Ebbsfleet United (5:30pm)
Newly relegated Rochdale will host National League South champions Ebbsfleet United in the evening kick-off on the opening weekend of the season. Rochdale may have lost several key players but will be targeting promotion this season. Meanwhile, Ebbsfleet have retained the services of top-scorer Dominic Poleon amongst others and will be eager to show the fifth tier what they have been missing out on.
- Callum: Rochdale AFC 1-1 Ebbsfleet United
- Gary: Rochdale AFC 0-1 Ebbsfleet United
- Kelan: Rochdale AFC 1-0 Ebbsfleet United
- Ivan: Rochdale AFC 2-2 Ebbsfleet United
- Jordan: Rochdale AFC 1-1 Ebbsfleet United