Four months on and the dust has (almost) settled on Borussia Teeth’s incredible DoBo title win. It was a season where tradition took a kicking, established giants like Farts of Midlothian fell and a dynasty ended with Michael Davies and FC Des parting ways after failing to retain their title. But a new season brings about change, opportunity and rejuvenation: it’s a chance for the Teeth to prove to that they aren’t Leicester and that Wyn Williams isn’t a less coherent Welsh Ranieri; a chance for Rory McCarthy to recover from the worst collapse since Downs tripped himself up on his stag do in Krakow; a chance for Sean Downs to make the return thousands of fans around the world have dreamed of since his tearful exit just five weeks ago.
There are new faces, old faces and new old faces converging to make this season’s DoBo a genuine curiosity. With traditional title favourites out of the division (and in some cases out of the game), there is a very real opportunity for Will Penhallurick to get his fat lips around the trophy many felt he should have won a few years ago; a chance for Gavin Brian Jones to exorcise the demons of Heisenberg’s miserable DoBo campaign from a few seasons ago; for the returning Downs to prove he can win at the highest—and not become the first manager to be relegated with three different clubs. What is clear, however, is that none of these clubs will have a better chance of winning the game’s biggest prize. The question is: who will take it?
The 18/19 season will live long in the memory for Borussia Teeth fans. Maligned as nothing more than perennial mid-table malingerers, Wyn Williams’ side shocked the world as they emerged the right side of a rollercoaster season with the DoBo trophy in their cabinet. Despite the tumultuous controversy of the now defunct PTB rule that fierce critics argue gifted them the title – former FC Des manager, Michael Davies chief among them – Williams has always maintained that he could only beat what was in front of him. Or, as proved to be the case last season: behind him. Perhaps for the first time in his career, the expectations following Williams’ side are fairly positive with the threat of relegation not the obvious formality. We disagree because while the excitement of a YoBo season awaits, few expect them to realistically compete at the level they did last season; fewer expect them to be able to juggle the added intensity of the multiple cup competitions and join Cacos as only the second club in history to win back-to-back DoBos. Then again, stranger things have happened.
Summary: From racing for the title to a racing to the bottom—the Teeth’ll find themselves in a different battle this season.
THE PAIN TRAIN
It could have been a season to remember for Rory McCarthy and The Pain Train but a level of mismanagement not seen since Chris Grayling awarded a shipping contract to a company with no boats scuppered what might have been a first DoBo title. With a multitude of chips and a slight point advantage going into GW31, McCarthy somehow managed to play himself out of title contention and gift it to Wyn Williams’ Borussia Teeth. The saving grace? Scraping into this season’s YoBo. So, with Michael Davies out of the way, and Borussia Teeth unlikely to repeat their title-winning feat, it’s not inconceivable that Rory McCarthy could yet end up a DoBo champion just as long as he doesn’t play himself. Again.
Summary: McCarthy would still shit the bed in a one-team title race—don’t expect that to change.
THE JAGER BOMBERS
It’s been a long road back to the top for The Jager Bombers but they’ve made it. For years, William Penhallurick looked set to be a staple of the trophy-less also rans—particularly after he watched his 2016 side relinquish an 80-point lead in the last five GWs to eventual champions, Cacos. Sacked by the Bombers just a few weeks into the following season, Penhallurick’s 18 months in the wilderness seem to have served him well with The Bombers taking a DoDi and SaKo title on their way to the top division. Last time, even with their huge lead, the Bombers were never truly the favourites, but these are different times—and Penhallurick will never have a better chance to fulfill the destiny many felt evaded his grasp a few years ago.
Summary: Carving a reputation as a serial winner, that reputation should grow, even if the Bombers don’t deliver the DoBo title.
Gavin Brian Jones’ return last season wasn’t the most spectacular but the Dr. still proved to be in session after his extended hiatus. After nabbing promotion to DoBo – from the now departed Paul Gregory – with an inspired selection of Ayoze Perez, it was job done for a Heisenberg side with less than stellar memories of the last time they stepped up to the top division. Happy to follow in the DoWo slipstream of the Jager juggernaut, this season gives Jones a real opportunity to add to the sole SaKo he won in 2015—but they’ll need to do everything differently.
Summary: Expect it to be history repeated for Heisenberg. It’ll be less of a failure but they’re still going down.
Sean Downs doesn’t know how to win titles but he always finds a way to get a seat at the top table—even if he wastes it more often than not. Relegated with Super Ted FC and Downsy’s 11, he should have been competing in DoWo this season—instead, a sweetheart deal with DSoE soldier Michael Davies saw the managers swap clubs in an elaborate pre-season ruse. Where Davies faces the challenge of picking up after Downs’ mess, Downs walks into one of the highest pressure roles in the game where titles are an expectation, not an exception. How he responds to the pressure remains to be seen, but with an eventless pre-season devoid of financial issues, is this the season Downs makes good on the DoBo destiny he craves?
Summary: He won’t win it but Downs should earn YoBo football next season on his own merit in a fairly weak division.