THE Sydenhams Wessex League's top flight will include two new faces next season and welcome back one old friend.

Both Hampshire champions VT FC (formerly Vosper Thornycroft) and Dorset Premier kings Hamworthy United are coming up from their respective feeder leagues, writes WENDY GEE.

And Fleet Town are returning for their third stint of Wessex football after another rough ride in the Southern League.

With FA Vase winners Winchester City failing to meet the ground-grading requirements for promotion, it means the SWL Division 1 will run with 23 clubs next season - providing the management committee's recommendations are passed at the annual meeting on Sunday, June 20 at BAT (10.30am).

The constitution of the two new divisions, 2 and 3, has still to be finalised pending ground grading inspections.

All Division 2 teams will require floodlights, meaning that the whole of last year's Hampshire Premier Division - barring promoted VT FC - should get in along with Blackfield & Langley and Whitchurch, who are relegated from the top flight

Shaftesbury have been accepted from the Dorset Premier, but two other Dorset hopefuls, Gillingham and Holt, have missed out because, following objections from the DPL, the FA will only allow the Wessex to take the champions plus one other club.

The two remaining places must be filled by teams with floodlights.

Division 2 runners-up Romsey Town, the 1989/90 Wessex League champions have applied, along with Alresford Town, who finished in the top half of Division 1.

Colden Common, the Hampshire League Division 1 champions, are out of the equation because they do not have lights.

By the start of next season Wessex Division 2 clubs must have floodlights and disabled accommodation for four people - the latter applying to clubs the length and breadth of the pyramid.

But to stay in the Wessex set-up long-term, the FA insist clubs must have covered accommodation for 100 people by the start of the 2006/7 season and provide proof of planning permission by this time next year.

The SWL are still awaiting FA advice on ground grading requirements for their new Division 3, which also has scope for 22 clubs. Plans for a Division 4 are likely to be dropped.

Although some clubs face an uphill battle to get their grounds up to scratch, SWL president Cyril Hurlock believes the new FA shake-up is for the long-term good.

He said: "Ever since the day of conception, the Wessex league has had a tremendous record on ground improvements. We're going to drag some of these clubs kicking and screaming into a standard that will enable them to come into our Division 1.

"A lot of them seem to have stood still for years, but we've got to have movement up and down otherwise the league will be stagnant."

Reflecting on the FA's massive overhaul of non-League football, Hurlock said: "If clubs don't want to spend money, then they will have to play at the level they are best suited to. I just hope that what's being asked by the FA is not beyond them."

Lymington & New Milton's hearing against charges of racist abuse dating back to December's FA Vase tie against Buckingham Town has been confirmed for July 2 at Oxford United FC (10.30am).