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Non League Should Be Appreciated

Wednesday Jul 18, 2018


 Get involved in the national game!


 If you speak to Fleetwood, AFC Wimbledon or Crawley Town fans, three clubs who have successfully risen up through the non-league pyramid in recent times, they’ll be sure to tell how enjoyable their journey was. AFC Wimbledon, for example, still hold the non-league game close to their hearts and regularly dip into the system to sign players.

 

 But, the journey is sometimes better than the destination. While fans of the Lambs would, of course, love to see their team in the upper echelons of the football ladder, there is something magical about the grit and grind of the lower leagues. While we should aspire and dream, we should also enjoy where we are and appreciate its difference from the mega-rich, corporate world of football.

 

 In a modern football world where astronomical transfer fees are being spent, ticket prices are extortionate and fans of Premier League clubs are further away from their heroes than ever before, the non-league game is having somewhat of a resurgence. For many, a trip to the Lamb Ground offers something much more than the corporate, soullessness of the big stadiums.

 Football at this level also provides an air of unpredictability that money-rich divisions, where ultimately whoever spends the most succeeds, don’t. Sure, the Premier League is unpredictable when it comes to a game by game basis - and you can visit here for free betting tips for the big games - but over the course of the season, money talks. Just look at the short odds for Man City to retain their title at 4/7 (bet365). Where is the fun in seeing the ‘Big 6’ fill the top six spots?

 Even around Europe it’s the same. Bayern Munich are priced at 1/7 , as always, win the Bundesliga title, Juventus are clear favourites to be crowned Serie A champions at 4/6 and PSG, who always walk Ligue 1 in France, are understandably priced at an incredibly short 1/8 (skybet).

 In contrast, the non-league pyramid had a number of surprise winners and challengers if you look around the divisions. Sutton United, quite remarkably given their modest budget, finished third in the National League. The winners of the division, Macclesfield Town, weren’t clear favourites before the season kicked-off either. In the National League South, Havant & Waterlooville were unlikely champions also. Keep going further and further down the divisions and it’s a similar story.

 
 (Image via https://twitter.com/tamworthfc?lang=en)

 Tamworth FC, and others in a similar position, are finding that more and more casual football fans are being drawn into the joys of Non-League Football. Its soul is intact, its charm is evident as soon as you enter most non-league stadiums, and the general vibe and friendly atmosphere make a non-league day out more appealing than ever before. Throw in the unpredictability of a potential encounter alongside the far more reasonable ticket prices at this level, and Non-League Football really does deliver.

 We don’t know what will happen with Tamworth this season. There is a chance that they will do well, but who is to know, that’s the excitement of football. Would fans trade that sense of excitement for, say, being Bayern Munich fans, where the only question is by how many points they will win the league?

 Forget the Premier League, the Southern League Premier Central, and other non-league divisions, is where you can bring your friends and family and discover the joys of ‘pure’ football once more.
  

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Fixtures
22/12/2018 15:00:00 St Ives Town H
26/12/2018 15:00:00 Rushall Olympic A
29/12/2018 15:00:00 Alvechurch A
01/01/2019 15:00:00 Barwell H
05/01/2019 15:00:00 Kettering Town A
08/01/2019 19:45:00 Needham Market H
12/01/2019 15:00:00 Stratford Town H
19/01/2019 15:00:00 Biggleswade Town A
26/01/2019 15:00:00 Bedworth United H
02/02/2019 15:00:00 Hitchin Town A
View all Fixtures