Non League Day Is Coming!
It’s that time of the season again; when the top two divisions take a break for international football and the country’s non-league clubs try and take some of the limelight. This Saturday, October 13th, sees the third incarnation of the brainchild of James Doe, a Harrow Borough supporter who saw an opportunity to try and bring non-league football onto the national stage.
The concept has been an incredible success, and has gotten bigger and bigger every year. The idea is that non-league clubs offer half price admission, or even free in some cases, to season ticket holders of Football League and Premier League clubs, in an attempt to generate some much needed extra revenue, and maybe gain a few extra regular supporters in the process. The fact that England now play their weekend match on a Friday night instead of a Saturday afternoon has perpetuated the success of Non-League Day, and this year is sure to be even bigger again.
The Non League Day website has an excellent match finder to help you find a match near you, with a comprehensive list of fixtures up and down the country. And there are some cracking games taking place too; local derbies, top of the table clashes, Non League Day has it all!
And, as I wrote here, there are so many reasons to get along to non-league football. Friendly local staff, most of whom are more often than not volunteers, little or no segregation of the fans, changing ends at half time, being able to bring a beer pitchside at a lot of grounds. It’s a fantastic afternoon out, and that’s just off the pitch! On the pitch you have players who love football, players playing for the love of the game and the shirt they’re wearing. You can here the conversations and arguments between players and officials. You can even interact with them and get a direct reply a lot of the time. And you can meet the players and management after the match in the warm and friendly clubhouse and dissect the game that has just transpired. It’s like you’re the journalist in your very own press conference!
So, instead of going to IKEA, or the supermarket, or doing gardening and DIY, get your warm clothes on and get down to your local non-league club and enjoy the atmosphere, the game and the experience. And make sure to spend some of the money you saved on the admission on a programme, drinks and food; non-league clubs need every penny they can get.
Who knows, you might just enjoy yourself and keep coming back for more. That’s certainly what happened to me!
For more information on Non League Day, and to find a match near you, visit the official Non League Day website.