FOOTBALL: Time to support the stalwarts of grassroots game

Local non league football

Local non league football

First published in Sport
Last updated
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

IF YOU are happy that the football club you support has just spent £150 million in the transfer window – fine.

If you are comfortable with the fact that three footballers in that same Premiership football team are being paid £300,000 a week – that’s fine too.

But there is another kind of football out there – semi-professional and grassroots football where clubs live from hand to mouth on turnstile money alone and small sponsorship deals, often running thriving youth set-ups, and the whole fragile structure is glued together by the support of volunteers – FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME.

Saturday, September 6 is the day to celebrate that kind of football – Non League Day.

Non-League Day was founded in 2010 and has now become an annual part of the football calendar.

Scheduled to coincide with an international break, it encourages supporters from Premiership or Championship clubs who have no games – or League One and Two fans whose sides may be playing away from home – to sample the sport at their local community football club.

The entrance prices are realistic, you can stand and have a drink anywhere at the ground and the welcome will be warm.

The standard of football may not be what you are used to seeing from the twinkle-toed superstars at the Emirates or the Etihad, but you might be surprised by the quality of play.

What you are guaranteed is tremendous commitment on and off the field from people who all have day jobs like you and I.

I regularly watch Cirencester Town – Southern League champions last season – play a terrific standard of football in the Southern Premier and I will be there at 3pm on Saturday for what promises to be a cracking local derby against Chippenham.

From the Vanarama Conference down there is a raft of local non league games to choose from.

See The Standard's list in our Sport Diary on Page 83 this week.

Go along, the experience may open your eyes.

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