Non League Day: Why we love non-league football, and why you should too!

Non League Day: Why we love non-league football, and why you should too!

Non League Day: Why we love non-league football, and why you should too!

First published in Sport by

This Saturday is your chance to get out and support your local football team in association with Non-League Day.

Since 2010, clubs have come together over the international break in a bid to encourage support for teams playing semi-professional and grass-roots football.

And teams and supporters in south Essex have risen to the challenge. Here are a few of their stories about what makes non-league day so special.

GREAT WAKERING ROVERS

Dave Sexton - administrator for popular Twitter account @RoversRebels – has followed Rovers for five years since moving to the area.

Non league day is a fantastic concept and a great opportunity for us to showcase our club to the wider community and shout out 'hey! What about us?'

People don’t realise there is great football to watch on their doorstep for next to no money. Fans obsession with the Premiership means we get overlooked. There’s no glitz, glamour and razzmatazz - just good honest football at clubs being run tirelessly by volunteers. And for the fans there is also a community involvement aspect.

We had a great season last year (winning League and Cup Double) and Non-League Day gives us the chance to try and get more fans through the gate and help support the club. We have a great ground and facilities and love to show them off.

It’s a chance to meet people and have a bit of fun along the way as well. Some of the visiting keepers have been great in joining in with the banter we have with them and we’ve promised Ronnie Yates of Takeley a McDonalds when he next comes down. You won’t see that in the Premiership!

 

HULLBRIDGE SPORTS

Neil Hunwicks, head of media and supporter of the club for three years.

My experience started some years ago when my son (Aaron) started playing non-league football and I went to support him. Two seasons ago he signed for Hullbridge Sports and of course, I watched him play. I found the set up at Lower Road so friendly and inviting that I soon got to know some of the volunteers that keep non-league clubs like Hullbridge going.

Everybody gives up their own time at this level, but Hullbridge just felt like a family club that you wanted to do your bit for. I went from a supporter who was just watching his son, to somebody who wanted to give up some time to promote non-league football and the Hullbridge family.

I support a Championship side and have done for more than 45 years which will never change, but the sense of involvement and belonging in a club where you know all the players, managers, committee members and chairman is what the non-league family is all about.

There are approximately 7,500 people who live in Hullbridge, if we could just get one per cent following their local team, this could quite easily more than double our average gate.

This is the non-league challenge and I am pleased to be doing my bit for Hullbridge Sports Football Club to achieve this goal.

Hullbridge Sports host Waltham Forest tomorrow. Entry is £6 for adults, £3 for OAPs and free for under-16s.

 

CONCORD RANGERS

Jack Smith – committee member for eight seasons and trainee treasurer at the club.

I, as do most of our committee, regard myself as a fan first and committee member second.

You'll regularly catch us in our suits on the terrace with the fans, cheering our side on as opposed to the directors’ box.

In our blossoming history there are many a proud moment to look back upon but the two stand outs for me are promotion via the play-offs to the Conference South and beating Lowestoft Town at their place in front of over 2,500 fans. Also, capturing the Essex Senior Cup for the first time when we beat Braintree Town in the final.

I can’t recall a notable downside to following Concord as I enjoy the honesty that non-league brings and I thoroughly look forward to each and every fixture.

This Saturday, I'll be at Sutton United to watch the Beachboys in action, providing that my first born doesn't decide to make an appearance that weekend!

Sutton are offering reduced ticket prices to Premiership and football league season-ticket holders.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree