The international break. Hated by fans of clubs in the top two divisions as it inconsiderately leaves a gap in the fixture list; loved by almost no one. But this international break is slightly different. After the success of the two previous events in 2010 and 2011, next Saturday will see the third Non-League Day. The day aims to welcome fans from football league clubs into the world of non-league football with reduced ticket prices.
It’s an invaluable day for all non-league clubs. With budgets so tight and every penny making difference, the extra income can really help a local club make it through a season financially unscathed. This has been heightened this weekend with Kettering Town failing to field 11 players after being unable to pay their staff.
Thankfully, this year is anticipated to be the most successful to date with creator James Doe using feedback from fans to fully incoperate everyone’s needs. The best possible date has been picked, avoiding clashes with the Paralympics, fa cup fixtures and summer school holidays whilst big names such as Sky Sports Commentator Martin Taylor helping to spread the word.
It can be often be mocked for it’s ‘fat man with a pint’ support base, but non-league football is much more than that. Serious competitive and talented teams are found all the way down the ladder, helped by most clubs having a scattering of ex-league players and passionate young players, with knowledgeable and passionate fans to the rival those of the league. The non-league experience is just as enjoyable as any other that involves football.
So instead of being dragged around a shopping centre this Saturday, take a few pence out of the piggy bank and head down to your local non-league club.