New town football – successful, after all

STEVENAGE and Crawley Town are both members of the Football League, albeit the lowest division. Neither are what you might call “traditional” clubs, although football in Stevenage dates back to 1894 and Crawley 1896. When the game was in its infancy as an organised sport, they were merely amateur concerns in the south of England, unable to be truly competitive with the rise of industrial … Continue reading New town football – successful, after all

Football Media Watch: Soul and body searching

THERE’S NO denying that the Eni Aluko affair is messy and confusing and paints a very grim picture of the Football Association. But what’s equally as sad as the accusations of racism and bullying is that women’s football has become as clichéd and, dare we say, tarnished as the men’s game. There’s been some closing of ranks by the look of things, with Gareth Southgate … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Soul and body searching

The Non-League 100: Stevenage 1995-96 – triumph in the new town

FOOTBALL in Stevenage had a chequered history before a new club was formed from the ashes of Stevenage Athletic. As a town with a big working class population, many of whom had some form of affiliation with London clubs, Stevenage was ripe for footballing expansion. Like most new towns, there were teething problems in establishing a club with a local identity, but in 1976, Stevenage … Continue reading The Non-League 100: Stevenage 1995-96 – triumph in the new town

Non-leaguers in waiting?

NOBODY will thank you for saying it, but there a number of current Football League clubs that are really non-league clubs just visiting. Likewise, there is a growing band of non-leaguers that may eventually go back to the League – someday. Today, scrambling near the bottom of the table are Yeovil Town and York City. While York have had a chequered recent history, they certainly look … Continue reading Non-leaguers in waiting?

Vardy shows that non-league still has its place

NON-LEAGUE football used to be a breeding ground for top-class players, but in recent years, the flow of talent has certainly slowed-up. Jamie Vardy has provided a heart-warming story that restores some faith in the notion that players can start at a local level and make their way into the big time. Game of the People looks at some of the players that have made … Continue reading Vardy shows that non-league still has its place

Stevenage break the habit, but there’s no such thing as a sure-fire “winner”

Great players don’t always make great managers, they say. Teddy Sheringham was not an all-time great in the mould of Bobbys Charlton and Moore, but he enjoyed an outstanding career that included an astonishing 51 England caps, 898 games, 355 goals, three Premier titles, one FA Cup and a never-to-be-forgotten UEFA Champions League win. With credentials like that, Stevenage have secured the services of someone … Continue reading Stevenage break the habit, but there’s no such thing as a sure-fire “winner”

Stevenage shouldn’t weep – their story is still superb

Right now, fans of both non-league and Football League clubs are probably gloating about Stevenage’s relegation to League Two. They’ve never been a popular club, mostly the symptom of the old green-eyed monster, but that didn’t stop them ploughing a furrow through non-league football and into the Football League. On the evidence of the past two seasons, the club has plateaued. Not since 1988 have … Continue reading Stevenage shouldn’t weep – their story is still superb

When your rival is too big to care: Hitchin and Stevenage

Stevenage manager Graham Westley sat in the stand at Hitchin watching his team take on a club that is four divisions below them in senior football’s complex structure. The Stevenage side was a combination of youth players and squad members eager to please him. It may have only been a Herts Senior Cup tie, but the prize at stake for one or two of those … Continue reading When your rival is too big to care: Hitchin and Stevenage

Short on giant-killing, but the cup still cheers for Stourbridge

Over the past five years, Stourbridge have reached the FA Cup first round three times, making them the best performers from the Southern League in the competition during this timeframe.  They’ve gone one better for the second time, thanks to their 4-1 win against stablemates Biggleswade Town in round one. But having avoided a big name, which had its compensation in the form of an … Continue reading Short on giant-killing, but the cup still cheers for Stourbridge

On the cup trail with Stevenage

It’s hard to get over excited by the Football League Cup in its early rounds: defeats can be explained away easy enough and crowds are invariably disinterested in the balmy heat of August. Not so at Stevenage, where the home side added Ipswich Town to its list of cup scalps. OK, so it isn’t the FA Cup and the Suffolk club is no Newcastle, but … Continue reading On the cup trail with Stevenage

It’s time to give Stevenage credit

Stevenage will face Sheffield United in the League One play-offs in only their second season in the Football League. This is the sort of story that compares with Wimbledon’s rise in the 1980s. Yet very few people give Stevenage any credit, and, in stark contrast to the club’s over-the-top approach in its non-league days, it has all been achieved fairly quietly. Stevenage secured sixth place … Continue reading It’s time to give Stevenage credit