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 like a non-league club in many ways – although if they move to a new ground, that could make for a more sustainable Football League outfit. Yeovil Town, however, are a local institution that you … 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 the step up from non-league over the years. What makes Jamie Vardy so special is that he was 25 before he made his Football League debut with Leicester City. Usually, players are picked up much … 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 who knows what success is all about. He is also someone who is accustomed to taking a gamble, judging by his more recent poker career. So you could say that a man like Sheringham may … 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 Stevenage fans experienced the agony of relegation. In between, they have won promotion five times, clinched two Conference titles, become FA Cup giant-killers, played host to the likes of Newcastle, Tottenham and Everton, and sold … 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 on display at a sparsely-filled Top Field was a place in the Stevenage squad against the mighty Everton on Saturday. Another landmark FA Cup tie awaits the new town club and they expect a sell-out … Continue reading When your rival is too big to care: Hitchin and Stevenage