What Makes Non-League Football Great?
“Save_Football Match_Spencer Park_Coventry_May09” by Ian (CC BY-NC 2.0)
When it comes to football, most people tend to pay attention to the upper echelon in the sport. And, while there is plenty to love about the top leagues in the world, there is also a lot to enjoy in non-league football action as well. With that in mind, here are just a few of the things that make non-league football great and worth your attention.
There is passion in all levels of football, that is for sure. But the level of passion that you see in non-league football easily matches, and often surpasses, that of the top flights of the game. One of the biggest reasons for that is the fact that there is less money in the game at the non-league level. There is nothing wrong with making money but it has a way of eroding passion. In non-league football, nothing like that can get in the way of the game that the athletes on the field love.
In addition to the fact that players are out there for the love of the sport, they are also participating for local pride in many cases. Without massive budgets to import players, non-league sides are comprised of plenty of players who are from the areas in which they are playing. In contrast, Premier League teams without the money or the renown to attract foreign players tend to struggle; Crystal Palace, for instance, are actually outsiders for anything approaching glory this season.
While non-league football is not the most glamorous brand of the game that you will ever see, every player on the field can dream of playing at the highest levels the game has to offer. Thanks to the promotion and relegation system in place in the sport, any team can climb the ladder to the peak of the game in their country’s club football hierarchy. So, while you may not expect your local non-league side to get to the top of the mountain, every player on the pitch has the possibility in his head.
“Lowestoft v Lewes Aug 2011” by James Boyes (CC BY 2.0)
Because It’s Football
Perhaps the best reason to enjoy non-league football is the same reason that someone would enjoy elite level football. That reason is the fact that there is football being played. Whether it is being played in a massive stadium or a pitch with some bleachers scattered behind it, the love of football makes the game worth watching no matter who is playing. And, with cup competitions that can pit elite clubs against smaller outfits on occasion, it is always worth keeping an eye on some of the non-league squads out there who have the ability to shock the world with an upset.
Non-league football is fun to watch in a number of different ways to top flight football – and, also, in many of the same ways. However, no matter what your reason for watching is, it is always worth supporting the local club. Chances are, there is a non-league side near you that would love your support.