Bigging Up The Little Clubs - St Neots Town FC
Here in the UK, with the international break on-going, zzzzzzzzzz, in the world of football, today is dedicated to clubs outside the major football pyramid. You may have read about it here on Vital Chelsea, it`s Non League Day. It`s a strange name really, as all the non-league teams play in a league. Maybe better to call it Non Professional League Day.
I realise this is a dedicated Chelsea site, but I`m going to share with you my local non league experience and spread the word about my 'other` team St. Neots Town FC.
Nothing beats walking up the steps of Stamford Bridge, as you head off to find your seat on match night. The sight of the blazing floodlit green turf still gets the pulse racing. On a smaller scale the same applies at St Neots, the feeling is still the same.
At St Neots though, you are right on top of the action. In the ground itself, you can chose to sit in the stand (that doesn`t make sense) or walk to any part of the ground and prop up a barrier. The whole experience is much more personal, there is actual interaction between players, coaches, officials and fans. The watching kids high-five the players when they come out onto the pitch. The players don`t leave them hanging. It`s a good family atmosphere.
The club have a YouTube channel and from it there is a stadium walkaround, it`s not Stamford Bridge but it`s a good ground and the pitch is always to a high standard.
What is nice about local football, is that you can decide to go last minute, a very short time before kick-off, rock up, buy your ticket and watch some quality football. St Neots recently took on unbeaten Slough Town,
The support at the lower levels of league football has all the passion of that you find at a higher level, maybe more so. Again, the fact that you feel so much a part of what`s going on, makes going all the more enjoyable.
A good example of how an evening watching St. Neots differs from watching Chelsea happened a few years ago in a local cup competition. The final of which was played at the St Neots ground and featured the club itself.
It was a bit like Bayern Munich playing Chelsea in the Champions League final at home and losing. St Neots though, didn`t lose, they won and once the trophy and medals had been presented, they players duly handed out their medals to some of the kids in the ground who had stayed on after to celebrate the win, my son being one. The goalkeeper also passed on his gloves. It was just a lovely touch by the players to show real appreciation for those who support them.
I`m not suggesting for one minute that professional players should behave in the same way, just highlighting the difference. If you`re in the UK, you ought to go out and support your local team, even if you only go once, I think it`s something that everyone who supports football should try. You never know you may get drawn into it and like it.
If you are unable to attend non-league football as you are not in the UK and there is no equivalent, then maybe you could adopt St Neots Town FC as your non-league team, they`re a good club and I`m sure it`s something they would very much appreciate.