September 7th 2013 Non League Day last year. The day NonLeagueReview was born.
I found myself at Stockport Sports v Atherton Collieries in their FA Vase match, and my love affair with Non League football began. Stockport won an entertaining game 5-0 and I went home after the game and started a wordpress site and wrote a match report, 12 months on and things have grown massively for me.
After that first game, I was hooked. I followed Stockport in the next round of the Vase as they were defeated 1-0 by local rivals Cheadle Town. Again, I wrote something on my newly made blog and watched the stats grow as people seemed to read what I wrote.
After that, I started to follow a few NWCFL games but not entering any of it on my blog. I was just enjoying going to the games and tweeting from my newly made twitter account @ReviewNonLeague. I’m a prolific tweeter and apart from football, I’m a social media addict. I used to be constantly tweeting, Facebooking and using Instagram, and to add to all that, I’m a right nosy get.
I had a brainwave, why not add my new hobby of non league football to my social media obsession. I set up new Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and changed from a WordPress blog and bought the domain name nonleaguereview.co.uk and made it more of a website.
Then things really started to take off, Daventry Town were drawn against Chesterfield in the FA Cup last season and I used my website to ‘blag’ a press pass for the match. In the build up I did interviews with Daventry Town and their chairman Iain Humphrey, who I still speak to, to this day and have a lot to thank for.
Since then I’ve done radio commentary, had a lift home from a game with a manager, sat in the boardroom and watched as players signed contracts, wrote for various websites, wrote for the Non League Paper and was an invited guest at Wembley for the FA Vase final last season. You don’t get that happening in the Premier League do you?
In summary, this is what Non League Day did for me last year. I’m a Manchester City fan and in a time where I should be watching my team in their most succesful era for a long time, I can’t justify spending up to 50% of my weekly wage to go watch a game where 11 players will run around for 90 minutes and earn more for that than I would in my lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan, and where I’ll watch games from my armchair or pub, I’d now rather get out and watch Non League Football any day of the week.
Being the busybody, determined, ambitious and compulsive person I am, I’ve started loads of different things in the past 12 months, some have paid off, some haven’t. The latest is a NWCFL weekly podcast which is being well received, I’m hoping that will be round for some time. However, one thing I know I’ll be around and promoting Non League Football from my website for the forseeable future.
I want to thank anyone who has read and enjoyed what I’ve done over the last 12 months.
This is what Non League Day did to me 12 months ago. I hope it has inspired many more this year.