7 reasons you should watch British non-league football

The Old Spotted dog, home of London-based Clapton FC
Modified 11 Jan 2016
Top 5 / Top 10

Southend Manor and Stansted take to the field for their entertaining matchYesterday, I went to watch Southend Manor vs Stansted in the Essex Senior League. The league is a regional one in England, and is not a professional league, residing on the ninth tier of the English football ladder. Despite the (supposedly) low standard due to its low position in the football world, there are plenty of reasons why non-league football is well worth watching, particularly in England where the lower leagues are taken much more seriously by fans and players than elsewhere in the world outside the UK.Here are 7 reasons why, if you have the chance, you should check out some non-league football.

#1 Stadiums

Clearly, the stadiums in non-league football certainly don't have the facilities, size or glamour to match those that you'd find in the Premier League, but that isn't the point of non-league football. It's all about the charm, and the passion, which is better demonstrated at non-league stadiums than anywhere else in football.

Grounds like Clapton's Old Spotted Dog, or Forres Mechanics home ground of Mosset Park, have a certain element of comfort about them that simply can't be replicated by a bigger team with a bigger fan base. With the exception of SPL side Heart of Midlothian's Tynecastle (one of the best football stadiums anywhere in the world in terms of atmosphere), not enough professional outfits have a stadium that genuinely adds to the atmosphere.

Too many teams have very generic grounds that don't offer anything unique, and this is why it's a welcome change to see that nearly every non-league ground you visit will have a distinguishing feature. These sorts of small things only add to the occasion when you're attending a football match; you remember the entire day, not just the game being played on the field, and non-league clubs definitely have more memorable individual details than most professional ones. 

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Published 10 Jan 2016, 23:23 IST
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