Non-League News & Archive

Senior – Signings Imminent

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trevor Senior, the new assistant-manager at Dorchester Town, has revealed the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division club is expecting to welcome five local players to the club next season. While not officially confirmed, the players have given Senior their word that they are committed to joining the Magpies. The five players in question are Chris Clarke, Jamie Beasley, Ed Bastick and Max Buckler from Portland United, together with Jamie Symes from Dorchester Sports. Senior told the Dorset Echo that the new recruits are all “good enough” to play at Southern Premier level. He said: “All five are committed and will turn up at pre-season. “We’re trying to get a local feel at the club. There are players around here good enough to play at the level we are playing at. “As far as I’m concerned the five players are good enough for this level and it will give us competition for places. They understand all that and they are looking forward to it. “All five of them want to play at as high a level as they can, and there’s no better way of doing that than by coming to Dorchester,” he said. Commenting on each of the quintet, Senior said signing players with good pace was a top priority. “Chris Clarke, a left-back, was the quickest player when I was at Bridport. He’s got a good engine, gets up and down, has a good left foot, wins his headers and gives 100 per cent every week. “Jamie Beasley is a left-winger and can be a match winner, he’s got a good strike on him. Sometimes he can be unpredictable but on his day he’s more than capable of winning a game for us. He brings a lot to the table,” Senior said. “Jamie Symes is a very good all-round footballer in central midfield. I played him in the Dorchester under-18s when he was 14 and Blackpool had a chat with him but it didn’t work out. “Max Buckler is a very good midfield player and definitely capable of getting the odd goal. He’s a good technical footballer. “Ed Bastick is a very quick, mainly right-sided winger, can play on the left too and gets crosses in the box. He obviously had that hernia injury last year at Portland but he’s fit now,” he added. Senior also hinted at further additions for the county town club, saying: “We are hopeful of a couple more signings but nothing is definite at the moment”. The post Senior – Signings Imminent appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Mangos Sign Veteran Keeper

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Veteran goalkeeper Steve Phillips has become Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South & West club Mangotsfield United`s first new signing of the new campaign. Phillips is not a total stranger to the club, having been on loan last season from Vanarama National League South neighbours Bath City, but now he is a permanent signing at Cossham Street. The 39-year-old, who made almost 400 appearances for Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, will come in as the new captain and his experience will be vital for the new season. Manager Dave Mehew said: “I’m hoping to name the new assistant-manager in the coming days and Steve Phillips will work closely with us and bounce ideas off us. The captains that have been here in the past have all been excellent and I expect Steve to follow on in that vein. “As good a season as it was last year, two areas we need to work on are sharing the goals around the team, with the absence of a prolific scorer in our ranks currently, and keeping the goals against column down. On the latter and the experiences of last season, hopefully Steve will be able to help in that area. “Along with the new assistant-manager I hope to also announce to our staff a goalkeeper coach to assist in training and match days. This is something we’ve not had since I’ve been here and will be a welcome addition to not only my team, but the club”. The post Mangos Sign Veteran Keeper appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Horgan Remains A Bluebird

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mark Collier, manager of Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division champions Chippenham Town, has confirmed that defender Gary Horgan has agreed terms for the coming season in the Vanarama National League South. The 40-year-old veteran previously played for Swindon Supermarine, Hungerford Town and Cirencester Town in the late 1990s. He first joined Chippenham in 2002 and also had a second stint at Cirencester as well as turning out for Mangotsfield United and Salisbury City. He returned to Hungerford in the summer of 2012 after serving as player-manager of Supermarine. However, once the Crusaders moved up to the National League South, Horgan retired. Chippenham Town FC can confirm that Gary Horgan has agreed terms for the 2017/18 season. #BlueArmy — Chippenham Town FC (@ChipTownFC) May 22, 2017 But he made a playing comeback with Chippenham after joining in September 2016. Collier said: “Following discussions with Horgs, he has agreed to join the coaching staff alongside his playing role, his experience proved invaluable last season and I am personally happy to have retained his services.” Both Horgan and new signing, former Weymouth player-manager Jason Matthews, will have added responsibilities to their player status and for now complete the backroom staff make up. The post Horgan Remains A Bluebird appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Eagle Lands At Leiston

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wide man Rob Eagle has left now Ryman League Division One North club AFC Sudbury and signed for Ryman Premier side Leiston with Sudbury receiving an undisclosed fee for his services. Eagle signed for Sudbury at the start of last season and made a significant contribution, playing forty-seven times, netting 8 goals. Eagle joined after being out-of-contract with Lowestoft Town and was not offered a new deal as Ady Gallagher’s side prepared for life back in the Ryman Premier. The midfielder spent five years at Crown Meadow and scored the first goal in the Trawlerboy’s Ryman Premier play-off final victory over AFC Hornchurch three years ago. The 30-year-old began his career at Norwich City, making a dozen first-team appearances for the Canaries, before going on to have spells at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Grimsby Town and Alfreton Town. The post Eagle Lands At Leiston appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Stimson Re-Unites With Experienced Forward

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ryman League Premier Division new boys Thurrock have signed experienced former England C forward Dennis Oli. The 33-year-old joined Farnborough in March 2016 following his departure from National League South side Hemel Hempstead Town. Oli has previously played for Queens Park Rangers, Gravesend & Northfleet, Farnborough Town, Swansea City, Cambridge United, Grays Athletic, Gillingham, Wycombe Wanderers and Havant & Waterlooville. He helped Grays win the FA Trophy under current Thurrock boss Mark Stimson and helped Gillingham win the League Two play-off final at Wembley – also under Stimson. Stimson said: “Dennis is a forward who has played under me at Grays and Gillingham and will add quality and experience to our squad. I am looking forward to working with him again”. The post Stimson Re-Unites With Experienced Forward appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Raggett Is Wanted As Hammers Make A Move

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

West Ham United have launched a bid to sign Lincoln City defender Sean Raggett. According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League club have offered the National League champions £120,000 for one of their star players. But sources say the Imps will wait and hold on for a better deal with the Hammers one of a number of clubs very keen. West Bromwich Albion’s £100,000 offer was knocked back earlier this month. Reports suggest Everton could be about to enter the race to sign Raggett. Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has spoken highly of the central defender since signing him from Dover Athletic last summer. “He has been absolutely outstanding,” said the manager of the 23 year old player. “Sean is a great player who will go far in the game. His performance at Burnley in the FA Cup in particular showed to many how good he actually is.” Other clubs keen on Raggett include Derby County and Middlesbrough. The post Raggett Is Wanted As Hammers Make A Move appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Planters Like Cheese

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ryman League Division One North club Norwich United have signed Lawrence Cheese from Stalham Town on a two-year contract. Cheese scored 21 goals in just thirty starts in the Anglian Combination and has been a target for Planters manager Steve Eastaugh for quite some time. Planters sign Cheese – News – Norwich United Football Club https://t.co/yjUFoLrGznMore signings to follow this week #watchthisspace #utp — Norwich United (@NorwichUtd) May 23, 2017 Eastaugh said: “We had Lawrence watched several times last year and the reports were positive on every occasion. He fits the profile of what we are looking for – he’s athletic, strong and hungry to improve. There were several clubs interested in him, so it’s pleasing he’s chosen us”. The post Planters Like Cheese appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Styche Extends Lambs Stay

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reece Styche today became the latest member of last season`s squad to extend his stay with Vanarama National League North club Tamworth. Styche, who re-joined the Lambs in January, scored 3 goals in eleven league starts, including a goal of the season contender at home to Brackley Town back in February. Styche began last season at Gateshead, but also spent time at divisional rivals Nuneaton Town. Indeed, it was Nuneaton’s decision to pursue Greg Mills that allowed Styche to sign a permanent Lambs deal, after representing whilst on loan in the 2015/15 season. SIGNING | @andymorrell01 on @RMFS170312 “You know that he is in it with you. He wants to play and he is desperate to score goals." #COYL pic.twitter.com/KicXq6HV83 — Tamworth FC (@tamworthfc) May 23, 2017 Counting the likes of Forest Green Rovers, Wycombe Wanderers, and Kidderminster Harriers as former clubs, Styche has also represented England C, as well as earning a senior cap for the Gibraltar national team. Commenting on the signing, Tamworth manager Andy Morrell said: “I’m delighted Reece has agreed to stay on. He had interest from other clubs but he loves it at Tamworth and wanted to continue working with Mike Fowler and me. “With us losing Ross Dyer and Danny Newton’s future still undecided, I think it was important that we managed to keep Stychey. He’s a feisty one – someone who is always at it, in training and matches. He brings a wealth of experience and that will be important to us. He’s just really good to have around the place”. The post Styche Extends Lambs Stay appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Seven Commit To Hillians

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ian Chapman, manager of Ryman League Premier Division club Burgess Hill Town, has announced that seven players have agreed to return to the Hillians for next season James Shaw, Ibrahim Diallo, James Richmond, Sam Fisk, Toby Pointing, managers` player of the season Jack Brivio and Pat Harding have all agreed to remain Hillians for 2017/18. Chapman said: “I’m really happy these players have committed to the club for next season. I am also working hard to retain other players who were with the club at the end of last season, but due to holidays and family commitments, we still have a few to finalise – but they will be done soon. “I am also looking to bring in some new faces and I`m happy how things are progressing. I would say we are in an advanced stage with two or three players and hope to make an announcement soon”. The post Seven Commit To Hillians appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Vote In The Fans Non-League Team Of The Season – Goalkeepers

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pitchero Non-League are recognising the outstanding performers across Non-League football in our “Fans Non-League Team Of The Season”. We’ve sifted through every side in the National League, Northern Premier League, Southern League and Ryman League to draw up a list of eight performers. But who stands out from the crowd and makes it into the final list? We’re leaving that down to you. Take a look at our selection of eight outstanding stoppers below and place your votes. Plus, head to our other polls to get your votes in for the “Fans Non-League Team Of The Season”. Jake Cole – Aldershot Town Signed from Woking last July, Jake Cole played 50 times for The Shots this season, making the most saves of any keeper in the National League. The keeper makes his way onto this shortlist after picking the ball out of his net just 37 times this season – the least of any team in The National League. Sam Russell – Forest Green Rovers FGR may have invested heavily into their team in recent years, but Sam Russell has been a mainstay in their recent rise to the Football League. Having clocked up nearly 200 league appearances for the club, Russell’s consistently superb performances this season contributed to their play-off victory over Tranmere Rovers. Shane Bland – Whitby Town Whitby’s reverse from relegation strugglers to play-off contenders is in no small part down to the tightening up of their defence this season. Between the sticks, Shane Bland conceded just 56 goals as the club finished sixth in the table – a considerable improvement from the 79 that flew in during the 2015/16 season. Jon Stewart – Shaw Lane Shaw Lane romped home with NPL First Division South title this season, with their impressive defence breached just 36 times all season. The team had claimed 19 clean sheets in league and cup competitons by the end of April, and added one more when they beat Frickley Athletic 1-0 to claim the The Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup a month ago. Tony Breeden – Leamington Most stats are blown out the water when you glance at Leamington’s defence. Mean doesn’t quite summarise it well enough; but the club conceded only 32 goals in 46 league games this season – keeping 27 clean sheets in all competitions. Breeden has already received recognition with Leamington’s Manager of the year award, and he could add to it here. Joe Welch – Royston Town Welch was considered a significant signing when he came to Hertfordshire club Royston Town, and the ex-Bromley and St Albans supporters player of the season has excelled again in the Southern League Division 1 central. The club lost just three league games all season, to which they owe a lot to the performances of their goalkeeper. Dan Lincoln – Bognor Regis Town Bognor’s Dan Lincoln takes his place as one of two Isthmian League goalkeeping nominations after already securing a club accolade a couple of weeks ago. Voted supporters’ player of the year, Lincoln marshalled his defence to the best defensive record in the Isthmian Premier – conceding an average of less than a goal a game. Kyle Merson – Tooting & Mitcham T&M snuck home to top the Isthmian League South division thanks to their superior goal difference over rivals Dorking Wanderers. Contributing to that victory was an impressive record of 5 clean sheets in their final 8 league games. Merson was beaten only three times during that period, helping his side claim top spot. The post Vote In The Fans Non-League Team Of The Season – Goalkeepers appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Hastings Shock As Hare Quits, Despite His Team’s 128 Goals Last Year

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Darren Hare has quit as manager of Ryman South side Hastings United – despite taking them to the playoffs following a fantastic free scoring season.  Hare leaves to concentrate of his family and business commitments and the search is on to find his replacement. Hare’s style of football will be missed as Hastings scored 128 league goals last season along – they were English senior football’s highest scorers. “Darren has recently been on holiday and the club were aware before his departure that he had some things to think about whilst away not least his family commitments and future career path,” read a club statement. “On his return Darren advised that he wishes to concentrate on committing more time to his family and developing his business through FA coaching work, something that has suffered during 2016-17 due to his commitment to Hastings United. “Although sad to be going Darren feels that he leaves the club with a group of settled players more than capable of getting promotion next season and with some additions to strengthen certain areas he believes the new manager coming in will be able to benefit and take the club forward and achieve that goal. “Hastings United would like to thank Darren for his service and wish both himself and his family all the best for the future. Darren will always be a welcomed visitor to the Pilot Field at any time.” The post Hastings Shock As Hare Quits, Despite His Team’s 128 Goals Last Year appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Francis Leaves Leiston

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Winger Joe Francis has decided to call time on his spell with Ryman League Premier Division club Leiston after his contract expired earlier this month. The Ipswich-based winger, who joined the Blues from Lowestoft Town back in the summer of 2013, scored 14 goals in all competitions this season from forty-nine appearances. He has made 136 league appearances, scoring 42 goals in total, and was a key member of the squad. The 30-year-old recently celebrated the birth of his second son and had this to say on his decision to leave: “My two boys are the main reason I am leaving Leiston and the Ryman League as the travelling is too much. “I have loved my time at Leiston and I have nothing but the upmost respect for everyone involved at the club”. The post Francis Leaves Leiston appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Trio Commit To Pilgrims

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vanarama National League North club Boston United trio Liam Adams, Tom Batchelor and Jan Yeomans have signed new contracts at The Jakemans Stadium. Nineteen-year-old attacker Adams and defensive duo Batchelor, 25, and Yeomans, 21, have all put pen-to-paper to become official members of Adam Murray’s first-team squad for 2017/18. Liam Adams The post Trio Commit To Pilgrims appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Keeper Returns To Tudors

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Popular goalkeeper Laurie Walker has returned to Vanarama National League South club Hemel Hempstead Town. Walker has signed a deal for the coming season, returning to the Tudors after two seasons away. Upon leaving previously he played for Oxford City followed this season by playing for Brackley Town in the National League North. The 27-year-old started his career with MK Dons and then moved to Cambridge United, where he made a single League appearance before a short spell with Morecambe. A season with Kettering Town preceded his first spell with Brackley and then totalled 103 games for the Tudors before leaving in the summer of 2015. The post Keeper Returns To Tudors appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Former Terras Boss Joins Chippenham As Player-Coach

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Former Weymouth boss Jason Matthews has joined Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division champions Chippenham Town as player-coach for the coming Vanarama National League South season. Matthews returned to the Terras at the start of the 2013/14 season and became player-manager in December 2013. In his career he has played for Bristol Rovers, Nuneaton Borough, Exeter City, Aberystwyth Town, Clevedon Town, Eastleigh, Bath City and Dorchester Town as well as an earlier spell with Weymouth between 2002 and 2008. In his second spell with the club he has made over 400 appearances and managed a goal in a match with Southport in March 2007. He resigned as player-manager at the end of last season. Chippenham manager Mark Collier said: “I have been in talks since Jase left Weymouth. He brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the club he is also able to play which is a huge bonus. “As a club we needed to add to the coaching and backroom staff and Jason fills that void perfectly, he had received several offers but was impressed with the vision and clear objectives we have in place”. The post Former Terras Boss Joins Chippenham As Player-Coach appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Wind Of Change Is Blowing Through Leek

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Leek Town don’t plan to hang around as they begin the search for Ant Danylyk’s replacement. The Blues have started to search for their manager’s successor after he and his number two Paul Donnelly stood down. EvoStik League Leek hope to have a new appointment made at Harrison Park within the next few days. Danylyk released a statement to the fans and said the club was a pleasure to manage. “The players, supporters and volunteers have been a big part of my footballing life and I will take away many fond memories of all those involved. I have been lucky enough to have made many friendships along the way, which go beyond football,” he said. Town chairman Jon Eeles said: “The decision has not been taken lightly and has been done with a heavy heart as both Ant and Paul are such popular figures at the club, Ant particularly so, with more than 400 appearances and a key figure in Lee Casswell’s play-off teams. “On a personal note I’d like to thank them for their commitment and hard work over the last season – they will always be welcome at Harrison Park.” A Blues spokesman added: “The board and all associated with the club would like to thank Ant and Paul for all the efforts and work over the last season, and wish them success and good fortune in the next chapter of their management career. “The club will conduct a very short recruitment process and will make an announcement in due course. No further comment will be made at this point.” The post Wind Of Change Is Blowing Through Leek appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Belshaw Swaps Lambs For Town

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Former England C goalkeeper James Belshaw has signed a two-year contract that will see him join Harrogate Town from Vanarama National League North rivals Tamworth. The 26-year-old, who has starred for Tamworth for the last three years, has now made the leap back to full-time football. Belshaw said: “I’m delighted to get the deal signed. Harrogate is a club that I really admire and that I can’t wait to be a part of. First and foremost, I’m coming here to win and we want to be pushing for promotion next year for sure. “I’ve heard great things about the club and having some of the staff here I just love what the club stands for. For me, I want to be a big part of what we’re hoping to achieve here, and I have two years now to help the club progress towards where we want to be.” It’s a big move for the Nottingham-born player as he will be traveling from his home-town every day to train and play, but he knows it will pay off when the new season starts. He said: “Regardless of the traveling, it’s a move I had no hesitation in making. To be honest, I’d drive 10 hours to play football and any player would be motivated by the facilities we have on offer here. I genuinely love playing and I can’t wait to get involved with the club.” Belshaw, like fellow newcomer Josh Falkingham, will also be getting involved in the youth development programme at Town. I’m going to try and get involved with the younger players here for sure. Coaching, and giving something back to the community is something I strongly believe in. I think it’s important for the first-team lads to be in and around the club on a regular basis, and to help build a community atmosphere around the club.” After three successful seasons at Tamworth, it was always going to take a lot for the fans favourite to leave The Lamb Ground. However, when he heard of Harrogate’s interest it was an easy decision to make. “The gaffer really sold the club to me” continued Belshaw. “He’s seen me play a number of times now and when we spoke he was very complimentary about my performances. It’s a good feeling knowing that the manager wants me to be a part of his side, and that he has taken the time to really get to know me as a player.” Belshaw believes that his experience from the other clubs he’s been at, including Nuneaton Town and Walsall will help him over the course of the season He said: “I’ve played at this level for the last few years and played pretty much every game, so I’ve got a lot of experience. That said, I’m still only young, so for a goalkeeper I’ve got a lot of years still ahead of me. I am confident that I can be a big part of a successful season here, and it will be great to join up with the lads in July.” Meanwhile, further to the announcement made earlier this month, discussions have concluded with the remaining members of Town`s playing squad. Lewis Turner, Peter Crook and Chib Chilaka are all leaving the club. This is further to the news that eight other members of the 2016/17 squad would not be joining for next season’s campaign. The post Belshaw Swaps Lambs For Town appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Armstrong To Stay On For Another Season At Spartans

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Blyth Spartans boss Alun Armstrong has agreed terms to remain in charge of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division champions for another year, following his managerial heroics at the club last season. In his debut season of management, the 42-year-old guided Blyth to a league and Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup `double` – as he ended Spartans’ five-year stay in the league with promotion. With his new deal, Armstrong will remain in the home dug-out at Croft Park for the upcoming Vanarama National League North season. In addition, as was the case in his original deal signed back in September 2016, there is also the option for the former Stockport County, Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough striker to continue for a further season after that as well. And the Spartans manager was not only delighted to be staying at Blyth, but he was also full of praise for just how quickly the club had worked to get his contract renewal sorted. Armstrong admitted: “I know the club had the option to extend it anyway, but it’s great to be staying and I’m over the moon – especially after what happened last year. I don’t think anyone expected to go the way it did, to be honest. “I spoke to Tony Platten and Kevin Scott and they said they’d come back to me with a deal. Fair play to them – as they got it sorted really quickly, which I was very pleased about. “I was trying to sort pre-season and get the lads signed up, but I couldn’t really get anything sorted until I was done. There was no point me signing up all the lads if I wasn’t going to be there. “I’m just glad the club has moved quite quickly to get it sorted and we can start looking forward to preparing for next season now.” With at least one season to test himself at a higher level after drawing plaudits in the Northern Premier League, Armstrong is relishing the challenge of making the step up the divisions with a club he’s enjoying life at. However, he’s not getting too far ahead of himself and knows he still has a lot to learn about management. Armstrong revealed: “I’ll stay wherever I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying it at the moment and it’s been great; the lads are great. “Everyone wants to progress, don’t get me wrong. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be involved in the game – as everyone wants to get to that top level. “I’m still learning though and I learnt quite a lot last year. Probably a lot more than people thought. “It’s probably best that, at this moment in time, I stay where I am and keep learning my trade. This is a great club and, after the year we’ve had, I’ve just got make sure we consolidate – first and foremost – and then see where it takes us from there.” Spartans chairman Tony Platten was also ecstatic to see Armstrong commit his future to the club – as he looks forward to enjoying another twelve months of attacking football under the ex-Premier League star. Platten added: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able agree terms with Alun for the coming season and with an option for a further season after that. “In his first year as a manager, Alun produced some wonderful football. His attacking style proved a hit with Spartan supporters and with the directors of opposition teams, who regularly complimented our style of play. “Not only were we attacking well, but our defence proved to be the best in the league as well. Therefore, we hope Alun can strengthen the team and continue in the same vein in the National League North”. (Glen Maxwell) The post Armstrong To Stay On For Another Season At Spartans appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

Reprieved Harrow Remain Loyal To Baker

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Following hot on the heels of confirmation from The Football Association that Harrow Borough will continue in the Ryman League Premier Division following their reprieve from relegation, the club’s Board has announced they have agreed with Steve Baker for him to continue in his role as manager. Baker has yet to put pen-to-paper on a new deal, but this is expected to follow in the near future. The Board acknowledged that the spectre of relegation was a huge wake-up call for the club as a whole, and not just for Baker and his management team, but that lessons had been learned and that the club intended to bounce back much the stronger. It is expected that assistant-manager Jesse Smith and coach Darron Wilkinson will continue in their current roles, but Baker, who had admitted recently that he had learnt more in the last six weeks than he had in the previous six years, has wasted no time in adding former Wycombe Wanderers and Staines Town striker Byron Walton to his backroom staff. Walton, who has extensive contacts in the non-League game to the north and west of London, will scout transfer targets and run the rule over upcoming opponents. The post Reprieved Harrow Remain Loyal To Baker appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

The Big Shake Up Of Non-League Football Confirmed

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Southern League and the Ryman League have both welcomed the role they will play in the big shake up of Non-League football. The Ryman League was chosen on Thursday to manage and control the new Step 4 division which is being created for the start of the 2018-19 season. This follows a long-awaited review of Steps 3 and 4 of the National League System to iron out geographical anomalies, cut down on travelling costs and time for fans, players and officials and encourage more Step 5 clubs to climb the pyramid. The first major restructuring of the game since 2004 will also see the creation of a new Step 3 division which will be managed and controlled by the Southern League. In total, the 276 clubs currently playing in Steps 1 to 4 will increase by 20 to 296 when the two new divisions kick-off in August 2018. Across the board, the reshuffle will see the three current Step 3 divisions of 24 clubs increase to four divisions of 22 clubs while the six divisions at Step 4 currently run by the Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League will rise from 136 clubs playing in six divisions to seven 20 club divisions. To achieve its aim, the FA also confirmed that only the bottom clubs in the current Step 3 divisions will be relegated at the end of season 2017-2018. In addition, only the clubs finishing last in the six divisions currently operating at Step 4 will be relegated next season with 26 clubs coming up from Step 5. Ryman League chairman Nick Robinson is looking forward to catering to thousands of more fans from 2018-19 after beating off stiff competition from two other leagues which had declared an interest in the new Step 4 division. With the number of clubs coming under the Isthmian umbrella increasing from 72 to 82, he said: “The board has worked hard for some years now to deliver football for all; giving the management and control of the new Step 4 division to the Isthmian League is a great step forward for the league. “We can now look forward to season 2018-2019 when we will have 60 clubs in three divisions which are better placed geographically than at present. The aim is to reduce costs for clubs and fans alike so that we encourage more players and supporters to our brand of football.” He added: “This is a great prospect for a new sponsor and the board will now progress discussions with a view to making an announcement about a new title sponsor at or shortly before the Annual General Meeting in June. The post The Big Shake Up Of Non-League Football Confirmed appeared first on Pitchero Non-League. read more

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