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  • Writer's pictureTUST

Fan Zone 17/06/2023




From non-league to Premier League and Europe. This surely must be the dream of every lower league footballer. Well, it can be done, just ask Jamie Vardy and Jarrod Bowen.

Back in 2007 Vardy was playing for Stockbridge Park Steels, moving to FC Halifax, then in the Northern Premier followed by a move to Conference side Fleetwood Town. In 2012 Vardy joined Leicester City with eventually England caps to follow.

Bowen’s journey to being the West Ham hero for scoring the winner against Fiorentina in the Europa Cup Final began with Conference side Hereford United. From there he went to Hull City and then in 2020 to West Ham and European glory.

There are plenty of other examples from the past, Gary Birtles and Stuart Pearce to name but two.

So, is there a Torquay United player who could be the next? Aaron Jarvis? Or new striker Bradley Ash? Or is it more likely to be Notts County’s prolific scorer of last season, Macaulay Langstaff who netted 42 National League goals? What is certain is that another non-league player will, at some point, make the step up.


Could United decide to change the weekday night for their home fixtures this coming season? At the National League AGM at the weekend clubs agreed to allow matches to be played on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday rather than just a Tuesday as at present.

The National League is also to press ahead with streaming matches in National North and South following the success of doing so in the National Premier. In the last half of the season streaming became available the National League TV grossed £1.4million. There were 117,000 subscribers from 57 different countries and after costs £750,000 was returned to the clubs.

The League’s General Manager Mark Ives said, “We are planning to stream Step 2 games not covered by UEFA’s Article 48, that is not broadcasting Saturday 3pm kick-offs.”

He added, “Our spectator base has massively increased over the season. Across the three divisions, attendances were 3.9 million.”

The EFL held their AGM last week with clubs voting to approve a number of changes, one of which was to strengthen the Owners’ and Directors’ Test introducing further regulations.

The AGM also agreed on new ways of ensuring the ball is in play for longer by introducing a multi-ball system for all competitions. Match balls will be placed on cones in designated areas at pitch side. Meanwhile, clubs will no longer be permitted to use towels or other articles, including items obtained from spectators, to dry footballs during matches.


Who will United face on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day? Could these two dates, traditionally local derbies, be for Taunton Town, or Yeovil Town or Truro City? And when can the Yellow Army look forward to the arrival of Aveley, Farnborough Town or Hampton & Richmond? Well, we’ll find out at 1pm on July 5th.

Bishop’s Stortford who geographically could have been in the South have had their appeal to the FA against being placed in the North turned down.


United confirmed their pre-season fixtures last week with ‘behind closed doors’ matches against Reading Under-21s and Bristol City’s Under-21s. The other matches can be watched with Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City and Southampton B the visitors.

Compare these with Barnet’s pre-season list: Norwich City, Crystal Palace, MK Dons and Cambridge United. Just saying!


Congratulations to Manchester City on the treble, Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. Interesting to learn that their owner, Sheikh Mansour, watching the final in Istanbul, was attending a City game for only the second time since buying the club in 2008.

News from Essex suggests the sale of Southend United is getting closer as the Kimura group, which may involve actor Ray Winstone, have been granted exclusivity.


Down Memory Lane: Who can forget June 12 2021? Play-off semi-final at Plainmoor, United defeat Notts County 4-2, after extra time, to reach that final at Ashton Gate.

Which night of the week would you like to see United play on?

Send me your views. or Twitter: @FanszoneT





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