FOOTBALL clubs across Teignbridge will be hoping for bumper crowds tomorrow (Saturday), on what will be this year’s Non-League Day.
Always scheduled to coincide with an international break, Non-League Day was set up to provide a platform for clubs to ‘promote the importance of affordable volunteer-led community football’, as well as giving fans across the country the chance to show support for their local non-league side.
The initiative was set up by James Doe in 2010 as a social media experiment, after being inspired by a pre-season trip to Devon to watch Queens Park Rangers play at Tavistock.
It has now grown to become an annual part of the football calendar, backed by Premier League and Football League clubs, MPs, celebrities, media organisations, charities and most importantly the non-league clubs themselves.
The Non-League Day website explains: ‘Many non-league clubs are almost exclusively volunteer run, with money taken at the turnstiles often funding thriving youth set-ups, projects and facilities which are of benefit to the whole community.
‘The level of skill on offer at non-league grounds might not be the same as that at the Etihad Stadium or Stamford Bridge, for example, but there are other sides to the experience, from which the smaller club will always win hands down.
‘The vast majority of games still kick off at 3pm, ticket prices are realistic, you can often stand (and drink!) anywhere in the ground and will always be guaranteed a warm welcome by people who run their clubs for a love of the game.’
Here are some of the fixtures our local sides will be involved in tomorrow:
• Clevedon Town vs Buckland Athletic (Western League, Hand Stadium, 3pm)
• Newton Abbot Spurs vs Torrington (Peninsula Premier East, The Rec, 3pm)
• Bovey Tracey vs Axminster Town (Peninsula Premier East, Mill Marsh Park, 3pm)
• Buckland Athletic Reserves vs Plymstock United (Devon Football League South & West, Homers Heath, 3pm).
• Ipplepen Athletic vs Bere Alston United (Devon Football League South & West, Moor Road, 3pm)
• PAFC FITC Development vs Teignmouth (Devon Football League South & West, Manadon Sports Hub, 3pm)
• University of Exeter vs Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves (Devon Football League Cup, Topsham Sports Ground, 3pm)
• Liverton United vs North Molton (Devon Football League North & East, The Halford Ground, 3pm)