I’m longing for the sanctuary of non-league more than ever

Ollie Harris celebrates his goal for Binfield. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Ollie Harris celebrates his goal for Binfield. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

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I love an international football tournament and this years Euros was no different.

Usually it’s the closest I’ll get to supporting a professional team and everything that goes with it, TV schedules, pouring over the line-ups and seeing the heated debates about who’s wrong, who shouldn’t be there.

This season though, more than any other, because of EVERYTHING that came before and after England’s penalty shootout defeat in the final I’m longing for the sanctuary (I was going to write sanity, but I know a few of you who’d email me and query that!) of non-league football.

Social media is a big part of the problem, but in non-league it’s also a solution for clubs starved of media exposure and an awful lot of them wield it smartly like a precision tool.

Just take a look at the likes of Holyport, Ascot United, Binfield, Caversham United and S4K Ladies amongst many many others for some great examples of inventive and engaging content.

Football in Berkshire would be significantly smaller without it, and information harder to get hold of and get out to you all.

So I’m looking forward to the new season as a breath of fresh air (fully expecting some interruptions however), taking the junior reporter out and about to start her Groundhopping career.

I’m looking forward to seeing the friends I’ve made at clubs across the county over the years and working with everyone in the game again.

If the Euros and following England this summer taught me anything, it was not knowing how fans of pro clubs do it week in week out, the anger, constant crisis and arguing over lineups, transfers and ownership.

Non-league IS sane by comparison.

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