“If god had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he’d have put grass up there.”

A quote from one of the greatest football managers ever, Brian Clough.

Idea’s about how the game should be played come and go for example tiki-taka, similairly ‘fashionable’ formations do until they get found out, this is no different lower down the football pyramid where every manager wants to play a different way.

The stereotype of non-league is that its 22 blokes on a mud soaked ‘pitch’, flying into tackles at knee height and booting the ball as hard as they can in the general direction of the opposition’s goal, and don’t get me wrong in some cases the stereotypes are right, often tackles do go in that would need a whole episode of ‘Match of The Day’ to debate and often the pitches aren’t the best, whether its that its on a hill or the mud is knee deep. But sometimes, especially in the semi-professional non-league, teams will do this amazing thing where they keep the ball on the floor and pass it, something that some people seem to think doesn’t exist outside the Football League.

Its simple really, non-league footballers aren’t the most technically gifted in the world, they wouldn’t be playing non-league if they were. Its for this reason that you shouldn’t go to a non-league or Sunday morning game and expect to see perfect ‘Total Football’ or anybody knocking the ball about like they do in the Nike adverts.

(What an advert Joga Bonito was by the way!).

What you will see is 22 blokes, some possibly hungover or that have been roped in at the last minute, who love the ‘beautiful game’ that will give their all for their team, playing as well as they can and thats just one of the reasons why people love the non-league.

Not that it really matters how people play the game, if a team does play the long ball or how some people put it “hoofball”, if they enjoy it or if it works for them then why not? Hell Stoke City got to the Premier League and stayed there playing it. It may not be the most enjoyable thing to watch, but even on a sunday morning you enjoy it more when you win and the pub after is bouncing.

Author: Alex Scott

Currently doing as much freelance journalism work as possible. Avid football fan and player currently at Penrith Academy.

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