Feature: Football Kit Cards

The features section of our website is one that has long been forgotten about on our site, when football season gets underway and clubs are asking us to write about them, the time to sit and write a feature piece is just non existent.

But no more! From now we are going to use our feature section to bring you some products and other accounts, be they twitter pages, eBay pages or websites that we think our audience will also enjoy!

Therefore without further a do we will hand you over to Jon the founder of Football Kit Cards to tell you all about why you need Football Kit Cards in your life.


Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonmorse/90s-football-shirt-playing-cards


Hi, I’m Jon and this is FootballKitCards – 52 cards featuring the good, the bad and the ugly of 90s Premier League football shirts.

If you’re wondering ‘​why?​’ then you probably didn’t spend the 90s doing any of the following:

● flicking through the football scores on Ceefax (page 302 anyone?)
● playing actual 90 minute games on FIFA and racking up scores of 150-0 (indoor mode, obviously)
● and you’ve certainly never put a sticky plaster on your nose to see what it would feel like to be Robbie Fowler

If you are guilty of at least one of these, please read on – this is for you.

10 months ago I was faced with 2 options – putting up the cot for our second child (big relationship points), or, creating a deck of playing cards featuring 90’s football shirts (zero relationship points). I chose the latter – I hope you like them (spoiler: my wife doesn’t).

The deck features 52 shirts from 25 teams – classic kits of Premier League stalwarts to stomach-churning shirts of one season no-hopers. Oh, and two Jokers (featuring 90s referee shirts…).

The Aces are 4 classic goalkeeper shirts including Nigel Spink’s 1993 Villa shirt and Pavel Srnicek’s 1995 Newcastle top.

Endorsements

“These cards epitomise everything that’s great about 90s football. If you know your Mike Phelan from your Noel Whelan, you’ll want a pack of these!” Ged Colleypriest, ​Underdog Sports Marketing

And also popular 90’s football podcast @QuicklyKevin like us!

For any questions please contact Jon:

Email: ​footballkitcards@gmail.com
Instagram – @footballkitcards
Twitter – @kitcards1

Non-League Transfers: A Few Statements of Intent.

Well the transfer window is well underway across the footballing world, the vast majority of players have either signed new deals at their clubs, or are on the look out for the next place to call home.

This is much the same in Non-League, clubs fighting each other to sign players that might just bring that bit of magic to their season. Despite the fee’s being much lower than the millions upon millions spent in the upper tiers of the Football League, clubs still have budgets and transfer ‘war chests’, therefore its key to have a manager with one of either two things in Non-League, good connections or be able to pay a few quid more than that lot up the road.

With this in mind we’ve tried to sift through the millions of transfer dealings that have taken place across the UK, and have picked a few that we thought showed great statements of intent by the buying club, whether that be signing a player who should be at a higher level or drastically strengthening their squad.

We aren’t sure whether this is going to become a weekly thing as the transfer window progresses but without further a do, lets get underway.


Charlie Grainger (Leyton Orient to Dulwich Hamlet)

National League South side Dulwich Hamlet have scored a great acquisition in our eyes, signing a highly rated young keeper who has appeared for the England National Youth Teams as high up as Under 19’s.

Now age 23, Grainger will be looking for a club where he can become a number one and continue to develop.

The shot stopper leaves Orient after their promotion to the Football League, the club where he came through the Youth Ranks and made his debut in adult football, against Luton Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, which he quickly followed up with his first League start four days later.

Adrian Clifton (Maidenhead United to Bromley)

A player moving from one mid table side to another, is something we often see throughout all leagues in the world. After a 12th place finish last season, Bromley have definitely made some signins that will improve the side.

As well as bringing in signings from Football League clubs, Bromley have made some great signings from clubs around them in the National League such as Micheal Cheek from Ebbsfleet United and the one we think is a great signing, Adrian Clifton from Maidenhead.

Clifton scored 14 League goals for Maidenhead last year, a side that finished 19th in the league. As well as banging in goals, the utility player won all 5 of the end of season awards at Maidenhead, therefore Clifton is a player im sure they will be sad to see leave.

With that, Clifton is a great signing for Bromley a proven goal scorer at this level and the man from Montserrat we are sure will help Bromley push up the table next year.

Nathan Arnold (Free Agent – Altrincham)

After taking 6 months out of the game it can be hard getting back into it, this doesnt appear to be any kind of problem for Altrincham’s new signing Nathan Arnold.

Arnold hasn’t really solidly played football since 2018, after battling anxiety during the 2017 season he appears to be back and looking to get back to his best. Despite his recent battles, Arnold is a player of great quality featuring predominantly for Mansfield, Cambridge, Grimsby and Lincoln in the past.

Arnold also did some work as part of the management at his last club Boston United, therefore if Arnold returns to his best, Alty have got a player who can help them both on and off the pitch as they look to get promoted into the National League after losing out in the playoffs in the 2018-19 season.


That’s three transfers that we feel are great moves for both the player and the clubs, should this get a good response we may look to make this a series, if not we will still probably have another look at transfers later in the season.

So What is the Atlantic Heritage Cup?

We keep banging on about covering the Atlantic Heritage Cup this summer, while all the Non-League sides we normally cover are on their summer break. But we realise that some people will have no clue what this tournament is, who’s playing and where it’s taking place.

The first ever non-FIFA home nations football tournament will take place in June 2019, hosted by Yorkshire International Football Association (YIFA), the tournament was set to feature Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man), Parishes of Jersey FC, and Kernow FA (Cornwall).

Since the original announcement was made, Ellan Vannin have withdrawn from the tournament, no official reasoning has been given for the withdrawal and at the moment of writing, the official plans haven’t been released.

Prioir to the withdrawal, the tournament was set to take place between the 31st May and the 2nd June, with fixtures split between Ingfield Stadium home of Ossett United and the CNG Stadium home of Harrogate Town.

The tournament is a qualifying competition for the CONIFA Sportsbet.io World Football Cup that will take place in Somaliland in 2020. The previous World Cup took place in London in 2018 and drew eyes and teams from around the globe, something we are sure will be the same this time around.

We will be at (fingers crossed) all the games, and we look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible, come and say hi!

Charity Partner Announcement!

Everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ is delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the charity “The C9 Foundation” as our new Charity Partner.

The charity’s main aim is to tackle mental health within grassroots football, something that we as a website felt we could help them achieve thanks to our main audience being people involved in grassroots.

All donations recieved are used to run matches and events, where they raise awareness, and encourage everyone to speak out when they are feeling low. C9 also host free to attend coaching nights, where they talk about Mental Health, the signs to look out for, and how you can help those you know.

C9 run two amateur football teams for if people need an “escape” or a social group to feel comfortable in. The foundation also run a Facebook page and their own blog where people can anonymously (should they choose) discuss how they feel.

Finally, founder Colin Crawford runs C9 clothing, a brand that is completely in aid of the foundation.

We would just like to thank everyone at C9 for all their hard work and we hope that we can help spread the great things these guys do! Links to all of the C9 Foundations pages will be below #ManUpSpeakOut

https://twitter.com/C9Clothing

https://twitter.com/C9Development

https://www.c9foundation.com/blog/2019/3/14/c9-foundation

https://www.facebook.com/C9Foundation/

“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.

“They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I wasn’t on that particular job”.

The news that Paul Doswell has left his role as manager at Sutton United after 11 years in charge of the club got everyone here thinking, why do managers get more time in Non-League than they do in the Football League?

It’s the same high pressure business where results are all the matters, yet lower down the ladder the boss’s seem to recieve more time to get results out of their playing squads than those at the top of the game.

Perhaps then the reasons are financial, maybe its the cost of managers that we see in the top divisions that give them such a short shelf life. Maybe the only way to keep a job in the top echelons of the sport is immediate success, if this truly is the case then gone are the days where we will see managing dynasties such as Ferguson and Wenger.

Therefore you have too look further down the pyramid for such leagacies such as Jason Ainsley at Spennymoor Town and John Coventry at Havant and Waterlooville, managers who have been given time to develop a team to suit their footballing philosophies. Which has brought success to their clubs all you have to do is look at the progress Spennymoor have made since Ainsley took over, rising from The Northern Laague Division Two, through the leagues and into the National League North, where this season they have secured themselves a playoff spot.

Is it time that managers in the football league are given longer to get their squad and tactics right before they are given their p45 like they are in non-league? It’s understandable why they aren’t with so much at stake, but not everyone is a miracle worker.

Sin-Bins: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Many people, similar to when VAR was first rolled out, are sceptical of the new sin-bins that the FA are rolling out to all Non-League football across all of Step 5 and below next season.

The new rule was piloted in England across 31 different adult and youth leagues, something the FA were able to do as part of new Laws of the Game amendments from IFAB in 2017.

Some teams have stated that if implemented correctly and by a referee who understands the proper uses then it works very well to cut out dissent and addresses an issue that before the trial was a large issue, which I think in every level of the game is a problem that needs tackling.

The full results are published below:

  • 25/31 leagues showed an overall reduction in dissent
  • 38% reduction in dissent across all leagues
  • 72% of players wanted to continue with the scheme
  • 77% of managers and/or coaches wanted to continue with the scheme
  • 84% of referees wanted to continue with the scheme

Others however found it confusing, with some referees not knowing when to issue a normal yellow card as opposed to a “Sin Bin” Yellow, however this has been combatted by the FA revealing that the new scheme will be rolled out for dissent only.

It has also been revealed that training programmes are set to be rolled out by the County FA’s to teach referee’s and clubs the correct uses of the new ‘Sin-Bins’.

The main negative we can think of is that the Premier League and Football League aren’t implementing the new rule, therefore depending on what tier you play in, you are effectively playing a different game, which could make some cup competitions difficult.

We would love to know what you guys think on the issue.