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.

Artificial Pitches in Non-League.

The vast majority of leagues outside of the Football League allow games to take place on artificial surfaces, however the danger comes if a club is too successful.

Artificial pitches are allowed as high up in the football pyramid as the Vanarama National League, they are also allowed to be used in the FA Cup, in the Football League however they must play on grass, a rule that has been debated since articifical pitches became a reality.

Admittedly most football league clubs don’t need the extra income of people using their pitch through the week and other clubs renting it out if they can’t for whatever reason use their own facilities. But what about clubs in the Non-League?

Most Non-League clubs are ran by volunteers, where budgets are tight and a successful season can be the difference between a good next few years or bad ones.

This is where the danger of being too successful comes in, currently there are three artificial pitches in the Vanarama National League, the top division of Non-League football, owned by Bromley, Maidstone United and Sutton United. Clubs that need the income that the ‘3G’ pitch provides as it can be used all week every week, if they get promoted again, they would be forced to rip up their main income provider and install a grass pitch a cost which Im sure they would all struggle with.

Currently under National League regulations, any club which wins promotion but does not install a grass surface to comply with EFL rules would subsequently be demoted to National League North or National League South, and could also be fined. Ridiculous really, but regulations all three sides play under.

So, an artificial pitch, worth it or not? It depends how ambitious your club is.