The most used tweet in the Northern League..

Newcastle Benfield Fc

If you follow the lads over at Newcastle Benfield on social media, there’s a massive chance you’ve seen this regularly this year.

At age 44, the clubs top scorer for the season Paul Brayson and former England C International is still ticking over, scoring goals across the country and i’m sure setting up a few aswell. The lad from Newcastle has had a long career that has seen him venture into the football league appearing at clubs such as Swansea, Reading and Cardiff, scoring goals wherever he’s been.

‘Brassy’ will be looking to lead the Lions into the first round proper of the FA Vase at the weekend, for what will be the clubs 11th season in a row reaching the stage of the competition.

Founded in 1988 as Brunswick Village, the club has undergone a number of name changes, as subtle as some of them are, before officially becoming Newcastle Benfield FC as late as 2007. The club originally competed in the Northern Alliance, before merging with North Shields Saint Colombus and joining the Northern League, staying in Division Two for one season to Division One where they remain till this day.

At the time of writing they sit mid-table in Division One and at the weekend are set to compete in Round One of the FA Vase, playing host to Golcar United down at Sam Smith’s Park, so from everyone here at Climbing The Ladder, best of luck to the lions.

Another story of City Vs United

Two hours north of Manchester, sits one of the most northern outposts in England, Carlisle.

Most people will know Carlisle United, Football League club for many years, currently sat in League Two. Slightly fewer people however will know about Carlisle City, most recently plying their trade in the Northern League Division Two.

Formed in 1975, The Sky Blues for most of their history competed in the Northern Football Alliance Premier Division before the club was promoted to the North West Counties Division One, this was only for brief time however as somewhat controversially and despite appeals, the club was moved sideways to the Northern League Division Two, due to the FA restructuring Non-League football.

It’s an exciting time down at Gilford Park, as City are attempting to go through what (correct me if i’m wrong!) would be there first hopefully uninterrupted season of Northern League football. This will see new faces and new teams make the journey to Carlisle.

With the addition of Carlisle to the Northern League, this means that both divisions now feature a Cumbrian team, a nice away day for all involved!

Being a Cumbrian lad myself, hopefully I will get down to Gilford Park for a game or two this season, and we’d just like to wish everyone at the Sky Blues all the best for this season.

International: Barawa FA

Another nation that doesn’t play its home games in the country it shares its name with today, as we look at Barawa FA.

Barawa represent the Somalian Diaspora in England, meaning that the team is for expatriate Somalis who reside in areas of the world that have traditionally not been inhabited by their ethnic group. The civil war in Somalia greatly increased the size of the Somali diaspora, as many Somalis moved from Greater Somalia primarily to regions of Asia and Western Europe.

The team is named Barawa after a port town in Somalia and despite playing their home games in London, since their founding in 2015 the team have been using football as a tool, with the aim is to expose the barawanese cultural around the world and actively redevelop football in the south region of Somalia. Therefore despite not playing in Somalia the team still want to improve life for those still in Somalia.

Since joining ConIFA in June 2016, Barawa have been one of the most active sides in the entire confederation. Playing mainly during the summer months when the football season has finished in the UK, the team has featured in the World Unity Cup in 2016 and a number of friendlies.

Barawa Line up at the 2018 World Cup

It was announced in 2017 that Barawa was to host the 2018 ConIFA World Cup. However, under ConIFA’s criteria, the “host” is the ConIFA member that heads the organising committee for the tournament, which does not necessarily mean that it needs to be played in the host’s territory.

Barawa reached the Quarter Finals of the competition before being defeated by Northern Cyprus.

With the next World Cup to be held in 2020 in Somaliland, we look forward to watching the guys at Barawa trying to qualify for tournament.

Everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ would just like to wish everyone representing Barawa all the best for the future on and off the pitch.

Getting to know: Croydon FC

Founded as Croydon Amateurs in 1953, to provide senior amateur football at the newly built Croydon Sports Arena.

Whilst the idea for a senior club carrying the town’s name had been speculated for many years before this the catalyst proved to be the laying of the running track at the Arena and the need for the football pitch to be used.

Whilst having a fairly successful history, the club is one of many that has fallen victim to the constant re-shuffling of the Non-League Pyramid. Having been moved sideways in leagues, three times in the last 10 years, from the Isthmian League to the Kent League, then to the Combined Counties League, then finally they moved to the Southern Counties East League.

In their history finances have become an issue on a few occasions, the first time that finances took a turn for the worse was 1986, and seven seasons of struggle ensued. Matters weren’t helped when the local authority decided to redevelop the Arena, exiling the club causing a massive loss in revenue.

Founder Chairman Milsted, together with two of the Club’s other elder statesmen, Alf Haylock and President Charles Waters retired in 1990, and the years that followed under new management culminated in Croydon going through somewhat of a rough patch. There was little stability either on or off the field, they are past this now however.

The club has managed to run a rather successful youth set up, with a midweek Under 18 team playing in Ryman Youth League, a second under 18 team playing in the new Combined Counties league and a Sunday team who play in the Croydon Municipal league. In their first season the Sunday side were promoted and won the Leonard Vase Cup (2012–13). Recent players to have graduated from the youth programme include Vanarama National League player Danny Mills, and Football League player Stefan Payne.

After a disappointing 2018-19, everyone here at ClimbingTheLadder would just like to wish everyone at Croydon FC all the best for next season, and we hope you bounce straight back up next year.

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.