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.

International: Yorkshire IFA

The second episode of our new series looking at Non-Fifa Affiliated International teams has arrived and this time we aren’t travelling too far from home.

The Yorkshire International Football Association was set up on the 16th July 2017 and is associated with CONIFA footballing umbrella joining the federation on the 6th of January 2018.

In order to represent all of Yorkshire, ‘The Vikings’ have no home stadium and instead play home games around the county. The team has currently played 6 games in 5 different locations, and are set to host The Atlantic Heritage Cup this year should the tournament go ahead.

Yorkshire IFA was set up by a collection of like minded groups, from cultural, historical and sporting backgrounds, determined to raise the profile of the county, that hosts some of the proudest people in the world.

Upon the birth of the team, they had four objectives that they wanted to aim for, the first being to ‘Empower the Region’ something that the people of Yorkshire are known for is being proud of their home, this team gives them something to put that passion into. The second objective was to create a ‘Cultural Exchange’, basically to bring the things they love about Yorkshire and spread it globally and also embrace some other cultures and things that aren’t stereotypically ‘Yorkshire’. Penultimately the third objective is to ‘Raise The Profile’ of the White Rose county, and to build and help Yorkshire become an internationally renowned region to visit, invest in and to watch attractive, passionate football. Finally the county want to be competitive, the region is home to many great professional and non-league sides and many amazing players, so why not have the home of them all competeting at the top of the ‘beautiful game’.

With clear motives and targets, we can see a Yorkshire team being around for many years to come thanks to the volunteers both on and off the pitch who are very proud of their home county.

From everyone here at ‘ClimbingTheLadder’ we’d just like to wish Yorkshire good luck with the future, and we will see you this summer at your tournament this summer!

Getting to know: Guisborough Town FC

Our final ‘Getting to know’ of the season is here, and we are off to Guisborough to look at Guisborough Town FC, otherwise known as the ‘Priorymen’.

The club play at the King George V stadium in Guisborough and have done since the club was founded in 1973, following nearby Football League cluub Sunderland’s FA Cup success in the same year, Guisborough adopted Red and White stripes as the home colours.

Credit Guisborough Town FC (The Priorymen visit Wembley in the final of the FA Vase)

The Priorymen began life in the Middlesbrough & District League before joining the South Bank & District League, they didn’t stay long however moving to the Northern Alliance in 1977. They stayed in the Northern Alliance until winning the league in 1979/80 when they switched to the Midland League, which later became the Northern Counties East League. They stayed in this league for 5 seasons, finishing in the top 10 in four of them, before making one last move to the newly founded Northern League Division Two in 1985.

Since joining the Northern League in ’85, The Priorymen have been ever presents, having spent the majority of these years in the top flight of the Northern League where the club currently sits.

Guisborough Town runs also boasts a successful Junior Section with 13 teams playing in the Teesside Junior Football Alliance, ranging from Under 7’s to our U19 development side.

This is something that the club clearly prides iteself upon, as throughout the clubs history the majority of key personel have been local lads, for example long term manager Mick Hodgson who would go onto manage the team for more than 700 games before he left in 1993 after leading the club through the local leagues to the Northern League, and winning various cups along the way.

Credit: Guisborough Town FC

Their local community is clearly very important to this club, but so is football across the globe with the club recently making a very charitable donation of football kits and equipment to a school in Gambia.

From everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ we’d just like to wish everyone at Guisborough Town all the best for the coming season.