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.

Getting to know: Epping Town FC

So here it is, the launch of ‘Getting to Know’ for the 2019/20 season!

What better way to launch our season that taking a look at a side that’s recetly gone viral on Twitter due to their unorthodox pre-season training sessions, Epping Town FC.

That Video.

Epping who are currently members of the the Essex Olympian League which they have been in since 1976 under the name Coopersale, play their games out of the Stonards Hill recreation ground and following promotion in the 2018/19 season will be playing in Senior Division Two next year after receiving a double promotion from the league.

If you look back to just before the 2017/18 season finished, Epping were in a completely different place, promotion seemed a million miles away, the team were struggling to field a team, let alone compete in the games and it looked as though the downward spiral that Epping FC was on was going to continue.

Step forward forward Chris Ottaway, an owner of an environmental consultancy, who took over as chairman at the club just before the 2018/19 season got underway. Since Mr Ottaway took over the club the entire situation Epping are in has completely turned on its head. An entire rebranding happened, a new manager was brought in, Billy Cove from Essex Senior League team Ilford FC and a host of new players.

Epping Town (Whites) playing against Clapton Community FC. Credit: Epping Town FC

The use of social media has bought positive attention to the club and has resulted in at least 40-50 supporters at the minimum at every home game, some clubs much higher up the ladder struggle to get as many and the viral video of Epping Town’s pre-season will only help this figuire continue to rise.

It’s been made very clear by the new owner that his plans for the club have always been to be playing within the Essex Senior League in a maximum of 5-6 seasons or as soon as possible. Therefore, this is just the first of the steps required that will see Epping Town back where they belong.

From everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ we’d just like to wish you all the best for the coming season and on your journey back to the Essex Senior League.

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

“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.

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.