One of the reasons that non-league football is special to me is the people that are involved in it. Everyone has such a passion for the game and for seeing their local team find success on the pitch, and it is this passion which I wanted to celebrate in this article. And so I spoke to a supporter of Selby Town to find out what he loves about the club and non-league football as a whole. I also wanted to explore where he thought there were opportunities to try and further his teams success both on and off the field. Enjoy.
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How long have you been following the club for?
I’ve been following Selby Town for approx. 4 years, after moving to the area from London.
What made you start supporting the club?
After moving to the Selby area, I wanted a local team to follow so came to a game at Selby, and saw them win. After that I was hooked.
How often do you get to see the club play?
I try to get to all the home games, and with the help of friends who drive, I try to get to as many away games as possible.
What has been the stand out moments for you so far?
Best memory so far has been the County Cup run this season, beating teams from higher leagues to get into the final. It’s been a great journey so far, let’s hope it will end with some silverware.
How do you feel about Selby’s current progress?
The way the team are playing at the moment is superb, I was a doubter at pre-season and wondered what was going on (with all the player changes). But I can now see what Christian and his team have done to Selby Town, and how they’ve turned them into play off hopefuls and cup finalists. As long as we can hold onto the squad of players and this management team, I think the future of Selby Town is looking great. I just wish more of the local community would come and get behind the team.
Do you buy a programme when you’re at a game?
Yes I buy a programme each week, although this seasons programmes are a bit of a let down with very little content or much worth reading. Although I must thank those who produce the programme for actually putting one together each game.
Do you use the clubhouse when at the game to eat/drink?
I think we have a great little clubhouse, with some reasonable priced match day food, and a nice bar to have a drink or two after the game. There is always someone to talk to about the game.
Do you think Selby or other clubs at this level could do more to improve the match day experience?
I don’t think a team of Selby’s stature can really do much else to make a match day experience any better, as any funds raised are needed by the club. I wouldn’t be expecting any half time shows anytime soon. What I would say is that it’s unfortunate that a lot of local people don’t actually know we have a team in Selby. There is no signs to show where the ground is and without the small write ups in the local newspaper, there is nothing to say that there is a team in town. Maybe that is something the board and management need to work on. Getting the word out there, and make involving the local schools would help. I know we get around 100 plus people per game, but I think it could be so much more with a little bit of work from the club.
Do you know other people who enjoy non-league football?
Since going to watch Selby Town, I can honestly say that I have made quite a few friends at the club. It is a great family club where you will see those who are – how should I say? – ‘of an older generation’ as well as the young lads and lasses all mixing together in the stand and clubhouse.
What is it you enjoy about non-league football?
I have always been a fan of non-league, going back to the early eighties and supporting Leytonstone and Ilford FC in the Isthmian League. As a kid, my parents wouldn’t let me go to watch Spurs without my uncles, but they didn’t mind me going to see the mighty reds of Leytonstone as it was near to where I lived. Just like with Selby, I got hooked on following them until their demise and merger with Dagenham FC. Back then in the early eighties they had won a few trophies which of course always helps you to get behind a team! As with all non-league though, you can almost guarantee that the players will give 100% on the pitch, which unfortunately you don’t always see in the professional game.
Generally though I am just a fan of football, we all know what it’s like as you get ready to leave home to go to a game with the hope that your team will win – or at least put in a performance that you can say ‘well they played well, and there is always next week’. And at the moment, going to see Selby Town play is a real enjoyment. It is good to see a team who when they play the ball on the ground are as good as any team in their division or above. And with the group of volunteers and helpers at the club, as well as the team and management, I can only see better things happening to this little old club we hold dear. Onwards and upwards for the Robins, onward Christian’s soldiers!