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Day: March 27, 2011

Non-League Videos Of The Week

This week’s non-league videos of the week come from the top and bottom of the Blue Square South, and from the Combined Counties League. Our first match comes from Princes Park, and is between Dartford and Lewes. Dartford are comfortable now in mid-table in the Blue Square South. Lewes, however, are in trouble at the foot of the table, although a surprise win against the league leaders, Braintree Town, on Wednesday night left them still in touch with their rivals at the foot of the table. With just a handful of matches left this season, however, they still need to pick up a couple of wins if they are to have any chance of lifting themselves out of the relegation places. Our second match comes from the other end of the table. Under the managership of Garry Hill, Woking have had something of a renaissance during the second half of this season and are in the play-off places, whilst still harbouring ambitions of overhauling Braintree Town at the top of the table. Yesterday afternoon, they were playing away against Eastleigh, who are still in the hunt for a play-off place for a place in the Blue Square Premier at the end of this season. Indeed, with two games in hand and the top of that table looking very congested indeed, they may even have half a chance of catching...

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Match Of The Week: Sutton United 2-0 Canvey Island

England are playing today, apparently, although you wouldn’t necessarily know this from a trip to Gander Green Lane this afternoon. The intuitive thing to think would be that the pull of sitting (or, on an afternoon like this, more likely standing) in a pub watching England play out their match against Wales would might have had a calamitous effect on non-league attendances this afternoon, but this is certainly not the case at Sutton today. There are over 700 people here today – it’s one of their higher attendances of the season – and this, perhaps, says a little about the severed relationship between the national team and the die-hard supporters of the game in this country at present. There is nowhere, one feels, that anybody here this afternoon would rather be in the world than here, watching Sutton United play Canvey Island in the Premier Division of the Ryman League. Sutton’s supporters can be forgiven a a glass half full attitude at the moment, of course. After several years of almost imperceptibly slow decline, from what is now the Blue Square Premier to the Ryman League over the last eleven years, they have raced to the top of the table this season and seem set to return to the Blue Square South at the end of the season. The England match has forced many non-league clubs to move their...

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Remains of Rous: FIFA And The Team GB Question

The forthcoming Olympic Games and whether a united “British” team should be allowed to play in the competition has reopened one off British football’s oldest debates. Jason LeBlanc takes a look at the history of this fractious state of affairs. The subject of a unified British team partaking in next summer’s London Olympics has been broached on this site before, but with the Euro 2012 qualifier between Wales and England featuring some players that would compete together if their associations—along with those of Scotland and Northern Ireland—agreed to the matter, it feels prescient to gloss over the matter again.  Further, with former IFA president Robert Boyce recently calling upon FIFA to set out concrete assurances an Olympic Team Great Britain would not threaten the independence of the Home Nations going forward, it is a topic that is being revived.  Before plowing forward, though, let’s go back to some of the historical origins of this sticky wicket. Try not to snore too loudly when you fall asleep midway. When English FA Secretary Sir Stanley Rous handed over the till from the 1947 “Match of the Century” to FIFA, he purchased a unique position for the Home Nations that still exists today.  Donating the £35,000 to the cash-strapped international organization—which when adjusted using RPI amounts to over £1 million today—Rous bought the preservation of the 4 independent football associations along with...

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