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The commitment of the non league player.

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1 The commitment of the non league player. on Thu Nov 14 2013, 13:17

This once again came into sharp focus at Cambridge City last night.

A day's work for most players before departing Amblecote at 4.00pm and then a 125 mile drive taking 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Not much time for a warm up to prepare for a match against a very fit looking and physically capable Cambridge side,no wonder we looked sluggish for the first hour.

The return journey was a nightmare,hideously ineffective diversionary signs lead to all sorts of confusion for both carloads of supporter's like myself and for the coach which resulted in the team bus arriving back at Amblecote after 1.30am i believe,in effect a 3 hour and 15 minute return journey on a foul night.

In a nutshell you have therefore a team of guys doing a full days work,travelling almost 300 miles ( with diversions ) and having to compete for 90+ minutes at a high physical level for not a lot of money each week.

I take my hat off to them,i was shattered by the time i got home at 12.20am last night and all i'd had to do was spectate,regardless of the fact these lads are 20 to 30 years younger than me it is still a tremendous effort.

By the time the players got home last night it's likely that some only had three or four hours sleep before setting out to work again,no wonder the last few weeks seemed to have caught up with them last night.

I wonder how long it will be before some clubs,even at out level will try to turn into full time operations,especially if funded by a wealthy benefactor?

My personal view is that although the number of promotion and relegation places into the Skrill Premier,North and South divisions would need to increase that there should be another attempt made to regionalise non league football into tighter areas that limit travel to no more than an hour or so UNTIL the Skrill Premier is reached.

There should be five relegation places down from Skrill Premier and four Skrill regional divisions feeding the Premier with only the champion's going up plus a play off winner from the four second placed regional Skrill leagues,the same format should be introduced at all levels below.

Anyway,the players have my utmost admiration for the commitment they have to give.

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One of the main problems with your league format Devil is that it makes too much sense, therefore, will never happen!

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Another problem being that the powers that be don't really give a flying whatchamacallit about grass roots football or any other outside the premier league.

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Well said DA, great commitment by all the Staff & Players, they deserve our full support whenever they play.

Only fair to also mention the commitment shown by supporters like yourself, Stoursi. TRM and others (apologies for not mentioning everyone) who regularly drive to away games giving others lifts,and to those who regularly travel on the team coach. I think this level of support at our level of football is almost unmatched and makes the games great to be at, as well as giving the team a lift.

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Having followed stour home and away for about 10 years,i am amazed the commitment all the players have shown over the years,i bore them to death at work about all things stour! Makes a change from the arm chair fans at work who talk about Albion,Wolves etc!

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Completely agree with everything that has been said. This was only going through my mind last night while I was trying to drive home.

I pulled into the car park at Histon at bang on 7 pm last night and the players were just unloading their kit from the coach. If we were a professional team we would have travelled down earlier in the day, had a meal, perhaps an hour's nap if possible and/or a light training session. All the right preparation for playing a game of football.

You cannot criticise the players at all for not being on top of their game last night.

I got home just before midnight - stuck with the A14 until cones forced me off, and then came through Market Harborough and over to Lutterworth. Slow behind a couple of wagons but could have been worse. The signposting was awful - I think there were directions to come off earlier and go up around Corby which would have been much slower. I think the Highways Agency are checking our fixture list to see where they can put road closures - we had exactly the same coming back from Hungerford.

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We had (I think) exactly the same diversion as last night off the A14 when on the way back from the 0-0 draw with Corby at their old athletics stadium about 5 years ago. We had another nightmare diversion coming back from Woodford a few years ago on a Tuesday night too. We do seem to hit our fair share of Midweek traffic problems.

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