The National League in the UK continues this weekend after a break for their coaching convention. There are 68 teams currently in the league and as the sport gains in popularity so the number of teams grows. May 24 saw BAFA announce five teams had succeeded in advancing to the next stage of the associate process in their attempts to join the league for next season.
The successful teams will now be required to organise assessed fixtures in the next few months. The teams will need to play 5 assessed games in total (3 at home, 2 away), although they are encouraged to play more. All assessed games along with finalised documentation must be completed prior to the weekend of the first Saturday in November for the teams to be considered for admission to the league.
The Darlington Steam
Head coach Mitchell was excited with their progress saying, “It’s amazing news that we have passed this stage, for the coaches, players and everyone involved with the club.
To pass this on such a short space of time is unbelievable. We are looking forward now to taking part in the Associate games and gaining the phase of our experience. We would like to express our congratulations and best wishes to the organisations that have passed the process.”
The Dundee Hurricanes
The Hurricanes were previous members of the National League, but after three successive losing seasons did not participate in 2017. They will be hoping to come back stronger and more resilient if they realise their ambition to return.
“Needless to say we’re delighted our application has been passed and we’re hugely optimistic that we can fulfil the requirements the rest of the process demands. Lots of hard work has been put in, but we’re well aware even more is needed to reach our goal of re-entry to the league. We’re positive we can achieve this though.”
The Kings Lynn Patriots
The Patriots head coach Chris Wallis is looking forward to the adventure ahead, but is cognisant about the challenges.
“This is a huge step for team and it means we can start to organise and play games this year.
I’m pleased with how the team has progressed in recent months and it’s been a long journey for the team to get to this point. There has been a lot of hard work and dedication put in by a very strong core of players over the past few years and it really is a huge achievement for them to get to this stage. We still have a long way to go and the hard work has only just begun. We need to recruit more players, strengthen the Coaching Staff and Team Management.
We have to play a minimum of five games before November and we know that the future of the team is in our own hands. These are exciting times for the Patriots and we can’t wait to start playing games.”
The Highland Stags and the Inverclyde Goliaths are the other two teams hoping to join the league.
This weekend’s National League weekend highlights
The National League’s schedule returns on June 3rd where the standout game looks to be the (3-0) Berkshire Renegades visit to the (3-0) Solent Thrashers in the SFC 1 Central.
The (4-0) Staffordshire Surge will be hoping to extend the unbeaten season in the NFC 2 South when they host the (2-1) Crewe Railroaders.
In the SFC 2 East, the (2-0) London Blitz B will face the (2-0) Ipswich Cardinals in a game that will decide who takes the lead in the division.
Team Logos are copyright the teams.
The above BritBall image is copyright @SteelUK who will be dipping into his archives occasionally to reflect on the history of football in the UK.