I first became a part of the Newcastle Benfield FC committee back in April, and I help to look after the social media and website of the club. Many football fans of big clubs often turn their noses up at non-league football because they don’t believe it to be a competitive or exciting level, but it's actually non-league football where I found myself becoming football mad when I was a lot younger. The passion in the game is actually a lot more than what it is in the Premier League and the top levels, and that includes players, staff and fans.
Due to recent government guidelines, clubs below the National League level have been able to welcome fans back into their grounds ahead of the start of the 2020/21 season. Clubs of the EBAC Northern League in the North East have had their preseasons ahead of the brand new season, and there is a very exciting fixture happening very close to home today...
Newcastle Benfield will take on Seaham Red Star in the Emirates FA Cup, and for just £3 (yes, £3!) students can go to Sam Smith’s Park in Walkergate to see some live football. Benfield have boasted a very promising pre-season, scoring 13 goals in 6 matches, conceding just 5 times, and winning some very testing games against Seaton Delaval, Heaton Stannington, Killingworth and Dunston, plus a drawing against West Allotment Celtic. I have watched a lot of football in the non-league before, and I have only ever had positive words to say about the quality and desire of the game. The football at Benfield is absolutely no exception to this, with fast, attacking and stylish football, and I would encourage any football fan who is missing the feel of a live game at the moment to get down to Benfield, to get back amongst it.
For a team in the non-league, the implications of a global pandemic can be shattering. In Benfield’s case, excellent leadership from the top has allowed the club to not fall foul of the pandemic, and the commitment of the players from last season has meant that Benfield will start the 2020-21 season with a fantastic squad, that builds upon the foundations of last season with a solid backline, creative midfielders and prolific attackers. Everybody involved at the club remains very optimistic about Benfield’s chances in all competitions this season, and the clash on Tuesday is the first competitive game that the Lions will play since early March.
For those football fans missing their fix of live football (which I understand from experience), this is the perfect time for fans to go and watch a live game of football with a proper atmosphere, but in a very safe and COVID-19 compliant environment.
The stadium has been kitted out with the necessary equipment to make fans feel safe, whilst being able to enjoy the game
The FA Cup clash on Tuesday has big implications, financially and competitively, for the winners, and in recent times Premier League clubs have questioned the importance of domestic trophies like the FA Cup. the real ‘magic’ of the FA Cup is stronger than ever in the non-league, especially with COVID-19, and the dream that constantly exists about going on a cup run.
For all those that would be interested in going to the game, the atmosphere amongst everyone at Benfield will make you feel very welcome, and I guarantee that you will want to be back at Sam Smith’s Park later in the season! You can learn more about the club here!
Hopefully we'll see you at Sam Smith’s Park very soon!