Lower League Football – guest post from Oliver Tapper

Yeovil Town L.F.C.

Image via Wikipedia

I love football but I think there’s a problem and that is kids these days are choosing their football club from the premier league.

Little Jimmy supports Manchester United and his favourite player is Rooney.

Tom supports Chelsea and his favourite player is Torres.

Well I’m Olly and I support Yeovil Town and my favourite player is Luke Ayling.
Lower League football provides some of the best atmospheres you can get. Never mind Manchester City and Manchester United or Chelsea and Arsenal. Every game in League 1 is special.
My experience of these games provide me with some of the reasons why it is worth supporting or at least following a league side. Yeovil Town the club I proudly support stand mid-table in League 1.

At Christmas you may be horrified to hear they were 24th, the magic of league 1 (and a manager who knows what he is doing).
When you go to these matches especially Yeovil one thing will immediately strike you and that is most of the teams down in League 1 and League 2 struggle to get that many people going to the games. It averages around 10,000 with teams like Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton boosting these averages.
At Yeovil there are certain game time traditions. Of course the fans

 giving the other fans a round of a applause for coming down to support their team. Apart from Bristol Rovers… The usual matchday programme with the hopeful manager program notes and also the ‘olays’ for the players when the names are called. Then the game is kicked off and inevitably after a few minutes some Somerset farmer will start complaining about something whether it be the goal we just let in or a failed skill. Then usually the witty chants start coming out from the 3,000 Yeovil fans ‘You only sing when you’re winning’, and usually when we are losing something a bit ruder. But then a refereeing decision leads to a cry of ‘c’mon’ ref and should have gone to specsavers. All quite funny to hear when said in a deep somerset accent. In fact one of the phrases that people struggle to understand in ‘c’mon yeo’ although it sounds more like ‘cmo yuh’.

At half times there is a rush to the cafe, people getting the traditional beefy drink bovril. The meaty drink giving relief to your frozen tongue. One of the best parts of league 1 football are the men who try and get you to buy raffle tickets nothing can beat the echoing boom of ‘anyone for a golden gaaaamble’.

Then when the gamble is made and the person who has won has collected their £50. The game then starts again and we may score (cue chelsea dagger).

Then other songs ‘Shall we sing a song for you’ being my favourite. If we do score again then you are in for a nervy last bit. For some reason lower league teams have a tendency to deliberately try and let in a goal. But this just adds to the excitement. If your team wins it means a lot.

So give lower league football a chance, really it’s quite good.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly and the Pension Plowman
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