Non-League Day

Premier League to mark Non-League Day

21 Mar 2023
Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley

See how the connections between grassroots football in England and the top flight are plenty and strong

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This Saturday marks the latest edition of Non-League Day. 

It is a weekend where, with no fixtures in the Premier League, we are encouraging fans to show their support for grass roots football by going to see a non-league team in action.

The connections between the Premier League and non-league football are greater than you would think. Did you know that more than 50 of the players in the 2022/23 Premier League squads have experience of playing non-league football? You can find them all at the bottom of this article.

Below some of those players share their experiences of how playing non-league football helped them to make the journey to the Premier League.

Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Solly March (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

This season, Premier League clubs have sent more than 40 of their players, usually those in their academies, to play for non-league clubs to help their development.

Many Premier League clubs also have deals with non-league clubs to use their stadiums for matches involving their Premier League 2 teams or the Women’s teams.

The Premier League itself has close links with non-league clubs throughout the football pyramid.

Through the Premier League Stadium Fund, clubs have been able to get much-needed finance to redevelop their facilities.

See: More Non-League Day stories

This can be making their stadiums safer or more comfortable for fans, in many instances enabling a club to win promotion that would have been impossible because of requirements beyond their reach.

Former Premier League striker Clinton Morrison saw last year how Long Eaton United have been able to develop their Grange Park Stadium through a wide variety of Premier League funding.

The club have installed new fencing, a players' tunnel, a new hospitality area, as well as making improvements to their car park and clubhouse and an all-weather facility that all the club's teams as well as the local community can use.

And also last year, Newcastle United defender Dan Burn visited his former club Blyth Spartans to see how their Croft Park home has been transformed with support from the Premier League.

Through its funding of the Football Foundation, along with The FA and Sport England, the Premier League enables many non-league clubs to install all-weather pitches that allow them to become more sustainable and provide more services to their local community.

During the 2022/23 campaign, more than 67,000 FA Affiliated Teams played at Football Foundation-funded sites this season.

In October last year, the Premier League announced an increased investment package of £12.6million to support the National League over the next three years. A sum of £9m is allocated to support the 72 National League Clubs with running costs and sustainability.

See: PL announces increased funding for National League clubs

Lower league support

A further £3.6m is available via the Premier League and Professional Footballers' Association's partnership to support the National League Trust and the network of club community organisations for 72 clubs in the three divisions.

The National League Trust helps those 72 clubs support their local communities, with the successful Premier League programmes, such as Premier League Primary Stars, Premier League Kicks and Premier League Inspires.

"This new investment will provide a timely boost of vital funding to our clubs," Mark Ives, General Manager of the National League, said. "This is brilliant news for our competition and its future. 

"Fans and communities are at the heart of everything we do. The Premier League's increased funding package for the National League Trust means even more resource for our club foundations to continue and expand their roles in local communities."

From non-league to Premier League

Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal): Worksop Town
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa): Yate Town, Chippenham Town
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa): Exeter City, Weston-super-Mare AFC
Danny Ings (Aston Villa): Dorchester Town
Solly March (Brighton): Lewes
Adam Webster (Brighton): Aldershot Town
Kieffer Moore (AFC Bournemouth): Paignton Saints, Truro City, Dorchester Town
Darren Randolph (AFC Bournemouth): Welling United, Accrington Stanley
Chris Mepham (AFC Bournemouth): North Greenford United
Adam Smith (AFC Bournemouth): Torquay United
David Brooks (AFC Bournemouth): Halifax Town
Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth): Weymouth
Sam Surridge (AFC Bournemouth): Weymouth, Poole Town
Charlie Goode (Brentford): Hadley, Hayes & Yeading, Hendon
Ethan Pinnock (Brentford): Dulwich Hamlet, Forest Green Rovers
Shandon Baptiste (Brentford): Hampton and Richmond Borough
Conor Gallagher (Chelsea): Dorking Wanderers
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea): Brackley Town
Marcus Bettinelli (Chelsea): Dartford
Tyrick Mitchell (Crystal Palace): AFC Wembley
James Tarkowski (Everton): Maine Road
Jordan Pickford (Everton): Alfreton Town, Darlington
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton): Stalybridge Celtic
Jamie Vardy (Leicester): Fleetwood Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town
Brendan Rodgers (Leicester): Newport County, Witney Town, Newbury Town (Pl)
Danny Ward (Leicester): Tamworth
Kalvin Phillips (Man City): Wortley
Jack Butland (Man Utd): Clevedon United
Harry Maguire (Man Utd): Chesterfield
Nick Pope (Newcastle): Aldershot Town, Harrow Borough, Cambridge United
Dan Burn (Newcastle): Darlington, Blyth Spartans, Blyth Town
Karl Darlow (Newcastle): Newport County
Paul Dummett (Newcastle): Gateshead
Callum Wilson (Newcastle): Kettering Town, Tamworth
Matt Ritchie (Newcastle): Dagenham & Redbridge
Steve Cook (Nott'm Forest): Eastleigh, Havant & Waterlooville, Mansfield Town
Wayne Hennessey (Nott'm Forest): Stockport County
Dean Henderson (Nott'm Forest): Stockport County        
Lyle Taylor (Nott'm Forest): Eastbourne Borough, Concord Rangers
Ryan Yates (Nott'm Forest): Barrow AFC
Alex McCarthy (Southampton): Woking, Cambridge United, Team Bath
Che Adams (Southampton): Ilkeston Town, Oadby Town
Sonny Perkins (West Ham): Leyton Orient
Danny Ings (West Ham): Dorchester Town
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham): Hereford United
Craig Dawson (West Ham): Radcliffe Borough
Michail Antonio (West Ham): Tooting & Mitcham United
Max Kilman (Wolves): Welling United, Maidenhead United, Marlow

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