Sometimes I really do hate living in England. Or to be more precise, I really do hate the English weather. Every year around early March the sun comes out for a couple of days, everybody gets their shorts out of the top draw and believes summer has arrived. Two weeks later the rain is lashing down, the wind is blowing and football games around the country are postponed. Typical.
This happened on Saturday as our game at home to Concord Ranger got called off, much to the disappointment of fans and players alike. Despite the obvious suggestions to get the goggles and flippers out and battle on through the elements, with the pitch under two feet of water in certain places, there really was no way the game could go ahead. Browsing through Twitter in the aftermath of the postponement, I suddenly realised what a disaster this was for Men across the local area. What were they to do without their usual Saturday football fix? There was talk of grown men having to go shopping with their wives, take the kids out for a day trip or even doing some Saturday afternoon DIY! I really did feel their pain!
This is one of the many perils Non-league fans have to endure for the vast majority of the season. Throughout Christmas and the New Year, most fans have to endure a nervy Saturday morning as either snow or rain threatens to cause havoc to their afternoons. With limited resources available and many clubs not employing full-time grounds men, the weather really is a feared competitor for the majority of semi-professional teams. Fortunately, this is not a problem that professional teams and fans have to worry about. Funnily enough, despite the weather this weekend causing devastation to the Non-League program, not a single Premiership or Championship game got called off. This is despite both Brentford FC and Watford FC being less than 10 minutes away from our home ground. Surely the weather cannot have been that different only a short drive away? No, of course it wasn’t. These lucky professional clubs would have had their pitch covered as soon as the first cow sat down and their grounds men standing by with their forks at the ready. For these fans, the thought of going shopping instead of watching a game of football on a Saturday afternoon only occurs in their deepest, darkest nightmares.
So to any fans of professional clubs reading this post, next time you look out your window on a rainy March afternoon and think to yourself ‘Hmm this rain is good for the garden.’ Spare a thought for all the poor Non-league fans that at that very moment are being forced up a ladder to fix that dodgy light bulb, and thank your lucky stars that your club can afford a couple of pitch forks.
One game in Kazakhstan braved the elements, all though I am not sure I would fancy playing in these conditions: