While big-league clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal often make the news, there are also much smaller clubs throughout the UK. In fact, the majority of small towns have their own football club. They are places where the local team can train and play matches. These clubs also provide a venue for community gatherings.
Local clubs will usually belong to the small leagues that encapsulate other nearby communities. When tournaments occur, these teams will travel for away games and host some on their home grounds. Much like the big leagues, a trophy will be awarded to the winners at the end.
A fair amount of small clubs like to give out additional awards during “trophy nights”. Awards can include most goals scored overall and most valuable player. A number of small league tournaments date back to the early 20th century.
Small clubs also usually provide training for children so that they can learn how to play football. This training can continue for numerous years, sometimes even into adulthood. Children are required to wear the standard kit when on the pitch. This includes football boots which are designed for running on maintained grass.
If children continue to attend training and have a good enough skill level, they can join the local underage team. Like their adult counterparts, these teams also participate in tournaments with other towns.
Due to the size of football pitches, local clubs are ideal places for hosting large scale events. These need to be scheduled in a way that will not interfere with matches. It is common for charity events to take place on football grounds.
This can include music concerts and festivals, food stalls, fairs and jumbles sales. In busy months some local clubs such as Lyme Regis in Dorset charge drivers to park on their pitches. This provides the club with extra revenue for quieter parts of the year.
These places are also ideal for bringing the community closer together. A large number of clubs have kitchens and pubs installed. This allows people to have lunch on-site and converse with other residents of the town. It is not uncommon for people to go to football clubs simply for social interaction. During tournament seasons pub facilities draw in locals and people from out of town.
It is unlikely that local games will be reported on the national news. However, these matches still get attention from smaller media organisations. The local newspapers will usually have a sports section that discusses matches that have taken place on the town pitch.
In recent years the internet has also provided a means for these clubs to gain an extra amount of exposure. Matches can be broadcast live online. Specialist blogs and social media are useful for informing readers of results. Clubs can have their own profiles on social media so that they give out info about upcoming games and events. Furthermore, spectators can use their smartphones to take videos and images of local matches.