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Non league football

NORTH FERRIBY UNITED v HEDNESFORD TOWN

Saturday 7th September 2013
Attendance – 543
North Ferriby United – 442/Hednesford Town – 442
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A very pleasant setting on the outskirts of Hull, the Village of North Ferriby. A very small stadium maybe holds around 1000.
I really want to get the point across without sounding too disrespectful to the football club. Clearly what was on view was what was expected and the crowded genuinely enjoyed the performance.
Just to explain I come from Hull and know what the culture of football is and what people see as entertaining football. To simplify this, many balls into the box, players challenging for high balls and movement off the ball to get onto the second ball. The crowd appreciate physical effort and will encourage if this is present.
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Above my son watching the game

Formations – This was difficult to work out but it appeared to me that both teams player with two forwards and a back 4. The four players we normally call midfielders never had any involvement in the build up apart from long diagonals for the side midfielders to challenge for.
Above team formations

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Above a typical diagonal ball for the Left midfielder

The game was unbelievably direct, nearly every build up involved a second ball. Even the wide players went up for many diagonal high balls. At no point did either team try and build up on the ground, instead playing longer balls up the park. It was well organized, second balls were fought for and even the fans demanded the players reaction to the loose balls.

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Above both teams set up for a longer ball from the GK
Every time the GK had the ball in was punted to a quarter field mass of players. Clearly both teams work on second ball movement.

Summary
This was physical uneducated football at its best. A aggressive coach yelling at his players and a brand of football that I am sure people will say suits the league.
It comes down to what people see as entertaining, clearly the fans here are very happy with the product on show. Having watched the Under 19s game on Thursday they may produce a few players in the future for this team. The issue for the country is they will never produce footballers that will go anywhere close to international level. The football here simply is not great and unless the English FA find a way of showing another way of playing, this will be the highest level any Youth player can expect to achieve in this area.
In development football we need to play football to the extreme, a football concept, a playing concept. Ideally it would also work well if Youth players could idolize the first team players within the same club. The biggest fear is clubs like North Ferriby will continue to work within the limitations of the staff it employs.
This club have had success in recent years, I could see how proud the fans are of the team. You could feel the club had an history and everybody was with the team, from young to old. While I did not enjoy the brand of football I did enjoy the atmosphere at the game.


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