Interviews/Features archive http://nonleaguedaily.com Mon, 22 May 2017 19:20:57 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Moke wants Trophy win to reward Minstermen supporters http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/moke-wants-trophy-win-to-reward-minstermen-supporters.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/moke-wants-trophy-win-to-reward-minstermen-supporters.html Moke wants Trophy win to reward Minstermen supporters

Just days before Non-League Finals Day we visited Bootham Crescent to speak to York City's Adriano Moke about their Buildbase FA Trophy Final against Macclesfield Town

You can view the whole interview via our YouTube channel below or by clicking here

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Thu, 18 May 2017 15:56:35 +0000
Vase win can be catalyst for development say Mariners managerial duo http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/vase-win-can-be-catalyst-for-development-say-mariners-managerial-duo.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/vase-win-can-be-catalyst-for-development-say-mariners-managerial-duo.html Vase win can be catalyst for development say Mariners managerial duo

There can’t be many step five clubs that have captured the media’s attention in the way Ebac Northern League club South Shields have this season.

Whether it is their rising crowd levels, their ability to score eye-catching goals or their winning streak of thirty two games; it’s been hard to keep the Mariners out of the news.

They will be in the news once again when Non-League Finals Day arrives as they face Cleethorpes Town in the Buildbase FA Vase Final.

They will be backed by a huge following from the North East, all a far cry from years of struggle when the club played in front of small numbers for “home” games twenty one miles away from their home town.

Now they count attendances in thousands and joint manager Lee Picton can’t wait to see the travelling support at Wembley Stadium on 21st May.

The two-time Vase winner said “What sticks in my mind now is the anticipation of seeing all of the folk from the town going down there to support us.

“They will be on the opposite side to the stadium to where we walk out and it will be a special moment seeing them.

It shows how the town has got on board with what the club is doing and what we have done over the last two years

It could be yet another catalyst for the development of this football club”

Picton isn’t the only FA Vase winner in the Mariners management team.

Two years ago Graham Fenton led North Shields to a final win over Glossop North End.

That day, by Fenton’s own admission, the Robins were clear underdogs for the competition, a clear contrast to the position he finds himself in with their South Tyneside rivals.

But the former Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers player isn’t reading too much into tags and is thriving on the pressure he and Picton are working under.

“There is already pressure and it has already been put on us here” said Fenton.

“The pressure of delivering with South Shields far exceeds that of winning at North Shields.

“We didn’t have pressure against Glossop North End, they were favourites that day and it was hugely enjoyable to beat them.

“I am sure that will be the same this time, even though people say we are favourites going into the game”

Picton added “The squad we have, the experience we have in there, we will be relying on players that have played massive games throughout their career.ssfc lee graham

“We have our experiences to touch on too but we know we have players that will settle other players down.

“The favourite tag means little, it’s a game of football and it is about what happens on the day.

“It is a tag other people have given you, not something we give ourselves.

“We will do our normal preparations, we will ensure we get it the way we want it and let others worry about tags”

There is a clear focus in the Mariners dressing room.

That has brought some spectacular results and trophies in the two years since local businessmen Geoff Thompson invested in his hometown club.

Former Premier League star Julio Arca and Gateshead stalwarts Craig Baxter and Jon Shaw joined the club.

Michael Richardson, Alex Nicholson and Dillon Morse were plucked from a Blyth Spartans side that came close to securing promotion from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League last season.

Gavin Cogdon dropped down a level from Spennymoor Town, persuaded by the exciting future plans at the club.

These are exciting times for the South Tynesiders and they are under pressure to deliver another trophy on Non-League Finals Day.

If they do they will become the latest Ebac Northern League side to win the Buildbase FA Vase, following in the footsteps of the likes of Whitley Bay, Dunston UTS, North Shields and current holders Morpeth Town.

But rather than judging themselves against others Picton urged his side to focus on getting their own performance right when they step out on to the Wembley turf.

“What we have always said, throughout the season, is that we judge ourselves by our own standards.

“We don’t worry what is in the opposition dressing room, we concentrate on ourselves.

“That will be no different on 21st May, we will do what we can to reach our levels, our standards and if that is good enough on the day then great.

“We don’t acknowledge what tags people give us, we just focus on ourselves and our own performance”

And if that performance is enough to win the Buildbase FA Vase it will be the latest big achievement in the incredible rise of South Shields.

Tickets are still available for the Buildbase FA Vase and Buildbase FA Trophy Finals.  If you want to be at Wembley for Non-League Finals Day click here to buy tickets.

This interview features in Non-League Daily's 'Road to Wembley Guide 2017' and was produced in association with the Football Association and Buildbase.  

The FREE digital guide can be accessed online here

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Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: South Shields FC

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Thu, 18 May 2017 12:48:25 +0000
Trophy Final is reward for our persistence and belief says Silkmen boss http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/trophy-final-is-reward-for-our-persistence-and-belief-says-silkmen-boss.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/trophy-final-is-reward-for-our-persistence-and-belief-says-silkmen-boss.html Trophy Final is reward for our persistence and belief says Silkmen boss

Macclesfield Town’s Buildbase FA Trophy Final appearance this weekend will be the next step on their progression according to manager John Askey.

As a player Askey represented the Silkmen over six seasons during his playing career and is in his second spell as the club’s manager.

During that second spell he has led the club through some tough times.

Budget cutbacks and struggles to pay VAT bills have made Askey’s job even more difficult but he has managed to help the club progress since his appointment in April 2013.

In his first full season in charge he led the club to the Third Round of the FA Cup, taking Sheffield Wednesday to a replay before losing 4-1 at Hillsborough.

In 2014/15 the Silkmen finished in sixth place in non-league’s top tier, just one point outside of the play-off positions.

And last season he led them to a tenth place finish, as they continued to progress under his leadership.

This season they have put in a strong challenge for a play-off spot and they beat Walsall in the FA Cup First Round before exiting the competition at the hands of Oxford United in the next round.

Now Askey believes that a day out at Wembley can be reward for those that have stuck with the club through some tough times.

He said “It has been a tough four years, I don’t shy away from that.

“Times have been tough, it has been a struggle but days like we will have at Wembley will make it worthwhile.

“This is our reward for persisting with what we believed in.

“People have stuck with us and it is still a struggle but Wembley will be a reward for the hard work that everybody at the club, including the supporters, has put in over the last four years”

And the supporters have played their part with not only vocal support but with financial support too.

At the start of the season with the Silkmen struggling with a low budget in a competitive National League, supporters helped launch a fund to support the manager.

In total around £45,000 was raised, allowing Askey to make new additions to his squad.

Slowly but surely the performances and results improved and Askey is grateful to the Moss Ross faithful for their help.

“We were struggling to start with this season.  We had one of the lowest budgets in the league and the supporters got together to help us.

“They raised around £45,000 and they meant we could bring in some new players.  Without that extra money I am not sure what would have happened but there is no doubt that they helped us in a big way.

“We are very grateful for that and we hope we have repaid them with a visit to Wembley”

The Silkmen have given their supporters some great memories this season.

Askey’s side have been mentioned as one of the strongest in the National League.

Their play-off push and FA Cup run brought fresh hope that they can return to the Football League for the first time since 2012.

But now Askey hopes that they can end an impressive campaign by lifting the Buildbase FA Trophy on Non-League Finals Day.

“It has been a good season but it could be better.

“Obviously we had a good FA Cup run and I said at the time that helped pay a VAT bill that needed paying.

“We have had a good play-off challenge and have progressed as the season went on.

“We want to go and enjoy Wembley, enjoy the day and the occasion and it will be a nice way to end the season”

Not that Askey is only going to Wembley to enjoy the day.

He knows that they face a tough task as they face a York City side that were recently relegated from the National League.

Since the appointment of Gary Mills earlier in the season the Minstermen have invested in, what Askey calls “Football League players”.

The likes of Jon Parkin, Amari Morgan-Smith and Simon Lappin have joined the club as they attempted to move away from the lower reaches of the National League table.

And Askey is relishing the task of facing Mills and his players.

“We aren’t fooled by their league performances this season” said the Silkmen boss.

“They have invested in Football League players, they have spent heavily to try and survive.

“It is a big challenge but it is one that we are up for.  It should be a great game and we are confident we can get the result we all want”

And the Moss Rose faithful will be there to show their support for Askey and his side come Non-League Finals Day.

Tickets are still available for the Buildbase FA Vase and Buildbase FA Trophy Finals.  If you want to be at Wembley for Non-League Finals Day click here to buy tickets.

This interview features in Non-League Daily's 'Road to Wembley Guide 2017' and was produced in association with the Football Association and Buildbase.  

The FREE digital guide can be accessed online here

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Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: The FA/Reuters Media

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Tue, 16 May 2017 10:55:59 +0000
Hartlepool United winger completes Blades switch http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/hartlepool-united-winger-completes-blades-switch.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/hartlepool-united-winger-completes-blades-switch.html

Vanarama National League new boys Hartlepool United have confirmed that winger Nathan Thomas has completed a move to Sheffield United.

nathan thomas

Thomas joined Pools in January 2016 and went on to make fifty six appearances for the club, scoring fourteen goals.

He quickly became a key figure at the club, but was unable to prevent them from suffering relegation into the Vanarama National League last season.

Amongst claimed interest from the likes of Middlesbrough, Pools accepted a bid from the Blades and with personal terms agreed and a medical passed, the winger has now completed a move to Bramall Lane.

Speaking to Sheffield United's official website manager Chris Wilder said ""Nathan is someone we have tracked for a long time and is a talented young player. He was Hartlepool's outstanding player last season and we believe, in our environment, he has the ability to push on to the next level, like a few that we brought in last season did.

"There were a number of clubs interested in Nathan's signature and we are delighted that he has chosen to further his career with us"

Thomas commented "I'm aware that Chris Wilder has tried to sign me before and I enjoyed speaking to him. I didn't want this dragging on through the summer, I knew what I wanted to do and now I can concentrate on getting my head down at the start of pre-season."

Article: Mark Carruthers (@markndaily)
Image: Reuters Media

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Mon, 15 May 2017 15:58:46 +0000
Blues youngster goes on trial with Chelsea http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/blues-youngster-goes-on-trial-with-chelsea.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/blues-youngster-goes-on-trial-with-chelsea.html

Met Police have announced that young defender Renedi Masampu is to go on trial at Chelsea.

The youngster is a key member the the club's highly successful youth team that capture a hat-trick of trophies this season.

A statement on the club's website said "The club would like to send their best wishes to Renedi Masampu who will be spending the week on trial at Chelsea with their under 18 squad. Having watched and monitored Renedi in every game for the past 3 months, Chelsea made the offer for Renedi to go on trial for a week starting Monday 15th May.

This is a fantastic achievement for Renedi who has had an outstanding season as the Met Police U18’s won the Ryman Youth League, Surrey U18 County Cup and were then crowned the Ryman Youth League Champion of Champions having beaten Tonbridge Angels in the final last week. On a personal level, Renedi was also voted the Youth team Players’ Player of the Season"

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Mon, 15 May 2017 15:22:32 +0000
Wembley appearance has Cleethorpes buzzing says Mariners legend http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/wembley-appearance-has-cleethorpes-buzzing-says-mariners-legend.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/wembley-appearance-has-cleethorpes-buzzing-says-mariners-legend.html Wembley appearance has Cleethorpes buzzing says Mariners legend

Cleethorpes Town Director of Football John McDermott became a Grimsby Town legend throughout his playing career and made over seven hundred appearances for the club.

Now, in his new role with the Owls, McDermott believes that the club are starting to step out of the Mariners’ shadows.

A big part of that move has come with the club’s progress in the Buildbase FA Vase and when they step out at Wembley on Non-League Finals Day.

And in doing so they will take another step in their progression according to Middlesbrough-born McDermott.

“The town is buzzing at the moment” he said.

“Grimsby Town have been at the new Wembley on a number of occasions but Cleethorpes Town have been in the shadows.  That is understandable because they are a Football League club.

“Maybe now, now we are at Wembley, we are coming out of the shadows a little bit.

“The fanbase is up, the crowds for some games have been 1,200 to 1,300 and that is massive for us.

“Off-field and on-field the club is progressing and Wembley is another chance to take a big step forward for everyone”

A one-club man during his career, McDermott experienced a number of highs and lows with Grimsby.

He also played a part in one of the Mariners greatest ever seasons, as he played at Wembley twice in the space of five weeks.

The Blundell Park club lifted the Auto Windscreens Shield in April 1998 with a 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth and returned weeks later to secure promotion with a 1-0 Second Division play-off final win against Northampton Town.

Now will return to the home of English football with Cleethorpes Town and hopes to continue his impressive record at Wembley.mcdermott

“I’ve been there, I’ve played twice and won twice.

“It’s a great place to be involved and the new Wembley is one of the best stadiums in the world.

“It’s still a bit new for some of the lads but Marcus and myself have a bit of luck when it comes to finals.  Hopefully that will continue”

Standing in their way in the Buildbase FA Vase Final is EBAC Northern League club South Shields.

The Mariners are looking to maintain the Northern League’s impressive record in the competition, with seven of the last eight winners coming from the league.

And in the opposing dugout are two joint-managers that are former winners of the competition.

Lee Picton was a two-time Vase winner as a player with Whitley Bay and Graham Fenton was manager of North Shields when they won the competition with a 2-1 win over Glossop North End in 2015.

In their ranks are the likes of former Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca, ex Luton Town star Jon Shaw and former Gateshead full back Craig Baxter.

Cleethorpes, by McDermott’s admission, are underdogs, but he still believes he can add to his two Wembley wins on Non-League Finals Day.

“We will enjoy it but don’t let anyone have you believe that we are just going to enjoy the day.

“We are going to go there looking to win.  Wembley is a great place to play but it’s an awful place to lose a game of football.  Having to climb those steps, knowing you’ve lost, it would be awful.

“We know people see us as underdogs, we know they are clear favourites and we know how other people see the game.

“Wembley is a big place, you can have all of the ability in the world but you have to cope with playing there and you have to be prepared to run your socks off for the whole game.

“We have young lads, we have lads with pace and we have lads that will run through brick walls for us.  We will go there and give it a good go.

“They are used to playing with a no-fear approach.  That is what has got us this far in the Vase

“It’s a great stage to play on but we will go there treating it as just another game of football”

Just another game of football in the career of John McDermott but he is still hoping for another memorable day at Wembley.

Tickets are still available for the Buildbase FA Vase and Buildbase FA Trophy Finals.  If you want to be at Wembley for Non-League Finals Day click here to buy tickets.

This interview features in Non-League Daily's 'Road to Wembley Guide 2017' and was produced in association with the Football Association and Buildbase.  

The FREE digital guide can be accessed online here

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Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: The FA/Reuters Media

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Mon, 15 May 2017 11:27:49 +0000
Worcester City to play at Step Five next season http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/worcester-city-to-play-at-step-five-next-season.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/worcester-city-to-play-at-step-five-next-season.html Worcester City to play at Step Five next season

Vanarama National League North club Worcester City have announced that they will be playing in the Midland Football League next season.

The club explained the reasons behind the decision, stating that they believe that it is "impossible for the Club to remain competitive whilst operating within its means" at step two of the non-league pyramid.

The club also insisted that the move will give them "the best chance of survival”.

That now means that Worcester will drop three divisions and will ply their trade at step five from next season.

The Blue and Whites have spent the last four years playing outside of their home city and "home" games are currently held at Bromsgrove Sporting's Victoria Ground.

Last week the club began preparations for next season by appointing former West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes and John Snape as their management team.

Now they will prepare to face the likes of Sporting Khalsa, Coventry United and Westfields, rather than facing some of non-league's biggest names in next season's National League North.

A club statement said "Worcester City have announced that due to the excessive costs attached to retaining National League North status, and despite a battle to the end of the season, a decision was made to resign from the National League.   

This decision was made collectively by the Board of Directors, with input from the management team, to ensure the future survival of the Football Club.

This season in particular has seen significant playing budgets being available to many other clubs at Step 2, making it an elite tier of non-league football with over-inflated player wages, and impossible for the Club to remain competitive whilst operating within its means"

The club also stated the impact of their struggles to return to their home city was behind their reason to resign from the National League North.

They said "The identification of a ground that is affordable and deliverable in the City of Worcester has been of the highest priority for the Directors of the Club over the past 3 years and a number of sites reviewed through the Council Working Party. With the WORCESTER CITY FCcontinuing delays of the Perdiswell Project, both for Planning, but more importantly confirmation of a Land Transfer from the Council, the Board of Directors concluded that there was no alternative but to resign from the National League in order to give the Club the best possible chance of survival for forthcoming seasons.

Attentions will now turn to next season for Hughes and Snape, as they look to help the club make their first steps back towards non-league's upper reaches.

It is understood that the duo have began negotiations with a number of players now that the club's future has been resolved.

That could mean a number of younger players getting their chance when City begin life in next season's Midland League.

Hughes and Snape will spend the summer working within a more "reduced playing budget", with the club stating that the move has been neccassary to give them the best chance of bringing the Blue and Whites back to their home city in the future.

The statement concluded "Playing at a lower level of football will enable the Club to operate a reduced playing budget to ensure that the Club’s remaining funds are protected to help support its return to Worcester at the earliest opportunity.  It will also provide locally developed players with more chance of progressing and representing Worcester City Football Club. Regardless of the Step at which we were to be placed the new Management Team was set a playing budget for next season and it is intended to announce player news shortly.  

We have sympathy with supporters who will be disappointed with this news, however this action is aimed at being a pragmatic and sensible approach to ensure the Club is given the best possible chance of survival until the goal of bringing the Football Club back to a new home in Worcester has been achieved"

City finished in twentieth position in this season's National League North, with a 4-2 final day defeat at champions AFC Fylde sealing their place in the bottom three.

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily) Image: Reuters Media

 

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Fri, 12 May 2017 14:19:09 +0000
Singh withdraws Quakers investment offer after online criticism http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/singh-withdraws-quakers-investment-offer-after-online-criticism.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/singh-withdraws-quakers-investment-offer-after-online-criticism.html Singh withdraws Quakers investment offer after online criticism

Just days after announcing his interest in returning to Darlington, former Quakers chairman Raj Singh has withdrawn his offer to invest in the Vanarama National League North club.

The Quakers released a statement on Thursday night confirming Singh has taken the decision due to "very negative comments being made" on social media.

The statement also confirmed that Singh's decision has prompted a second potential investor not to continue exploring his potential involvement.

Singh was due to invest £40,000 into Darlington to help boost manager Martin Gray's budget for players and in return Singh would get a 15 per cent share of the Quakers.

That provoked some anger from supporters that a still wary of Singh's presence at the club.

He was chairman of the Quakers between 2009 and 2012, a period that saw the club the club relegated from the Football League, win the FA Trophy and be placed into administration.

They were relegated to the EBAC Northern League by the Football Association, and Singh's decision not to transfer the club's football share to the supporters meant that they were officially renamed Darlington 1883.

Since then the club have recovered, with three promotions in four years putting them within one promotion of non-league's top tier.

The Quakers were denied permission to play in the National League North play-offs this season, despite the fact they finished in fifth position, after their new Blackwell Meadows home was found to be over two hundred covered seats short of the required ground-grading standards.

Singh was due to take part in an online question and answer session on Friday evening, as he explained the reasons behind his offer of investment.

However, that will not go ahead after his decision to withdraw his offer

A statement on behalf of director John Tempest said "Darlington Football Club would like to announce that Raj Singh has decided to withdraw his interest in investing in the club.

"Raj and his family have spent the last 48 hours viewing various social media platforms and in the light of the very negative comments being made, he and his family feel it is inappropriate to move forward with the possible investment.

"Raj’s initial commitment was to invest in the club, particularly the playing side, and in his words “he felt there was unfinished business.”

"As a consequence of his withdrawal and the reasons for it, a second potential investor has also decided not to continue exploring his potential involvement"

The club also urged supporters to get behind their fundraising this summer as they look to improve the pitch at Blackwell Meadows and to boost their playing budget for the new season.

The statement continued "More than ever now and for obvious reasons, I would ask fans to get behind the Darlington FC Supporters Group pitches. At present 19 people have contributed to the “Seating phase 1 pitch” and 89 people have invested in the “Boost the Budget”. The onus is very much now on the fans.

"We really need to get many more fans involved in raising funds as the club needs support not only financially but also to ensure that the team and infrastructure are strong enough to survive at the current level"

It remains to be seen what Singh's decision to withdraw his offer of investment means for Quakers boss Martin Gray, who believes external investment is required if the club are to carry on progressing up the league pyramid.

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily) Image: Darlington FC

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Fri, 12 May 2017 09:33:23 +0000
Ten days to go until Non-League Finals Day 2017 http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/ten-days-to-go-until-non-league-finals-day-2017.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/ten-days-to-go-until-non-league-finals-day-2017.html Ten days to go until Non-League Finals Day 2017

There are just ten days to go until Non-League Finals Day 2017 takes place at Wembley Stadium and ticket sales are still ongoing.

Supporters of Macclesfield Town, York City, Cleethorpes Town and South Shields have been snapping up tickets, with a crowd of over 30,000 expected for the big day.

Buildbase FA Vase Finalists South Shields lead the way in ticket sales.

A figure quoted by the Football Association puts their sales at "over 10,000", although a Mariners club official expects the figure to be nearer 13,000 once the big day arrives.

The South Tyneside club head to Wembley knowing a win would hand them their fourth trophy of an incredible season.

Their opponents, Cleethorpes Town, have been enjoying a very successful season themselves.

The Toolstation NCEL champions confirmed on Wednesday that they had just gone past the 3,100 mark, a figure that is over sixteen times higher than their average league attendance this season.

nlfd 500

Buildbase FA Trophy finalists York City, recently relegated from the Vanarama National League, have sold over 6,000 tickets, as their supporters hope to put a silver lining on an awful couple of weeks for the club.

And manager Gary Mills will hope to reward their outstanding support with a second FA Trophy Final win of his career.

In 2012, during Mills' first reign as City boss, he led the club to an FA Trophy Final win over Wrexham.

Macclesfield Town have sold over 5,000 tickets, with the Silkmen looking forward to a first FA Trophy Final since their 3-1 win over Northwich Victoria in 1996.

The club were in fact the first ever winners of the FA Trophy, as a 2-0 win over Telford United seeing them lift the trophy at the old Wembley in 1969.

Last year's Non-League Finals Day attracted a crowd of over 50,000, as Morpeth Town and FC Halifax Town defied the odds to win the FA Vase and FA Trophy respectively.

That attendance was swelled by a remarkable turnout from Vase finalists Hereford FC, with nearly 20,000 supporters making their way to Wembley. 

If you wish to buy tickets for Non-League Finals Day then visit the FA website here

You can begin your preparations for Wembley by reading Non-League Daily's FREE digital 'Road to Wembley Guide 2017'.

Click here to view it online.

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: The Football Association

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Thu, 11 May 2017 15:26:49 +0000
Former chairman Singh in investment talks with Darlington http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/former-chairman-singh-in-investment-talks-with-darlington.html http://nonleaguedaily.com/interviews-features-archive/former-chairman-singh-in-investment-talks-with-darlington.html Former chairman Singh in investment talks with Darlington

Darlington have confirmed that they are in talks with former chairman Raj Singh, the man that was in charge of the club when they were placed into administration in 2012.

Singh has already agreed to invest £40,000 into the club as talks between the two parties continue.

Quakers supporters are to be asked for their verdict on whether Singh should be allowed to return to the club.

Darlington director John Tempest said: “It is inevitable that it will take time to fully understand the implications of bringing in private investment, and in particular to ensure that the fan-owned model is able to sit alongside private investment. We are now in a position to announce that Raj Singh is one of the individuals who is looking to help the club move forward with the potential for longer term investment.

“In the meantime, however, it is crucial that we try and operate the business as usual and allow Martin Gray the best opportunity to shape his squad for the coming season. With this in mind, Raj Singh has offered to immediately invest a £40,000 contribution towards the 2017-18 playing budget.”

Singh, who became chairman of the club in 2009, said "I saw the shortfall that Martin was asked to take regarding the playing budget for next season and I was keen to help maintain the momentum he has built up over the last few seasons".

Darlington FC Supporters Group hold a majority share in the club and they will be asked to vote on Singh's potential return to the club.

It is believed that Singh would look to increase his stake in the Quakers, should his initial investment be accepted by supporters.

However, if his share in the club was to exceed 15%, the club would require a change in the constitution of their ownership model.

Tempest confirmed "Darlington FC will shortly be writing to all its shareholders to seek approval to allot shares in DFC to Raj Singh in return for his investment.

"In order to do this, DFC’s shareholders will have to formally approve a resolution with at least 75% of those who vote being in favour of the proposal. Acquiring a shareholding of £40,000 is in accordance with the current Articles of Association, which limits the shareholding of an individual to 15% of the total issued share capital.

As you know, DFCSG owns more than 80% of the voting rights in DFC, and so it will be asking its members how they wish to vote on the proposal. If you wish to have your say, then we encourage you to join the DFCSG if you are not already a member"

Singh became a controversial figure at Darlington during his time as chairman.

The club were relegated from the Football League just a year after he was named as chairman and in 2012 he placed the club into administration, a move that saw them relegated to the EBAC Northern League.

Since relegation to the Northern League the Quakers have been secured three promotions in four years.

A fourth promotion could have been on the cards, with Darlington finishing in the Vanarama National League North play-off spots.

However, a failure to meet ground-grading regulations at their new Blackwell Meadows home saw the National League exclude them from the play-offs, with Chorley stepping up to take their place.

The club confirmed that they are still committed to meeting the ground-grading regulations, with further communication with supporters planned for the near-future.

A club statement said "There remains the requirement to find the moneys to install at least another 206 covered seats, and to introduce an open terrace at the western end of the ground. These plans are being fully costed and will be shared with fans shortly".

The club also confirmed that Singh would take questions from supporters in the form of a NetCafe Q and A, although the details of when that will take place are yet to be announced.

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Reuters Media

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mcarruthers@balticpublications.co.uk (Mark Carruthers) Interviews/Features archive Wed, 10 May 2017 10:35:35 +0000