Given Jamie Vardy’s incredible and rapid ascent from Non League prospect to England striker and potential Premier League winner, there has been a clamour to find the latest star from outside of the Football League.
This year’s Non League Finals Day will offer us an insight, as the FA Vase and the FA Trophy are contested for on the same day at a packed and expectant Wembley Stadium.
This occasion seems particularly important this year, with the Euro 2016 finals scheduled for the summer in France and the future of the England national team inextricably linked to grassroots football.
With the aforementioned Vardy also set to play a starring role for the Three Lions (probably with a Premier League winners medal in his back pocket too), the emphasis on non-league football has never been more important or timely.
This year is the seventh year of Non-League Day, which has grown from small acorns into a national campaign to promote grass football on a national scale. For the players who participate it means much more, however, as while some will have limited opportunities to ply their trade at the National Stadium others will dream of emulating the achievements of Leicester City’s Vardy.
Either way Non-League Finals Day will be a huge occasion with the players of Morpeth Town, Hereford, FC Halifax and Grimsby all in action.
So what steps can the players take to make sure that they shine? This is a difficult one, but the pressure on players to perform will even more pronounced than usual.
The ability to handle this will be key, as players must play the game and their opponents rather than attempting to tackle the occasion as a whole. In this respect the participating players can learn from the casino craps, as this offers the only ‘true odds’ experience available and has a payout that reflects the exact odds against success.
Make no mistake; the payout for success is huge and players must attempt to overcome the odds of their immediate opponents to win out.
Of course, players can learn how to play craps, but the key is to remain focused on the task in hand and ignore the magnitude of the game and the occasion.
Whichever teams achieve success, it is sure to be a keenly contested day and a wonderful advert for grassroots football in England and the UK.
Not only this, but it is an opportunity for cash-obsessed Premier League clubs to identify the next generation of non-league stars, each of whom has the potential to emulate stars like Vardy if they are given the opportunity.
NLD will take place on May 22 this year, with limited tickets available if you would like to make an appearance. Hereford United will entertain Morpeth Town in the FA Vase Final, while Grimsby make their second trip to Wembley in as many years to meet FC Halifax in the show-piece event for the FA Trophy.