By John Stephens
Every player who is performing at the non-league level hopes to get a chance to prove themselves in the Football League. With the depth of English football so strong, the gap between League Two and the National League is no longer very wide. Teams that get promoted have gone on to do very well the following season.
Here is a look at three players who made the leap to the Football League last summer and are performing well at their new clubs.
Anis Mehmeti (Wycombe Wanderers)
One of the biggest jumps last summer was made by 20-year-old midfielder Anis Mehmeti who climbed from level nine (Essex Senior League) of the football pyramid to level two (Championship). The Albanian-born player got the opportunity to sign for Wycombe Wanders after impressing last season for Woodford Town.
Wycombe have a lot of work to do to remain in the second tier of English football this season. They have Championship odds from Paddy Power of 1/16 to be relegated. Mehmeti has been one of the few positives for the Buckinghamshire-based club in what has been a tough campaign.
The 20-year-old scored his first professional goal for Wycombe in a 1-1 draw with QPR on the 19th December. He has featured in the Chairboys’ starting XI in their last two league games so he is doing enough to impress manager Gareth Ainsworth.
Mehmeti has featured for his country at the under-19 level. He will be hoping to push for a place in the senior team squad in 2021.
Alex Newby (Rochdale)
Alex Newby is another player who got his first chance to play in the Football League in the 2020/21 campaign when he signed for Rochdale from Chorley. The 25-year-old has really shone for the Magpies over the last couple of years so he earned his opportunity to test himself at a higher level.
Newby has not looked out of place in League One for Dale. He has scored four goals this season and has been a big part of his side’s attacking force. The Greater Manchester club are amongst the top scorers in the division.
Newby has looked dangerous from set pieces and can play in a number of positions for his team. He looks on course to complete an excellent opening year in the Football League.
Davis Keillor-Dunn (Oldham Athletic)
Midfielder Davis Keillor-Dunn spent the second half of last season at Wrexham. He played six times for the Welsh club, scoring one goal in that process. His spell at the Racecourse Ground was enough for Oldham to sign him as a free agent last summer.
Keillor-Dunn has not looked out of place in League Two. He has featured 25 times in all competitions for Harry Kewell’s men. The man who was born in Sunderland helped rescue a point for his side in their 1-1 draw with Walsall. This was his fourth goal of the campaign.
Prior to his move to Boundary Park, Keillor-Dunn did have some experience of playing in the Scottish Football League. He has proved to be an important player for the Latics so it is likely he will continue to progress in his career.
Expect to see many more players make the leap from non-league football to the Football League next summer. Many clubs are now looking further down the ladder to snap up a bargain.