Modern Non-League History
England Representative Football 1977-1978
While no one will deny that the abolition of the ‘amateur’ as he used to be known, was a sensible step to take, one aspect of the Non-League game that has been sadly affected as a result was Representative Football.
The highlight of any amateur career was selection for his country, and the FA organized their FA Amateur XI matches as trials for the England team. To be an Amateur International or even an F.A. player was a fine achievement, which placed you at the top of your own particular football tree.
Unfortunately there are no longer any such ‘goals’ at which to aim. The F.A. do organize a series of regional FA Representative Matches and ideally those selected for these games should be promising young players, who would in the past have been considered as potential internationals. Older players whose service to their clubs and all round reputations are also worthy of FA recognition and a chance to play for their country.
Circumstances do not always allow the right players to receive the honours however, and if there is one innovation that Non-League football would appreciate, it is a well run Home International tournament to give players the chance of representing their country as the best players at their level in the national game. Sensible sponsorship under FA guidance would probably be the answer with a series of FA XIs giving the selectors a chance to check the regional talent throughout the country.
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