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FEATURE: AFC Emley perfect patch for weekend without Town on Non-League Day

Town aren't playing for another week yet, so why not go along as support one of our local non-league sides, instead?

Jorden Townend lines up a free kick for AFC Emley

It's becoming ever more easy to forget about the existence of lower league football in Huddersfield given the high-flying nature of Town at the minute, but the international break gives us a perfect chance to reconnect with the other clubs in our area. One of the closest, AFC Emley, have East Yorkshire Carnegie visiting them this Saturday at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground, with a bumper crowd expected in recognition of the now annual Non-League Day.

Started in 2010, the aim of Non-League Day is to exploit a weekend in the footballing calendar the the biggest teams in the land aren't on duty, and encourage fans to engage with their local semi-professional side. With money not what it is at that level compared to the riches of the Premier and Football League, every body through the gate makes a big difference, with Non-League Day designed to shine a light on those volunteer, community lead clubs that don't get as much love as the ought to the rest of the year round.

Emley's Tom Robinson tackles Jack Greenhough

Speaking to Andrew Painten, a volunteer and club secretary at AFC Emley, his main message to Town fans considering making the trip to see them was to embrace a completely different experience of the game we all know and love.

"We hope people want to try something new and have a different experience" he told us. "It's the same game, same ball, same rules, but everything is more intimate and on a smaller scale. You're stood right on the touchline, you're closer to the action than you would be elsewhere, so you can hear what the players, referee or manager is saying, and get a completely different perspective than you would in a big stand elsewhere."

Hall Road keeper Steve Janney cannot prevent AFC Emley's Liam Schofield's free kick from crossing the goal line

AFC Emley like to thing of themselves of a family club, with none of those who help run the club taking so much as a penny out of it. With a reasonably priced bar and home cooked food on offer, it's a far more down to earth and unsanitised experience than football at the highest level can be, where fans these days are handled more like cattle coming in and out of the ground than they are supporters. It's not uncommon, for example, to see the players and manager in the bar after the game, with the opportunity to question them on why they didn't pass when you thought they should've, or why that substitution was made when you'd have preferred another.

A member run entity - "we've no shareholders and no sugar daddy" - that's how AFC Emley are primarily funded. With their ground now sponsored and attendances on the rise, it's important to the future of the club that their 200 regulars are well looked after and come repeatedly. Even the Town season ticket holders amongst them make sure to attend when their main side are away from home, and on the day sales of food, drink and club merchandise can make the operating costs a little easier to manage.

AFC Emley's prolific striker Ashley Flynn

If the first league game between the two is anything to go by, too, this one could be cracker - AFC Emley ran out 2-4 winners away from home back at the start of September, so it's more than likely you'll be getting your money's worth, as well.

Tickets are £5 for adults, £3 concessions and kids go free. AFC Emley play at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground, which is just off Upper Lane in Emley, postcode HD8 9RE. If you wish to contact the club directly, they can be reached on 01924 849392.

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