About three months later I decided to set up this blog. It's kept me going and given me a sense of purpose during some dark times when another job never looked like materialising.
Tomorrow I begin a new role in a completely different industry and getting back into the routine of regular work will probably be a shock to the system. Despite this I'll continue to try and keep this blog going, especially if it continues to get readers.
My last week of freedom has be spent preparing this blog and also starting the labour-intensive process of promoting this year's Non-League Day on 13 October.
The big news this week has been the launch of our new website, naming the Free Kicks Foundation as our official charity and getting the backing of Greenways Media who produce the likes of The Non-League Paper and The Football League Paper.
Yesterday was spent further promoting the day at the Fans' Weekend hosted by the Football Supporters' Federation and Supporters Direct, which went well.
As with the previous two campaigns, it's all about spreading the word which you can help to do by adding a banner to your blog or website.
The announcement of the Conference and FA Vase fixtures has also given us the identities of some of the clubs who will be hosting.
In London area so far we have: Bromley, Egham Town, Erith Town, Hanworth Villa, Staines Town, VCD Athletic and Whyteleafe.
With the Isthmian and Southern League fixtures out this Friday we'll get a load more.
LATEST TICKET NEWS
Apart from season-ticket renewals and applications, there's nothing available at any of our six Premier League clubs yet.
With the Olympics now less than three weeks away there are still tickets left for some of the football matches being played at Wembley Stadium in both the men's and women's events.
There is also still availability for England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at the same venue on the 11 September.
After last week's gentle start, pre-season really gets going this week with Premier and Football League clubs starting to send sides into action. These matches are really important to non-league sides as they often generate some of their biggest crowds of the season and with it some well-needed revenue so go along if you can.
At the last count, we had 38 matches to look forward to. Given the nature of pre-season friendlies this number could change with last-minute additions and cancellations quite possible but here's a map of what I'm aware of:
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
View London match map 9-15 July 2012 in a larger map
As always, please check with the host club whether a match is still going ahead and also double check the venue as this can change at short notice. Please also let me know if I've got any of the details wrong or am missing anything.
With a few more to choose from than last week, here's a short list of the games which stand out for me and could be worth your time:
AFC WIMBLEDON v READING (Saturday 14 July, 3pm)
The only match in London this week featuring two of 'the 92' takes place at Kingsmeadow. The Dons are preparing for their second season in League Two after graduating from the non-league ranks while the Royals are getting ready for their first game back in the Premier League after winning promotion. Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak have both recently joined the Berkshire club while the hosts have brought in a few new players of their own. TICKET INFO
BOREHAM WOOD v WEST HAM UNITED (Tuesday 10 July, 730pm)
I've received a number of tweets from some very excited people at Boreham Wood to help them play a small part in promoting this match. The Blue Square Bet South side have arguably the best pre-season programme of any non-league club with sides being sent by six professional clubs, three of them from the Premier League. While some of them may only send their reserves and youth teams, the Hammers have this listed on their website as a first XI game so expect to see some of their best players in action. Their new signings include goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and Mohamed Diame. The Wood also host League One Stevenage on Saturday. TICKET INFO
WELLING UNITED v CHARLTON ATHLETIC (Saturday 14 July, 3pm)
The Wings ended last season by losing to local rivals Dartford in the Blue Square Bet South play-off final and will hope for another strong campaign this time. The Addicks, having just been promoted to the Championship, provide the opposition on Saturday. If you're new to the capital or don't know the geography this is a derby and should generate a decent crowd so get yourself along to Park View Road if you're in south-east London. TICKET INFO
HAMPTON & RICHMOND BOROUGH v BRENTFORD (Wednesday 11 July, 745pm)
The Beavers ended last season with the disappointment of relegation. After five seasons in the Blue Square Bet South they slipped back into the Ryman League on the final day. On Wednesday, Uwe Rosler's Bees make the short trip to the Beveree ahead of a campaign where they will hope to secure at least a place in the League One play-offs. TICKET INFO
BROMLEY v CRAWLEY TOWN (Saturday 14 July, 3pm)
Like Hampton, Bromley struggled in the Blue Square Bet South last season but they did manage to keep their heads above water and avoid the drop. On Saturday they face former non-league side Crawley who have gone from the Blue Square Bet Premier to League One in consecutive seasons and will be looking to push on again. TICKET INFO
NORTHWOOD v CHELSEA U-21 (Saturday 14 July, 3pm)
The Woods, from north-west London, had a good season last time and narrowly missed out on the play-offs and a place in the Evostik League Southern Premier. Their first home pre-season game sees them welcome a representative side from the reigning European champions, albeit one that will be without its biggest names. It should still be worth going along to see some of the potential stars of the future though. TICKET INFO
If you have any questions or want help or advice about watching football in London you can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via Facebook, Twitter or email.