Sunday, 6 July 2014

TLFG: 7-13 July 2014

Hi there one and all and welcome to the second TLFG of the 2014/15 season.

It's been quite a week at the World Cup with some very memorable games and notable individual performances. Who do you think will win? Who do you want to win? Personally I'd like to see the Dutch do it as they've never won it before and, personally, I think they've been the most entertaining of the remaining four so far.

Have you seen any pre-season games yet? There haven't been many to choose from but I'm sure some of you have ventured out to get your football fix.

Personally my focus has turned once again to Non-League Day preparations.

This year's event will take place on Saturday 6 September and the pressure's on to make it the most successful it's ever been.

Just two months to go!

Discussions with our new charity partner (name to be announced soon) and crafting an accompanying press release have kept me busy while the announcement of the Conference and FA Vase fixtures mean we now know the first batch of clubs who will be hosting on the day.

In the London area Barking, Barnet, Broadfields United, Bromley, CB Hounslow United, Croydon, Epsom Athletic, Fisher, Glebe, Holmesdale, Oxhey Jets, Raynes Park Vale, Seven Acre & Sidcup, Staines Town and Sutton United are all at home. Hopefully they'll get some good crowds in.

The next lot of fixtures, including the Isthmian League, are due out on 14 July - I can hardly wait.

Next up for me is the scramble for a QPR season ticket which begins at 10am tomorrow (Monday). Here's hoping it will be worth buying this year.

That's it from me. Don't forget, you can get all the latest ticket information for our local clubs and other big games taking place in the capital on the 'Match Ticket Info' page .

If you're going to see a game, whether you're a local or a visitor, please let me know what you've been up to. If you're interested in reviewing a ground within the London area for this blog then get in touch. You might also want to have a go at writing a 'Top Ten' one week. I also very much welcome photos of your football travels.

Got any questions about visiting London? Don't hesitate to ask - be they football or more general travel/touristy queries.

You can contact TLFG through the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or even by good old email.

Please follow this link or click on the tab at the top of the page for all the information you need about how to get a ticket, what's currently available to non-members at London's biggest clubs and any other special offers or promotions which might be running.

There are over 40 matches in the London area over the next seven days so there's plenty to choose from whatever your budget.

However, in case of bad weather, please make sure you check with clubs before you travel just in case a game has been called off or venue has been changed. Also, please let me know if anything is wrong or missing.

Details on all of this week's games can be found in the following match map. If you've never used it before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the left side of the map page to make sure you get all the information.

Also if you're unfamiliar with the English league structure I indicate the level at which an individual league sits in the national 'pyramid' with the Premier League at the top (Level 1) and various minor leagues at the bottom (Level 10). Typically a top level game will see crowds of anywhere between 20,000-60,000. These figures will gradually decline as you go down the leagues until you get to Levels 8-10 where attendances of 150 or less are most common.

It should also be noted that the top four levels are for fully professional teams. Level 5 has a mixture of professional and semi-professional teams, while Levels 6-10 will see most players paid but it will vary from no more than travel expenses at the bottom, right up to several hundred pounds a week at the top (e.g. clubs in the Conference South).

Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Purple pin - Thursday fixtures
Magenta pin - Friday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday fixtures
Red pin - Sunday fixtures

View London match map 7-13 July 2014 in a larger map

Next up is this week's TLFG match recommendations where I list a few games which I think could be worth a watch. If I miss one that you think should get a mention then add your own in the comments section below.


1. Welling United v Charlton Athletic -  the friendly of the week is a derby between two south-east London clubs - one from the Conference Premier, the other from the Championship. After spending this weekend playing in a tournament in Belgium, the Addicks first pre-season game back on home soil will be this one at Park View Road. It will be a chance to see what changes new boss Bob Peeters has made since taking over at the end of May. Welling had a very satisfactory return to the top level of the non-league game last season and will hope to smoothly bed in their new signings to make a good start this time. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

2. Barnet v Peterborough United - this game isn't a derby but the clubs are strongly connected by one man - Barry Fry. One of the most colorful characters in the English game, Fry came to prominence as Barnet manager in the '80s and early '90s when he took them into the Football League for the first time. These days he's director of football at League One Posh, hence the arrangement of this game. Barnet missed a place in the Conference Premier play-offs by seven points last season and boss Martin Allen will be under pressure to secure a top-five finish. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

3. Sutton United v Chelsea U21 - among the favourites for the Conference South title, Sutton usually manage to put together an entertaining package of pre-season games and this year their first home match is against a team of up-and-comers and maybe one or two Chelsea first teamers who didn't go to the World Cup. A similar fixture last year drew a large crowd and saw a big win for the visitors. Tickets are available for £10 and can be bought in advance if you want to avoid queuing. (Saturday 12 May, 3pm. Ticket info)

4. Staines Town v Reading U21 - the Swans had a pretty decent 2013/14 finishing eighth in the Conference South. This year the bookies give them virtually no chance of winning the title which suggests they probably think they'll be stuck in a relegation dogfight instead. See if this looks like being the case when they welcome the youngsters from nearby Championship club Reading.  (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

5. Walton Casuals v Fulham U21 - by their recent standards Walton had a great season last time. They even made the early running in the Isthmian Division 1 South but were caught by the chasing pack and finished a creditable ninth. The pick of their pre-season games is this one against Fulham whom club chairman Tony Gale represented over 250 times, presumably making the arrangement of this game a lot easier. Casuals have failed to win either of their first two friendlies so will probably find the going tough here too. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Club info)

6. Dulwich Hamlet v Bromley - Dulwich suffered a disappointing end to their season in the Isthmian Premier as they went from briefly leading to finishing just outside the play-offs in what was a thrilling campaign for the neutral. Their first friendly is against fellow south-east Londoners Bromley who endured a fairly similar fate in the Conference South - blowing an 11-point lead before tamely bowing out in the play-offs. The Ravens head to Champion Hill with a game under their belts already after they lost 1-0 at home to League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

7. Thurrock v Dartford - little more than the span of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge separates these two clubs so although they play in different counties this is a derby. When this blog started out in 2011 they used to face each other in the Conference South, now three divisions separate them after Dartford's promotion to the Conference Premier and Thurrock's double relegation to the Isthmian League Division 1 North. It would only be two if Dartford hadn't been reprieved from relegation themselves this summer following financial problems at other clubs. They are expected to struggle again so a morale boosting performance at Ship Lane is almost a must. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

8. VCD Athletic v Ebbsfleet United - VCD joined the Isthmian League last season and topped the Division 1 North pretty much from start to finish, stunning many along the way. They now find themselves in the Premier Division and have landed a challenging friendly against Conference South title favourites Ebbsfleet who hail from just a few miles to the east. Is their fairytale likely to continue? Find out if the omens look good on Saturday. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Ticket info)

9. The Geoff Harvey Memorial Vase - this mini tournament is one of the highlights of pre-season, certainly if you live in south-west London. Hosted by Corinthian Casuals and contested by four teams over a weekend it usually provides some decent entertainment. Alongside the hosts we also have returning champions Kingstonian, fellow Isthmian Premier side Hampton & Richmond Borough and Division 1 South outfit Merstham. The semi-finals see Corinthian Casuals play Kingstonian and Hampton take on Merstham on Saturday ahead of a third-place play-off and final on Sunday. Day and weekend tickets are available, although you can just turn up for the final as I did last year. Give it a go! (Saturday and Sunday 12 & 13 July. Game 1 at 11am, Game 2 at 3pm. Ticket info)

10. Southall v London Tigers - these two play several hundred metres apart either side of the A40 over on the west side of town. Southall currently play in the tenth tier of English football and groundshare at Hanwell Town but they are ambitious and could well compete alongside London Tigers in the Spartan South Midlands Premier in the not too distant future. (Saturday 12 July, 3pm. Club info)

If you have any questions or want advice about watching football in London, you can contact TLFG using the comments section below or via FacebookTwitter or email.

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