This is an unofficial guide to the East Midlands League 2017-18. Please let me know of any inaccuracies or missing details. Also, please forward suggestions on improvements or futher information that you would like.
The EML – an overview
The East Midlands Counties League has been going since 2008-09. It was comprised of teams from the Central Midlands League (8), the Leicestershire Senior League (8) and the Northern Counties East League (2). It sits at step six of the non league pyramid. Clubs can be promoted to either the Midlands League Premier, the North East Counties League Premier or the United Counties Premier, depending on location and space in leagues. As from 2017 clubs can be relegated – to either the Central Midlands League or the Leicestershire Senior League.
Changes for 2017-18
There are only a few changes from last season. South Normanton Athletic are promoted, in second place, to the Midland League Premier division. Champions, West Bridgford, requested to remain in the EML. Greenwood Meadows and Ellistown & Ibstock United were relegated to the Central Midlands League South and the Leicestershire Senior League respectively, replaced by Selston, who won the Central Midlands League South and Clifton All Whites, who won the Nottinghamshire League. Teversal transferred from the NCEL One.
To me, the EML has been the best all-round non league division. I find the games are nearly always exciting and often high-scoring; the grounds are generally full of character and it’s still only a £5 to watch. You’d be hard-stretched to find better value for money in the non-league pyramid. In all the EML games I’ve seen my average goals per game is over 5. I haven’t seen less than four goals in any of my last 12 grounds, averaging 6.08 gpg. This included a 4-5 at Arnold, where the still classy Julian Joachim, scored twice for visitors Holwell Sports. When visiting Holwell I saw Joachim again, but this time they lost to a very impressive Blaby & Whetstone 2-5. A 4-4 thriller at Champions West Bridgford. I’ve seen two goals scored straight from corners – Holwell Sports (again) at Ashby Ivanhoe and Ashby Ivanhoe at Greenwood Meadows. In a way, I wish I hadn’t rushed through the division so fast, so I still had more to do. On top of everything, from where I live, they’re all a doddle to get to, along the fast A50 corridor. Saying that, I still have newly promoted Selston and Clifton All-Whites to visit. I’m looking forward to another two thrillers in 2017-18.
My favourites are:
- Aylestone Park for its neatness and log cabin style café in the corner
- Barrow Town for the panoramic view you get from the nearby footbridge
- Borrowash Victoria (and Belper United) – huge stand and could grace step two
- Gedling Miners Welfare for its sheer blueness
- Graham Street Prims for the length of its nets – the furthest stretched back I’ve ever seen
- Holwell Sports for quirky stand and signage
- Radford for its snugness, hemmed in by terraces, one of which adorns the club crest
- Teversal for its flagrant Tesco Trolley Park stands without any customisation (not even changing the s-c-o to v-e-r-s-a-l
A feature that seems to appear next to or near most, if not all, grounds in the division is electricity pylons.
Team Details for 2017-18
Previous winners of the East Midland League and where they were promoted to
League Cup Finals in the EML
Anstey Nomads my visit The Nomads, Founded: 1947 Ground: The Davidson Homes Park, Cropston Road, Anstey, Leicestershire, LE7 7BP Arnold Town my visit The Eagles Founded: 1989 Ground: Eagle Valley Complex, Oxton Road, Arnold, Nottinghamshire, NG5 8PS Ashby Ivanhoe my visit The Knights, Founded: 1948, The NFU Sports Ground, Lower Packington Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, LE65 1TS
Aylestone Park The Park, AP, Founded: 1968, Ground: Saffron Lane, Wigston, Leicester, LE2 6TG Cap: 1,128
Barrow Town my visit, Riversiders, Founded: c1901 as Barrow Old Boys Ground: Riverside Park, Barrow Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 8XJ, capacity 2,000 (100)
Belper United Founded: 1969 Ground: Anderson Electrical Arena (Borrowash Victoria), Borrowash Road, Spondon, DE21 7PH, capacity 5,000 (250)
Birstall United my visit Founded: 1969 Ground: Meadow Lane, Birstall, Leicestershire, LE4 4FN
Blaby & Whetsone Athletic Warwick Roaders my visit Founded: 1993 Ground: Warwich Road, Whetstone, Leicester, LE8 6LW, capacity: 1,000
Borrowash Victoria my visit Vics Founded: 1911 Ground: Anderson Electrical Arena, Borrowash Road, Spondon, DE21 7PH, capacity 5,000 (250)
Clifton All Whites CFC, All Whites, Whites, Founded: 1963 (as Thistledown Rovers), Ground: Norman Archer Memorial Ground, Green Lane, Clifton, NG11 9AZ
(pic courtesy of Clifton All Whites FC)
Dunkirk my visit the Boatmen Founded: 1946 Ground: Ron Steel Sports Ground, Lenton Lane, Dunkirk, Nottingham, NG7 2SA, capacity: 1,500 (150)
Gedling Miners Welfare my visit Miners, Founded: 1919 Ground: Plains Social Club, Mapperley Plains, Mapperley, Nottingham, NG3 5RH
Graham Street Prims my visit The Prims Founded: 1904 Ground:Asterdale Sports Bowl, Borrowash Road, Spondon, DE21 7PH
Holbrook Sports my visit The Brookies Founded: 1996 Ground: O-Kra Ground, Shaw Lane, Holbrook, DE56 0TG
Holwell Sports Founded: 1902 Ground: Welby Road, Asfordby Hill, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 3RD, capacity: 1,000
Kimberley Miners Welfare my visit The Miners Founded: 1926 Ground: The Stag Ground, Kimberley, Nottingham, NG16 2NB
Radcliffe Olympic Olympic Founded: 1876 Ground: The Recreation Ground, Wharf Lane, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, NG12 2AN capacity: 1,000
Radford my visit The Pheasants, Founded: 1964 (as Manlove & Alliots) Ground: The On-call Arena, Selhurst Street, Radford, Nottinghamshire, NG7 5AN capacity: 1,000
Selston The Parishioners, Founded: 1968, Ground: The Parish Hall Ground, Mansfield Road, Selston, Nottingham, NG16 6EE
(pic courtesy of Selston FC)
Stapenhill The Swans, Founded: 1947, Ground: Maple Grove, Stapenhill, Burton-on-Trent, DE15 9NN
Teversal my visit The Tevie boys, Founded: 1918, Ground: Teversal Grange Sports & Social Centre, Carnarvon Street, Teversal, Sutton-in-Ashfield, NG17 3HJ, capacity 2,000
West Bridgford Founded: 1918, Ground: Regatta Way Sports Ground, Regatta Way, West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, NG2 5AT