Non-League bosses have lots to offer
The Football League Paper
NON-LEAGUE managers are often overlooked when Football League vacancies crop up, so it’s good to see Neil Aspin (see story right) get his chance at Port Vale. But, as he points out himself, it’s largely because he’s a former Port Vale player that he’s been given his chance in the League.
Yet there is a strong argument that NonLeague bosses deserve more opportunities. They have done their apprenticeship lower down the ladder, got their hands dirty and know what it’s like to work with, at times, limited resources.
The difference between League Two and the National League is just one division, but you could sometimes be forgiven for thinking that it’s a different planet.
Instead of seeing the positives of taking a manager from that level and giving him a chance, it can be seen as more of a stigma – ‘he’s a Non-League manager so he can’t be any good’.
It often appears the only way a Non-League boss can become an EFL manager is by winning promotion into it.
EFL club owners and chairmen need to have an open mind as to what a so-called ‘lesser’ manager could do for them. Just because a manager doesn’t have a ‘name’ or big reputation, it doesn’t mean they aren’t up to scratch.
At times, EFL clubs seem to just pick from the same set of managers who are on the merry-go-round, regardless of whether they have been successful or not.
At present, Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder is a prime example of a manager who has worked his way up through the divisions from Non-League.
His stock has risen through the roof on his journey to Sheffield United via Alfreton, Halifax, Oxford and Northampton.
Aspin now has his chance and Non-League bosses will be hoping he does the business to show the talent available below the top 92.