My Greatest Non League Eleven

This is not a definitive Greatest Non League X1. This is my own personal greatest team from watching Non League football through Bradford (Park Avenue), Farsley Celtic and then as a neutral spectator through Non League Yorkshire from 2013.

Goalkeeper: Tom Morgan (Farsley Celtic, Tadcaster Albion, plus a few more)

Tom Morgan

Having forgiven Morgs for his blunders at Lincoln Moorlands (“it moved Pars”) nine years ago, he has made the cut as the goalkeeper.

Others considered: Gavin Kelly, Lutz Pfannenstiel, Steven Drench.

Right-back: Stephen Downes (Ossett Albion, Bradford PA, Farsley Celtic)

Stephen Downes played for Farsley Celtic between 2007 and 2009

Now out in Australia, Downsy was a complete right-back who could also play further up.

Others considered: Martin James, Jamie Price, Andy Quinn, Steve Nicholson.

Centre-backs: Mark Jackson (Farsley Celtic) and Ryan Crossley (Wakefield & Emley, Bradford Park Avenue, Farsley Celtic, Halifax Town)

Mark Jackson is now Leeds United’s under 18s manager
Ryan Crossley captained Farsley Celtic to the Conference National

Ryan Crossley was hugely influential in Farsley’s rise up the pyramid, while Jacko was crucial on hundreds of levels to the club’s rebirth. That said, Crossley technically missed Farsley’s NPL Premier play-off final victory over North Ferriby having had to go off early as he had sustained a massive head wound after heading a piece of metal on the Throstle Nest tunnel celling whilst waiting to be led out.

Others considered: Lee Connor, Amjad Iqbal, James Riley, James Cotteril, Mickey Thompson, Jimmy Williams.

Left-back: Ryan Serrant (Farsley Celtic, Bradford Park Avenue, Yorkshire Amateur)

Ryan Serrant played for Farsley for nearly ten years

An under-rated member of Farsley Celtic’s first team for nearly a decade. Still turning out top performances for Yorkshire Amateur.

Others considered: Leon Henry, Luke O’Brien, Carl Serrant.

Right-midfield: Andy Watson (Garforth Town, Farsley Celtic, Doncaster Rovers)

Andy Watson is rated as one of the best Non League footballers never to have played in the Football League

Watto is one of the best Non League players never to play in the Football League. Few will disagree with that. Having burst on the scene at Garforth Town in 1998, he only played a handful of games before Conference outfit Doncaster Rovers bought him. Watto is also skilled at ensuring the survival of goldfish during six hour journeys.

Others considered: Chris Brandon, Rob Youhill 

Centre-midfielders: Simeon Bambrook (Garforth Town, Emley, Worksop Town, Farsley Celtic, Guiseley) and Harrison Biggins (Stocksbridge Park Steels)

Simeon Bambrook scored the goal which fired Farsley into the top flight of Non League football

Simeon was absolutely brilliant for all his clubs and is rightly classed as one of Leeds’ greatest Non League footballers. His place in Farsley’s history is also assured through scoring the last minute penalty in the 2007 Conference North play-off final to put Farsley into the top flight of Non League Football. 

Harrison Biggins developed massively as player under Chris Hilton at Stocksbridge. Picture: Gillian Handisides

Biggins was exceptional for Stocksbridge and because of how he developed and how hard he worked during his three years under Chris Hilton, he is a shining example to all young players to what is possible. Ultimately it all earned him his move to Fleetwood Town.

Others considered: Wayne Benn, Craig Bentham, Mark Hancock, Steve Mallory, Matt Thornhill.

Left-midfield: Roy Stamer (Farsley Celtic, Bradford Park Avenue)

Farsley’s great German winger Roy Stamer

The German winger was another key member of Farsley’s success under Lee Sinnott.

Others considered: Stephen Ball, Neil Grayston, Ryan Hall.

Strikers: Andy Hayward and Jason Maxwell 

Andy Hayward scored twice on his Bradford (Park Avenue) debut
Jason Maxwell’s partnership with Andy Hayward is the greatest forward pairing in the reformed history of Bradford (Park Avenue). (Photo by Nigel French/EMPICS via Getty Images)

The ultimate forward partnership – and 20 years on still Avenue’s greatest striker pairing. Maxwell had already been at Avenue for two years when Hayward arrived from Frickley in late 2000 and set the world alight with a double on his debut at Trafford. The pair were integral as Avenue won the old NPL Division One title.

Others considered: James Walshaw, Lee Ellington, Gavin Allott, Nathan Cartman, Ash Flynn, Rob Bordman, Gary Bradshaw.

2 thoughts on “My Greatest Non League Eleven

  1. Seems you have not been over to East Yorks much, ever heard of Brid Town Wembley team you could pick for or five from them, Just recent Tom Flemming ,Jenks who plays today, it sounds like your a Wessie, nowt wrong with that so am I

    I do appreciate it is your choice, keep up the good work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *