The FA have confirmed that Newcastle Blue Star will reclaim their place in the Arngrove Northern League Division One next season, after giving notice of voluntary relegation earlier in the month.
The news sent shockwaves throughout the non-league football scene in the North-East, Northern League clubs have been accused of lacking ambition, happy in the comfort zone of playing local football instead of stepping up to a national level. Blue Star took the step into the newly constructed Unibond Division One North, but have decided it’s not for them, based purely on geographical reasons, this was highlighted in yesterdays match programme, which featured a mileage chart highlighting their plight, the closest club is Harrogate RA (83 miles) and the furthest is Skelmersdale (164 miles) so the fact that the players might not be home in time for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Takeaway is a decisive factor.
But seriously I wish the club would stay put and hope the experience won’t put off other Northern League clubs making the step up, if more clubs were to progress giving the North-East a bigger percentage of clubs in the Unibond then that would solve some of the travel problems and reduce costs.
Blue Star have heavily invested in a good squad of players, I attended the game against Mossley and saw an entertaining 5-1 win, it’s a shame that a sparse crowd of only 73 were in attendance, there was more in The Hiding Place Sports & Lounge Bar which is situated in the main stand, than outside watching the main action, maybe the comfy surroundings and live Premier League football on half a dozen screens, was a far more attractive alternative to 22 players running around chasing a ball in the pouring rain.
Kingston Park is probably now one of the best grounds in Non-League football, I don’t know what the future hold ground wise for the club, but the point of this post and my revisit is I wanted to see Blue Star play in the Unibond and take some better photographs of Kingston Park to share on the website.
So here they are; Kingston Park Matchday Web album
My original visit to Kingston Park – Ground no.126 can be found here.
My visit to the Wheatshief Ground, which includes a brief history of Blue Star, can be found here.
My match report for Non-League Blog (to follow)
Update April 22nd ‘08
Newcastle Blue Star made a u-turn on their decision to return to the ANL, a meeting of the UBL Management Committee on April 21st confirmed the club had been readmitted.
Why the sudden change of heart? The problems the club highlights haven’t gone away, whatever their reasons for staying (maybe it’s because they read this post) its good news for NE Non-League football.
The team has been on a great run and has climbed the table under the guidance of new boss Paul Baker, they’ll be hoping the make further progression next season.