Professional or semi-professional that is the non-league club question?

In a bid to claim the ultimate prize for a non-league side a place in the promised land of the Football League many teams are faced with the question professional or semi-professional.

Even sides outside of the National League have decided that the only way they feel they can compete with the best is to go full-time.

A recent side to go professional this season is AFC Fylde after narrowly missing promotion to the National League last season, the decision was taken to go full-time.

Full-time on a part-time basis didn’t come into play no training two or three days a week, AFC Fylde decided to do it properly. They wanted the players to take on a mentality of being a full-time footballer. All this to give themselves the best chance of getting out of the division.

Within the North Division there currently between two and three other clubs that are already full-time.

It is clear to understand and appreciate what benefits being a full-time professional club can bring with it.

  • possibility to bring in younger players and coach them properly
  • attract a better quality of player
  • increased match preparation time
  • increased match recovery time
  • improved player retention

Increased costs for any club cannot be taken likely, point and case being Forest Green. However, if the club has the infrastructure already in place to support this, one cannot take away a club’s ambitions and surely every club and its fans have every right to dream big.

Within the National league the sides that were relegated from the Football League are full-time professional sides. So, does being professional and full-time really improve a team’s chances of promotion?


With regards to AFC Fylde their final league position at the end of the season will determine their overall success but in my opinion if promotion is achieved they certainly should give themselves a pat on the back and will give themselves a fighting chance of survival in the National league.




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