Small Club of the Week – Burton Albion

Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!

Burton Albion F.C.

Nickname: Brewers
Founded: 1950
Location: Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England
Team Colors: Yellow & Black
Ground: Pirelli Stadium
Capacity: 6,912 (2,034 seated)
Current League: League One (Tier 3)
Website: www.burtonalbionfc.co.uk
Twitter: @burtonalbionfc

Reason For Notice

Burton Albion was not a club I ever expected to profile in this space, as they are currently playing in League One (Tier 3) after being relegated from the Championship last season. But with little else happening in the realm of non-league competitions this week, I’ve decided to discuss Burton Albion after their upset win over Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup yesterday.

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Small Club of the Week – Hampton & Richmond Borough

Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!

Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C.

Nickname: The Beavers
Founded: 1921 (as Hampton FC)
Location: Hampton London, England
Team Colors: Blue & Red / Black & White
Ground: Beveree Stadium
Capacity: 3,500 (644 seated)
Current League: National League South (Tier 6)
Website: www.hamptonfc.net
Twitter: @HRBFC

Reason For Notice

While there were clubs from lower tiers that advanced to the FA Cup first round, the Beavers are back in the first round for the first time since 2007! And they reached the first round by defeating Tier 5 club Eastleigh. So, it wasn’t as big a win as some of our other Small Clubs, but it was impressive nonetheless.

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Small Club of the Week – HJK Helsinki

Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!

HJK Helsinki

Nickname: The Club
Founded: 19 June 1907
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Team Colors: Blue and White
Ground: Telia 5G -areena
Capacity: 10,770
Current League: Veikkausliiga
Website: www.hjk.fi
Twitter: @hjkhelsinki

Reason For Notice

We are still a couple of weeks out from the next matchday of this year’s Champions League, and there hasn’t been any upsets in English trophy competitions, so I decided to take a look at the one of the earliest qualifiers for next year’s Champions League.
HJK Helsinki has already clinched a spot in the 2019-2020 Champions League qualifying round by claiming the league title in the Veikkausliiga, the top league in Finland. Due to the northern climate of Finland, they play a league schedule that runs from April to October to avoid winter. This season officially ends on October 27th, but HJK has been dominant on the season, and thanks to their current 13-match unbeaten streak (10W-3D-0L), they clinched the league title after a Match 29 win against Ilves. As such, they have clarified for the first qualifying round of the 2019-2020 Champions League.

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Small Club of the Week – Dunston UTS

Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!

Dunston UTS

Nickname: The Fed
Founded: 1975 (as Whickham Sports)
Location: Gateshead, England
Team Colors: Royal Blue and White
Ground: Wellington Road
Capacity: 2,500 (150 seated)
Current League: Northern League Division One (Tier 9)
Website: www.dunstonutsfc.co.uk
Twitter: @dunstonutsfc

Reason For Notice

Like a lot of other clubs profiled in this space, Dunston UTS is receiving notice for their performance in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round this past weekend. The Fed was the only club from below Tier 8 to qualify for the round, and they upset Tier 6 club Chester FC in a come from behind 4-3 victory powered by two goals Mark Fitzpatrick – he’s scored 6 goals in qualifying thus far – in front of nearly 900 fans at Wellington Road on October 6th.

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Catching Up With Our Small Clubs of the Week

This week, while awaiting the results that might help us determine the next Small Club of the Week, I thought I would take some time to take a look back at the previous clubs that we’ve covered and what’s going on in their seasons.
Our first Small Club of the Week was Racing Club Warwick, who gained our notice by being the only club from Tier 10 to defeat a Tier 8 team during the Extra Preliminary Round in qualification for the FA Cup. They have since been eliminated from FA Cup qualification, losing to Tier Seven club Coalville Town during the First Qualifying Round, and have subsequently been eliminated from the FA Vase tournament as well. However, their league season has continued, and they currently find themselves in 8th place in the Midland League, Division One.
The second Small Club of the Week was Exeter City from a much higher tier (Tier 4), who also had a surprising result in a non-league tournament. Exeter City made the cut due to their victory over Championship club Ipswich Town, becoming the only club from League Two to defeat a Championship club in this year’s EFL Cup. Like Racing Club Warwick, Exeter too was eliminated from the tournament in a subsequent round, bowing out in a match against Premier League club Everton in the second round. They do, however, continue to be near the top of League Two, currently sitting in second place in the league table and in position for promotion should they maintain that placement for another 30 weeks or so.

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Small Club of the Week – BSC Young Boys

Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!

Young Boys of Bern

Nickname: The Yellow-Blacks
Founded: 14 March 1898
Location: Bern, Switzerland
Team Colors: Yellow and Black
Ground: Stade de Suisse (since 2005)
Capacity: 31,783
Current League: Swiss Super League
Website: www.bscyb.ch
Twitter: @BSC_YB

Reason For Notice

With the Champions League kicking off this week, I thought I would preview another long-shot club in the tournament, this time a club that has made the Champions League Group Stage for the first time in their history. Unlike previous entry in this series Red Star Belgrade, who had to play through multiple qualification rounds to reach the group stage, Young Boys entered the tournament during the playoff round, the last round before the Group Stage. They defeated Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia in that round, securing a berth in the Group Stage

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