Small Club of the Week – Slough Town F.C.

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!

Slough Town F.C.

Nickname: The Rebels
Founded: 1893 (as Slough)
Location: Slough, Berkshire, England
Team Colors: Blue & Yellow
Ground: Arbor Park
Capacity: 2,000
Current League: National League South (Tier 6)
Website: www.sloughtownfc.net/
Twitter: @sloughtownfc

Reason For Notice

Slough Town was one of at least two clubs to upset a club from a higher tier in the replay of its FA Cup match this week, with a thrilling victory on penalty kicks over National League side Sutton United. The victory in front of the faithful fans at Arbor Park advances the club through to the second round of the FA Cup, where they will face off against the winner of Gillingham and Hartlepool United, who play their own replay match later today.

Read moreSmall Club of the Week – Slough Town F.C.

Small Club of the Week – Stockport County F.C.

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!

Stockport County F.C.

Nickname: The Hatters
Founded: 1883 (as Heaton Norris Rovers)
Location: Stockport, Greater Manchester, England
Team Colors: Blue & White
Ground: Edgeley Park
Capacity: 10,841
Current League: National League North (Tier 6)
Website: www.stockportcounty.com
Twitter: @StockportCounty

Reason For Notice

Stockport County is one of at least four clubs from the National League (Tier 6) to win during the first round proper of the FA Cup this past weekend. The Hatters defeated League Two club Yeovil Town 3-1 on the road in Yeovil. Yeovil Town scored first, in the eighth minute, setting a tone that seemed to indicate they would win the match without issue. But Stockport didn’t give up and scored three consecutive goals, becoming the team to advance to the second round of the tournament.

Read moreSmall Club of the Week – Stockport County F.C.

Small Club of the Week – Red Star Belgrade (2nd Award)

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!

Additionally, since there hasn’t been any matches played in the other tournaments I usually pull from for this series – though the FA Cup will play its first round this weekend – I’ve decided to revisit one of our previously featured teams in the series this week, due to their unexpected win in Champions League yesterday.

Red Star Belgrade (FK Crvena zvezda)

Nickname: The Red-Whites
Founded: 4 March 1945
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Team Colors: Red & White
Ground: Rajko Mitić Stadium
Capacity: 55,538
Current League: Serbian SuperLiga (Tier 1 of Serbian Association)
Website: http://www.crvenazvezdafk.com/
Twitter: @crvenazvezda_en

Reason For Notice

Red Star started with a draw in the Champions League group stage, a result I covered in the recap of Matchday 1 in the tournament. That scoreless draw was followed up with two (expected) losses to Paris Saint-Germain (6-1) and Liverpool (4-0) that left them in last place in Group C after three matches. Nevertheless, they managed to overcome that same Liverpool team on Matchday 4, winning 2-0 at home behind two first half goals from Milan Pavkov. They are still in fourth place in the group, but their path to perhaps finishing third and moving on to Europa League has increased, with FiveThirtyEight giving them a 14% chance of finishing third in the group. They have to win at least one of two matches that remain, especially because they have a goal differential of -7, so they would most likely lose a tiebreaker should they end up tied with another club.

Read moreSmall Club of the Week – Red Star Belgrade (2nd Award)

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.

Read moreSmall Club of the Week – Hampton & Richmond Borough

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.

Read moreSmall Club of the Week – HJK Helsinki