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.

Read moreCatching Up With Our Small Clubs of the Week

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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Small Club of the Week – Bath City 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!

Bath City F.C.

Nickname: The Romans
Founded: 1889; 129 years ago as Bath AFC
Location: Bath, England
Team Colors: Black & White
Ground: Twerton Park
Capacity: 8,840 (1,006 seated)
Current League: National League South (Tier 6)
Website: www.bathcityfc.com
Twitter: @BathCity_FC

Reason For Notice

Usually, I try to identify a club here that won a surprising game, usually in one of the non-league competitions that occur all over Europe during the season. With the international break last week, however, this decision is not based on on-field performance over the past week. Instead, I wanted to find a club that has a nice story that may not be known to folks outside of the local area for the club. I chose Bath City this week because of their unique ownership structure as a community-owned organization.

Read moreSmall Club of the Week – Bath City F.C.

Small Club of the Week – Red Star Belgrade

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!

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

This week is a little different, if only because there wasn’t any giant killers in English football this week. Because of that, I decided to look to the UEFA Champions League, which held its group stage draw on Thursday last week. And though they are not the lowest ranked club (currently ranked 119th) to reach the Group Stage – that distinction belongs to Greek club AEK Athens (ranked 123rd) – Red Star Belgrade was the team that played the most rounds to get to that stage, mostly because of their football associations’ 28th-place rank by UEFA coefficient. So even though they were the champion of their league last season, and one of the most successful clubs in Serbia, I felt their long odds overcome in the course of their qualification for the Champions League warranted a mention in this series.

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Weekend SCotW Bonus Edition – Sutton United

For our weekend bonus content, I wanted to highlight one of the most successful giant-killer clubs in the FA Cup, Sutton United.
Last year they made it to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, putting them as one of the last 16 clubs, before losing to Arsenal. This is a team that clearly punches above it’s weight! The have also reached the highest level of competitive football in the clubs extensive history, so congratulations U’s!!

Sutton United Football Club

Nickname: The U’s
Founded: 1898
Location: Sutton
Team Colors: Amber/Chocolate Brown
Ground: Gander Green Lane (Knights Community Stadium)
Capacity: 5,013
Current League: (Vanarama) National League (Tier 5)
Website: http://www.suttonunited.net/
Twitter: @SuttonUnited

Read moreWeekend SCotW Bonus Edition – Sutton United