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Lower tier football clubs or "friendly" matches to see while in London in July?

Hi everyone, we are a family of four (kids ages 9 & 12) and will be in London July 25-30. We are interested in seeing any football match in the London area - does not need to be premier league, we would love to even see the equivalent of a minor league or lower level team play, or a "friendly" match. Really just want to have an experience watching live football in the UK. What are some teams in the metro area that would be good to see a match? We will be staying at an apartment in the Brick Lane area, but could travel anywhere in the metro area.

Posted by
7555 posts

I did something like this a decade ago as I wanted to watch a rugby match. Went online and researched local clubs and emailed them.

Got a response from the Hampstead club and the long and short of it saw their play in the Heath then joined the players and their families for a pint following the match. One of my most favorite London visits.

This link helps identify countless non league football teams. I'd start emailing to discover schedules.

Posted by
2337 posts

There are no competitive matches in July - the various leagues will begin again in August. If you google the name of a club and "pre-season friendlies" you might find a game that coincides with your dates.

In fact you have more chance of seeing some of the big teams in the States. For example Arsenal are in San Jose on 28 July.

The summer game in England is cricket - why not visit a match for something different?

Posted by
4 posts

We are open to seeing a cricket match as well - really open to any sort of sports experience while we are in the area. Thought it would be a good way to get a sports fix and see a real slice of the local culture rather than just ticking off the typical tourist sights. Any suggestions for cricket teams in the area to watch? I am even more clueless about cricket than I am about football.

Posted by
7555 posts

Like we never have that happen in our sporting events.

This was last night by the supposed "face of baseball" Bryce Harper. Earlier in the game he was called out on strikes and whined all the way to the dug out. Then kept yapping at the umpire until he got ejected. Then when his teammate hit a walk off home run to win the game he was still mad and uttered two words to the umpire.......yep, great idol for young children.....

Posted by
9056 posts

One minor word of warning if you do go to a football match with
children, there will be liberal use of VERY strong language in the
Crowd, even at a "friendly"

Just like a sporting event in the US. Probably worse in the US, as there are less restrictions on alcohol consumption, and most other sports are longer in duration than a soccer match.

Posted by
4684 posts

An actual conversation between me and my boss in my previous job, who plays non-league football. We were discussing an incident in which one South American player playing in Britain had been accused of using a racial insult against another South American playing in Britain:

Me: Yeah, apparently he called the other guy "negrito", which is supposed to be offensive but apparently can be used affectionately, which he says was what he meant.
Him: You don't get affection between players on opposite sides on the football pitch.

Posted by
6113 posts

There won't be any football here in July, as it's Euro 2016 then.

Try 20/20 cricket if you don't want to be bored for a full day, as these matches are shorter and some are evening matches. There can be lots of alcohol consumed at matches, more so than at football matches.

Posted by
218 posts

Jennifer, there may be football going on in July, but it'll be lower league football at least.

Angela, as other have implied the Premier League teams are probably out, but lower league sides like Dagenham & Redbridge, Boreham Wood, Sutton United and Welling may be playing. The schedules won't have been released yet, but they will have done by late July, so keep checking their websites. There's no need to worry about tickets either, just turn up on the day.

Don't rule out cricket, though. I'd recommend going to a T20 Blast game if possible - it only lasts a couple of hours and the game encourages big hitting, so it's quite an exciting affair. It may also have more of an atmosphere than a pre-season friendly football match. The good news is both London teams are at home while you're there: Middlesex v. Essex on the 28th of July, and Surrey v. Kent on the 29th. I'd recommend buying tickets in advance for cricket - I'm led to believe they get good crowds for T20 games.