Football Supporters Society: the best way to experience the North East’s football scene

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It’s a long-used cliché that the North East is a footballing hotbed. The thing with clichés is that they always have an element of truth.

The Durham University Football Supporters Society will be taking students across the region to see that for themselves, from the Premier League to the National League North.

Media presentation of Newcastle, as with Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the past, is carefully selected. Larger-than-life blokes with their tops off in a packed-out away end? Fantastic support, say the media. Boycotts and protests over how the club is managed? Oh, there they go again, those daft Northern clubs with their outlandish expectations. Fanbases lauded for their loyalty, dismissed when they expect that loyalty to be repaid.

Whatever your preconceptions of Newcastle’s team, often given that conceited tag of ‘functional’, they have players with hundreds of top-flight appearances. Such seasoned operators can only be appreciated live. Alternatively, just watch Allan Saint-Maximin. All the tricks, flicks, nutmegs, and ultimately, often none of the points, yours for dirt cheap, as the Society take Durham students to meetings with Brighton, Burnley, and Brentford before Christmas.

Sunderland, County Durham’s traditional club, is also best seen live. Experience a world where centre-halves are enormous, the referees somewhat laissez-faire, and a game that just looks really, really hard work.

A trip to Maiden Castle to see Durham Women Football Club on a Sunday is unbeatable

Local lads Dan Neil and Elliot Embleton make the brutal helter-skelter of the centre of League One pitches their personal playground, young players on loan from City and Bayern and an Aiden McGeady who hasn’t even got going yet have Sunderland flying high early on. The biggest crowds in England outside the Premier League mean it’s the place to be: and far superior to some TV documentary.

For standard of football and ease of access, a trip to Maiden Castle to see Durham Women Fooball Club on a Sunday is unbeatable. After finishing second last season, the Wildcats will be aiming for another shot at promotion into the Women’s Super League.

Since promotion to the sixth tier of English football, Spennymoor Town has been consistently in and around the play-off places, attempting once again this term to make it to within touching distance of the fabled lands of The Football League. Regularly attracting gates of over 1,000 to their Brewery Field home, Town are a club at the heart of County Durham competing in a league rich with big names from the world below the EFL.

Hereford and York City have already met the Moors, with Kidderminster Harriers, Bradford Park Avenue and Chorley, of more recent FA Cup fame, all also in residence in the division. No matter what your football fix is at University, the Football Supporters Society will have you covered with a complete sweep of what the great hotbed of the North East has to offer.

Image: Middlesbrough FC

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