Clubs in the Football League often delve into Non-League to unearth gems. It has proved fruitful too in recent times, with the likes of Jamie Vardy going from playing for Stockbridge Park Steels to being Leicester City’s topscorer in their Premier League triumph in 2016.
So far this summer, many players have been signed by Football League clubs who were plying their trade in Non-League last season, such as Fejiri Okenabirhie making the move from Dagenham & Redbridge to Shrewsbury Town, and Bruno Andrade making the move from Boreham Wood to Lincoln City. This article takes a look at five players who could follow their footsteps this summer:
Morgan Ferrier has been one of the most prolific strikers in the National League over the past two seasons, netting 26 goals in two spells at Boreham Wood and one spell at Dagenham & Redbridge. The striker, who is also comfortable playing on either wing, started his career at Arsenal, followed by spells with Watford and Crystal Palace. Having never managed to breakthrough to the aforementioned club’s first teams, Ferrier will be keen to make a move into the Football League, as he has never made a senior appearance in England’s top four tiers. Aged only 23, Ferrier would be a terrific signing for any League One or League Two team, as he has the potential to improve his game even more than he has done over the past few years.
Rhys Murrell-Williamson was one of the best wingers in the National League South last campaign. The 24 year-old netted 12 times in 39 matches for St Albans City, although this was not enough for the Saints to make the Play-Off’s as they narrowly missed out on a top seven spot. Murrell-Williamson mainly operated on the right wing during last season, cutting in on his favoured left foot to often devastating effect. The former Boreham Wood and Dulwich Hamlet man would be a good signing for any Football League club looking to add to their attack this summer.
It would not be a surprise if Josh Falkingham was on many Football League teams wishlist this summer. Falkingham captained Harrogate Town to play-off joy in his first season at the club, meaning that Harrogate will play in the fourth tier of English football for the first time in their 104 year history. The central midfielder played his football in Scotland prior to moving down south, with spells at St Johnstone and Dunfermline. His ability to pick out a pass, as well as his leadership skills, would make the 27 year-old a perfect fit for any League One or League Two club trying to fill a void in their midfield.
It is not an exaggeration to suggest that AFC Fylde’s Danny Rowe is one of the hottest properties in Non-League currently. The 28 year-old striker will go down as a legend at Mill Farm, having bagged 47 league goals to secure the National League North title for the Coasters during the 2016/17 campaign. Rowe adjusted to a higher level magnificently too, netting 24 times for AFC Fylde in the National League last season. At the age of 28, it may be hard for Rowe to turn down a Football League opportunity, although he may have a desire to gain promotion to England’s fourth tier with the Coasters, having narrowly missed out through the Play-Offs last time out.
Despite a disappointing season last time out for Leyton Orient, the O’s fans would have enjoyed watching striker Macualey Bonne. Bonne arrived at Orient following eight years at Essex club Colchester United. The 22 year-old striker was prolific for Orient in their first season in the National League following relegation, netting 22 times in 44 appearances. Although Orient will see keeping Bonne as vital if they want to achieve promotion back to the Football League next season, Bonne may be tempted to leave Brisbane Road if Football League clubs show interest in his services.