Non-League: The New Proving Ground

With Antoni Sarcevic being named in the PFA League 2 Team of the Season, many young footballers who have been released by big clubs are showing there is a huge wealth of talent at the lower levels.

Former Celtic youngster Dan Gardner believes there is a large crop of unspotted talent in the non-league system and is not surprised that players have been making a big impact in the football league.

Gardner came into league football with Chesterfield after a successful spell with Skrill Premier side FC Halifax. Arriving at the ProAct Stadium in the January transfer window, the wide man has settled well into life in League 2.

He said: “Obviously, full time football is a lot better, it’s a lot better for me and it has improved me as a player already.”

Discussing his release from the Bhoys, he said: “It was horrible to be let go, it is from any club.”

The Mancunian continued: “I did miss quite a bit of football to be fair. It’s not nice when you’re not playing and aren’t involved with all the lads.”

After a successful first year in league football, the former non-league star is hoping to cause more problems in League 1 next season.