One of the keys to success in the non-league system is sifting through players who have been let go by the Academy system to see if there are any hidden gems. Leamington have done this quite well with Danny Newton doing well for Stevenage.
In the summer there was a tussle between Leicester City and Swansea City for the signature of leading striker Courtney Baker-Richardson, a Coventry City academy product. Swansea won and he is banging in the goals and providing assists for their under 23s.
However, possibly the real star is Alex Rodman, a mainstay of Shrewsbury Town: Alex Rodman shines
It seems only yesterday when I was standing on the touchline at the New Windmill Ground chatting to his mum. He has had some injury problems recently, so Charlton may be spared him tomorrow.
Now living in Solihull, he played for the Brakes for three years while studying for a business studies degree at Nottingham Trent university. He was paid £30 a week and then in his last year at uni went to Tamworth where he earned £60-£70 a week.
He went on play for Aldershot Town and got three England C caps. However, he was then diagnosed with blood clots all over his lungs, had to go to hospital and was on Warfarin for three months. With his career apparently at an end, he broke down in tears but went on to play more than 200 games.
Rodman's father established Warwick Sports & Leisure.
Now aged 31, he is taking a master's in sports directorship at Manchester Metropolitan University. 'I found the more I dive into books, the more I read and learn and challenge myself, the more I grow as a person and a player. I feel that not only am I in the best shape of my life, fitness-wise, but also intelligence-wise with the decisions I make on the pitch and off.'
Richard Cawley of the SLP has done an exclusive interview with Ezri Konsa. Read it here: Promotion hopes