The dream of playing Premier League could never feel further away for players in the non-league, but Jamie Vardy and Chris Smalling have both proved that there is a route there. That route is now more common than most believe, with many non-league players seamlessly adapting to life in the Football League after making the move.
The current financial situation that clubs find themselves in due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, including the ones in Premier League, means that clubs in the top four divisions will need to be more astute with how they spend their money in the summer window.
Clubs in the Football League will still be hopeful of bringing in fresh recruits, but after being hit financially, the non-league may be their only, and best route of getting more for their money. But, which players could Football League sides have their eyes on that have been playing in the non-league in 2019-20?
There aren’t many more commanding players in the National League than Barnet’s influential Dan Sweeney. Barnet may still have an outside chance of finishing in the playoff spots this season should the season resume, but Sweeney could still be attracting interest from Football League clubs should Barnet not get promoted. Sweeney is approaching his prime years and is able to play in the centre of midfield or in defence. He has been a crucial member of the squad with every club that he has played at.
He made over 100 appearances for Kingstonian, before moving onto Dulwich Hamlet and Maidstone United. He has impressed in the three years that he has been at Barnet and has made 83 appearances and scored one goal. Sweeney was made captain of Barnet by Martin Allen and has won the player of the season award in two of the previous three seasons.
Another midfielder that could be on the move this summer is one at the very beginning of his career. Chislett is only 20-years-old, but he has already proven that he has the pedigree to step up into the Football League. He looks like he is ready for the chance after impressing for Aldershot Town this season. He only signed for the club last summer, but he has become an integral member of their team.
This season he has played 36 times and scored nine goals. His performances have helped Aldershot steer clear of relegation trouble and with his contract expiring at the end of June, it would seem inevitable that a Football League club could make a move. Chislett was reportedly linked with a move to Luton Town in January, and that is the biggest indicator that he is already on the radar of some of the clubs in the Football League.
It has been an unbelievable season for Barrow in the National League this year. It would be heartbreaking to see them denied promotion as they have been excellent throughout the campaign. They are currently four points clear at the top of the division, and one of the reasons behind their good form has been the success that Josh Kay has enjoyed this season.
The left-wing back has played 35 times for Barrow this season and has been included in 86% of their starting elevens. He has also scored six goals, and he had a coming of age season according to manager Ian Evatt. His potential was noticed from an early age as he was on the books at Barnsley.
However, he was unable to make the grade, and now he will be working his way back up from the non-league. With his current deal coming to an end in the summer, a move back into the Football League could be on the cards.
These are the players who we fancy to get transferred this Summer. Who did we miss? Who would you include? And, if you love football, check out TonyBet Sport betting page, where you can bet on all the English top divisions.