Joint manager of the Lancaster City Ladies Football Club and physiotherapist Paul Winstanley gives insight into behind the scenes of the non-league game.

Talking about how he got into physiotherapy and football team management, Winstanley says: “I’ve always been involved in sports and team sports, it was something I was interested in and something I wanted to be a part of.”

After going back to University to retrain his interest in the career grew from not only sports therapy but to physiotherapy as well. 

Working for Chorley Football Club for a number of years on placement, developed his love for the game as well as further experience with matchday physio work. 

Winstanley makes the point that without the club’s volunteers and staff many of the clubs in the lower leagues of the football pyramid would not be able to operate sustainably. 

He says; “It’s really the true heart and soul of football, a lot of people hear the word soulless being said about top level football because of the money involved and all that stuff. I believe in non-league you still have that true heart and soul of football, the passion of the fans, the passion of the players.

“Everyone chips in, everyone helps out and digs in, for a common cause, we want to play football, we want to do well, but we are all in it together as such.”

Looking to continue his career at Lancaster City in both the men’s and women’s teams, he hopes that in a couple of seasons the Step 7 tiered football team will climb the ladder. 

“As a professional, I’d love to better myself and get as far in the game as I can, but at the same time I’d love to be continually involved in non-league football in some capacity,” he says. 

As a keen advocate for getting more people involved in the non-league game, educating those about the level of passion surrounding the lower leagues of the pyramid, is a key part of what he wants to share. 

“In this country you don’t really experience it, you go abroad and you see stadiums with flares and banners and you say yeah that’s passionate but it’s different in non-league.

“It’s the truest form of football you can get, it’s people who love football and support the love of football, and if people haven’t experienced it, I would love them to come along and experience it because a lot of the time they will come back and back again.”

If you would like to know more about how to get involved in the non-league game and the women’s game click the link here to the Lancaster City site.

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