Qatar World Cup break offers the chance for proper football fans to broaden their horizons - Stuart Rayner
This is their chance to shine.
No Championship football until December 10, no Premier League until Boxing Day (or the 28th in Leeds United's case) means no excuse not to visit a local club which needs your support now as much as ever.
Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City, Doncaster Rovers and Harrogate Town all have home games in this period. We have round two of the FA Cup, a full non-league programme and those who enjoyed the women's European Championship but have not been to a domestic match yet this season will have plenty to choose from.
Every World Cup gets people who do not usually watch football into the beautiful game, but normally they have to wait a month or so to watch it in the flesh. Now when your child, wife or boyfriend gets engrossed by Denmark versus France or Brazil versus Cameroon you can not only offer them the chance to experience the game but if you choose well, at reasonable prices
Watching the world's best players on television is great and I for one plan to take advantage of plenty of the wall-to-wall opportunities between now and Christmas, so this is not an anti-international football or anti-Qatar column.
But nothing beats being there – part of the action, part of the community. And without a video assistant referee to spoil your fun.
The English pyramid is so strong, there is plenty to offer and lots to choose from.
If after watching Spain's technicians you decide pure football is your thing, Doncaster try to play it. No one is pretending League Two players are remotely as good at it as Pedri and Gavi, but football played as Danny Schofield wants it to be is good to watch. Rovers look to attack and take the risks which mean goals at the other end too.
Bradford manager Mark Hughes and Wednesday’s Darren Moore like their teams to get the ball down and play too, and as their respective league tables show, are good at it. Their matches have plenty of jeopardy with two big clubs expected to get out of the divisions they have found themselves in for too long.
Valley Parade and Hillsborough are traditional, well-attended grounds which generate great atmospheres when the going is good and more often than not this season, it has been.
Harrogate Town's approach is perhaps more physical and old-school, but far more sophisticated than most of what you would see in years gone by. It is rawer football played by a club that really needs more support.
Thanks to the loan system and the odd gem discovered or clung onto, you can see good players too. It is only a few months ago Barnsley's midfield contained one of the Hungarian players who humiliated England in June.
Even post-Callum Styles, Barnsley have the likes of Slobodan Tedic, on loan from Manchester City, and Josh Benson, who played in the Premier League a couple of years ago.
Bradford wingers Scott Banks and Tyreik Wright are exciting talents and the Owls are frankly cheating by having Barry Bannan and Josh Windass in League One.
But for stars of the future, Bramall Lane is your best bet.
The South Yorkshire production line of England internationals is by no means limited to the men's game. Although only in tier two of women's football, Sheffield United have English youth internationals like Ellie Wilson, Naomi Hartley, Mia Enderby and full Welsh caps Georgie Waters and Maria Francis-Jones.
They hope to break their 4,100 attendance record of against London City Lionesses on Sunday
Non-league York City should have a new manager before the end of the month and Scarborough Athletic will be relieved it is not going to be theirs with Jonathan Greening doing exciting things in Conference North. Average attendances are above 1,500 because the phoenix club are top-scorers in a division they only joined this season, but sit third in.
Halifax Town's Conference campaign has finally got going after losing manager Pete Wild in the summer, and the push from extra fans could do Bradford (Park Avenue) and Farsley the world of good at the wrong end of the division below.
Across non-league are clubs at different points in different tables struggling after Covid-19.
Many disenchanted by the growing disconnect between them and millionaire players are finding the joys in non-league. They like being able to stand on the terraces, pint in hand, and chat to the players they cheered on in the clubhouse afterwards rather than listening to prima donnas bleating about betrayal.
There is so much out there for proper fans to enjoy. For those facing a few weeks with their team in mothballs, this is an opportunity, not cause for disappointment.