There’s often a collective groan among football fans when it’s an international break as the usual weekend routine of following your club is disrupted.
If you really can’t bear to watch England play a not very memorable Euro 2020 qualifier or see the other home nations lose to a country you’d struggle to find on a world map, then fear not, because you have another option this weekend.
That’s because it’s Non League Day on Saturday, giving fans the chance to support the game at a grass roots level and get their fix of football for the weekend without turning to the dreaded international matches.
So to get you in the mood for some non-league football, talkSPORT.com caught up with a player from National League side Solihull Moors, Paul McCallum.
McCallum, who was a West Ham player from 2011-2015, joined the Moors from Eastleigh in May after finishing joint-top scorer in the league with 27 strikes in 2018/19.
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The striker’s prolific form in front of goal wasn’t enough to get Eastleigh up though as they were defeated by Salford City in the play-offs. The Moors also fell at the semi-final stage.
McCallum even rejected offers from clubs in the EFL during the summer, claiming he had ‘eleven different contract offers’ but remained tight-lipped on which specific clubs were after him.
So why Solihull Moors when there were routes back into the Football League?
Speaking at Solihull Moors’ newly-named ground, the SportNation.bet Stadium, McCallum said: “I came up in the summer to have a talk with the head of recruitment and the manager and it was just the ambition the club showed.
“They’re building a new stadium, they’ve just bought a new training ground and like I said the ambition of the chairman and the manager. That’s what sold it to me.”
The impact that manager Tim Flowers, who played for England and has a Premier League winners’ medal to his name from his days as Blackburn goalkeeper, is having is something McCallum was keen to point out too.
McCallum added: “He’s got the personality where if you’re doing well he’ll look after you and he expects a lot of things.
“He’s the type of manager that you want to go and win games for and work hard for because of how he treats you off the pitch.
“He’s a good man manager and I think that’s important.
“There aren’t many tips he’s given me about being a forward – I reckon I would have slotted a few past him back in the day!
“But any advice he gives you on and off the pitch, you take it and add to your game because he’s come from the top. He’s played for England.”
The Moors are currently eighth in the National League having recovered from a run of games that saw them go without a win in six in the league.
And McCallum is not making any secret that promotion is the target for his new club this season.
He said: “For everyone it will be [the target]. Others may not want to say it but I’ve come here to get promoted.
“I haven’t come here to play 46 games and not get promoted.”
It’s not just football, football, football that’s constantly racing through McCallum’s mind though.
Believe it or not, McCallum is a huge heavy metal fan and when asked about the music genre which is something of an acquired taste, he was truly in his element.
He said: “Growing up I just preferred that sort of music to the music that was playing in the charts.
“I started listening to bands like My Chemical Romance and from then on I was hooked! I always go to as many gigs as possible to bands like Bring Me the Horizon and Slipknot.
“It’s just a music genre that I prefer and it suits my character more than what the people would call ‘the mainstream’.”
Football teams often play music in the changing room to help them get psyched up for a game or even a training session, so could it be that a secret behind Soliull Moors’ success is a tune by the likes of Slipknot?
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On whether he’s likely to ever become team DJ, McCallum said: “No! I tried it the other day as they were going out and everyone just stopped what they were doing and looked towards me and was like ‘nah’.
“I’ve never been given the DJ duties and I don’t think I ever will. The music that gets played is what I would call ‘the nonsense’ – the stuff that you hear in clubs and that, so just the generic music.”
There seems to be a good team spirit at Solihull Moors but there’s a job to do this season which continues when they face second-placed Bromley on Saturday.
The club opened their gates to fans to watch a midweek game on a “pay what you want on the door” deal.
They won that game against Sutton United 2-0, and McCallum is hoping that this, as well as a good result on Saturday, will help bring even more punters through the gates ahead of a hugely important campaign.
And you never know, Non League Day 2019 could just be the catalyst that helps Solihull Moors achieve the ambitions that everyone at the club is hell-bent on doing.
SportNation.bet are proud to sponsor Solihull Moors’ new-look stadium – for more information on exclusive sign-up offers, check the site (18 terms apply, gamble aware)