This is a proper FA Cup match against first-time opposition. The Anstey Nomads are on something of a roll or are in nose bleed territory if you prefer.

Last season they finished Champions of their Step 5 United Counties League and now play in Step 4 for the first time ever. They sit in the Northern Premier League Midlands division where they rub shoulders with Sporting Khalsa, Lye and Sutton Coldfield Town. The football club is unincorporated – they have no owners, rather a group of people who work together for a common goal.

Slightly alarmingly, they haven’t lost a game yet in League or Cups. They currently sit in 5th place with games in hands on all the clubs above them. They average two goals per game. But having 7 home games out of 8 does help, ironically given their name. Their only away fixtures were a 0-0 in the FA Cup at Boston Town and a 2-1 win at Bedworth in the League. Edgar Street will be a very different experience for them. Well sort of – thanks to Paul Rogers’s friend for pointing out that the Nomads played at the Street in 1989/90. They beat Pegasus 1-0 in an Extra Preliminary FA Vase tie. Peggy were ground sharing at the time. The Nomads are quite clear that their 2023 visit is their “BIGGEST AWAY GAME EVER” (yes, that shouty) and a supporters coach is being organised.

In the FA Cup, they beat Boston Town on penalties, Eastwood 2-1 and Hanley Town 3-0. Ominously, they broke all club records by reaching the 4th Qualifying Round last season as a step 5 side. In their big game live on BT, they lost 3-0 to Chesterfield before a capacity crowd of 1,500. Despite this achievement, Cup matches this season all had smaller gates than League fixtures, giving an overall average of around 180 people.

Anstey are quite a recent club, founded in 1947 after a merger of two church football teams. Their original name of Anstey Meths and Marys sounds rather odd these days. The modern Nomads use the term “community club “with real meaning. They have a frankly staggering 60 teams involving 620 players as young as 4 years old. Imagine the safeguarding issues with that lot? The village in which it is based lies to the North-West of Leicester with a 6,000 population. Pretty much every child in the village plays for the Nomads. It might even be compulsory!

This club is a bit different. Manager Tony Blanchard is also chairman and barman. He owns a Special Needs school based at the ground and he’s also a qualified teacher and social worker. Not a bad CV. Anstey is his only club. He worked his way up from the Academy.

The club goalkeeper Conrad Logan is also the Vice Chairman and Director of Coaching. His role includes dealing with recruitment, players’ wages and running the football club on a day-to-day basis. 38-year-old Conrad is Leicester born and was City’s back-up keeper for many years, in between several loan spells around the EFL. Conrad fits in two other jobs as well – Head of Coaching at Leicester City and runs his own goalkeeping school. Somehow.

The other familiar name in the squad is Spencer Weir-Daley (38) who really has put his football talent about. For such a nomadic player born in Leicester, there’s probably nowhere better for the striker to finish his career at Anstey – his 23rd club. He played around 70 EFL games. He’s a full international with 16 caps for Montserrat. Predictably Spencer’s also a coach running his own Youth academy in Leicester. He’s also a trained railway signaller –just in case presumably, like first aid training.

As ever, your club needs you to be there if you possibly can to support your team. This is the FA Cup, its special to us and we need to progress. Yes I realise this is standard pricing but that has far more to do with the visitors than our own club.

Up for grabs is £2,250 prize money, basically the difference between winning and losing.

Are you Up For The Cup?

Anstey Nomads – FA Cup (

Simon Wright


By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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