Groundhopping, a hobby which involves an individual(s) attending matches at as many different venues as possible, individuals who partake in this are known as groundhoppers, hoppers, or travellers.
It is a pastime associated with football-related events and has been growing since the 1980s, with several leagues dedicating full weekends to such an occasion, and again, at the start of the upcoming season, the United Counties League is doing just that.
The weekend of the 28/29/30 July 2023 will see the UCL start with their annual groundhopping event, seven matches taking place over the course of the three days, beginning in Leicestershire on the Friday night as Saffron Dynamo host Birstall United.
Of those seven matches, fourteen teams, six are in Nottinghamshire, although there are no Notts derbies involved; football fans however can take in games at Radford, Gedling, Hucknall and Eastwood on the Saturday, and at both Southwell, and Newark, on the Sunday.
Selhurst Street kicks off Saturday’s fun-and-games as The Pheasants welcome Harrowby United in a UCL Division One encounter, before attention turns to the Plains Social Club as The Miners entertain Blackstones in the second, Division One clash of the day.
Attention then turns to newly-promoted, Hucknall Town, as yellows welcome Wisbech Town to the RM Stadium for their first game in Premier Division North, the day rounding off at Coronation Park as the Red Badgers play host to Melton Town, in another Premier North encounter.
On Sunday, the action further continues with two more games being played in Nottinghamshire, the Centenary Sports Ground the venue for the first game as Southwell City host Leicester St Andrews, before it’s a quick trip to Newark to wrap up the weekend with the YMCA Sports Village hosting the finale, the Blues opposing visitors, Holwell Sports – the two games on the Sunday, also from UCL Division One.
Several Notts clubs, as the away side, were involved in the Groundhop Weekend which kicked off last season as Radford, Hicknall Town, and Selston, were all on the road on the Saturday, and West Bridgford travelled on the Sunday as again, seven matches were played out.
The schedule for the UCL ‘Groundhop Weekend 2023’ (subject to change) is as follows –
Friday 28 July: Saffron Dynamo vs. Birstall United (UCL Division One)
Saturday 29 July: Radford vs. Harrowby United (Division One), Gedling Miners Welfare vs. Blackstones (Division One), Hucknall Town vs. Wisbech Town (UCL Premier Division North), Eastwood CFC vs. Melton Town (Premier North)
Sunday 30 July: Southwell City vs. Leicester St. Andrews (Division One), Newark Town vs. Holwell Sports (Division One)
Fixtures for the new season will be released in due course and you can keep up-to-date with all things United Counties League via their socials, Facebook and Twitter Twitter and on their website here.
Also, check out the UCL Hop twitter account HERE.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @HucknallTownFC the new RM Stadium at Hucknall will host a match on the hop.