One of the newest teams on the non-league block is MC South West, who play their home matches at Imperial Fields in Tooting.
The MC part of the team’s name comes from Mahajana College in Sri Lanka, where many parents of the players studied before founding the club.
MC South West celebrate having a large Sri Lankan base of players and are hoping to provide an opportunity for Asian players to develop their game and move up the football pyramid.
Chairman Shea Brady said: “Asian players predominantly tend to stick to Tamil or Muslim leagues; they don’t join non-league and that is a real issue in their development.
“In south west London it is often either fully white teams or fully black teams, there’s not much Asian representation. We’re really proud of the position we take where we say that anyone is welcome.
“We’ve got this incredibly diverse team of people from lots of backgrounds and you don’t really see that in non-league football.”
Originally founded in 2005 as South West FC by a group of friends from university, last year the club merged with fellow local non-league side MC United, having faced collapse due to financial and practical instability.
MC South West marked their debut in the Surrey South Eastern Combination Division Two with a mid-table finish.
After a successful recruitment campaign they are looking to improve, however having won just one in four games this season, it is proving more difficult than expected.
Brady explained: “It was a transitional makeshift year.
“I think we’ve got a good chance of finishing in the top half of the table. It is going to be a really intense season. Hopefully, we’ll get back to winning ways.”
Co-managers Onen and Jesam Eyong played for the club for over a decade before turning to management last campaign.
The brothers felt empowered to take on the role after realising the necessity for black management, an issue Brady highlighted as prevalent within football.
He said: “Black coaches really aren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve. It is more profound in the Premier League but as you go down the pyramid it does trickle through.”
Off the pitch the club have been working with the committee at Mahajana College to help raise funds to support the area of Jaffna in Sri Lanka.
Closer to home, this year saw the launch of the inaugural Southwestival, a tournament between local non-league sides.
Brady hopes to build on the event next year to support local businesses and create a greater sense of community in the area.
He urged: “Follow your local team, please get down there and support them. It really is passion, a burning passion for us and we wouldn’t be coming every week if we weren’t.”
With the coronavirus pandemic prohibiting fans from football league stadiums, there has never been a better time to go and support your local side.