After Wigan Athletics’ impressive FA cup final triumph over moneybags Manchester City, they finally completed their transformation from non-league nobodies to a major force finishing a journey that took over thirty years.

Wigan were in the fourth tier of the English football league as recently as 1997 but with the help of JJB Sports founder Dave Whelan the club rose astronomically to beat the billionaires of Manchester City.

Similarly, Swansea rose quickly through the ranks as it took them just six years to go from League 2 to the Premier League where they are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of success.

Here we look at three other clubs making waves in the nlower leagues at the moment who could become the next Swansea or Wigan.

Newport County AFC

Victorious in the 2013 Conference play-off final, Newport will return to the football league after an absence of 25 years next season. Before being blighted by financial troubles County roamed the third and fourth divisions and even reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup-Winners Cup after a 1980 Welsh Cup win.

With the help of Euro millions winner Les Scadding who has been involved with the club since 2009, County have risen through the divisions after a long period of exile, moved to the Rodney Parade stadium and with fortunes changing on and off the pitch with players like former AFC Wimbledon men Lee Minshull and Christian Jolley ensuring that Newport County returned to the promised land of the Football League.

Welling United

Promoted to the Conference National this season and managed by former Arsenal trainee Jamie Day, Welling have risen through the football pyramid after spending 13 years languishing in the amateur leagues. They have produced players like Irish internationals Steve Finnan and Andy Townshend and Arsenal man Carl Jenkinson. 

They stormed to the conference south title this season finishing on 86 points, helped by former Millwall man Kiernan Hughes-Mason and former Chelsea and Brentford defender Fraser Franks with player-manager Day chipping in along the way, after an impressive season they look ready for the conference premier and could be destined for bigger things in the future.

Wrexham FC

Now financially sound after several years of uncertainty, the Wrexham Supporters Trust seems to be the safe pair of hands that the club desperately needed. 

They now look to be on the fast track to success narrowly missing out on promotion after a playoff defeat to Newport County this season.

With playing staff that boast Premier League experience (Brett Ormerod, Stephen Wright, Glen Little) and exotic flair (Joslain Mayebi, Adrian Cielewicz), Wrexham will put Wembley heartbreak behind them, and with security guaranteed both on and off the pitch by the Wrexham Supporters and player-manager Andy Morrell, Wrexham look destined for bigger and better things sooner rather than later. Watch this space.


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