West Ham United legend and Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire has encouraged Hammers fans everywhere to support Non-League Day.

Always scheduled to coincide with an international break, Non-League Day gives fans across the country the chance to see what's going on at a club that might be on their doorstep which they may be unfamiliar with or even knew existed.

This season, Non-League Day falls on Saturday 7 September, with Devonshire's Braintree hosting Forest Green Rovers in the Conference National at 3pm.

In the same division, Hammers fans could also choose to visit Welling v Kidderminster Harriers or Luton Town v Grimsby Town (5.30pm kick-off), while Conference South fixtures on the day include Bishop's Stortford v Havant and Waterlooville, Concord Rangers v Dorchester Town, Ebbsfleet United v Bath City and Hayes & Yeading v Chelmsford City.

Further down the non-league pyramid, the Isthmian League Premier Division will see AFC Hornchurch, Billericay Town, Canvey Island,Cray Wanderers, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Harrow Borough and Thamesmead Town all at home in 3pm kick-offs.

Devonshire, who signed for West Ham from non-League Southall for £5,000 in 1976, managed Maidenhead United and Hampton & Richmond Borough before taking charge at Braintree in May 2011.

The 57-year-old said Hammers fans could expect a warm welcome when they visit the Amlin Stadium on 7 September.

"You will find friendly people, no hassle on the terraces - once inside, they are free to move all around the ground - and two honest teams working hard," he explained. "Supporters will also be able to talk to the players in the bar after the game if they want to, because they are approachable. I make sure all my players go in there to mingle with fans until 6pm after every Saturday home game, which you just won't see in the professional game."

Devonshire is living proof that there are top-class players to be unearthed in the non-league game, and the Braintree boss backed West Ham's decision to sign the likes of Paul McCallum (Dulwich Hamlet), Pelly Ruddock (Boreham Wood) and Danny Whitehead (Stockport County) in recent seasons.

"There is talent around in non-league. If I was at West Ham, I'd be buying five non-league players a year for ten or 15 grand each. You've got to back yourself to make them better through coaching. If they spend two years at West Ham and don't make it, they would end up going to a League One, League Two or a Conference club, so the club would get their money back anyway. They couldn't lose."

While Devonshire admitted he will always miss the 'buzz' of scoring or setting up an important goal, the former England winger enjoys the daily challenge of finding and improving young players who might otherwise have missed out on a career in the game he loves.

"I'd like to keep managing until I lose my passion for it. I'm still passionate about what I do, I love football, and if I can help young players to earn a better living, then that's my buzz.

"I still do all the coaching, along with my assistant Keith Rowland, who was also at West Ham as a player. We're in our third season together at Braintree."

Looking forward, Devonshire is hopeful both Braintree and West Ham can enjoy another productive season in 2013/14.

"We've got to stay up, that's our first aim, but as a manager you always want to improve. We had a fantastic first season in the Conference last year, finishing ninth, and if we get anywhere near emulating that achievement I will be absolutely delighted.

"As for West Ham, they did what I thought they would last season by finishing tenth. Now there is a chance for them to maybe push on. Sam has bought two or three players who, as far as I can see, are the right players in the right positions. As well as Andy Carroll, they have brought in a left-back Razvan Rat and Stewart Downing, who will add creativity and width."

For more information about Non-League Day, click here.

Everton 450