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Burnie_man

Junior football, what is the future?

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13 hours ago, Goalie Hamish said:

The South of Scotland League having a North Division might actually work, a West of Scotland League by the back door.

Just seems like it would suit everyone to have separate divisions if there was enough interest from clubs in the 'north' - a Clyde division and a Solway division, the winners playing off to be the official South of Scotland League champions and going forward to the Lowland League play off.  It shouldn't mean any real change to the existing pyramid structure.

I think it would take at least 6 hardy pioneers from the west-central area to join Bonnyton - 7 teams playing each other four times would give a 24-game season in a Clyde division; the remaining 14 or 15 teams in the Solway division could play each other twice for a 26- or 28-game season. 

 

In the north, I wonder if it would take something similar - an approach to the Highland League of a half-dozen interested clubs, who offer to join the bottom 2 HL clubs in an (initially unlicenced) 8-team HL2, again playing each other 4 times for a 28-game season, with promotion to the (16 team) HL for any licenced HL2 winners, and promotion to the HL2 from the winners of the north juniors and/or North Caledonian League winners.

Someone being relegated from the SPFL to the Highland League might have forced change, as having 19 teams to cater for would surely force them to change their structure and open up the north region; however, this seems unlikely for the time being.  The other possibility of a HL team being promoted to the SPFL might not produce any real change in opening up the north of the pyramid, as (I assume) they would just take in Banks o' Dee as club 18. 

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I don't agree with the idea of the junior champions being involved in a playoff for the Lowland League.  If they aren't part of the system then they shouldn't be involved in the playoffs at all.  I want the seniors/juniors to be part of a fully integrated system and giving the East/West junior champions a place in the playoffs does nothing to achieve that IMO.  I'd say it possibly even reduces the chance of integration in the future.

I think the best way forward would be to created a Lowland League Division One East/West and invite juniors/EoS/SoS/amateur clubs to apply to it.  You could start with ten clubs in each initially and hopefully it would grow over time.  It might be difficult to find enough teams right now for the leagues (for the West especially).  You could also make it so that the teams have a time limit (maybe a couple of seasons and they'd have to show when they applied that they could realistically achieve it in that timeframe) in which they have to become licensed or they will be relegated from the league.

You then push the EoS and SoS down to level seven of the pyramid and they remain as leagues that don't require a licence.  Many of the current EoS and SoS clubs would remain in those leagues.  There would then be promotion/relegation between the leagues (if clubs get a licence).  Longer term, you'd be looking to add more leagues at level seven to cover more regional areas than simply the East/South.  Potentially three or four divisions at that level if the juniors were to get involved.

You could potentially have:

Lowland League East: Kelty, Dalkeith, Preston, Coldstream, Burntisland plus five others (possibly LTHV if they get round to doing more work for their license).

Lowland League West: Threave, St. Cuthbert, Newton Stewart, Glasgow Uni, Clydebank plus five others (probably including Bonnyton).

Not sure the SoS clubs would go for it although it being a west league may encourage them more.  I've left out Linlithgow and Girvan from the leagues as they don't appear to have shown any interest so far.  It may be difficult to find ten clubs for each but the formation of the leagues may encourage a few clubs to go for it.

 

 

Edited by stanley

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12 hours ago, theshed said:

What's happening here is so called lesser teams are seeing an opportunity to leap frog bigger teams and get a head start on them , dalkeith couldn't lace boness and linlithgow boots normally in the juniors , instead they're taking the opportunity to leap frog the bigger east junior teams and also getting away from a shambolic ran level of football , for doing this I wish them all the best , haddington will be next,

I don't think that's there mentality at all. It's purely about seeing the benefits to themselves. The vast majority of Junior clubs aren't one of the big teams, so there's not the same risk in losing crowds or worrying about not challenging for honours. I doubt the likes of Dalkeith, who have never played in the Superleague, are thinking about promotion to the SPFL. However the can challenge for promotion to the Lowland League and once licenced benefit more from an SFA membership than a SJFA one. So there's nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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I've watched this topic for a while now and a few things keep nagging at me.
1) the thread is on the future but many of the justifications are about the present. Yes some junior teams are better than EOS league but will they be in 10 years? I have more respect for the club that looks 10 years ahead than the one that lived for the day. Every club should be asking 'what does Scottish football look like in 20 years? Where do we need to be? For that, I assume Kelty and Dalkeith have done their projections. I know my local club haven't.
2) what do you think your fan base looks like in 20 years? When I was at primary school, half my class was at the junior games. Last time I watched my.local team play, in the premier league, there was 46 people and only one under 16. With competing priorities, how will your club get fans when, no offence, the oldies now die.
Football is an entertainment. If spurs v Liverpool is on at 12:45, that's what I'm watching. If it's West Brom v stoke, I'll go to a junior game. Blind loyalty is gone for the newer generations. Simple as that.
3) why do people think that Scotland NEEDS the juniors to have a successful pyramid in place? Any changes that include the juniors will need to be instigated by the juniors. Scottish football doesn't need the juniors and if it stopped tomorrow, my guess is that the impact would not be devastating. Therefore junior clubs either accept the limitations and circumstances or move to the pyramid.

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2 minutes ago, TheLad said:

I've watched this topic for a while now and a few things keep nagging at me.
1) the thread is on the future but many of the justifications are about the present. Yes some junior teams are better than EOS league but will they be in 10 years? I have more respect for the club that looks 10 years ahead than the one that lived for the day. Every club should be asking 'what does Scottish football look like in 20 years? Where do we need to be? For that, I assume Kelty and Dalkeith have done their projections. I know my local club haven't.

 

I'm going to answer part one for you as a club official who was trying to sign players in the summer with our manager.   Despite being one of the biggest clubs in the East we were finding ourselves outbid wage wise for players that we were targeting.  We were losing out to clubs who before the LL would never have matched us, or players would have automatically came to the Juniors but as the LL becomes established and the benefits of being part of it, the juniors are maybe not as attractive.  Edinburgh City showed that you an make the step up.

I can only see this continuing to happen as the LL settles down and will this then happen with the EOS as it gradually becomes a stronger tier 6 with possibly more clubs going and the Juniors being seen as a wasteland?  It may well do.

I would dearly love for the SFA to put together a proper structure that makes the juniors part of the football ladder and do there jobs as the custodians of our game.  I just can't believe they can sit idly by and have 160 clubs outwith their control.

Anyhow I can't see that happen for the foreseeable future and envisage a couple of clubs moving on and can see an EOS 2 at some point.  Clubs have big decisions to make.

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I'm going to answer part one for you as a club official who was trying to sign players in the summer with our manager.   Despite being one of the biggest clubs in the East we were finding ourselves outbid wage wise for players that we were targeting.  We were losing out to clubs who before the LL would never have matched us, or players would have automatically came to the Juniors but as the LL becomes established and the benefits of being part of it, the juniors are maybe not as attractive.  Edinburgh City showed that you an make the step up.
I can only see this continuing to happen as the LL settles down and will this then happen with the EOS as it gradually becomes a stronger tier 6 with possibly more clubs going and the Juniors being seen as a wasteland?  It may well do.
I would dearly love for the SFA to put together a proper structure that makes the juniors part of the football ladder and do there jobs as the custodians of our game.  I just can't believe they can sit idly by and have 160 clubs outwith their control.
Anyhow I can't see that happen for the foreseeable future and envisage a couple of clubs moving on and can see an EOS 2 at some point.  Clubs have big decisions to make.


'Juniors being seen as a wasteland'
That's where I see it in 10 years. Unfortunately .
So many people saying the SFA should revamp to include the juniors. Why should they? Scottish football doesn't need to change to accommodate the juniors. Changes don't need to happen to benefit clubs. If the juniors don't want to adapt to fit in then it will all die off in time.

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Just now, TheLad said:

 


'Juniors being seen as a wasteland'
That's where I see it in 10 years. Unfortunately .
So many people saying the SFA should revamp to include the juniors. Why should they? Scottish football doesn't need to change to accommodate the juniors. Changes don't need to happen to benefit clubs. If the juniors don't want to adapt to fit in then it will all die off in time.

 

The SFA are not doing their jobs correctly by allowing another body with 160 odd clubs, some who would be ready for the lower leagues such as LRFC and Pollok to operate..  We are a small country, it is non league football so why be separate.

It's quite simple really,you start the juniors off at tier 7, they will then find their level accordingly.

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12 minutes ago, TheLad said:

 


'Juniors being seen as a wasteland'
That's where I see it in 10 years. Unfortunately .
So many people saying the SFA should revamp to include the juniors. Why should they? Scottish football doesn't need to change to accommodate the juniors. Changes don't need to happen to benefit clubs. If the juniors don't want to adapt to fit in then it will all die off in time.

 

I'm very much on the side of an integrated system but I can't agree with this.  The SFA are in charge of the game.  They should be doing more.  There are too many people with their own interests to protect and the SFA should be stepping in to put a proper system in place that includes all clubs (senior, junior, amateur, welfare).   Bringing the juniors on board would massively improve things in the pyramid system.

The thing is that if, suddenly, dozens of juniors clubs decided they wanted to join the pyramid then what would happen?  It's not the responsibility of the clubs to set up their own leagues.  They would have nowhere to go currently.

Edited by stanley

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The SFA are not doing their jobs correctly by allowing another body with 160 odd clubs, some who would be ready for the lower leagues such as LRFC and Pollok to operate..  We are a small country, it is non league football so why be separate.
It's quite simple really,you start the juniors off at tier 7, they will then find their level accordingly.


What about the amateur teams too? What if the SFA seen junior and amateur as one big non event? Scotland is small and have far too many senior clubs. What if sfa is happy for junior football to die off?

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45 minutes ago, TheLad said:

 


What about the amateur teams too? What if the SFA seen junior and amateur as one big non event? Scotland is small and have far too many senior clubs. What if sfa is happy for junior football to die off?

 

They're supposed to look after football at all levels. 

The amateurs includes clubs who are bigger, wealthier and better organised than some junior teams.  The juniors has a number of teams who have an excellent structure in place - better than any in the Lowland League (acknowledging that some of those teams are hiring senior grounds). 

Get rid of the differences, plug the teams in at their level, set out minimum standards for each level and get on with the game. Other countries (almost all in fact) seem to manage this without gnawing at their knuckles and fearing the end of days. 

Tynie is right.  The challenge to generate funding and attract players is getting harder - especially in the East.  That's life as long as you've got competing "grades".

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A simple question for you,  who is saying the SFA should revamp to include the Juniors?  and who is asking Scottish Football to change to accommodate  the Juniors?  i havent seen or heard any Junior club or any  SJFA  statement saying this. 

Read the last 50 pages of this thread and I'm sure you will find a few...

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So are you saying official statements are being posted on p&b  by  Clubs or the SJFA , i would like to think this forum would be the last place any official statement by a Club or the SJFA are posted .  Personally i can see certain points from all sides good and bad .   

I suppose when I answered your simple question(which turned out to be three) I only answered the first one.
Of course there won't be official statements by clubs, leagues etc.
Just unofficial ones by lots of supporters.

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We have spent all season debating the Kelty move, without any general agreement being reached.  A club leaving that has received funding and investment has not been seen as a threat to the 'junior' structure.

Now we have Dalkeith.  A minnow in junior terms, with all due respect.  Their move will shake up quite a few committee meetings and it's now a case of who gets away from the blocks next.

TheLad says he sees the juniors as a 'wasteland' in 10 years.  My only argument with that is the timescale.  Half it and you'd be more accurate.  Change is already happening. 

To all fans, do you want your club to be left behind?

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On 1/12/2018 at 07:57, Sunrise said:

On Bankies Banter -

clydebankseniors.PNG

Any news on this?

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The Simple fact is that the East Seniors are getting stronger and the Juniors in general are now weaker.

This will continue with a steady trickle of juniors moving “up”.

As a junior fan all of my life I regret what has happened but see a properly organised pyramid system as the only way forward.  It will only take one or two of the larger clubs eg Bo’ness or Bonnyrigg to jump and what then is left of the East Superleague for the 2 or 3 clubs which are left capable of winning it.

Alas the committees will continue to oppose it in 90% of Junior clubs most of which will either be defunct or simply running youth sides.

Even the so called Holy Grail competition can’t attract 1000 fans for its Semi Finals, even though the best competition in Scottish Football.

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The Simple fact is that the East Seniors are getting stronger and the Juniors in general are now weaker.
This will continue with a steady trickle of juniors moving “up”.
As a junior fan all of my life I regret what has happened but see a properly organised pyramid system as the only way forward.  It will only take one or two of the larger clubs eg Bo’ness or Bonnyrigg to jump and what then is left of the East Superleague for the 2 or 3 clubs which are left capable of winning it.
Alas the committees will continue to oppose it in 90% of Junior clubs most of which will either be defunct or simply running youth sides.
Even the so called Holy Grail competition can’t attract 1000 fans for its Semi Finals, even though the best competition in Scottish Football.
You make a really interesting point regarding the junior cup semi finals , I remember going to two games at love street in the semis both Friday night games 1998 then 1999 I'm sure it was buffs v arthurlie twice with both victors them both nights eventually winning the Scottish cup , arthurlie and kilwinning respectively , back to the point of crowds kilwinning filled the Caledonia stand - behind the goals - on both occasions with some spill over going into the north bank cage to the left , the season we played buffs 2015/2016 they couldn't come close to filling behind the goals at bellsdale so yes crowds are dwindling , realise taking the game away from a senior neutral venue on a Friday night and competing with other Saturday fixtures will affect the crowd but even when you take the cumnock v Talbot scottish cup crowd this coming Saturday it will be maybe between 1,000 and 1,500 , this fixture in the Scottish in the 90's would have been pushing 3,000 , it's a shame to see really.

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You make a really interesting point regarding the junior cup semi finals , I remember going to two games at love street in the semis both Friday night games 1998 then 1999 I'm sure it was buffs v arthurlie twice with both victors them both nights eventually winning the Scottish cup , arthurlie and kilwinning respectively , back to the point of crowds kilwinning filled the Caledonia stand - behind the goals - on both occasions with some spill over going into the north bank cage to the left , the season we played buffs 2015/2016 they couldn't come close to filling behind the goals at bellsdale so yes crowds are dwindling , realise taking the game away from a senior neutral venue on a Friday night and competing with other Saturday fixtures will affect the crowd but even when you take the cumnock v Talbot scottish cup crowd this coming Saturday it will be maybe between 1,000 and 1,500 , this fixture in the Scottish in the 90's would have been pushing 3,000 , it's a shame to see really.
I was standing behind the goals at Bellsdale and it was tight for space. Bearing in mind it was a two-legged semi and the attendance IIRC was around 1700-1800 - I don't think it was too bad.

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What’s going to happen is the East Juniors will continue to trickle over to the EoS league, one was always going to break ranks and be the first now the other are watching. The clever ones will go first as they’ll realise there are limited spaces at Tier 6, others that wait will soon find themselves joining at Tier 7 or even lower. The LL and EoS will improve as teams move over to the detriment of the East Juniors. Once the best East Juniors teams move up the pyramid and start getting the odd good payday in the big cup there will be a move in the West by a breakaway league forming a WoS.

The SFA don’t seem to want to force the hand of the SJFA so I can’t see them setting up a WoS unless enough clubs ask them to. I predict the above will happen unless the SFA and SJFA start actually sorting it out. The Pyramid will happen it’s up to the SFA and SJFA if they do it right and integrate the Juniors with EoS, SoS and form a Highland league 2 or whether they just let them trickle over until it becomes a stream.

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Any news on this?



No news as yet mate - fully expect details of the vote to be announced in the Not too distant future and when it is I feel we will be the next club to try to make that big leap forward

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