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right_said_steve

Summer Football (Junior Level)

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Sorry if this has been discussed before. 

As a season ticket holder at an SPFL club my visits to junior games probably add up to about 10 a season. Over the years I've watched Petershill & St. Rochs as well as going along to watch random teams compete in cup semi finals & finals.  So my knowledge of the game at this level is very limited but not entirely void. 

Yesterday was a fantastic day for junior football in the west of Scotland, decent weather, no top flight games and a holiday period approaching.  The match I attended (St Rochs v Forth) benefited from this with an excellent crowd. It got me thinking about the junior game and about the chances of it changing to a summer sport. 

From what I gather I don't see many cons in going to summer football, less chance of games being called off and the usual fixture backlog towards the end of the season . Less competition from senior clubs when trying to get punters through the gate.  A slightly better chance of better weather further increasing the chances of punters attending.  I also believe teams who play on grass pitches probably suffer from the winter weather conditions  more, which results in their pitch being less playable than that of a team with an all weather surface. 

Would it be feasible to run the season from mid March to the end of October with a 2 to 3 week break in July or August for players to go away on a summer break with family. With summer football more games could be played midweek as well after work to allow for the cup games to be played without impacting on league fixtures. 

Would a move to summer football benefit the junior game? Has it already been discussed and denounced?  

Cheers 

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When would clubs do pitch maintenance? Taking my club as a guide . Mid May the pitch will be getting new drainage put in so will be out of action from about 6 to 8 weeks depending on the weather . When would we do that ? Ardeer returfed part of their pitch 2 months ago & it’s still not ready . That’s just 1 issue . Yes there a plenty pros but there’s a load of cons as well

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1 minute ago, fan of the juniors said:

When would clubs do pitch maintenance? Taking my club as a guide . Mid May the pitch will be getting new drainage put in so will be out of action from about 6 to 8 weeks depending on the weather . When would we do that ? Ardeer returfed part of their pitch 2 months ago & it’s still not ready . That’s just 1 issue . Yes there a plenty pros but there’s a load of cons as well

thanks for the reply and that's the sort of stuff I was looking for as something that wouldn't cross my mind.  

would as much mainteance be required if the pitches were played on over the summer? 

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What's the pros of keeping it as it is? 

11 weeks with no games of a 40 week season

Parks is terrible state (which had there been no winter games wouldn't need repaired) 

Fans finding other forms of entertainment 

Fans not attending matches due to cold/rain 

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Maybe not as much in the long run but each year the club do re seed the park as well . Couldn’t play on it then also . Verti draining & putting a load of sand down as well has it out of action for a bit also

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Buffs Park was vertiquaked on Thursday, it'll be reseeded soon as well

Talbot have been relaying their goalmouth nearly every two weeks to keep their games on

I one obvious thing that would change would be the water bill that some clubs might struggle to pay

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A solution to that could be (given that each league will have 16 teams) to give 8 of them home games in say June while the other 8 do pitch maintenance  then the same to the other 8 teams in July.

I appreciate 4 weeks is probably only enough time to do a quick seed/feed and not any drainage etc and that it wouldn't necessarily help teams who play on council pitches.

 

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8 minutes ago, parkcircus said:

What's the pros of keeping it as it is? 

11 weeks with no games of a 40 week season

Parks is terrible state (which had there been no winter games wouldn't need repaired) 

Fans finding other forms of entertainment 

Fans not attending matches due to cold/rain 

I take it summer football is something you'd be for then? All of the reasons above are why I'd be for a switch. My 2 young kids loving going up to the junior game but if its pissing of rain/baltic then there is next to no chance of them leaving the house 

Edited by right_said_steve

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2 minutes ago, parkcircus said:

Buffs Park was vertiquaked on Thursday, it'll be reseeded soon as well

Talbot have been relaying their goalmouth nearly every two weeks to keep their games on

I one obvious thing that would change would be the water bill that some clubs might struggle to pay

again, something I wouldn't have thought about. although past few summers have been a bit wet lol 

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It is looking increasingly likely that the Juniors are going to integrate with the senior pyramid in the short to medium term, which would make summer football unfeasible unless everyone switched.

Edited by craigkillie

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2 minutes ago, craigkillie said:

It is looking increasingly likely that the Juniors are going to integrate with the senior pyramid in the short to medium term, which would make summer football unfeasible unless everyone switched.

which is something I would be for (switching the entire system to summer football) 

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My kids are the same, I'm not wholely in favour of it but I like the options being keep open, the whole,repair the park, is a load of BS, it's easier to water a park than defrost it, the next reason not to do it is the fixture backlog which at best would be a fraction of what it is at the moment

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3 minutes ago, craigkillie said:

It is looking increasingly likely that the Juniors are going to integrate with the senior pyramid in the short to medium term, which would make summer football unfeasible unless everyone switched.

The summer football idea put out as an alternative to that but the East region will be decimated over the next two years and then the west will go, which is a shame, had some of these ideas been tried a while back the juniors could have been an exciting from of entertainment not a mediocre level of football that can't plan itself out, ie fixtures still not out for all of April

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Another issue is the fact that a more condensed summer season would involve a lot of midweek games - people are just more conditioned to going on Saturdays - as a result you can almost always knock a third off normal attendance for a game on a Monday or Wednesday evening.

I've said before that watching a game on a balmy summer evening sounds idyllic, but the reality is that people simply don't show up for them in numbers....they've got other things to do in that kind of weather. We already play some games midweek in what are considered the summer months - the end-of-season catch-up games and the Sectional - and especially for the latter which nobody's really interested in anymore attendances are poor compared to Saturdays.

On top of that, every other year there's either a World Cup or European Championship with live football on TV every night...it's a no-brainer that that'll affect crowds adversely.

Edited by Hillonearth

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10 minutes ago, Hillonearth said:

Another issue is the fact that a more condensed summer season would involve a lot of midweek games - people are just more conditioned to going on Saturdays - as a result you can almost always knock a third off normal attendance for a game on a Monday or Wednesday evening.

I've said before that watching a game on a balmy summer evening sounds idyllic, but the reality is that people simply don't show up for them in numbers....they've got other things to do in that kind of weather. We already play some games midweek in what are considered the summer months - the end-of-season catch-up games and the Sectional - and especially for the latter which nobody's really interested in anymore attendances are poor compared to Saturdays.

On top of that, every other year there's either a World Cup or European Championship with live football on TV every night...it's a no-brainer that that'll affect crowds adversely.

some good points raised there. suppose it really boils down to, if you're going to go then you're going to go regardless of the weather/time of year. 

probably just a selfish idea from me as I would rather go watch football over a game on the TV but the junior tends to clash with senior football which i attend home and away. 

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Would be happy to watch floodlit games in the Winter as a means of easing the fixture congestion. 

Not every side can do it but it seems backwards to hold back the sides who can because of those who can't (or indeed won't). 

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1 hour ago, santheman said:

A solution to that could be (given that each league will have 16 teams) to give 8 of them home games in say June while the other 8 do pitch maintenance  then the same to the other 8 teams in July.

I appreciate 4 weeks is probably only enough time to do a quick seed/feed and not any drainage etc and that it wouldn't necessarily help teams who play on council pitches.

 

The FAI documentation on pitch maintenance highlighted the need to do immediate remedial work on  surfaces to prevent damage - council parks will suffer badly IMO as they will not have guys down of a Saturday night / Sunday morning to do the work.

Edited by cmontheloknow

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Yep, it's nice to watch a game in decent weather but for me there are still too many cons that outweigh the pros. Four biggest problems for me are:

1. Pitch maintainance: Quite simply, grass doesn't grow in the winter and if you are looking to start the season in March then playing surfaces are never going to be of a high standard.

2. Cancellations: if the season is set to finish in November, how are games that are postponed late in the season fitted in when only a handful of clubs have lights?

3. Midweek games: One argument that is made for summer football is that you will pick up neutrals in the summer, but ask any club treasurer and they will tell you that it isn't the case at the moment as midweek crowds will almost certainly be the worst of the season. Yes, you can argue that often games in May can be meaningless league matches, and don't start me on the Sectional, but we've had plenty of games that did count for something that had smaller crowds than we would expect on a Saturday.

4. Holidays: Yes, whole towns don't shut down for 2 weeks like they used to, but there is still a 6/7 week period when the schools are off when a lot of players, fans and officials alike will have to take their main holiday of the year. I know we occasionally lose the odd player here and there through the season just now, but we've never been faced with potentially losing a handful at a time which could happen when the schools are off.

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Just a few other issues beyond those already mentioned - volume of games, player and supporter holidays... something that just does not happen in the SPFL at any level is players buggering off to somewhere hot and sunny instead of playing for their club. Imagine the scenario in the Best of East Ayrshire Summer Super League on July 7th - Talbot vs Cumnock and one (or both) clubs have 4 or 5 players away, sunning themselves with their families. 

Edit I see Peasy has beat me to it!

Edited by cmontheloknow

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