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Robert James

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About Robert James

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    Glasgow University

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  1. Extremely unlikely that Golspie will lose their licence. Can't think of any reason why ? Whether they will be NCL champions next season is a different question, as it will be a stronger league in 2021/22 - Covid permitting.
  2. Spot on Andy. Ground developments, floodlights, and other improvements, have recently accelerated at a pace, which didn't happen to the same level, under the SJFA's jurisdiction. Such improvements will continue throughout the next 5 years, or so. Thereafter it should be clear which clubs are ambitious, and those which (quite properly) are content with their current situation.
  3. And the SFA still haven't updated their official list of licensed clubs. Lazy ?
  4. It will be interesting, but very challenging for the smaller clubs, across the north (and elsewhere)
  5. Fair comment. According to the recent newspaper article in the Courier/P&J, three of the NCL clubs have declared an interest in aiming for the HFL, now that the pyramid is in place.
  6. Somewhat disingenuous....., me thinks ! The NCL dates back to its formation in 1896/97 as the North of Scotland Junior League, and its first champions were Inverness Celtic FC. In 1935/36. The league dropped "Junior" from its title, and became the North of Scotland ('2nd XI') League, as it was dominated by the 3 Inverness Reserve clubs, Ross County, and Brora Rangers., Reserve XI's. During this period however, Invergordon FC, Avoch Rovers, Dingwall Thistle (x2), and the Highland Light Infantry , each won the NOSL championship., despite the continuing presence of most of the Reserve XI's. The league was also recognised by the SFA, as being a senior league. By the end of the 70's, most of the Reserve XI;s had dropped out, and the league's title was changed to the North Caledonian League, and it has continued as such for the last 40+ years. In my opinion, the NCL is not at risk of disappearing, and is likely to further strengthen now that it has Tier 6 Pyramid status.
  7. Looks like 9 or more newly licensed clubs ? After formal ratification on the 20th July, surely we can expect the SFA Cup Preliminary Round draw, to follow quickly. And congratulations to Wigtown : your new lights look excellent.
  8. The NCL has increased its club membership from 5 to 12 during the last decade, which is positive. However, geography and climate in the north & west highlands, is very challenging, but (like the South of Scotland League), their participation in the pyramid is remarkable. It should also be noted that the North Junior League has 2 clubs who are going into "abeyance" for 2021/22, namely Spey Valley United and Buckie Rovers. Will they return in the future?
  9. Sadly, Inverness City didn't last very long after the club's transfer to the Juniors. They were over ambitious. Inverness Athletic and Loch Ness are going strong in the NCL, despite having the same ground problems as City faced.
  10. Clach will never join the North Juniors ! The more interesting question is whether Nairn St Ninian will transfer to the 'easier' NCL in a year or two ? They are located within the NCL area. And which league will Lossiemouth chose, if relegated from the HFL ?
  11. The gap between the juniors and the top 3 or 4 clubs in the NCL, has narrowed in recent years : SCOTTISH FA CUP 2019/20 Preliminary Round 2 Banks O'Dee 2 Golspier Sutherland 0 Great News confirming the Midland League, the North Caledonian League, & the North Region Junior Superleague being granted Pyramid Tier 6 status. However, I am surprised that the NRJS has retained "Junior" in its League title.
  12. There certainly are big challenges for NCL clubs. Geography/travel, climate, and summer football considerations, add to the 'normal' problems faced by Scottish non league clubs. Nevertheless, the clubs concerned are pleased that the pyramid has opened up for them. I wish them well. However after years of wrangling (on P&B), it is a major achievement that the Highland region now has a pyramid of three separate leagues, which sit alongside the Lowland's three feeder leagues. It will be interesting to see how the future unfolds.
  13. The fixtures have been published so go and take a look. thanks
  14. Yes, St Duthus are ambitious, as are Alness Utd, and Orkney, but only Golspie Sutherland are currently licensed, as previously reported in the P&J. In the second of Paul Chalks' Press & Journal article about promotion to the HFL for the other NCL clubs, he reports that Invergordon are interested in reaching the play-offs, whereas Thurso have had drainage problems at Sir George's Park, and the club would need a huge cash injection to reach HFL standard, at the present time. Halkirk United have a young/developing team, and are not considering the HFL at present, whilst Inverness Athletic and Loch Ness are relatively new NCL clubs. and the absence of a suitable ground in Inverness rules out promotion in the foreseeable future. for either club, as "It is a pipe dream" at present, Bonar Bridge and Scourie, are both strengthening for 2021/22, but they recognise that they don't have the infrastructure in place, and the HFL is therefore out of reach for them. However, all of the above clubs support the North Caley League entering the pyramid at Tier 6, for season 2021/22. As a reserve side, Nairn County "A" aren't eligible to enter the HFL, and Bunillidlh Thistle have taken a second year out from the NCL, owing to Covid, and (apparently) the need for some ground repairs.
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