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Junior football, what is the future?

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In the English nonleague pyramid there are Steps 1-6 comprising leagues that affiliate directly with the FA in a similar sort of way to our senior grade with the FA Trophy (Steps 1-4) and FA Vase (Steps 5 and 6) as national cups. Everything below that is amateur level leagues run locally by county FAs in a manner comparable in some ways to what happens in our amateur grade. There is no automatic progression from the top of the county level into Step 6. It is done by application.

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On 14/07/2020 at 14:01, mcruic said:

So have a 16-team Premiership, a 16-team Championship, and split it at Tier 8...  Hey presto - single-division Tier 6 and Tier 7 of 16 teams, and 3 Tier 8 leagues of 14-16 teams.

Seems like a sensible structure to me.  Essentially, it replicates the old East Juniors structure, with a region-wide Super and Premier League, and regional divisions below.
image.png.13c0b3901dda65b51033187040a4cc2d.png
 

Three into one does not go, that's why the ERJFA re-organised 5 years ago into Super-Premier-North/South.

3 promotion spots for 46 clubs is not going to happen in the EoS., you're probably looking at  Premier - First - Second (North/South) in future years, or something similar.

If Tayside end up being involed, then a sensible move would be Premier - First (North/South) - Second (North/South)

 

 

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I'm sorry but Tayside should be in the "Highland" region, the Parliamentary region for Dundee is North East Scotland ffs. 

A Tier 6 Tayside League, below the HL,  would make no difference to almost all the clubs in Tayside as all it would allow is progression for an ambitious club like Broughty Athletic or even Lochee Harp and their new set up. Both of those clubs would eligible for Licensing. The Winners of the League could be given a Prelim. Scottish Cup Berth, which may incentivise some clubs to opt for that.

It would allow a 4 team playoff for the final HL slot between the bottom team in the HL, and the three T6 winners North Caley, North Super and Tayside; subject to Licensing.

 

 

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10 hours ago, LongTimeLurker said:

In the English nonleague pyramid there are Steps 1-6 comprising leagues that affiliate directly with the FA in a similar sort of way to our senior grade with the FA Trophy (Steps 1-4) and FA Vase (Steps 5 and 6) as national cups. Everything below that is amateur level leagues run locally by county FAs in a manner comparable in some ways to what happens in our amateur grade. There is no automatic progression from the top of the county level into Step 6. It is done by application.

Quite correct, with County League champions,possibly 2nd and 3rds applying to the league above - along with clubs from many other counties and leagues -a decent feeder system I suppose. Then we get the regular dilemma of clubs moving sideways to similar leagues. As said, above step 7 things do get a bit more serious- semi pro level where money can be earnt. Scotland, give it time to work.

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40 minutes ago, ArabAuslander said:

I'm sorry but Tayside should be in the "Highland" region, the Parliamentary region for Dundee is North East Scotland ffs. 

A Tier 6 Tayside League, below the HL,  would make no difference to almost all the clubs in Tayside as all it would allow is progression for an ambitious club like Broughty Athletic or even Lochee Harp and their new set up. Both of those clubs would eligible for Licensing. The Winners of the League could be given a Prelim. Scottish Cup Berth, which may incentivise some clubs to opt for that.

It would allow a 4 team playoff for the final HL slot between the bottom team in the HL, and the three T6 winners North Caley, North Super and Tayside; subject to Licensing.

The bottom part is the only bit I don't agree with. Let the Highland League set a fixed number for itself like the Lowland League. Then the promotion playoff should just be between any licenced T6 champions.

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On 17/07/2020 at 21:38, FairWeatherFan said:

The bottom part is the only bit I don't agree with. Let the Highland League set a fixed number for itself like the Lowland League. Then the promotion playoff should just be between any licenced T6 champions.

Agreed.

As far as I am aware, the HFL accepts the principle that its bottom club will be relegated to Tier 6, IF there is a licensed champion from either the North Caley League or the North Juniors. The proposal (apparently not yet accepted by the North Juniors), is that there would be a play-off (only) IF the champions of both the NCL and the NRJFL are licensed . The winning licensed club would then replace the bottom HFL club automatically.

It doesn't seem likely that the Tayside Juniors have participated in above discussions with the HFL, presumably because of the Highland/Lowland boundary issue (?).  

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6 hours ago, Robert James said:

It doesn't seem likely that the Tayside Juniors have participated in above discussions with the HFL, presumably because of the Highland/Lowland boundary issue (?).  

Problem with that is that there are no Tayside Juniors to negotiate with as an organisation. You've only got the East Region.

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The reason I included Tayside in the EoS rather than Highland setup is that they've historically played as part of the East setup (not the North).  Also some people seem to think that Dundee is in the Far North. Most clubs in Tayside are closer to Edinburgh than they are to the nearest HL club (Inverurie Loco Works).  In fact, Dundee to Glasgow is only 2 miles more than Dundee to Inverurie, and Dundee is closer to Hawick than it is to Rothes.

 

Edited by mcruic

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48 minutes ago, mcruic said:

Most clubs in Tayside are closer to Edinburgh than they are to the nearest HL club (Inverurie Loco Works).  In fact, Dundee to Glasgow is only 2 miles more than Dundee to Inverurie, and Dundee is closer to Hawick than it is to Rothes.

That's sort of the point though. The Highland League as its presently constituted won't stay thay way. The actual Highlands already have their best teams in the current set up. The NCL might actually be a weaker T6 league that the SoSFL to the Lowlands. Fort William are expected to be the 'East Stirlingshire' once there's a pyramid in place and Strathspey Thistle were never able to make the North Super League in the Juniors. So they won't be holding on for long.

Sorted by PPG and including the 2019-20 season results for those that participated in the North Super League you're all time table of existing North Junior clubs looks like:

image.thumb.png.7f433f928123bbc48c4514a54e9bf437.png

 The strength and depth of the North Juniors is concentrated around the City of Aberdeen for the most part. If the Highland League pyramid had the North Juniors, Tayside Juniors, and NCL underneath it. Then the Highland League itself would not look like it does today for very long. That's without considering the likes of Brechin City or Montrose becoming Club 42 and making their way down from the SPFL.

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1 hour ago, mcruic said:

The reason I included Tayside in the EoS rather than Highland setup is that they've historically played as part of the East setup (not the North).  Also some people seem to think that Dundee is in the Far North. Most clubs in Tayside are closer to Edinburgh than they are to the nearest HL club (Inverurie Loco Works).  In fact, Dundee to Glasgow is only 2 miles more than Dundee to Inverurie, and Dundee is closer to Hawick than it is to Rothes.

The reasonable argument for Tayside going north is the need for some semblance of balance in the tier 5 feeder catchments in population terms. Arguments revolving around ease of travel are definitely bogus. As things stand the HL are not including Tayside in its working party on tier 6 feeders, Brechin City and the other Angus SPFL clubs are pushing for a boundary shift for Club 42, and the Luncarty precedent shows that boundary has no relevance where EoS entry is concerned. It's obvious which way the wind is blowing.

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11 minutes ago, LongTimeLurker said:

The reasonable argument for Tayside going north is the need for some semblance of balance in the tier 5 feeder catchments in population terms. Arguments revolving around ease of travel are definitely bogus. As things stand the HL are not including Tayside in its working party on tier 6 feeders, Brechin City and the other Angus SPFL clubs are pushing for a boundary shift for Club 42, and the Luncarty precedent shows that boundary has no relevance where EoS entry is concerned. It's obvious which way the wind is blowing.

The wind's not really blowing anywhere at the minute. LL were asked for a change and voted against at their AGM. Brechin City are focusing on putting a team together that won't be anywhere near the bottom and the other SPFL Angus clubs are League One or higher so have a cushion of a couple of years without having to worry about it.

The topic's basically dead again until Feb/March and if Tayside clubs decide to apply to the EoSFL.

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1 hour ago, FairWeatherFan said:

The wind's not really blowing anywhere at the minute. LL were asked for a change and voted against at their AGM. Brechin City are focusing on putting a team together that won't be anywhere near the bottom and the other SPFL Angus clubs are League One or higher so have a cushion of a couple of years without having to worry about it.

The topic's basically dead again until Feb/March and if Tayside clubs decide to apply to the EoSFL.

Spot on FWF, there's nothing more to debate until a Tayside club decides to give it a go. 

What I would say LTL is that there is no Luncarty precedent. Tayside clubs were always able to apply to the EOS, we just didn't know it. 

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2 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:

That's sort of the point though. The Highland League as its presently constituted won't stay thay way. The actual Highlands already have their best teams in the current set up. The NCL might actually be a weaker T6 league that the SoSFL to the Lowlands. Fort William are expected to be the 'East Stirlingshire' once there's a pyramid in place and Strathspey Thistle were never able to make the North Super League in the Juniors. So they won't be holding on for long.

Sorted by PPG and including the 2019-20 season results for those that participated in the North Super League you're all time table of existing North Junior clubs looks like:

image.thumb.png.7f433f928123bbc48c4514a54e9bf437.png

 The strength and depth of the North Juniors is concentrated around the City of Aberdeen for the most part. If the Highland League pyramid had the North Juniors, Tayside Juniors, and NCL underneath it. Then the Highland League itself would not look like it does today for very long. That's without considering the likes of Brechin City or Montrose becoming Club 42 and making their way down from the SPFL.

Interesting table. I think it's also important to note that so many of those clubs are from a town that already has a Highland League club. In fact 7 out of the bottom 8 are in that situation. 

You've got the following ten clubs from towns with clubs higher up the pyramid: Montrose Roselea (Montrose in SPFL), Nairn St. Ninian (Nairn County), Colony Park (Inverurie Loco Works), Deveronside (Deveronvale), New Elgin (Elgin City), Islavale (Keith), Fraserburgh United (Fraserburgh), Buckie Rovers (Buckie Thistle), Forres Thistle (Forres Mechanics) and Buchanhaven Hearts (Peterhead)

Then you've got 9 Aberdeen clubs.

Leaving just 7 others: Stonehaven, Maud, Banchory St. Ternan, Longside, Ellon United, Dufftown and Cruden Bay. 

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2 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:

That's sort of the point though. The Highland League as its presently constituted won't stay thay way. The actual Highlands already have their best teams in the current set up. The NCL might actually be a weaker T6 league that the SoSFL to the Lowlands. Fort William are expected to be the 'East Stirlingshire' once there's a pyramid in place and Strathspey Thistle were never able to make the North Super League in the Juniors. So they won't be holding on for long.

Sorted by PPG and including the 2019-20 season results for those that participated in the North Super League you're all time table of existing North Junior clubs looks like:

image.thumb.png.7f433f928123bbc48c4514a54e9bf437.png

 The strength and depth of the North Juniors is concentrated around the City of Aberdeen for the most part. If the Highland League pyramid had the North Juniors, Tayside Juniors, and NCL underneath it. Then the Highland League itself would not look like it does today for very long. That's without considering the likes of Brechin City or Montrose becoming Club 42 and making their way down from the SPFL.

I'm aware possibly the bottom half of the Highland League would eventually be at Tier 6, and there would be a lot of movement - possibly only 4 or 5 Tayside clubs would ever actually be at Tier 5.

If we take as an example, the Top 4 Tayside clubs from last year (Broughty, Carnoustie, Lochee Utd, Downfield), and put them into a putative "Future Highland League" (Top 10 Highland + 4 North Juniors + 4 Tayside Juniors) or put them into the equivalent Lowland structure (Top 6 Lowland + 4 West of Scotland + 4 East of Scotland + 4 Tayside).

Average travel distances are as follows:
HIGHLAND
Carnoustie - 93 miles
Lochee Utd/Downfield - 94 miles
Broughty - 98 miles

LOWLAND
Lochee Utd/Downfield - 60 miles
Broughty - 62 miles
Carnoustie - 73 miles

Even if we take Brora and Wick out and replace them with Aberdeen teams, all 4 clubs have shorter travel distances in the Lowland structure.

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1 hour ago, patriot1 said:

Spot on FWF, there's nothing more to debate until a Tayside club decides to give it a go. 

What I would say LTL is that there is no Luncarty precedent. Tayside clubs were always able to apply to the EOS, we just didn't know it. 

Is it a Junior myth that a Tayside team was advised to not proceed with an application in 2018?

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The reason I included Tayside in the EoS rather than Highland setup is that they've historically played as part of the East setup (not the North).  Also some people seem to think that Dundee is in the Far North. Most clubs in Tayside are closer to Edinburgh than they are to the nearest HL club (Inverurie Loco Works).  In fact, Dundee to Glasgow is only 2 miles more than Dundee to Inverurie, and Dundee is closer to Hawick than it is to Rothes.
 

Tayside doesn't stop at Dundee though - in fact Dundee is the southernmost place that would be included in the Highland League. The Tayside Juniors go as far north as Angus.

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1 hour ago, stanley said:

Interesting table. I think it's also important to note that so many of those clubs are from a town that already has a Highland League club. In fact 7 out of the bottom 8 are in that situation. 

You've got the following ten clubs from towns with clubs higher up the pyramid: Montrose Roselea (Montrose in SPFL), Nairn St. Ninian (Nairn County), Colony Park (Inverurie Loco Works), Deveronside (Deveronvale), New Elgin (Elgin City), Islavale (Keith), Fraserburgh United (Fraserburgh), Buckie Rovers (Buckie Thistle), Forres Thistle (Forres Mechanics) and Buchanhaven Hearts (Peterhead)

Then you've got 9 Aberdeen clubs.

Leaving just 7 others: Stonehaven, Maud, Banchory St. Ternan, Longside, Ellon United, Dufftown and Cruden Bay. 

That's basically why the North Juniors are not that bothered about being in or out of the pyramid. It will make very little difference to the vast majority of them. They also know that the Highland League is available to them through application for those that want it.

 

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2 hours ago, patriot1 said:

....What I would say LTL is that there is no Luncarty precedent. Tayside clubs were always able to apply to the EOS, we just didn't know it. 

An EoS officeholder was quoted on the BBC website about receiving inquiries from the west and north of the Tay that made it sound like those areas were outside the EoS catchment. Carnoustie Panmure talked about being in limbo where the pyramid was concerned at that point.

It suits the EoS to pretend that the Club 42 boundary was never an issue because they don't need to let anybody in at tier 6 that way at the expense of existing members and it also kills off any possible need for future PWG meetings.

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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1 hour ago, mcruic said:

I'm aware possibly the bottom half of the Highland League would eventually be at Tier 6, and there would be a lot of movement - possibly only 4 or 5 Tayside clubs would ever actually be at Tier 5.

If we take as an example

Instead of an example why not put a Tayside club in the Highland League as Team 18. Do they travel less than Wick Academy? Yes. If Wick can do it, Tayside can do it.

Is their much difference for Tayside compared to Brora Rangers and Fort William in terms of travel? Not really and its only going to favour Tayside over the long term.

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Seems like the Tayside club will travel - but other clubs can't be bothered in going to Tayside (not exactly  way out of reach)  Think it needs the Tayside to apply to leagues and see if they get knocked back or encouraged. Maybe just get used to the North juniors being out on their own, keep the junior fans happy at least.

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