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Junior football, what is the future?

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3 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:

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.

Hawick is closer to Aberdeen than Wick, so that's not really saying anything...  If Wick can do it so can Hawick - so Hawick can join the HL...

There is 10-15 miles extra travel north of the HL-LL boundary for Tayside clubs, even without Brora, Wick and Fort William.  That's given my example, which shows a possible lineup in 4-5 years, and with 3 extremely local derbies contributing almost nothing to the average milegae.  At first, the travel for Tayside clubs stepping up would be even greater, as there would only be the 1 Tayside club at Tier 5 to begin with if they accepted promotion.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, craigkillie said:


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.

There's Forfar (2 clubs), Kirriemuir, Brechin, Arbroath, Carnoustie.  Brechin, the furthest north, is only half an hour from Dundee.  There's also Blairgowrie and Coupar Angus in Perthshire.  Blair is only about 25 mins from Perth.  Apart from those 8 clubs, the other 9 are in or just outside Dundee.

 

If you drew a line through the middle of mainland Scotland from West to East, Brechin, the most northerly town in the East Region juniors, would be on the South side of that line.  It's latitude is closer to Gretna than it is to Thurso.

Edited by mcruic

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5 hours 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, 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.

Got to draw a line somewhere. At my work tayside stores are in the north region lol

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40 minutes ago, mcruic said:

That's given my example, which shows a possible lineup in 4-5 years.

How exactly is it an example of what things would look like in 4-5 years? It would take one Tayside club 4 years just to get to the Lowland League.

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4 hours ago, cmontheloknow said:

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

No one seems sure. It has certainly never been confirmed that a Tayside team was given this advice. And it doesn't tie in with what the EOS are saying at the moment. 

 

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Right the English system has teams in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire playing in the National League North, so the travel argument isn't really relevant. If Scotland was as a population perfectly or even more reasonable spread out, then it would relevant, but the Highland Clearances put paid to that,

Tayside clubs already play a cup with teams from Aberdeenshire, so asking them to join the Highland region is reasonable point. For the vast majority of clubs it will make little to no difference in terms of travel and it allows clubs easier progression in the system.

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2 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:

How exactly is it an example of what things would look like in 4-5 years? It would take one Tayside club 4 years just to get to the Lowland League.

Take 4-5 and replace it with "however long it takes for leagues to stabilise" (Stabilise meaning the teams who are Tier 5 strength now actually reaching that level).  That might be 10 years - that's not the point I'm trying to make.  The point I'm making is that the top Tayside teams as a whole would have less travel in ANY Lowland structure compared with a similar Highland structure.

 

Edited by mcruic

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To be honest I like the idea of four way split in Tier 5 as a solution to the geography issues. I can think off the top

of my head that Spain splits four ways as tier 3 so it works well somewhere in the world. To show you what I mean I’ve carefully prepared a demonstration: a squiggly line crudely drawn over a map on my phone...

 

IMG_4130.thumb.jpg.ce7b5d529b058ae4df1fd52309e01330.jpg

 

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That would go down like a lead balloon in Bo'ness. No derby with Lithgae Rose unless they both get into the SPFL and in with Dundee despite being much closer to Edinburgh and having an EH postcode. If Dumfries to Oban and Aberdeen to Wick are viewed as doable scenarios, then Hawick to Forfar should be as well. Think three way would be the sensible way to go at tier 5 and the Option Z scenario would have had a lot going for it if the LL had been willing to split. Ironically some of the people who were seething about it the most on here at the time support clubs that are unlikely to ever make it past tier 6 as things are currently configured but would have been in with a shout of tier 5 and being one promotion away from the SPFL under Option Z. Tom Johnston rant seethe SJFA splutter....

th?id=OIP.4TcHfKeqVYLVRxn2_60KZwHaHZ&w=2

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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9 hours ago, mcruic said:

Take 4-5 and replace it with "however long it takes for leagues to stabilise" (Stabilise meaning the teams who are Tier 5 strength now actually reaching that level).  That might be 10 years - that's not the point I'm trying to make.  The point I'm making is that the top Tayside teams as a whole would have less travel in ANY Lowland structure compared with a similar Highland structure.

 

Tier 5 is the step below the national leagues, the SPFL is full of clubs who have consistently shown they are able to cope with travelling all over the country. Even to Elgin on a wet Tuesday night in February.

I'm sorry, but if clubs aren't prepared to concede that they have to travel further in a two division regional structure, the have no place playing in it and should stick to district football.

There'll never be a perfectly symmetrical structure so beloved of the spreadsheet pyramidistas here and any changes need to be made within the current structures.

Edited by Cyclizine

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That would go down like a lead balloon in Bo'ness. No derby with Lithgae Rose unless they both get into the SPFL and in with Dundee despite being much closer to Edinburgh and having an EH postcode. If Dumfries to Oban and Aberdeen to Wick are viewed as doable scenarios, then Hawick to Forfar should be as well. Think three way would be the sensible way to go at tier 5 and the Option Z scenario would have had a lot going for it if the LL had been willing to split. Ironically some of the people who were seething about it the most on here at the time support clubs that are unlikely to ever make it past tier 6 as things are currently configured but would have been in with a shout of tier 5 and being one promotion away from the SPFL under Option Z. Tom Johnston rant seethe SJFA splutter....
th?id=OIP.4TcHfKeqVYLVRxn2_60KZwHaHZ%26w=200%26h=199%26rs=1%26qlt=80%26pid=3.1&key=10e97350edd1fca9dec66b5239a20e09566855e0e11e3c8495fe74854b674181


Yeah, you’re never going to please everybody I’m afraid.

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10 hours ago, mcruic said:

The point I'm making is that the top Tayside teams as a whole would have less travel in ANY Lowland structure compared with a similar Highland structure.

Which isn't in dispute and doesn't need to a jerry-rigged example to make the point.

They'd also face less travel in the Highland League than some traditional Highland League clubs.

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16 hours ago, Andy groundhopper said:

From the outside, a mainly Tayside feeder league sounds good, suppose you are always up against it geographically - and maybe not enough Tayside clubs are interested in joining the pyramid anyway, the same as the North juniors. Hopefully the pyramid will settle down and get organised asap, and clubs get used to the ups and downs.

The incentive for Tayside and North Junior clubs is the SFA Licence but, to gain that, clubs have to be in a senior (i.e. Pyramid) league.

Another incentive may be the Under 20's Development League concept which, in effect, is there for the Highland and Grampian/Aberdeenshire clubs via the North of Scotland and Aberdeenshire Under 20's leagues. Inverness Athletic and Dyce are, apparently, moving up to these next season. Dyce having gained membership of the Aberdeenshire FA but aren't senior as such.

There needs to be the equivalent Under 20's created for Tayside/Angus - unless there is one already, don't know.

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16 hours ago, LongTimeLurker said:

Because of where the Club 42 boundary was drawn some traditional Tayside clubs (Jeanfield Swifts, Kinnoull and now Luncarty) are already in the EoS. It's difficult to have a stable league with what's left because there aren't enough clubs for two sensibly sized divisions and the range of playing standards is huge. What's left is unlikely to be stable for long in other words as is also the case with the south section of the east region in West Lothian. If the EoS membership is willing to vote more Tayside clubs in at a regionalised tier 8, that's the probable destination regardless of what some people are still posting on here about the Highland League. Floodlights should solve some of the issues that there used to be in the juniors with midweek games.

I sense that many people sympathise with the Tayside clubs and who knows what will happen in the next year or two.

However, the pyramid is set up in a situation whereby the SPFL didn't want to have more than one league at Tier 5 but ended up with two leagues. Three leagues seems a long way off. The knock-on effect has been to fix a boundary between these two Tier 5 leagues and, looking at the whole country (which is what we need to keep in mind), and in order to provide some sort of balance in terms of club numbers and travel, Tayside is slotted in the Highland League region.

Is that unreasonable? It isn't, in my view, because we need to remember that the Lowland area doesn't only cover Edinburgh and Glasgow. Stating the bleedin' obvious, I know, but it also covers Ayrshire and the South of Scotland league areas so the travelling to these areas is less easy and more mileage is involved. When you take that into consideration it does make more sense that, whilst there are two  Tier 5 leagues, then the line has to be drawn somewhere and Dundee and Angus goes north. 

If Dundee and Angus clubs want to be able to reach Tier 5 and above it would make the Highland League stronger if they took that route. The more Dundee and Angus clubs in at Highland Tier 5 the less the number of long away trips - although there would be more for existing Highland clubs such as Brora, Wick, Clach etc.  It would also help if Tayside came in as one of three Tier 6 leagues in the Highland League area, which would have the spin-off of providing opportunities for Tayside clubs  to go for SFA membership/club licence/SFA cup entry etc etc.

Edited by Dev
.

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1 hour ago, Dev said:

...Three leagues seems a long way off....

It's completely dead in the water now and whether you like it or not Tayside is highly likely to be heading into the LL catchment regardless of what gets posted on here. That leaves the HL catchment seriously underpopulated relative to the LL, so some relatively small clubs are going to be able to be tier 5 there with a much easier path to the SPFL.

The WoS catchment is likely to be stronger than the EoS because the Glasgow area is where most of the population is in the central belt, so after a decade or so once the LL starts to reflect where the strength lies, the east is probably going to wind up being under-represented at tier 5. Clubs like Blackburn, Musselburgh, Camelon and Dunipace who had supporters and/or officials on here spewing venom at anyone talking up Option Z are unlikely to ever get a look in in that regard.

The machinations of Tom Johnston will soon be a distant memory, but a lot of people weren't thinking two or three steps ahead like you need to do to be successful in life.

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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42 minutes ago, LongTimeLurker said:

It's completely dead in the water now and whether you like it or not Tayside is highly likely to be heading into the LL catchment regardless of what gets posted on here. That leaves the HL catchment seriously underpopulated relative to the LL, so some relatively small clubs are going to be able to be tier 5 there with a much easier path to the SPFL.

The WoS catchment is likely to be stronger than the EoS because the Glasgow area is where most of the population is in the central belt, so after a decade or so once the LL starts to reflect where the strength lies, the east is probably going to wind up being under-represented at tier 5. Clubs like Blackburn, Musselburgh, Camelon and Dunipace who had supporters and/or officials on here spewing venom at anyone talking up Option Z are unlikely to ever get a look in in that regard.

The machinations of Tom Johnston will soon be a distant memory, but a lot of people weren't thinking two or three steps ahead like you need to do to be successful in life.

Tayside league wont be falling under the lowland league any time soon so wont be EOS problem so if they want to get in the pyramid they go north the line wont be getting moved any time soon unless you can show proof to back your fact up it will be LL problem then its just another 1 of your assumptions until you're proved wrong as usual fact is if tayside want in the pyramid then they need to go through the highland league and until they have some sort of dialogue then it wont happen anything else is just hot air talk 

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1 hour ago, Ped said:

Tayside league wont be falling under the lowland league any time soon so wont be EOS problem so if they want to get in the pyramid they go north the line wont be getting moved any time soon unless you can show proof to back your fact up it will be LL problem then its just another 1 of your assumptions until you're proved wrong as usual fact is if tayside want in the pyramid then they need to go through the highland league and until they have some sort of dialogue then it wont happen anything else is just hot air talk 

There's pretty much 4 options open to the East Region.

  1. Stay Junior.
  2. Apply to the EoSFL.
  3. Tayside split into their own Tier 6 league under the Highland League.
  4. Tayside join with the North Region to form a NoSFL under the Highland League.

Even back in the day when there would have been EoSFL, SoSFL, West Region, and East Region at Tier 6, the long term plan was to streamline. A Tayside/Midland League isn't going to sit under the Lowland League.

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47 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

There's pretty much 4 options open to the East Region.

  1. Stay Junior.
  2. Apply to the EoSFL.
  3. Tayside split into their own Tier 6 league under the Highland League.
  4. Tayside join with the North Region to form a NoSFL under the Highland League.

Even back in the day when there would have been EoSFL, SoSFL, West Region, and East Region at Tier 6, the long term plan was to streamline. A Tayside/Midland League isn't going to sit under the Lowland League.

a tayside/north super league would probably help the tayside problem. What they should do but unlikely to happen is to split the highland league in 2 and make it north and south and playoff to make a champion to playoff against the lowland champion. Wont be popular with the purists or the insistance that its 16 team leagues.

It is probably the Highland structure as a whole that needs sorted inclusive of tier 5 than it is in the Lowland region. The idea to split into 4 and falkirk be in with tayside and fife was a joke surely.

If Tayside was to come into Lowland region they would probably need to look at the Perthshire clubs going into that league and possibly look at fife having a flexible border of which way they wanted to go but id imagine st andrews and newburgh may be happier with perth and tayside travelling but hill of beath be happier with whats in the current EOSFL

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22 hours ago, gogsy said:

Has the West Region juniors association disbanded yet?

The East Region handbook for 2020-21 makes no mention of them on page 7: https://www.scottishjuniorfa.com/media/2700/148940-east-region-junior-football-membership-booklet-20_21.pdf

I note Mark Stanton from Lochee is the new SJFA vice-president. Fife & Lothians Cup now gone, there's two East cups plus the North/Tayside cup.

The leagues are now called: East Region Tayside League and East Region Lothian League, exact set up to be decided based on start date.

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7 hours ago, Cyclizine said:

Tier 5 is the step below the national leagues, the SPFL is full of clubs who have consistently shown they are able to cope with travelling all over the country. Even to Elgin on a wet Tuesday night in February.

I'm sorry, but if clubs aren't prepared to concede that they have to travel further in a two division regional structure, the have no place playing in it and should stick to district football.

There'll never be a perfectly symmetrical structure so beloved of the spreadsheet pyramidistas here and any changes need to be made within the current structures.

Clubs at Tier 5 only have to travel half the country.  They get at least a year of that to try it out before they have the chance to go up to Tier 4.  Many clubs will be at Tier 5 for the foreseeable future - at least half of the Lowland and Highland League clubs are not going to win the league in the foreseeable future, so they will never need to travel Scotland-wide.

The "current structures" you talk about weren't there less than 10 years ago (Lowland League, West of Scotland League, for example) - That's about 2/3 of all the Tier 5 and Tier 6 clubs in Scotland who find themselves in leagues and structures that did not exist until 2013.

Your last sentence smacks of condescension and also a let's-make-do-with-the-crap-we-have attitude.  Neither are particularly helpful or forward-looking, and this type of attitude is what's held back the pyramid for so long.  

 

Edited by mcruic

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