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http://www.dgnews-sport.co.uk/?art=8060&page=home&title=WIGTOWN+OUT+OF+SOUTH+LEAGUE+BUT+HOPE+TO+FIGHT+BACK
 

WIGTOWN OUT OF SOUTH LEAGUE BUT HOPE TO FIGHT BACK
Football   11-07-2017

ONE of the oldest clubs in the region has been forced to drop out of the South of Scotland League just three weeks before the start of the new season.

Wigtown and Bladnoch management and committee has been trying desperately to recruit players without success.

They have notified the South League that they won’t be competing this season and also all but one of the South Cup competitions.

Wigtown have also been forced to drop out of the prestigious William Hill Scottish Cup which was drawn yesterday (MON).

Jim Brown, secretary of the club which dates back to 1880 and plays at Trammondford Park at Wigtown, said they had been unable to recruit players despite the desperate efforts of manager Micky Dougan.

He added: “Most of last year’s team have joined other clubs such as Stranraer, St Cuthbert Wanderers, Newton Stewart and junior side Maybole.

“We are hoping to play the Challenge Cup this coming season and that we can return next season. Michael tried his best but he couldn’t get them to sign.

“We want to try and build over the coming year, get started earlier and get some boys together. Basically, it’s been a domino effect for once you lose five or six players the others begin to lose heart as well.”

Wigtown have won five championships since the South of Scotland Football League was re-formed in 1946, the latest being in2014/15 when they won their first ever back to back league titles.

Last season they finished runners-up to champions Edusport Academy after leading the table for long spells.

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1 hour ago, HibeeJibee said:

D&G News:

http://www.dgnews-sport.co.uk/?art=8060&page=home&title=WIGTOWN+OUT+OF+SOUTH+LEAGUE+BUT+HOPE+TO+FIGHT+BACK
 

WIGTOWN OUT OF SOUTH LEAGUE BUT HOPE TO FIGHT BACK
Football   11-07-2017

ONE of the oldest clubs in the region has been forced to drop out of the South of Scotland League just three weeks before the start of the new season.

Wigtown and Bladnoch management and committee has been trying desperately to recruit players without success.

They have notified the South League that they won’t be competing this season and also all but one of the South Cup competitions.

Wigtown have also been forced to drop out of the prestigious William Hill Scottish Cup which was drawn yesterday (MON).

Jim Brown, secretary of the club which dates back to 1880 and plays at Trammondford Park at Wigtown, said they had been unable to recruit players despite the desperate efforts of manager Micky Dougan.

He added: “Most of last year’s team have joined other clubs such as Stranraer, St Cuthbert Wanderers, Newton Stewart and junior side Maybole.

“We are hoping to play the Challenge Cup this coming season and that we can return next season. Michael tried his best but he couldn’t get them to sign.

“We want to try and build over the coming year, get started earlier and get some boys together. Basically, it’s been a domino effect for once you lose five or six players the others begin to lose heart as well.”

Wigtown have won five championships since the South of Scotland Football League was re-formed in 1946, the latest being in2014/15 when they won their first ever back to back league titles.

Last season they finished runners-up to champions Edusport Academy after leading the table for long spells.

In complete fairness any Wigtown players from what I've heard that have since signed up at St Cuthbert Wanderers and Newton Stewart bar one young lad who had already agreed the move to St Mary's only did so once it became apparent that the Trammondford side were really struggling to recruit sufficient players to have a squad as such. This might have been easier had a few others as was suggest above stayed on but it's very difficult as everyone surely appreciates to convince guys to commit their immediate futures when others are moving on and I know they tried their level best to maintan their League status.

Everyone locally truly hopes the team rebuild quickly and are involved again for the 2018/19 campaign. 

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I wonder if player recruitment might have been easier if they'd been promoted? I know Threave did poorly but surely having a team struggling in the lowland league is better than no team at all

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It has been stated on here before but seems to need repeating. Wigtown would have been finished financially definitly and playerwise possibly if they had been promoted. Untill there is a financial incentive clubs like Wigtown will be unable to nplay in the Lowland League .

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3 hours ago, info said:

It has been stated on here before but seems to need repeating. Wigtown would have been finished financially definitly and playerwise possibly if they had been promoted. Untill there is a financial incentive clubs like Wigtown will be unable to nplay in the Lowland League .

Or of course attempt to find it internally through fundraising sponsorship etc. Hope to see Wigtown back this time next year not nice to hear. 

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Sponsorship of any size is unfortunately impossible in this area. There are no factories or firms of any size in this lightly populated area. I am afraid I am only telling it as it is,

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The SPFL/SFA really needs to address glaringly obvious issues like this. Its negligent to continue to bury their heads in the sand by trying to establish the SofS as a Tier 6 feeder into the LL. Clubs clearly don't want to be involved and can't afford it. This is not a criticism of the teams at all but the SPFL/SFA have clearly propelled this league to a level that it should not be.

Where would Glenafton play if they decided to join the pyramid for example?

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In the current set up, Glens would play in the SOS League.

I am truly sorry to learn of Wigtown's dilemma. For the past couple of years I have been challenging those who accuse SOS clubs of lacking 'ambition'. Wigtown's current situation highlights how precarious and fragile the league is. I would agree that if an additional feeder league for the west be introduced, this would allow the SOS to step down one tier, effectively taking the pressure off the financial risk of promotion and it's enormous financial pressures. The demographics of Galloway are such that there is an increasingly ageing population resulting in the obvious knock on in terms of players. Wigtownshire is particularly sensitive to any change in team numbers, the entry of Stranraer reserves being an example. I would much rather see the survival of old clubs like Wigtown and Saints in a lower tier than see the clubs go to the wall. The clubs are an inherent part of the community and I would hate to see any go the way of Tarff Rovers, a club which were close to my heart.

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11 minutes ago, left half said:

In the current set up, Glens would play in the SOS League.

Is that actually set in stone somewhere? As far as i'm aware the only legit geographical divide in the pyramid relates to being either North or South of the Tay for Highland/Lowland. There's been the tradition of certain SoSFL "area" teams preferring to compete in the EoSFL. Admittedly that was just down to Gretna 2008 by the time the Lowland League was introduced.

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New Cumnock to any of the EOS clubs is a long way. Nithsdale Wanderers on the D & G / Ayrshire boundary compete in the SOS as does Bonnyton from Kilmarnock. Historically the juniors have preferred regional leagues close to home which paradoxically is why some of the teams are so successful and have large crowds.

The financial constraints of running a team from South Ayrshire competing would seem to me to be prohibitive.

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EK and Edusport two clubs West-based that joined the pyramid in the SoS, though EK got into the LL immediately without playing SoS iirc? Bonnyton the latest. The SoS Is the Geographical league for West clubs. Gretna's situation unique - the SoS rejected them - teams only went EoS for greater competition. The LL has replaced that need.

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Best of luck to Wigtown, I would like to see clubs of this size progress to the LL but clearly that's a pipe dream at the moment.

Sad to see a well run club struggling and hope they will be back competing next season.

Posters are absolutely right to draw attention to the problems of the SoS league being a feeder to the Lowland and this needs addressed urgently by the SFA. A new West & South League might work, comprising teams from West Region juniors and those who do have genuine aspirations to progress from SoS. This would leave the current SoS as a league of teams who feel unable to compete beyond local /regional level.

I also think there should be some help for geographically remote teams to try and compete nationally, either through a grant or national sponsorship directory/ officer based at the SFA. Sponsorship money paid by a pub or a caravan park will hardy allow for a sustained challenge in the LL.

It may also be (whisper it) that with Annan, Stranraer and QOS in the SPFL, with Gretna and Dalbeattie in the LL, and maybe Threave returning when the club has re-organised itself, that maybe the lot for the South West of Scotland at National league level.

It's a difficult problem and there needs to be a concerted focus in solving it. If Wigtown can hold a national book festival then surely it is capable of maintaining, in the longer term, a competitive team at LL level should it qualify. Ditto Kirkcudbright.

 

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Holding a book festival for a few days does not equate to running a football club 12 months a year.

I need to ask, have you been to Wigtown ? It is nearly 60 miles from Dumfries,, has no industry and has a population of less than 1,000. I think the club has achieved massively in the SOS League in the past few years. Why are people hell bent on insisting that they must have ambition and move into the LOL. Do turkeys vote for Christmas ? Such a move would threaten the very existence of the club.

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10 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:

Is that actually set in stone somewhere? As far as i'm aware the only legit geographical divide in the pyramid relates to being either North or South of the Tay for Highland/Lowland. There's been the tradition of certain SoSFL "area" teams preferring to compete in the EoSFL. Admittedly that was just down to Gretna 2008 by the time the Lowland League was introduced.

Auchinleck Talbot were told that, if they wanted to pursue club licensing, a condition would be that they joined the pseudo-pyramid by playing in the SoSL! Which is a nonsense.

4 hours ago, left half said:

Holding a book festival for a few days does not equate to running a football club 12 months a year.

I need to ask, have you been to Wigtown ? It is nearly 60 miles from Dumfries,, has no industry and has a population of less than 1,000. I think the club has achieved massively in the SOS League in the past few years. Why are people hell bent on insisting that they must have ambition and move into the LOL. Do turkeys vote for Christmas ? Such a move would threaten the very existence of the club.

Compulsory promotion is also a nonsense.

Edited by archieb

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11 hours ago, archieb said:

Auchinleck Talbot were told that, if they wanted to pursue club licensing, a condition would be that they joined the pseudo-pyramid by playing in the SoSL! Which is a nonsense.

Compulsory promotion is also a nonsense.

The SFA's own position is full of holes as Glasgow University have not been corralled into joining the SoS, nor Golspie the SHFL (which has no space in it or pathway up). I;m fairly sure both of those got their licence after the SFA changed the rules.

It's called protectionism and is discriminative against SJFA members.

 

Edited by cmontheloknow

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The Lowland League has been full of holes from day one. Member clubs like Wigtown( over 100years old) have to spend a small fortune obtaining a licence and stood to be punished by the  SFA if they had been unable to accept promotion. BSC and EDU invent a club, hire a ground somewhere,anywhere, with a licence, and are welcomed with open arms . Can someone explain to me how this is encouraging kids to play football and keep fit.

And before it inevitably crops up monies obtained from the SFA previously was not spent on riotous living but on keeping grass roots football alive.

The previous system needed some improving but the present system is certainly not an improvment to football in general.

Big clubs should be aware that though they did not get ready made players from the grass roots they got spetators and youngsters got interested in the beautiful game.

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Think what Wigtown need to do is get a youth team on the go or a Sunday team. Something they can feed off when it comes to trying to get back in to the league.
Use these players and accept they might not be challenging for the first few years.
Keith Knox used quite a few of the under 17s when he first took over down there.

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1 hour ago, info said:

The Lowland League has been full of holes from day one. Member clubs like Wigtown( over 100years old) have to spend a small fortune obtaining a licence and stood to be punished by the  SFA if they had been unable to accept promotion. BSC and EDU invent a club, hire a ground somewhere,anywhere, with a licence, and are welcomed with open arms . Can someone explain to me how this is encouraging kids to play football and keep fit.

And before it inevitably crops up monies obtained from the SFA previously was not spent on riotous living but on keeping grass roots football alive.

The previous system needed some improving but the present system is certainly not an improvment to football in general.

Big clubs should be aware that though they did not get ready made players from the grass roots they got spetators and youngsters got interested in the beautiful game.

BSC didn't just invent a club, we might not be 100 years old but we have been on the go as a Sports Club before BSC Glasgow was formed in 2014. The reason we were founded was to give the kids who progressed through the age groups somewhere to aim for after they had played for the under 20's. It's interesting you mention developing kids from grass roots as that is exactly what we are doing and have been doing since the sports club was founded in 2004.

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I was just thinking the other day that I hadn't seen a bad news story re any team withdrawing from their league this summer. Hope the club bounces back successfully, especially after such a good campaign last time around.

Surely the time has come for the SFA to form a proper "West" Level 6 feeder, to combine with the SoS and EoS? Suppose it'll come down to demand, but no doubt they'd be able to pick up a couple of SPFL reserves and Glasgow Uni for starters.

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8 hours ago, cmontheloknow said:

It's called protectionism and is discriminative against SJFA members.

Some people were trying to explain that to you years ago. The SFA had to create the appearance of a pyramid to keep UEFA happy on club licensing, but had no interest in forming a genuine one any more than the SJFA ever did. Looks like Wigtown have paid the penalty by having a surprisingly good season and not being able to contemplate actually winning the championship, because of the bizarre forced progression angle, which isn't a feature in most European countries as far as I'm aware.

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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