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Robert James

North Caledonian League Expansion

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51 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

They want Fraser Park, been offered Bught Park. The late Inverness City will be turning in their grave.

Three other unnamed clubs have applied.

You mention three other clubs have applied in addition to Loch Ness. 

Kinlochbervie has been mentioned before on this thread as intending to apply to join the NCL for next season (whenever that is). Has Alness found a home so that they can return? Who else?

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2 hours ago, welshbairn said:

Don't think there's anything left, so I assume unenclosed. Only been to one NCL game, Bunillidh Thistle v Inverness Athletic  at Couper Park in Helmsdale, but they had a proper clubhouse with changing facilities and a bar, I'm guessing that's the exception rather than the rule in the NCL!

There aren't any that are enclosed in the sense of having a proper boundary around the ground excluding spectators, except Golspie and partially Thurso. They both, along with Halkirk, also have permanently railed pitches. The rest play on essentially public playing fields with roped off pitches on march days or, in the case of Inverness Athletic and Orkney, on caged astros. Most do have their own changing rooms though.

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2 hours ago, Dev said:

You mention three other clubs have applied in addition to Loch Ness. 

Kinlochbervie has been mentioned before on this thread as intending to apply to join the NCL for next season (whenever that is). Has Alness found a home so that they can return? Who else?

I've not heard anything other than KLB and Loch Ness. Although, nothing from KLB since. Still surprised by them apparently applying over a resurrection of Lochbroom!

I'd be hopeful of a return for Alness, they have a very active youth setup. The new academy has been mooted as a possible venue.

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Although the prospects of any Summer football in the north of Scotland looks bleak the Inverness Amateur League was due to have this composition. Do you think any of these would be remotely suitable for the NCL?

I was surprised to see Gairloch/Aultea United in this league. Could they have more ambitious plans? and this was perhaps to be a practice run before stepping up to Saturday Winter football? :

Inverness  & Dist Amat Lg 2020

   
Prem   Div.1   Div.2
Avoch   Ardersier   Black Isle United (Culbokie)
Contin   Balloan   Conon Bridge
Ferrybache Black Rock Rovers (Evanton) Drakies PDG
ICM Electrical Charlestelona Fortrose & Rosemarkie Union
IRN Security Culloden Blacksmiths Gairloch/Aultbea United
Loch Ness Hill Rovers (Farr) Highland Aviation
Maryburgh Innes CI   NHS Highland
NMM Sams Merkinch   Norbord Cleanco
North Kessock  Muir of Ord Rovers Tomatin United
Tomatin       Uncle Bob's
Edited by Dev

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Could North Kessock Hotel be one?  Saw them give Dutch third tier side Scheveningen a good game last summer in what must be one of the most bizarre fixtures in Highland football history.

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Sorry, where is Fraser Park?

Also, there’s a decent ground out at Inverarnie/Farr... or is that said “Fraser Park”?

EDIT... I see Fraser Park now, just down from Thistle’s old ground. Don’t know what facilities are there though 

Edited by Spyro

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I’m surprised Avoch or one of the other Black Isle teams haven’t been mentioned as newcomers. Even the inland towns of Muir of Ord or Contin would be a great base that isn’t covered in the league already

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1 hour ago, Spyro said:

I’m surprised Avoch or one of the other Black Isle teams haven’t been mentioned as newcomers. Even the inland towns of Muir of Ord or Contin would be a great base that isn’t covered in the league already

Muir of Ord used to play in the NCL up until six or seven years ago. Avoch seem quite happy being top dog in the amateurs!

2 hours ago, Dev said:

I was surprised to see Gairloch/Aultea United in the league

Up until last season they played in the Skye and Lochalsh AFL. To be honest, travelwise, they're probably no different playing in the Inverness and District.

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6 minutes ago, Sherrif John Bunnell said:

Highland RFC have purchased Canal Park as it looks like they are trying to go professional and possibly groundshare at ICT.

https://www.highlandrugbyclub.org/news/highland-purchase-canal-park-2526677.html

Quote

We've been working alongside Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club to come to an agreement where we can ground share Caley Stadium to ensure we maximise revenue from our expected capacity crowds.

Is rugby that popular in the Highlands to get 6,000-7,000+?

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Is rugby that popular in the Highlands to get 6,000-7,000+?
Highland seem to attract fairly decent crowds for the level they play at (400-500 max), but outwith them, rugby is treated with the same ambivalence it is in most of Scotland.

It's hard to imagine that the prospect of playing the likes of Ayrshire Bulls or Southern Knights would increase their crowds that much.

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You never know. Maybe without the history that surrounds ICT & accordingly informs a lot in terms of who will / won't go to watch them & generally support the club, & with rugby being a more 'wholesome' atmosphere for families, kids etc to go & watch, it could be a real 'local club makes good to the big time' story & people will buy into their development & go to watch in increasing numbers. Think they'll be aiming to attract a lot of new - as in not currently watching any live sport - supporters, & there's certainly plenty of those out there, so I guess that time will tell. Would certainly be embarrassing for ICT if the rugby was getting gates approaching or even better than their numbers!

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Why would you leave a fantastic facility like Canal Park to move to an isolated, freezing cold dump like the Caley Stadium?

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19 hours ago, Cyclizine said:

There aren't any that are enclosed in the sense of having a proper boundary around the ground excluding spectators, except Golspie and partially Thurso. They both, along with Halkirk, also have permanently railed pitches. The rest play on essentially public playing fields with roped off pitches on march days or, in the case of Inverness Athletic and Orkney, on caged astros. Most do have their own changing rooms though.

 

Not entirely correct, as Invergordon have an enclosed ground, immediately behind (and separate from) the rugby ground. It is also fenced off from the adjacent public park, and has a different access to it. Also Halkirk Utd has 2 covered stands, and changing rooms, but is otherwise 'roped off'..

Orkney are looking to upgrade their facilities, or relocate (if necessary);

Ambitious club, St Duthus (Tain) play matches at a separately 'enclosed' (Links) ground, although they currently use the changing room facilities on a (council ?) football pitch, situated across a narrow lane (which ends at a car park).

Bonar Bridge's facilities are basic.  Inverness Athletic have played at the Highland Football Academy, and at Muir of Ord, but their ongoing ground situation is uncertain because finding suitable/available football pitches is a recurring problem in the city of Inverness.  Bunillidh Thistle's ground at Helmsdale is also basic, but I agree that the facilities are good.

NCL member club, Alness United have  been "in abeyance" this season, as they lost their ground in the town and temporarily relocated elsewhere, to a housing development. It is unclear whether they will be returning to the league in 2020/21.  Does anyone have any news about their possible return ?

Golspie & Thurso's grounds are good, and worth a ground hop, if you haven't visited them. 

 

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5 hours ago, Sherrif John Bunnell said:

Highland RFC have purchased Canal Park as it looks like they are trying to go professional and possibly groundshare at ICT.

https://www.highlandrugbyclub.org/news/highland-purchase-canal-park-2526677.html

I hope this is true. Scottish Rugby's needed a 3rd Pro team for years.

However I'm also noting today's date 😂

Edited by come on shire

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4 hours ago, Sherrif John Bunnell said:

I've just realised what date it is. I think I've been whooshed big time. emoji38.png

I was wondering where they'd find the £3 million and full time wages from. :lol:

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On 31/03/2020 at 13:18, welshbairn said:

They want Fraser Park, been offered Bught Park. The late Inverness City will be turning in their grave.

Three other unnamed clubs have applied.

Assuming that the Inverness Courier is correct, the 4 clubs who have applied to join the North Caledonian League are -

Loch Ness : an established amateur club from Inverness (as above), from the Inverness & District League

Scourie  (aka Kinlochbervie from summer footbal) : who declared their NCL interest  a couple of months ago

Nairn County (Development/Under 20s) : who are already members of the NCL (cups only, to date) 

+ Alness United returning to the NCL............ if they secure an agreement to play at the (new)  Alness Academy.

 

If the NRJFA's clubs, don't agree to join the Highland "pyramid", perhaps junior clubs like Burghead Thistle (Moray), might be tempted to apply, especially if the North Calendonian League  is given SFA/HFL approval to join the pyramid at Tier 6 ??

Edited by Robert James
additional question added

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2 hours ago, Robert James said:

Assuming that the Inverness Courier is correct, the 4 clubs who have applied to join the North Caledonian League are -

Loch Ness : an established amateur club from Inverness (as above), from the Inverness & District League

Scourie  (aka Kinlochbervie from summer footbal) : who declared their NCL interest  a couple of months ago

Nairn County (Development/Under 20s) : who are already members of the NCL (cups only, to date) 

+ Alness United returning to the NCL............ if they secure an agreement to play at the (new)  Alness Academy.

 

If the NRJFA's clubs, don't agree to join the Highland "pyramid", perhaps junior clubs like Burghead Thistle (Moray), might be tempted to apply, especially if the North Calendonian League  is given SFA/HFL approval to join the pyramid at Tier 6 ??

Correct, although the Scourie team haven't offered a name yet.

https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/sport/scourie-team-in-bid-to-join-north-caledonian-league-195434/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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