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Robert James

North Caledonian League Expansion

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On 02/04/2020 at 01:14, welshbairn said:

Hopefully Nairn U20s don't get accepted. I think Colt Teams should be as far away as possible. Also a 13 team league is quite cumbersome. 12 Teams would be better imho.

I would absolutely love to see Orkney work toward a Licence, what an away day that would be.

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8 minutes ago, ArabAuslander said:

Hopefully Nairn U20s don't get accepted. I think Colt Teams should be as far away as possible. Also a 13 team league is quite cumbersome. 12 Teams would be better imho.

I would absolutely love to see Orkney work toward a Licence, what an away day that would be.

Agreed on both counts. Not so much the 13 teams, the fixtures all seem a bit haphazard anyway although it might mess up the cups a bit.

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13 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

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An excellent article by Will Clark.

If the NRJFA also applies to join the pyramid, then the most obvious solution is that the NCL and the North Juniors form two separate Tier 6 leagues, thereby maintaining the existing geographical integrity between the two regions. A simple play-off for promotion to the Highland League would be required, IF/WHEN each of the two league's  champion clubs is an SFA Licence holder. Currently only Golspie Sutherland (NCL) and Banks O'Dee (NRJFA) are licensed.

Regarding relegation from the Highland League, clubs like Fort William, Clachnacuddin, Wick Academy,  Lossiemouth, Brora Rangers, would drop into the NCL. 

Whereas (if relegated from the HFL) clubs like , Turriff United, Formartine United, Inverurie Locos, would enter the North Juniors Premier League. 

Borderline HFL Clubs like Forres Mechanics, Strathspey Thistle, and Rothes would be asked to nominate (at the beginning of each season), which of the 2 leagues they would enter, if relegated  (as applies now for Lowland relegation to the EoSL or SoSL).

This is a golden opportunity for the SFA to progress/implement, a northern pyramid.  

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1 hour ago, Robert James said:

 

An excellent article by Will Clark.

If the NRJFA also applies to join the pyramid, then the most obvious solution is that the NCL and the North Juniors form two separate Tier 6 leagues, thereby maintaining the existing geographical integrity between the two regions. A simple play-off for promotion to the Highland League would be required, IF/WHEN each of the two league's  champion clubs is an SFA Licence holder. Currently only Golspie Sutherland (NCL) and Banks O'Dee (NRJFA) are licensed.

Regarding relegation from the Highland League, clubs like Fort William, Clachnacuddin, Wick Academy,  Lossiemouth, Brora Rangers, would drop into the NCL. 

Whereas (if relegated from the HFL) clubs like , Turriff United, Formartine United, Inverurie Locos, would enter the North Juniors Premier League. 

Borderline HFL Clubs like Forres Mechanics, Strathspey Thistle, and Rothes would be asked to nominate (at the beginning of each season), which of the 2 leagues they would enter, if relegated  (as applies now for Lowland relegation to the EoSL or SoSL).

This is a golden opportunity for the SFA to progress/implement, a northern pyramid.  

That seems blindingly obvious. Hopefully some latitude could be given and assistance to clubs to upgrade their facilities, perhaps being allowed to groundshare in the interim if necessary. Otherwise it's a bit pointless at the mo with only one or two sides up to spec. 

P.S. Why does he think Forres  and Strathspey Thistle are borderline and Lossie not? Probably a mistake.

Edited by welshbairn

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1 hour ago, welshbairn said:

That seems blindingly obvious. Hopefully some latitude could be given and assistance to clubs to upgrade their facilities, perhaps being allowed to groundshare in the interim if necessary. Otherwise it's a bit pointless at the mo with only one or two sides up to spec. 

P.S. Why does he think Forres  and Strathspey Thistle are borderline and Lossie not? Probably a mistake.

Joining the pyramid for 2020/21 would mean that the NCL has been accepted into the pyramid, which in itself STARTS the process. There would be no promotion or relegation during next season, whilst the new pyramid arrangements/rules are drawn up and agreed. The NCL is directly affiliated to the SFA, so I can't envisage many problems. However the SFA wants the HFL to revert to 16 clubs, which would probably need discussing.

Remember that the club licensing situation for clubs in leagues which are NOT currently part of  the pyramid, is as follows

* WRJFA/new WoSFL   : 1 club - Girvan  (+ Glasgow Uni if they apply - see below)

* ERJFA (West Lothian) nil clubs               

* ERJFA north of the Tayside boundary :  nil clubs

* NRJFA : 1 club : -  Banks O'Dee

* NCL :  1 club - Golspie Sutherland

* Amateur  :  1 club -  Glasgow University  (see above)

Therefore, 2020/21 is very much a transitional season for all new pyramid clubs looking to improve their facilities, and progress towards  licensing, if they wish to do so.

            ****

You are correct to point out a possible anomaly/mistake regarding Lossiemouth's inclusion (in the NCL list). I did so because their reserve side has participated in NCL competitions, in the not too distant past, and the club has struggled in the HFL in recent years.   Apologies for any confusion.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Robert James said:

You are correct to point out a possible anomaly/mistake regarding Lossiemouth's inclusion (in the NCL list). I did so because their reserve side has participated in NCL competitions, in the not too distant past, and the club has struggled in the HFL in recent years.   Apologies for any confusion.

Hang on, are you Will Clark? :unsure: I'm certainly confused now.

Edited by welshbairn

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1 hour ago, welshbairn said:

Hang on, are you Will Clark? :unsure: I'm certainly confused now.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not Will Clark !

1 hour ago, welshbairn said:

Hang on, are you Will Clark? :unsure: I'm certainly confused now.

And before you ask, nor do I work for the Inverness Courier !

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1 hour ago, welshbairn said:

Hang on, are you Will Clark? :unsure: I'm certainly confused now.

However as a kiddie, I was a fan of Inverness Thistle (at Kingsmills) which unfortunately ages me. 

By the way, I am very sorry to see that "your team" Clach, are struggling in the HFL these days. Better days ahead I hope.

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21 minutes ago, Robert James said:

Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not Will Clark !

And before you ask, nor do I work for the Inverness Courier !

Your bold lettered headline above your post threw me, you've obviously got the knack!

Edited by welshbairn

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It was the photograph which confused me.

Sorry lads, but you can't possibly accept any team where a chap wearing tights appears to be tackling one of his own team-mates for possession of the football.

That is not how it works.

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On a couple of points, the NMP was great for watching football. The old stand there gave a great view. City gave out a few hammerings there. 

Lister Park is no more. The dugouts and changing rooms have been flattened, the fences round the pitch removed and the pitch is just back to as it was before, just line markings like the rest of the Bught Park pitches. 

Fraser Park is also a cricket pitch so I can possibly see some resistance from Highland Cricket Club. 

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There are supposedly going to be decent playing fields left once the flood prevention scheme in Culloden and Smithton is finished. I don't know if they would be good enough for NCL teams to use full time though?

Culloden was used for amateur league fixtures before and I think the park in Smithton had portacabin changing rooms.

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Would Millburn be an option for Loch Ness?  I know the ICT women's team play there and it's all enclosed with changing rooms etc.

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An article from Will Clark (today),  in the John O'Groats Journal & Caithness Courier carries the headline:

"Highland League could see promotion and relegation could be implemented in time for next season"

With quotes from Rod Huston (Secretary), backing up an earlier press release (above) about the NCL , I have posted key extracts from the JOGJ & CC  article, on the Future of the Juniors forum. Worth a read.

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