Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gary Hamilton

Amateur football is dying

Recommended Posts

Unfortunately from other threads it looks like the amateur football that we all love is slowly but surely dying, other threads on the forum indicate teams are are struggling teams folding in Ayrshire with over 50 years of history, the csafl attract teams every year and they fold and the caley leagues are definitely not as strong as they used to be.

When I started playing in the amateur game I had the pleasure of playing in the old safl first division with Dynamo EK, 9 divisions and two or three reserve leagues, and then there was the Caledonian league, this was meant to be the cream of the crop with the best facilities, then there was the csafl and the Ggpl. There’s no west of Scotland league or paisley and district leagues anymore, the safl is constantly changing its structure and by the looks of things Ayrshire may be down to three leagues next year. Will the caley revert back to two divisions and will the csafl have to give up running three.

Does the safl need to step in and restructure amateur football, I believe the sfa have a lot to do with this also, the academies are not working and kids are not turning to amateur football once the are let go by the bigger clubs.

I’m sure this will be met with a lot of negativity, for those who know me will know I’m quite outspoken but it needs to be said, the leagues need to come together to save our game or else it’ll die in front of us.

There are good people within the Safa that will want to do what’s best for all of amateur football, unfortunately there are some that are only interested in their own own stature in the game, we need to all pull together and lobby for a restructure of the whole of Scottish football, which may include amateur football progressing into the juniors etc etc.

The proofs in the stats the Scottish has lost two rounds this season.

I look forward to the comments positive and negative.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also forgot to mention that there’s no Lanarkshire league also, I had the pleasure of playing there with Carluke Hearts in 2005, from four leagues to none in ten years is definitely something we need to worry about

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most things your saying, there needs to be a restructure, there is no need for all the associations that there are. Especially in the Glasgow area.

I really think the "pro youth" status is what is killing the under 21 and amateur game. The amount of kids that are lost to football once there pro youth dream is over is unbelievable. Then there are the ones that stay involved and eventually do move to the amateur game, the vast majority feel they're owed something. The right to play for example, the amount of players iv heard say,

I can't get a game here but I was pro youth 3 years ago.

Or there team suffer a bad defeat so they move on cause they are too good for that. There is obv other obvious issues like work and family life but I feel the main issue is the lack of teenagers or early 20s in the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with most things your saying, there needs to be a restructure, there is no need for all the associations that there are. Especially in the Glasgow area.

I really think the "pro youth" status is what is killing the under 21 and amateur game. The amount of kids that are lost to football once there pro youth dream is over is unbelievable. Then there are the ones that stay involved and eventually do move to the amateur game, the vast majority feel they're owed something. The right to play for example, the amount of players iv heard say,

I can't get a game here but I was pro youth 3 years ago.

Or there team suffer a bad defeat so they move on cause they are too good for that. There is obv other obvious issues like work and family life but I feel the main issue is the lack of teenagers or early 20s in the game.

Thanks for the response, I’m going to respond to everyone that posts with my comments.
I agree with your pro youth comments and it needs to change 100-200 kids in at senior clubs is the issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always going to happen unfortunately, my generation and perhaps guys a decade younger than me didnt have online crap, smartphone nonsense etc, you finished school and if the weather permitted you went anywhere and kicked a ball, you wanted to play both sat and sunday, school teams, training 3 or 4 nights a week etc 

Have a look at streets, local pitches etc, they lie empty of kids growing up kicking a ball, i play twice a week at toryglen for a game of 7's, before we play there is the odd coaching session going on and maybe 3 or 4 boys kicking a ball having a laugh, thats it, 20 years ago you'd see 15 a side on pitches like toryglen 

Money and stuff plays a part in amateur footie dying, but the lack of upcoming bodies does it as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll say it as it is, seen as my name suits!

Unfortunately, times have changed when we were playing back in the day. This problem goes well past being just a footballing issue and footballers not wanting to play. This is more of an economy issue and personal finance issue. Players nowadays, or should I say families nowadays, cannot afford for the man of the house to go spend their Saturdays playing football. Their Mrs May work weekends and children need watched or the guy may need to work weekends/overtime/shift work. Unfortunately, at amateur level, football doesn’t pay the bills. The cost of living has by far increased and one basic wage no longer covers this cost. Also football is another cost on its own and is also getting dearer to play and for equipment to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Always going to happen unfortunately, my generation and perhaps guys a decade younger than me didnt have online crap, smartphone nonsense etc, you finished school and if the weather permitted you went anywhere and kicked a ball, you wanted to play both sat and sunday, school teams, training 3 or 4 nights a week etc 
Have a look at streets, local pitches etc, they lie empty of kids growing up kicking a ball, i play twice a week at toryglen for a game of 7's, before we play there is the odd coaching session going on and maybe 3 or 4 boys kicking a ball having a laugh, thats it, 20 years ago you'd see 15 a side on pitches like toryglen 
Money and stuff plays a part in amateur footie dying, but the lack of upcoming bodies does it as well

Also agree that you no longer see young yin’s out kicking a ball. Don’t even get a game of chap door run away and no doubt won’t even be out egging windows tonight for Halloween!

Are these kids allowed access to artificial pitches now? This may also be an issue, as during the summer the goal posts are taken down!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Always going to happen unfortunately, my generation and perhaps guys a decade younger than me didnt have online crap, smartphone nonsense etc, you finished school and if the weather permitted you went anywhere and kicked a ball, you wanted to play both sat and sunday, school teams, training 3 or 4 nights a week etc 
Have a look at streets, local pitches etc, they lie empty of kids growing up kicking a ball, i play twice a week at toryglen for a game of 7's, before we play there is the odd coaching session going on and maybe 3 or 4 boys kicking a ball having a laugh, thats it, 20 years ago you'd see 15 a side on pitches like toryglen 
Money and stuff plays a part in amateur footie dying, but the lack of upcoming bodies does it as well

The PlayStation era is definitely kicking in, however we all paid for playing football and that can’t be an excuse. It was a fiver a week when i started playing in 1990.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’ll say it as it is, seen as my name suits!

Unfortunately, times have changed when we were playing back in the day. This problem goes well past being just a footballing issue and footballers not wanting to play. This is more of an economy issue and personal finance issue. Players nowadays, or should I say families nowadays, cannot afford for the man of the house to go spend their Saturdays playing football. Their Mrs May work weekends and children need watched or the guy may need to work weekends/overtime/shift work. Unfortunately, at amateur level, football doesn’t pay the bills. The cost of living has by far increased and one basic wage no longer covers this cost. Also football is another cost on its own and is also getting dearer to play and for equipment to play.

The world of work is taking over with businesses making staff work 5 over 7, hence why clubs have bigger pools of players to accommodate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

15 year ago it was a 5er now its 5-10 to play for most ammie players so dont see that as a major issue. 

Clubs are struggling with the excessive cost of pitch hires etc over the winter especially, something that local councils should look at to help the game.

The Eosfl has definetely affected both the amateur and junior game with many being drawn to this (for me) loose tag of senior football.

I personally feel the Safa has to look at restructuring the amateur game and looking at changing the league associations.  It may be time to bring in district leagues where teams would only be able to compete within a restricted radius.  

Ur allways gonna have stronger and weaker teams but it would bring local interest. 

Something needs to be done and quick or in ten years time ammie game will be finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 year ago it was a 5er now its 5-10 to play for most ammie players so dont see that as a major issue. 
Clubs are struggling with the excessive cost of pitch hires etc over the winter especially, something that local councils should look at to help the game.
The Eosfl has definetely affected both the amateur and junior game with many being drawn to this (for me) loose tag of senior football.
I personally feel the Safa has to look at restructuring the amateur game and looking at changing the league associations.  It may be time to bring in district leagues where teams would only be able to compete within a restricted radius.  
Ur allways gonna have stronger and weaker teams but it would bring local interest. 
Something needs to be done and quick or in ten years time ammie game will be finished.

What a great reply, this would do away a lot of leagues and make other leagues stronge, it would also stop the egos of the different leagues fighting with each other

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great reply, this would do away a lot of leagues and make other leagues stronge, it would also stop the egos of the different leagues fighting with each other

I also think the game will be done sooner than you’ve stated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Redondo said:

15 year ago it was a 5er now its 5-10 to play for most ammie players so dont see that as a major issue. 

Clubs are struggling with the excessive cost of pitch hires etc over the winter especially, something that local councils should look at to help the game.

The Eosfl has definetely affected both the amateur and junior game with many being drawn to this (for me) loose tag of senior football.

I personally feel the Safa has to look at restructuring the amateur game and looking at changing the league associations.  It may be time to bring in district leagues where teams would only be able to compete within a restricted radius.  

Ur allways gonna have stronger and weaker teams but it would bring local interest. 

Something needs to be done and quick or in ten years time ammie game will be finished.

Could there be a point for modern ammy teams obsessing about astro pitches? I was at Daizel a couple of weeks back and there was not one game on the grass pitches there. I have been playing for around 15 years and they have always had some of the best grass surfaces around, to see them empty on a bright autumn day is pretty poor. I don't know the cost differences between grass and astro but this may be a factor in teams struggling.

i'm not so sure complete regionalisation would be the answer, I would be more inclined to go with a pyramid type structure, with a super league(s) at the top. Some of the dinosaurs within each of the league committee may be too precious about this however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about splitting it into north, south, east, west, tayside & Perth and central and having a set up something like the old junior set up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Football in Ayrshire is also dying. Since I started playing in the amateur leagues just over 10 years ago you had 4 or 5 leagues all with Atleast 10 teams. Places like Irvine and Ayr all had Atleast 4 teams like Clark Drive,Girdle,Bourtreehill and the teams still going and in Ayr Wallactoun,Ayr Ams etc. It’s sad to see so many teams fold and also lost a few big guns such as Knockentiber,Newmilns. I’ve noticed there doesn’t seem to be as many young boys as interested now as when I started playing not sure why this is happening but it’s definitely something I have noticed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that every one has some good ideas and suggestions, but who do we put them forward too?

How do we get all the leagues to see sense and drop their own agendas? Think every on has to realise that this problem is bigger than any of the individual league set ups.

You look at that Uefa report that was announced during the week about what amateur football gives back in terms of savings for the NHS and jobs and general well being of people.

Could a representative from each league set up in each area, raise issue with local MSP/MP and get them involved. With the massive drop in numbers over the years, this maybe something that us average players/clubs could be entitled to some help/support from local government or councils etc?

More questions than answers i am afraid. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, there are definetely more hard times ahead for clubs and the game in general unless there are changes at the top.  

Looking at it from another angle I will put this to you, yes there is a decline in member teams and every other week another team falls away some well established some not so but is this just a sign that for the last few years there have just been too many teams from the same areas? Its seems nowadays u can start up an amateur team without too much structure behind ur Club and I know of teams who have started up without even having enough players to put on a decent training session let alone fullfill a fixture. As stated the drop in playing numbers is making it ever difficult for clubs to get players.

Many Clubs also dont have there own pitch and jump from astro to astro which i also dont think helps the Club or players. I know there is a lack of good playing pitches but this again is something that councils should be pushed on. I understand astro turf pitches are needed over the winter to get games on but give me a good grass park anyday!! 15-20 years ago a team playing on an astro was rarely heard off now its considered the norm.

My point is that Amateur football as we are all aware of is struggling and it will have change with the times, every club goes through there ups and down at this level but wherever the game may find itself in the next 10-20 years it will be the teams that have the proper structures in place that will still be around. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a week where studies have shown that amateur football has huge benefits to young men suffering from mental health issues I think this is a great topic to ensure we build the game back up.

I have always been a huge advocate of a full restructure of the amateur game but unfortunately their is too many big wigs within leagues and the SAFA who would not support this idea.

As I have mentioned above the amateur game has had some great press this week in regards to mental health issues and the government/SFA should be looking at funding our game even more. Make it cheaper for clubs and players to play and more attractive than going shopping or to watch a game on a Saturday. Finance maybe isn't a huge concern to a lot of clubs with great sponsors and fundraisers but it certainly has had a huge effect on player participation. If we can make it cheaper for clubs then hopefully it becomes cheaper for players and more guys will participate.

If we had regionalised divisions and proper promotion and relegation then I think this could work very well. In particular the west of Scotland area where we have five afternoon leagues Ayrshire, SAFL, Caley, CSAFL & GGPL all consistently losing clubs. We have about 3 or 4 saturday morning leagues as well. If we could merge these leagues together(morning & afternoon separately) it would create hopefully better competition and something fresh to the game.  Having morning & afternoon  national cups would also be a forward step in my opinion but I'm sure they'll be some debate around that.

With any restructure there would be fall out and teething problems 100% but for the longevity of the game it is a must.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In a week where studies have shown that amateur football has huge benefits to young men suffering from mental health issues I think this is a great topic to ensure we build the game back up.
I have always been a huge advocate of a full restructure of the amateur game but unfortunately their is too many big wigs within leagues and the SAFA who would not support this idea.
As I have mentioned above the amateur game has had some great press this week in regards to mental health issues and the government/SFA should be looking at funding our game even more. Make it cheaper for clubs and players to play and more attractive than going shopping or to watch a game on a Saturday. Finance maybe isn't a huge concern to a lot of clubs with great sponsors and fundraisers but it certainly has had a huge effect on player participation. If we can make it cheaper for clubs then hopefully it becomes cheaper for players and more guys will participate.
If we had regionalised divisions and proper promotion and relegation then I think this could work very well. In particular the west of Scotland area where we have five afternoon leagues Ayrshire, SAFL, Caley, CSAFL & GGPL all consistently losing clubs. We have about 3 or 4 saturday morning leagues as well. If we could merge these leagues together(morning & afternoon separately) it would create hopefully better competition and something fresh to the game.  Having morning & afternoon  national cups would also be a forward step in my opinion but I'm sure they'll be some debate around that.
With any restructure there would be fall out and teething problems 100% but for the longevity of the game it is a must.
 

I agree possibly merging Ayrshire with some league possibly in Glasgow as that’s not too far to travel and some league centrally could also merge. This would give teams fresh competition and I would definitely look forward to that. It will never happen though as was stated earlier all leagues have their own agenda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems that every one has some good ideas and suggestions, but who do we put them forward too?
How do we get all the leagues to see sense and drop their own agendas? Think every on has to realise that this problem is bigger than any of the individual league set ups.
You look at that Uefa report that was announced during the week about what amateur football gives back in terms of savings for the NHS and jobs and general well being of people.
Could a representative from each league set up in each area, raise issue with local MSP/MP and get them involved. With the massive drop in numbers over the years, this maybe something that us average players/clubs could be entitled to some help/support from local government or councils etc?
More questions than answers i am afraid.

There’s far too many egos in each association, the best person in my opinion to do this would be Thomas McKeown. A working group of people needs to come together and put the proposal together, people also need to remember that you need to take part to have a voice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...