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FairWeatherFan

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FitbaNorth brought up the old threads from around the time that the Highland League took on new members for the 2009-10 season. I found it quite interesting, especially in light of some of the rumours that have emerged. Such as Banks o'Dee not turning up to the meeting.

Formartine United get the ball rolling in August 2008 with their intention to apply. At the end of the 2007-08 season they finished 13th in the North Super League which meant relegation. They may have been hoping for a reprieve as Lewis United apparently didn't have their own ground at the time. No reprive happened, and with the changes in the Scottish Cup and an ambitious board in place becoming the 16th member of the Highland League seemed an attractive proposition.

Hailing from a village less than 2,000 debate over Formartine United's suitability for Highland League football didn't last long. That's because Turiff United would apply and the debate became about one over the other, or perhaps take both.

By September the Highland League set a deadline for applications for the 2009-10 season at 29th January 2009.  Eventual applicants Banks o'Dee and Strathspey Thistle get suggested as possible additional applicants. Banks o'Dee being the majority favourite. The interesting suggestions I found to be: Elgin City possibly resigning from the then SFL to rejoin the Highland League and perhaps prescient shout of the then East Region Montrose Roselea.

Banks o'Dee dither through much of the process. Suggestions in October of not being keen, November having a vote to apply to cover themselves. Which was quickly followed by another meeting to stay Junior. During all this there's a paper article (dead link) suggesting 5 applicants which never publicly materialises. Strathspey Thistle only become a legit applicant once 2008 ended.

By February 2009 there's the first Highland League vote. Not over which clubs to select from the 4 applicants, but whether to take one club or three. This either went 10-5 or 9-6 in favour of three clubs depending on what source you use.  It was said that Fort William and Deveronvale would actually have voted for all four applicants if they had the choice.

A week or so later on 25th February the vote for which three clubs would join took place: Turriff United (15 votes), Strathspey Thistle (14 votes), Formartine United (11 votes) and Banks o'Dee (5 votes).

Fortmartine United were reported to have campaigned the hardest throughout including midweek trips to meet other clubs. Strathspey are meant to have benefited from the North of Scotland FA. Banks o'Dee gave mixed messages throughout. Turriff United on the other hand appear to have played their cards close to their chest during the entire process.

One last thing was the demise of the North Region Challenge Cup. The former Qualifying Cup had its two year run supported by the SFA. The hopes that it could gain a sponsor and carry on under its own steam never occured. Once the £20,000 the SFA put in dried up, interest in the competition ended as it was basically the Highland League Cup. This competition ending is one of the suggestions that the Highland League was quite open to applications. The additional home games more than making up the lost SFA money.

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There was always talk about us moving back to the Highland League back then. We were absolutely guff most seasons and the nearest game at Montrose, quite a contrast to the Highland League with so many genuine derbies. Of course, we were pretty rubbish for our last 5 or so years in the Highland League too. Don't think it ever came close to happening but others will know better than me.

Edited by afca32

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Was there not talk a few years ago of Halkirk (possibly Halkirk United?) joining the league? I’m sure there was around that time but possibly just after the last expansion.

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2 hours ago, Highland Capital said:

Was there not talk a few years ago of Halkirk (possibly Halkirk United?) joining the league? I’m sure there was around that time but possibly just after the last expansion.

Think it would of been after as they never got a mention. Thurso were the only talked about NCL club and that was just speculation around it being a large enough town to sustain HFL football.

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Longside/Maud (whichever has the enclosure and player-then manager-then chairman) were supposedly interested a while back too.

Edited by afca32

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Longside/Maud (whichever has the enclosure and player-then manager-then chairman) were supposedly interested a while back too.
Would be Longside as they have an enclosure
longside07.png

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1 hour ago, afca32 said:

Longside/Maud (whichever has the enclosure and player-then manager-then chairman) were supposedly interested a while back too.

Other than the four eventual applicants nobody seemed to gain traction as a real candidate of discussion.

Longside/Maud may have been mentioned, don't recall anything specific. They would of been lost amongst Ellon United, Stonehaven, Culter, Dyce, Aberdeen University, Sunnybank type suggestions. 

Which is a very Aberdeenshire heavy list, Burghead Thistle were the only other NoS club I can remember as a suggestion.

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16 hours ago, Highland Capital said:

Was there not talk a few years ago of Halkirk (possibly Halkirk United?) joining the league? I’m sure there was around that time but possibly just after the last expansion.

They had a local benefactor who built them a a couple of enclosures and some floodlights. But Halkirk is essentially a village with little in the way of amenities, population or potential of increased support.

I don't think realistically another Caithness side would be successful in the HFL. It's too small a catchment area and Wick Academy are the de facto side for the whole county. Even a Thurso side would be pushing it.

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Surely one of the obvious teams that would be talked about to join the league would be Golspie Sutherland, but is it not the floodlights that stop them?

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1 hour ago, Highland Capital said:

Surely one of the obvious teams that would be talked about to join the league would be Golspie Sutherland, but is it not the floodlights that stop them?

Beyond the fact they have a license, I don't really see Golspie Sutherland suggested as a HFL candidate.

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I see in an interview in the P&J, the head boy at the Highland League floated Golspie Sutherland, Inverness City, Banks O'Dee, Montrose Roselea, Broughty Athletic and Lochee United as potential clubs for a Highland League 2.  This was when the league talked about splitting into two with two leagues of ten, with the rules relaxed in the second tier.  I doubt Inverness City will be in any league any time soon.

Edited by Highland Capital

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58 minutes ago, Highland Capital said:

I see in an interview in the P&J, the head boy at the Highland League floated Golspie Sutherland, Inverness City, Banks O'Dee, Montrose Roselea, Broughty Athletic and Lochee United as potential clubs for a Highland League 2.  This was when the league talked about splitting into two with two leagues of ten, with the rules relaxed in the second tier.  I doubt Inverness City will be in any league any time soon.

I haven't got an account for P&J so I can only see the headlines and sub headlines but there's been the odd article on P&J that seem to mention future expansion or split into divisions.

Although it seems to be quite dormant.

Under Finlay Noble as President you had:

05/06/2014 New Pyramid System for Highland League

27/05/2015 Highland League President calls for league expansion

Two articles in a couple of weeks apart from new President Dennis Bridgeford:

03/06/2015 New Highland League President discusses potential plans for second league

12/06/2015 Highland League puts forward proposal to split into two divisions

Then apparent dissension in the ranks:

24/02/2016 Could breakaway movement tear Highland League apart?

 

I think it's going to take a club to actually apply to see any kind of change.

 

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On 2/26/2019 at 08:29, FairWeatherFan said:

Думаю, это было бы после того, как они никогда не упоминали. Турсо был единственным, кто говорил о клубе NCL, и это было только предположение, что он является достаточно большим городом, чтобы поддерживать футбол HFL.

I fully agree with you, I have the same opinion

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This might be pie-in-the-sky stuff, but would there ever be a Perthshire side in the Highland League?  I know Vale of Atholl from Pitlochry used to play in the Scottish Cup quite regularly (including playing Hibs and Dundee), but I'd imagine they're too small.  I know there's Coupar Angus, Scone Thistle and Blairgowrie but I imagine they're too small as well.  

Edited by Highland Capital

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15 minutes ago, Highland Capital said:

This might be pie-in-the-sky stuff, but would there ever be a Perthshire side in the Highland League?  I know Vale of Atholl from Pitlochry used to play in the Scottish Cup quite regularly (including playing Hibs and Dundee), but I'd imagine they're too small.  I know there's Coupar Angus, Scone Thistle and Blairgowrie but I imagine they're too small as well.  

With Perth falling South of the Tay bridge that's the main population base in a different region. I don't think there's a big enough town to support a team up to Highland League level (without a sugar daddy).

Going by the current boundary the only Junior teams are Blairgowrie, Coupar Angus and Luncarty. Coupar Angus are particularly struggling at the minute and expected to go into abeyance.

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Is there any teams in Pitlochry? Seems like a town that could support a side. Also talk of a team from Aberfeldy joining the juniors? 
Vale Of Atholl in the 2nd tier of the Perthshire amateur league

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I sometimes laugh at some of the stuff proposed by fans of a Scotland-wide pyramid. Montrose Roselea joining the Highland League for example. Ditto pushing teams from the Dundee area with hee-haw support into playing teams from north of Inverness. For some theoretical exercise? In the Lowland League, we currently have teams without a home ground and less spectators than the two teams and their touchline retinue in attendance. And people want to extend this to force what are essentially pub teams into a national league with travelling issues way beyond their means to overcome?

 

Whilst I appreciate that this is a thread on the HL, consider first whether the West juniors have got it right to resist the globalisation agenda? How would the LL be of benefit to the likes of Auchinleck, and who benefits from Roselea trekking to Halkirk to play in front of two men and a sheep?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Hampden Diehard said:

I sometimes laugh at some of the stuff proposed by fans of a Scotland-wide pyramid. Montrose Roselea joining the Highland League for example. Ditto pushing teams from the Dundee area with hee-haw support into playing teams from north of Inverness. For some theoretical exercise? In the Lowland League, we currently have teams without a home ground and less spectators than the two teams and their touchline retinue in attendance. And people want to extend this to force what are essentially pub teams into a national league with travelling issues way beyond their means to overcome?

 

Whilst I appreciate that this is a thread on the HL, consider first whether the West juniors have got it right to resist the globalisation agenda? How would the LL be of benefit to the likes of Auchinleck, and who benefits from Roselea trekking to Halkirk to play in front of two men and a sheep?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do agree with you about currently how joining the LL would be no help for the likes of Talbot or other big Junior sides. But with a fully functioning pyramid with access to the lowland league and beyond, in 25 years time the Lowland league would be full of the best supported sides in non league football and a few league two sides as well. This would be a well supported league full of sides who have the support and finances required to play in a league with reasonable amounts of travelling . 

It might not be great now but in 20-30 years time the lowland league has potential to be brilliant.

 

But below this every thing needs to be regionalised because it is a waste of everyone's times sending pub teams to play league games 100 miles away...

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5 hours ago, Hampden Diehard said:

I sometimes laugh at some of the stuff proposed by fans of a Scotland-wide pyramid. Montrose Roselea joining the Highland League for example. Ditto pushing teams from the Dundee area with hee-haw support into playing teams from north of Inverness. For some theoretical exercise? In the Lowland League, we currently have teams without a home ground and less spectators than the two teams and their touchline retinue in attendance. And people want to extend this to force what are essentially pub teams into a national league with travelling issues way beyond their means to overcome?

 

Whilst I appreciate that this is a thread on the HL, consider first whether the West juniors have got it right to resist the globalisation agenda? How would the LL be of benefit to the likes of Auchinleck, and who benefits from Roselea trekking to Halkirk to play in front of two men and a sheep?

 

 

 

 

 

 

This. I think the pyramid obsessives mainly have office jobs with a tad of OCD. A pretty pattern doesn't necessarily  make for better football.

Edited by welshbairn

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