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EdTheDuck

Cove Rangers Champions

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Halkirk is a small village in Caithness - there's not the population to support two sides at HFL level. Wick Academy are the de facto side for the whole County. The ground isn't enclosed and the changing rooms aren't close enough. There's not been a peep out of them regarding the HFL for years. As for Burghead Thistle and Culter, I'd be very surprised if they're interested.

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Culter might have been interested when they’d money and were top banana in the juniors. Now there’s only Banks O’Dee worth considering from that area.

Re Burghead - are folk just sticking a pin the a map and picking the closest team as a suggestion?

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25 minutes ago, Jimmy Shaker said:

Culter might have been interested when they’d money and were top banana in the juniors. Now there’s only Banks O’Dee worth considering from that area.

Re Burghead - are folk just sticking a pin the a map and picking the closest team as a suggestion?

Since you have to be licenced to join the HFL, then only Banks o' Dee fit the criteria (if you ignore Golspie Sutherland). Given the shenanigans when the league expanded to 18 and their chairman's statement about being happy to be the big fish in an extremely small pond, I'd be extremely surprised if they made an application. 

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11 hours ago, Jimmy Shaker said:

Re Burghead - are folk just sticking a pin the a map and picking the closest team as a suggestion?

Agreed - sticking pins on a map seems to be part of any discussion on HFL expansion.

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In the event of Cove going up would love to see Banks o’ Dee take a crack at the Highland League but apparently they’re not up for it? 

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In the event of Cove going up would love to see Banks o’ Dee take a crack at the Highland League but apparently they’re not up for it? 
Happy where they are as they got licensed before the commitment to pyramid clause thus have guaranteed Scottish Cup entry & are big fish in a small pond thus winning trophies/leagues on the regular.

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2 hours ago, Frank Grimes said:

In the event of Cove going up would love to see Banks o’ Dee Berwick Rangers having to take a crack at the Highland League. but apparently they’re not up for it? 

:whistle

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2 hours ago, GNU_Linux said:
2 hours ago, Frank Grimes said:
In the event of Cove going up would love to see Banks o’ Dee take a crack at the Highland League but apparently they’re not up for it? 

Happy where they are as they got licensed before the commitment to pyramid clause thus have guaranteed Scottish Cup entry & are big fish in a small pond thus winning trophies/leagues on the regular.

I know but you’d hope for a bit of ambition?

Great facilities at Spain Park 

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Just now, Frank Grimes said:

Bit of a trek to Wick, like 

Aye, and they complain at the minute about going to Borough Briggs on a wet Tuesday in November...

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It's always funny watching the desperation of pyramid obsessives to have a neat system hit the brick wall of indifferent reality. I;d love to see Orkney and Shetland sides included but it just won't happen anytime soon.

There really isn't too much clamour to join the HL from anyone as far as I know, and the league seems quite happy to bumble along on the "it's aye been" principle; no change please we're Highlanders. The only way this will be shaken up is is the SFA threaten to start their own North of the Tay system owing to the HFL's foot dragging on progression and development, and decades of Brezhnevite stagnation.

There's mumblings here and there from the likes of Tain St.Duthus about "long term vision" to progress but there's no one breaking the door down.

As well invite these Eriskay lads in: it's about as likely as Halkirk, an Orkney select, or anyone else.

p0762czr.jpg
 
image.jpeg.c8f74fe18dddbf31e9d9a2e98e4d5653.jpeg
 
Don't fancy anyone's chances playing into horizontal sleet on that pitch. They'd likely finish above the Fort, at minimum.

 

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17 minutes ago, Ivo den Bieman said:

 

As well invite these Eriskay lads in: it's about as likely as Halkirk, an Orkney select, or anyone else.

 

I'd love to see Orkney get in, it's only one awayday a year. They'd need a travel subsidy though, like the Rugby teams get.

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4 hours ago, Frank Grimes said:

In the event of Cove going up would love to see Banks o’ Dee take a crack at the Highland League but apparently they’re not up for it? 

They're fed up of being rebuffed by the HL so are now saying they're not interested in a "see if we care" kind of way. I think they'd jump at it if they were made a serious offer.

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On ‎29‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 18:50, ArabAuslander said:

Two candidates I could think of are BOD and Aberdeen Uni - in terms of facilities. But one suffers from a lack of quality (albeit in the HL that's not an issue) and Hillhead isn't great. BOD have said they don't want to join, yet.

Aberdeen Uni are a pretty poor side and the facilities at Hillhead are not good at all - the pitch is abysmal. I would be amazed if they were anywhere near the HL.

 

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4 hours ago, Ivo den Bieman said:

It's always funny watching the desperation of pyramid obsessives to have a neat system hit the brick wall of indifferent reality. I;d love to see Orkney and Shetland sides included but it just won't happen anytime soon.

There really isn't too much clamour to join the HL from anyone as far as I know, and the league seems quite happy to bumble along on the "it's aye been" principle; no change please we're Highlanders. The only way this will be shaken up is is the SFA threaten to start their own North of the Tay system owing to the HFL's foot dragging on progression and development, and decades of Brezhnevite stagnation.

There's mumblings here and there from the likes of Tain St.Duthus about "long term vision" to progress but there's no one breaking the door down.

As well invite these Eriskay lads in: it's about as likely as Halkirk, an Orkney select, or anyone else.

p0762czr.jpg
 
image.jpeg.c8f74fe18dddbf31e9d9a2e98e4d5653.jpeg
 
Don't fancy anyone's chances playing into horizontal sleet on that pitch. They'd likely finish above the Fort, at minimum.

 

As a “pyramid obsessive” I actually agree with a lot of that...

I’d be delighted if they told the HL to f**k off and opened a new league to any takers, then watch as the HL slowly fell in ruin just like the East Juniors. Would serve them all right imo

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3 hours ago, Spyro said:

As a “pyramid obsessive” I actually agree with a lot of that...

I’d be delighted if they told the HL to f**k off and opened a new league to any takers, then watch as the HL slowly fell in ruin just like the East Juniors. Would serve them all right imo

A very short queue I think you'd find.

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Five years ago Edinburgh City were averaging 79 for league games this season their average is 391. Might be "not packing it in" but seems to be a decent increase in attendance.
But then City now have a bar in the ground!

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8 hours ago, welshbairn said:

A very short queue I think you'd find.

That’s what the East’s thought before Dalkeith pulled the trigger...

If the Aberdeenshire and Tayside teams got together and proposed a fair way to integrate with the pyramid system, the HL might just get left behind. Depends how deep the SFA self preservation goes

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1 hour ago, Spyro said:

That’s what the East’s thought before Dalkeith pulled the trigger...

If the Aberdeenshire and Tayside teams got together and proposed a fair way to integrate with the pyramid system, the HL might just get left behind. Depends how deep the SFA self preservation goes

If the Aberdeenshire and Tayside teams really cared about progression in the pyramid, they'd put in a mass application for licenses, followed by mass applications to the HFL. Once those teams are licensed, the HFL can't knock them back without jeopardising their place in the pyramid and that would be a reason to set up a new north feeder at tier 5. If say 10 new teams applied, the HFL would grow to 28 teams (or 27 if Cove get promoted) and they'd have to split in 2 divisions. 

However, I highly doubt there is anywhere near that number of teams interested...

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As mentioned, the SHFL isn’t closed to new applications. It’s existed with all number of teams and going to 19 isn’t likely to be an issue as the limit is 20 before reorganisation into two 10’s/whatever. Banks O’Dee have spent the ten years since being told to GTF doing up their ground and walking their own path, and have made a fine job of it. They’re not interested in applying, though. Maybe they will be if Cove escape, but they don’t seem interested. Talk of the SHFL making them an offer – an offer of what? We’ll boot out Fort so we can take them in? We’ll cast off three or four teams so BOD can continue to play in the dozen or so cups they play in/need to defend AND manage a senior season? That’s not happening. How about they stick an application in and see what occurs? What are they waiting for? BOD’s inaction since the last election means they’re either not serious about joining – north juniors is fucked and there’s no reason for them to remain in it, other than the easy medals – or they just don’t want to. BOD haven’t been continually rebuffed – they asked once, they were knocked back once. Yes, the reasons for doing so were bullshit, but that was ten years ago and they’re in a better position now while the SHFL has gotten weaker, so why not ask again?

They are, however, the only side good to go in terms of stepping up. Tain, Burghead, Aberdeen Uni, Stonehaven; folk are just picking names at random here. Halkirk have no chance. It’s BOD or nothing for the time being. Ten years ago Culter and Sunnybank were giving BOD a go, but they’ve fallen away.

Maybe the SFA will take note and order us to reorganise ourselves, or do what was threatened previously – ignore us, start their own Highland/northern league as they did with the Lowland, and invite applications. Only problem with that is, every SHFL club will apply, despite the disdain of some towards promotion. Bolting the juniors or NCL below the 18 teams in the SHFL should have been a piece of piss, arguably easier than the reorganising in the East or West, but nothing’s been done, suggesting it’s not just the SHFL who aren’t interested in this. Maybe cutting us loose would do us a favour in the immediacy. You can bet your last farthing that, for all the moaning about promotion and Midweek Trips To Berwick Always Played In The Rain, should the SFA open up a new league and invite applications EVERY single team in the SHFL would apply.

The SHFL desperately needs a boot in the arse. It produces great games of a season, and has rivalries that date back almost to the very beginning of organised football. But it’s not promoted, it’s not looked after, it’s not enhanced by the people who run it. We’ve unsponsored competitions, minimal press interest, dwindling crowds due to the one-sided top bit of the table. There’s no real organisation that fans can see, we just bumble along, as has been mentioned. We don’t even have the top sides in agreement that promotion is a good thing – the attitude of Buckie and Brora to it all sucked the life out of things and made us look extremely parochial and small time, and we’ve failed to recover from that. Cove are the exception, who have A – never really been at home in this league, and B – realised they’re wasting their time in it.

If all this had happened ten years ahead of time, early 2000’s, I reckon we could have made something of it. Locos could easily have taken on promotion along with Cove. I think we’d no repeat champions in the space of 8 or 9 years as the title was always heartily contested by half a dozen teams. Now, until Cove piss off, everyone’s keeping their powder dry until the playing field levels out.

Dunno where we go from here, TBH.

 

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