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RobM

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The season has been a great success from my viewpoint.

The transition of many of the East Juniors into the EoS senior set up has breathed new life into the competition. There is now a mechanism whereby clubs like Bonnyrigg, Linlinthgow, Bo'ness and others can progress, if they are ambitious enough and good enough. The improvements in facilities implemented at a number of clubs to meet licensing requirements is welcome and long overdue.  

Next season's EoS premier league may well be, in effect, a renamed East Junior Superleague, but the glass ceiling has been removed.  Some ex Juniors and longer term EOS sides will have found their correct level and may revert to a comfort zone, but I think that having the prize of a promotion to a higher level or relegation to a lower level can only benefit the league in the longer term.     

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22 hours ago, RobM said:

What the existing EoS side's supporters make of it all now?
 

Kind of turned out exactly as I thought it would

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Must be strange for a lot of the ex-Juniors, finishing their season by the end of April! 

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Tbh, it makes sense that for teams who battled for 5th like Blackburn, this was an exciting season, while for bigger teams it wasn't too exciting. If you go into most games knowing you'll win but the only question is how much by, I can imagine people aren't too excited about most games. Fans of bigger clubs like Bo'ness, Penicuik etc. can probably only really judge the EOS based on next season, which is fair enough.

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1 hour ago, Marten said:

Tbh, it makes sense that for teams who battled for 5th like Blackburn, this was an exciting season, while for bigger teams it wasn't too exciting. If you go into most games knowing you'll win but the only question is how much by, I can imagine people aren't too excited about most games. Fans of bigger clubs like Bo'ness, Penicuik etc. can probably only really judge the EOS based on next season, which is fair enough.

Agree, I can understand why some fans haven't been as excited as others, but without a doubt it has breathed new life into many clubs with the opportunities on offer, as long as the SFA keep their side of the bargain.

Next season's EoS Premier looks exceptionally strong, and the two Conferences wont be forgone conclusions as to who wins them to go up.  Hopefully chuck Scottish Cup ties into the mix for a dozen clubs and it will be another exciting season for many. Add in the Friday night U20's as well.

Hopefully there's a few late applications from ERJFA as clubs who want to progress really need to get on board now.

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1 hour ago, leftbehind said:

The LL clubs will be anticipating the 200/300 travelling supporters from Bonnyrigg and Linlithgow to give their cash strapped coffers a big boost. Unfortunately it wont be reciprocated in the return matches to Prestonfield/NDP.

Can you name the cash strapped clubs in the LL please  ?

Bit of an up yer own arse post this likes :ass

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1 minute ago, newcastle broon said:

Can you name the cash strapped clubs in the LL please  ?

Bit of an up yer own arse post this likes :ass

Bonnyrigg's league average was 319 and Linlithgow's (who probably won't be in the LL next year) was 358. If they're taking 300 fans on the road every other week, it doesn't sound like the get many away fans in the first place.

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52 minutes ago, newcastle broon said:

Can you name the cash strapped clubs in the LL please  ?

Bit of an up yer own arse post this likes :ass

The boy has been posting arsehole posts all week.  Agreed with fairweatherfan that Linlithgow won't be in the Lowland League next year. ONly chance will be if Berwick aren't relegated and even then. See what happens

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Obviously nobody would want this for more than a season, but as a one-off it was a very fair and well-organised way of merging most of the southern ERSJFA into the EOS, so you take it for what it is. I can understand Bo'ness fans being bored, they were never in the title hunt, but for me it was 6 hard games and 18 banana skins to try to make the play-offs. I thoroughly enjoyed my trips to Inverkeithing, Ormiston, even Stirling Uni. You can see how much it takes to keep those clubs going (or in Inverkeithing's case, start one from scratch), the commitment of their supporters and it makes a change to see new facilities being built instead of standing in crumbling old monuments to former glories.

As for the cups, I do miss the Junior Cup but I now see what a hole it regularly ripped in the middle of the season. I saw it through Rose tinted glasses as we always had the ambition of winning it, but the scheduling of it is a mess. I must confess to still being a bit confused by the four (is it four?) cups now, I'll get my head round it but it does seem like one too many, especially for those in the big Scottish too. The South Challenge Cup is a properly good competition and it was disappointing to be papped out of it early and badly.

Everything that needs to be said about the organisation and the communication from the EoSFL has been said. Genuinely, I think they're the best-run league in senior or junior football in Scotland.

The East Premier will be a really good league next season, but already the effects of promotions are starting to be felt. Over the past decade the big four in the ERSJFA have been Bonnyrigg, Kelty, Bo'ness and Linlithgow - they're the only teams to have won it in that time, and rarely were they out of the top 4. Kelty are up and now (hopefully) so too are Bonnyrigg... the pyramid is already starting to work. Bottom clubs in the LL are considerably weaker than the East Premier now, and the sooner everyone gets to their level, the better. And the more attractive the LL becomes, the more the West clubs will push to join it. 

All in all it's a very big thumbs up from me - and thanks to Kelty for taking the leap and kicking all this off. If we'd all stuck together and waited for the PWG, we'd be going nowhere.

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17 minutes ago, GordonS said:

The East Premier will be a really good league next season, but already the effects of promotions are starting to be felt. Over the past decade the big four in the ERSJFA have been Bonnyrigg, Kelty, Bo'ness and Linlithgow - they're the only teams to have won it in that time, and rarely were they out of the top 4. Kelty are up and now (hopefully) so too are Bonnyrigg... the pyramid is already starting to work. Bottom clubs in the LL are considerably weaker than the East Premier now, and the sooner everyone gets to their level, the better. And the more attractive the LL becomes, the more the West clubs will push to join it. 

The quickest solution to everyone finding their level is to increase the number of promotion/relegation places.  There needs to be at least two automatic promotion/relegation places between the LL and Tier 6, with a third relegation place dependent on the SPFL/LL playoff.

If/when the West Juniors join tier 6, then the lack of promotion places will become all the more apparent.  My personal preference would be for a third tier 5 league, i.e. HL, LL East and LL West, each with their own feeder leagues at Tier 6. 

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It must have become mundane for the likes of Bo'ness, Dundonald and latterly Newtongrange as they were out of the title races but comfortably assured top 5. Sides at the bottom suffered a fair share of humpings but only at Eyemouth did it become a weekly occurrence (and credit to them for sticking it out btw). I suspect the 2 most disappointed clubs will be LTHV and Preston... in the previous era they'd have been pursuing LL football, in the new era they've narrowly failed to make the new Premier Division. However you could expect them to be among a large set of teams eyeing promotion next campaign.

Beyond that it seems to me most clubs had a successful season competing for the title, top 5 or just the limit of their own expectations. Obviously some like Linlithgow, Dalkeith and Broxburn will feel "so near so far!" in one respect or another, but that's football... others like Crossgates, Blackburn and Camelon with their 2 cups have surpassed hopes. It was a unique and unorthodox format: but it also led to a round-robin with drama the likes of which you'll probably never see again, 2 conference title races go down to the last day, and 3 races for top 5 do the same or near enough. Still 4 cups to be won this season, too.


Most or all clubs benefit from unity, good transparent organisation, the fixture list, the groundhop, bigger crowds, exposure, the U20s (set to grow massively), investment in facilities & defibs, etc. Fact the league trebled in size... but no bigger grumble occurred than the intricacy of gate %s in cup-ties... speak volumes of planning, and of buy-in from both the old and new clubs, IMO.

One unknown remains: what did Haddington put in the water both games v Tynecastle :unsure:...?

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On 05/05/2019 at 10:34, AlanCamelonfan said:

So should we all just go back

Christ pal calm doon, let people have there own opinion on how much they enjoyed or felt things were poor with a new football setup, without jumping down there throats 

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6 hours ago, Footballfirst said:

The quickest solution to everyone finding their level is to increase the number of promotion/relegation places.  There needs to be at least two automatic promotion/relegation places between the LL and Tier 6, with a third relegation place dependent on the SPFL/LL playoff.

If/when the West Juniors join tier 6, then the lack of promotion places will become all the more apparent.  My personal preference would be for a third tier 5 league, i.e. HL, LL East and LL West, each with their own feeder leagues at Tier 6. 

Not sure how much LL football you have seen but there are a lot of good sides in the LL and it is a different standard than the usual hustle and bustle of junior life. I'd like to see how some of the top end eosfl teams do in it but to suggest that the LL should just open up its trap door now is a little disrespectful to those bottom clubs you speak of. 

One place up and down will have to do until more teams stabilise in the LL after promotion. Just like the argument for automatic promotion to the spfl for both the HL and LL. I was hopeful for ek as they might have been in a position to match Edinburgh City but sadly it wasn't to be. 

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4 hours ago, G4Mac said:

Not sure how much LL football you have seen but there are a lot of good sides in the LL and it is a different standard than the usual hustle and bustle of junior life. I'd like to see how some of the top end eosfl teams do in it but to suggest that the LL should just open up its trap door now is a little disrespectful to those bottom clubs you speak of. 

One place up and down will have to do until more teams stabilise in the LL after promotion. Just like the argument for automatic promotion to the spfl for both the HL and LL. I was hopeful for ek as they might have been in a position to match Edinburgh City but sadly it wasn't to be. 

I've stopped going to Hearts first team games because the football is crap and overpriced, so I've satisfied myself watching a lot of  reserve, pro-youth, LL, EoS, junior and youth games, basically picking a game that I fancy watching on a Saturday morning and driving there. I've been to all the grounds in the LL, EoS, SoS, ERJFA, WRJFA and a few HL ones as well over the last two or three years, so I'm familiar with the standards in each league. This season I've been at games as far apart as Wigtown and Cove. 

I think I've seen nine LL sides this season including EK and Whitehill so I'm aware of the range in the relative standards of clubs in the LL. The general standard of the LL is probably better than all but the top 8-10 ex East junior sides. However, we have seen Kelty finish third in their first season in the LL. That is the level that Bonnyrigg is certainly at and the other playoff and conference contenders would comfortably hold their own in the LL as it stands. 

If/when the West Juniors (and the SFA) get their act together then the competition will be all the greater for the top sides in the LL, EOS and West equivalent.  Only by opening up the promotion and relegation between the LL and tier six will more clubs find their level.  Limiting change to one club each season does not help that process. We have see where teams that have previously been relegated from the LL in the last few seasons have ended up, i.e. Threave, Preston and Hawick. Whitehill will be the next to find its level.  There are a few teams in the bottom half of the LL that would struggle in next season's EoS Premier League.  That's not  being disrespectful, its just giving an honest assessment of where I believe they are at.

I want to see the pyramid working to ensure that all clubs are able to progress (or regress) in line with their abilities on the park and their infrastructure/facilities, without the artificial constraint of a promotion/relegation set up that favours the status quo.

Edited by Footballfirst

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If we're looking at the relative strengths of the LL and the EoS Premier, how about using scores between those clubs in the South Challenge Cup this season?

SF

Bonnyrigg 0-0 (4-2p) Stirling Uni

Hill of Beath 2-3 East Kilbride

QF

Bonnyrigg 2-0 East Stirling

R4

BSC Glasgow 1-3 Bonnyrigg

East Stirling 5-1 Linlithgow (still hurts)

Jeanfield 3-4 Stirling Uni

Sauchie 4-0 Edinburgh Uni

R3

Gretna 0-3 Camelon

Newtongrange 4-2 Civil Service Strollers

 R2

Dalbeattie 1-2 Sauchie

East Kilbride 2-0 Bo'ness

Vale of Leithen 2-4 Jeanfield

So the LL clubs W4 L8. 

In addition, some LL clubs lost to EoS teams that didn't make the Premier League; LTHV beat Spartans 3-2 and Cumbernauld Colts 2-1.

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IMO the bottom clubs in the LL would do well not to drop straight through the EoS Premier, as Hawick RA effectively have this season; the mid-level clubs could survive in it but would be unlikely to be challenging at the top; while the top 4-5 clubs, plus Bonnyrigg, are better than the best in the EoS Premier. 

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Although I can see the point that is being made, cup games are one offs and I've never been a fan of using them to try and guage footballing merit. 

Kelty have done well after a shaky start. All I'm trying to say (maybe not very well tbf) is that there is a difference in standard over a league season. There is a breakaway few from the LL that would struggle against the top eosfl sides but this would be less than many believe. Out of the teams in the eosfl (current) there are a gew who would sustain the levels required to maintain LL status, others would struggle. 

All that being said, I do hope that teams can go and sustain LL levels, as that will eventually open up more promotion spots. 

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1 hour ago, G4Mac said:

Although I can see the point that is being made, cup games are one offs and I've never been a fan of using them to try and guage footballing merit. 

Kelty have done well after a shaky start. All I'm trying to say (maybe not very well tbf) is that there is a difference in standard over a league season. There is a breakaway few from the LL that would struggle against the top eosfl sides but this would be less than many believe. Out of the teams in the eosfl (current) there are a gew who would sustain the levels required to maintain LL status, others would struggle. 

All that being said, I do hope that teams can go and sustain LL levels, as that will eventually open up more promotion spots. 

Agreed, there is a good example from when I lived in The Netherlands. For quite a few years, teams from the third tier (non-league) regularly beat 2nd tier sides in the cup, 3rd tier sides won far more often than 2nd tier sides. There wasn't promotion/relegation between the 2 tiers (and the pyramid is still not exactly functioning well there), but when for the first time a team got relegated from the 2nd to the 3rd tier they were predicted to be no better than mid-table at best. People percieved the bottom half of the 2nd tier as weaker than the top half of the 3rd tier due to cup results. However, after a shaky start to the season, the relegated team (with a considerably weaker squad due to players leaving post-relegation) got used to the different style of play and actually ended up winning the league and going straight back up.

It turned out that the cup results were mainly caused by 2nd tier sides not being used to the completely different style of play in the 3rd tier. I'm not saying that will be the case now, but over a whole season things can be so much different than over cup games, even if the cup games seem to show a consistent pattern.

Edited by Marten

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5 hours ago, G4Mac said:

Although I can see the point that is being made, cup games are one offs and I've never been a fan of using them to try and guage footballing merit. 

Kelty have done well after a shaky start. All I'm trying to say (maybe not very well tbf) is that there is a difference in standard over a league season. There is a breakaway few from the LL that would struggle against the top eosfl sides but this would be less than many believe. Out of the teams in the eosfl (current) there are a gew who would sustain the levels required to maintain LL status, others would struggle. 

All that being said, I do hope that teams can go and sustain LL levels, as that will eventually open up more promotion spots. 

I'm not just basing my opinion on these results, there's Scottish Cup results between those who were Junior and the LL, and from watching a reasonable number of LL matches. Right now, I'd give Whitehill Welfare a 50-50 chance of dropping straight through, based on what I saw of them against Dalbeattie Star down in Dumfriesshire. They could improve their squad of course. Equally, I'd be very surprised in Bonnyrigg don't finish in the top 5.

Of course cup matches are generally different, but I don't think many of those EoS clubs regarded themselves as the underdog in many of those matches. It's not like they were looking for a giant-killing or had more motivation than their LL opponent.

Anybody for putting the LL, EoS Premier and WRSJFA Superleague into three conferences and see what happens? :whistle

3 hours ago, Marten said:

It turned out that the cup results were mainly caused by 2nd tier sides not being used to the completely different style of play in the 3rd tier. I'm not saying that will be the case now, but over a whole season things can be so much different than over cup games, even if the cup games seem to show a consistent pattern.

This happened within the EoS conferences, too. The EoS clubs struggled badly against the ex-Juniors at first, but gradually found their feet. I saw Leith being naive and getting run around by Oakley at the start of the season, but by the end Leith had finished above them. 

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There's also EoS Qualifying Cup games where Oakley beat VoL, EK lost to Jeanfield, Gala lost to Tranent, Gretna lost to Broxburn, and CSS lost to Jeanfield.

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