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Pyramidic

EOSFL Feeder Leagues (Tier 9) - How will it work?

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I think that it will not be so long before the Amateur Leagues will form a nominal Tier 9 of the Pyramid. This is where in my view problems will appear as many of the top clubs of the 5 Feeder Leagues in the East of Scotland (see below) will show little interest in progression.

- Border AFA
- Kingdom of Fife AFA
- Lothian & Edinburgh AFA (Saturday)
- Perthshire AFA
- Stirling and District AFA

Some people may argue that a feeder system is pointless given the gap in basic facilities between the EOSFL and the Amateur Leagues.

The answer may be to form an EAST OF SCOTLAND PREMIER AMATEUR LEAGUE of around 10 clubs which can serve clubs with better standard facilities and ambition to progress.

The 5 Amateur Leagues can then join the Pyramid at Tier 10 if they wish.


Key questions:

How should the pyramid system operate for the EOSFL Feeder Leagues?

What clubs would be candidates for inclusion in an EAST OF SCOTLAND PREMIER AMATEUR LEAGUE?

- Alva AFC (S&DAFA)?
- Bo'ness United Juniors (ERJFA)? [may be able to move directly to the EOSFL when BU are in the LL]
- Cupar Hearts AFC (KoFAFA) / AM Soccer Club AFC (KoFAFA)?
- Duns AFC (BAFA)?
- Hawick Waverley AFC (BAFA)?
- Kelso Thistle AFC (BAFA?
- Letham AFC (PAFA)?
- Leven United AFC (KoFAFA)?
- Linlithgow Rose Community (ERJFA)?
- Sandys AFC (LEAFA)?
- Sauchie Community (ERJFA)?
- Selkirk Victoria AFC (BAFA)?
- Syngenta Juniors (ERJFA)?
- Tollcross Thistle AFC (LEAFA)?

+ ambitious Youth Clubs


Amateur Leagues - Directory of Clubs

1. Border AFA

Ancrum AFC (BAFA)
Berwick Colts AFC (BAFA)
Biggar United AFC (BAFA)
CFC Bowholm AFC (BAFA)
Chirnside United AFC (BAFA)
Coldstream AFC (BAFA)
Duns AFC (BAFA)
Earlston Rhymers AFC (BAFA)
Gala Fairydean Rovers AFC (BAFA)
Gala Hotspur AFC (BAFA)
Gordon AFC (BAFA)
Greenlaw AFC (BAFA)
Hawick Legion AFC (BAFA)
Hawick United AFC (BAFA)
Hawick Waverley AFC (BAFA)
Highfields United AFC (BAFA)
Jed Legion AFC (BAFA)
Kelso AFC (BAFA)
Kelso Thistle AFC (BAFA)
Langholm Legion AFC (BAFA)
Langlee AFC (BAFA)
Lauder AFC (BAFA)
Leithen Rovers AFC (BAFA)
Melrose AFC (BAFA)
Newtown AFC (BAFA)
Selkirk Victoria AFC (BAFA)
St. Boswells AFC (BAFA)
Stow AFC (BAFA)
Tweeddale Rovers AFC (BAFA)
Tweeddale Rovers Colts AFC (BAFA)
Tweedmouth AFC (BAFA)
Tweedmouth Harrow AFC (BAFA)


2. Kingdom of Fife AFA

AM Soccer Club AFC (KoFAFA)
Auchtermuchty Bellvue AFC (KoFAFA)
Balgonie Scotia AFC (KoFAFA)
Bowhill Rovers AFC (KoFAFA)
Burtisland United AFC (KoFAFA)
Cupar Hearts AFC (KoFAFA)
Duloch AFC (KoFAFA)
East Vale AFC (KoFAFA)
Falkland AFC (KoFAFA)
Fife Athletic AFC (KoFAFA)
Fife Thistle AFC (KoFAFA)
Fossoway AFC (KoFAFA)
Freuchie AFC (KoFAFA)
Glenrothes AFC (KoFAFA)
Greig Park Rangers AFC (KoFAFA)
Kelty AFC (KoFAFA)
Kennoway AFC (KoFAFA)
Kennoway Star Hearts AFC (KoFAFA)
Kinross AFC (KoFAFA)
Kinross Colts AFC (KoFAFA)
Kirkcaldy YMCA AFC (KoFAFA)
Leven United AFC (KoFAFA)
Lochgelly United AFC (KoFAFA)
Lumphinnans United AFC (KoFAFA)
Markinch AFC (KoFAFA)
Methilhill Strollers & East Fife AFC (KoFAFA)
Pittenweem Rovers AFC (KoFAFA)
Rosebank Rangers AFC (KoFAFA)
Rosyth AFC (KoFAFA)
St. Andrews Colts AFC (KoFAFA)
St. Monans Swallows AFC (KoFAFA)
Strathmiglo United AFC (KoFAFA)
University of St. Andrews AFC (KoFAFA)


3. Lothian & Edinburgh AFA (Saturday)

Armadale Athletic AFC (LEAFA)
Armadale Thistle AFC (LEAFA)
AVU AFC (LEAFA)
Balerno Athletic AFC (LEAFA)
Bank of Scotland Strollers AFC (LEAFA)
Barca Milton 97 AFC (LEAFA)
Blackridge Vale of Craig AFC (LEAFA)
Bonnyrigg Rose AFC (LEAFA)
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 'A' AFC (LEAFA)
Cavalry Park SC AFC (LEAFA)
Clermiston Star AFC (LEAFA)
Clermiston Vale AFC (LEAFA)
Cockenzie Star AFC (LEAFA)
Corstorphine Dynamo AFC (LEAFA)
CP United AFC (LEAFA)
Craigshill Thistle CSC (LEAFA)
Danderhall Miners AFC (LEAFA)
Dunbar Athletic AFC (LEAFA)
East Calder United AFC (LEAFA)
Edina Hibs AFC (LEAFA)
Edinburgh Harps AFC (LEAFA)
Edinburgh South Vics AFC (LEAFA)
Edinburgh Star AFC (LEAFA)
Edinburgh United Vale AFC (LEAFA)
Edinburgh University AFC (LEAFA)
Fauldhouse AFC (LEAFA)
Fauldhouse Sporting Club AFC (LEAFA)
Fernieside AFC (LEAFA)
Heriot Watt University AFC (LEAFA)
Kirkliston and South Queensferry AFC (LEAFA)
Lauriston Thistle AFC (LEAFA)
Linton Hotspur AFC (LEAFA)
Lothian Vale AFC (LEAFA)
Meadowbank AFC (LEAFA)
Mill AFC (LEAFA)
Murieston United AFC (LEAFA)
Musselburgh AFC (LEAFA)
Musselburgh Windsor AFC (LEAFA)
Newcraighall Leith Victoria AFC (LEAFA)
Ormiston AFC (LEAFA)
Pathhead AFC (LEAFA)
Pencaitland AFC (LEAFA)
Penicuik Athletic AFC (LEAFA)
Polbeth United Community AFC (LEAFA)
Ratho Athletic AFC (LEAFA)
Sandys AFC (LEAFA)
Shotts Thistle YMCA AFC (LEAFA)
Sporting Saughton AFC (LEAFA)
Tollcross Thistle AFC (LEAFA)
Tranent AFC (LEAFA)
West Barns Star AFC (LEAFA)


4. Perthshire AFA

Auchterarder Primrose AFC (PAFA)
Bridge of Earn AFC (PAFA)
Craigie AFC (PAFA)
Jeanfield Swifts AFC (PAFA)
Letham AFC (PAFA)
Letham Community AFC (PAFA)
Luncarty ASC AFC (PAFA)
Pitfour AFC (PAFA)
Scone Thistle AFC
Strathhearn Grove AFC (PAFA)
Vale of Earn AFC (PAFA)
+ others may be above LL/HL boundary


5. Stirling and District AFA

AFC Chryston (S&DAFA)
Alva AFC (S&DAFA)
Barrhill AFC (S&DAFA)
Beechwood Albion AFC (S&DAFA)
Bo'ness Cadora AFC (S&DAFA)
Bo'Ness United Community AFC (S&DAFA)
Braehead AFC (S&DAFA)
Campsie AFC (S&DAFA)
Carbrain Boys AFC (S&DAFA)
Clackmannan Community AFC (S&DAFA)
Condorrat AFC (S&DAFA)
Dollar Glen AFC (S&DAFA)
Drumpellier Thistle AFC (S&DAFA)
Dunipace AFC (S&DAFA)
Grangemouth AFC (S&DAFA)
Kincardine AFC (S&DAFA)
LK Galaxy AFC (S&DAFA)
Loganlea United AFC (S&DAFA)
MLS Leeds United AFC (S&DAFA)
Raploch Hearts AFC (S&DAFA)
Riverside AFC (S&DAFA)
Stirling University AFC (S&DAFA)
Syngenta AFC (S&DAFA)
Westfield Colts AFC (S&DAFA)


Source: http://www.scottishamateurfa.co.uk/league/type/3

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I think that's ultimately a good thing, even if there isn't that much promotion/relegation, it would be good to see all football ultimately in the same system. Obviously plenty of changes will be needed to get there and it could take years, but it's good to have a long term plan. I think the requirements for tier 8 should also be a bit lower than the current EOS requirements to make it more realistic for some clubs to take the step. Once it's up, a system like in England could be adopted meaning that amateur clubs need to apply to be considered for promotion, so promotion is not obligatory.

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The EoSFL is open to application and has had plenty of clubs from amateur leagues enter over the years. There doesn't have to be this constant need to fit every "team" into the pyramid. Unless you really want to embrace the concept of reserves/development/affiliated clubs as well. You can see across a lot of amateur leagues 'community' club versions of senior/junior sides. Its still not clear how welcoming the EoSFL would be to Linlithgow Rose CFC, Sauchie Community and Bo'ness United Juniors if they ever tried to apply.

You've also seen that the SFA don't really want to oversee the pyramid as it has grown. So the SAFA is needed to oversee the leagues and cup competitions. There's no harm in there being a separate amateur / (semi) professional distinction. The Junior/Senior non-league distinction was daft as it was two groups paying players to compete in Saturday football winter leagues. Yet keeping themselves apart from each other.

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You've also got a number of Stirling/Falkirk area clubs which have moved to stronger West-based leagues:

Central Scottish: Bannockburn, Fallin, Steins Thistle

Caledonian: Stenhousemuir Community, Cambusbarron Rovers, Doune Castle, Milton, Callander Thistle, Dunblane Soccer Academy, Stirling University

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Progression and automatic pro/rel should start at the level where an enclosed ground is required. Tier 8 seems about right for that. The English system of promotion from the local amateur league sort of level by application is probably the best approach.

The SFA doesn't appear to be engaged enough for numbers in the EoS and WoS to ever get capped and regular relegation of bottom placed clubs to an appropriate amateur league to ever be enforced.

Suspect trying to introduce that concept would not go down well, but it's what would be needed to remove any overlap in playing standards between the top of amateur football and the lowest fringes of the pyramid structure.

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Firstly for any system to work here we need to get rid of our ridiculous player registration system where you need to fit yourself into a box.  A footballer is a footballer and club a club.  There’s no need to to be categorising players as amateur, or pro, or pro that’s not actually a pro(how the f**k did that happen?). Get everyone on the same form.

After that I don’t see why we should have an amateur super league.  I think the EoS will probably continue to expand until it becomes 16 premier, 16 first and 16 team north and south 2nd divisions.

If/when we get there the EoS would be best served to have 2 category of levels.  It might even be a fully licensed premier by then but if not certainly just clubs short of floodlights.  Then down at tier 8 it will be current standard(which I believe is an enclosed ground tho there is a couple of exceptions).  Champion clubs who believe they can meet the criteria from fife/Stirling and Perthshire where appropriate can get promoted into north division,  LEAFA and border into south.  

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I do think there's a natural cut off between recreational football in the amateurs and the senior non-league. I'm not convinced there needs to be a formal promotion/relegation system between the current amateurs and say, the bottom of the EoSFL etc.

However, there does need to be a frictionless route into the senior leagues for any amateur clubs wanting to step up.

I agree that a tapered grading system for facilities makes sense and I'd expect the bottom tier of the seniors to, at least, have an enclosed ground.

Any amateur club that applies and meets the basic requirements should be admitted without any members' votes and the league should have contingency plans for its structure based on the number of clubs.

Edited to add: I also agree we should just have one registration system for all players regardless of level, but that would involve the loss of a lot of blazers from the affiliated associations...

Edited by Cyclizine

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I do think there's a natural cut off between recreational football in the amateurs and the senior non-league. I'm not convinced there needs to be a formal promotion/relegation system between the current amateurs and say, the bottom of the EoSFL etc.
However, there does need to be a frictionless route into the senior leagues for any amateur clubs wanting to step up.
I agree that a tapered grading system for facilities makes sense and I'd expect the bottom tier of the seniors to, at least, have an enclosed ground.
Any amateur club that applies and meets the basic requirements should be admitted without any members' votes and the league should have contingency plans for its structure based on the number of clubs.
Edited to add: I also agree we should just have one registration system for all players regardless of level, but that would involve the loss of a lot of blazers from the affiliated associations...
Any club can apply to the EoS if they meet the requirements. So any amateur team fancying it can do the neccesary and move up.

I don't think you can pro/rel between amateur and senior whilst the distinction exists. Just as no senior club would want to be relegated into a Junior league, the same would apply to Amateur.

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I don't think there needs to be a formal link to amateur leagues from the bottom of the pyramid. As long as there is an open and achievable process for ambitious non senior clubs to follow to go senior, and indeed for teams to follow if they decide to drop out of the senior game to preserve their clubs heritage by moving to amateur then that is enough. 

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2 hours ago, Burnieman said:

Any club can apply to the EoS if they meet the requirements. So any amateur team fancying it can do the neccesary and move up.

I don't think you can pro/rel between amateur and senior whilst the distinction exists. Just as no senior club would want to be relegated into a Junior league, the same would apply to Amateur.

I'm not so much meaning the specific amateur and senior grades, more that there's a difference between "senior" (or "junior") clubs and clubs that play at a recreational level, for the benefit of the players, what in Scotland are under the SAFA. I know the line is slightly blurred by leagues like the Caledonian and Central, but I do think there is a natural cut off in what the primary objectives of the clubs are.

I know clubs can apply to e.g. the EoSFL. I'd suggest that any club who meets the minimum on- and off-field standards should be automatically accepted, rather than being put to a members' vote.

I do agree that having the multitude of affiliated associations isn't helpful and that we should have one registration at all levels.

Edited by Cyclizine

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On 23/05/2020 at 16:36, Pyramidic said:

Some people may argue that a feeder system is pointless given the gap in basic facilities between the EOSFL and the Amateur Leagues.

The answer may be to form an EAST OF SCOTLAND PREMIER AMATEUR LEAGUE of around 10 clubs which can serve clubs with better standard facilities and ambition to progress.

If a regionwide amateur league in the east is the answer, I'm not sure what the question is... :huh:

As has been mentioned before, the best way to bridge the gap in facilities and travel for amateur teams is to have a regionalised tier 8 in the EOS with slightly more relaxed ground criteria. Clubs in the Borders won't need to travel to Fife and vice-versa, and there is something at a semi-regional level for them to step up to.

The ground criteria for Step 7 in England (the bottom of the defined pyramid) is basic, rope round the pitch etc. - criteria at http://www.thefa.com/get-involved/player/ground-grading

Entry to Step 6 needs Grade H which includes a boundary fence, some cover, basic floodlights, spectators facilities, etc. - seems similar to the EOS without the lights. No automatic promotion/relegation but each Step 6 league has an agreement with ones below in their area so movement can take place if clubs apply and meet the grading requirements.

Looking at the Fife amateur leaders Leven United, they have a railed off ground (boundary fence needs some work though), so perhaps they would be ones to move up. But they might not want to play in a regionwide EOS with trips to the Lothians and Borders - if there was a tier 8 EOS north division that surely be more attractive.

Edited by Ginaro

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