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Best Non Pyramid League in London?

 

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stevegraze
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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

We have talked a lot about the decrease in the number of Sunday league teams (and entire leagues going under). However has the decrease in Sunday teams being counteracted by an INCREASE in Saturday teams?


HughesVideo
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Jan 4, 2014, 9:47 AM

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In Reply To
We have talked a lot about the decrease in the number of Sunday league teams (and entire leagues going under). However has the decrease in Sunday teams being counteracted by an INCREASE in Saturday teams?


There definitely hasn't been an increase in Saturday teams in the North London area, that's for sure.
The Enfield Alliance folded up a couple of seasons ago and there also used to be a Northern Suburban League back in the 70's & 80's that covered Saturday afternoon parks football which folded in the 90's (I think ?). That League had several divisions back then, as did the Enfield Alliance.
The Hertford & District Saturday League (which covers the Waltham Sunday League's area) still seems to be doing alright with four divisions of nine teams in each, but they certainly haven't expanded, while I have seen one or two posts on here which has mentioned several clubs in the AFA Leagues reducing their number of teams from almost double figures down to just a First, Second and Third XI or even folding up completely.

So...in my opinion, people are not giving up playing Sunday League football to play Saturday afternoon parks football instead. They are either just giving up playing the game completely because they no longer have time to play it due to other commitments or they are playing 5/6/7-a-side on midweek evenings after work instead, either in Leagues or with workmates on pitches hired now and again, especially the 3G surfaces at Powerleague. Participation in that form of the game is increasing because of the flexible dates and kick-off times that suit certain work shifts.

Another thing which is now becoming massively popular is the organised 'jumpers for goalposts' matches which are apparently being organised by various websites and social media networking, although I have no idea myself where to find those contacts online.
What happens at our home pitch in Palmers Green every Sunday morning...whatever the weather...is a group of between 14-18 blokes of all nationalities and ages (from 18 upwards) turn up at 8.30.a.m. with two portable 'blow-up' 7-a-side goals, some bibs and some cones and they have a kickabout match on an old unused pitch behind the far goal of our pitch for a full 90 minutes ! The standard is appalling, most of them are not wearing shinpads and there is no referee, but they have a hell of a lot of fun.
I have also seen this going on on Sunday mornings (and afternoons) at other venues. It is just like the 'kickabout over the park' that we all used to do as kids back in the 70's, but now you never see kids doing that. It's adults instead. Presumably it is all free of charge for them (apart from maybe chipping in to help buy the goals, bibs & cones) as they are certainly not hiring a pitch or changing facilities. They are all caked in mud afterwards but just go straight home in their cars !
I suspect they start at 8.30.a.m. in case Council groundsmen come and throw them off at 10.30., even though they are not actually encroaching onto our pitch, but there is no question that these people are turning up to play in these games because the standard of competitive Sunday League football is now too good for them, they cannot commit to playing every week, and they cannot afford to pay subs if they played for a proper team. Also, for newly-arrived immigrants, it is a much easier way of getting into playing football over here instead of joining a proper club where actually being able to speak English would be so important in competitive matches. I can only see these organised kickabouts becoming increasingly popular on a Sunday morning and it will be another nail in the coffin of competitive Sunday Leagues.



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stevegraze
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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

That is a very grim story HughesVideo. If the number of Sunday AND Saturday league amateur teams are declining, my questions are:

1) How does that bode for the future of grassroots football?

2) What on Earth are young men doing on the weekends if they are not playing football?!

I am also away of the Hertford and District League and Hertford County League in your area. How does the standard of those leagues compare with the WSL? I imagine you would be familiar with them since many teams from the HDL and HCL share players with, or also have teams in the WSL.

How many league games have Upshire lost in the past 3 seasons?! I see they are still undefeated this season.

Going off on a tangent - see the article below about English footballer Luke I'anson who plays in the Spanish league. I think he may be related to Luke I'anson, formerly of Baldon Sports? (and who plays at step 4 for Thurrock)

http://www.theguardian.com/...e-englishman-la-liga


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Jan 5, 2014, 4:38 PM)


HughesVideo
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Quote
That is a very grim story HughesVideo. If the number of Sunday AND Saturday league amateur teams are declining, my questions are:

1) How does that bode for the future of grassroots football?

2) What on Earth are young men doing on the weekends if they are not playing football?!


The trend will continue and in my opinion it is mainly because most people do not work Mon-Fri 9-5 any longer and therefore cannot commit themselves to play 11-a-side at set times every Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. Amateur (parks) 11-a-side teams need squads of 22 or more to cope with half their players only being able to play say three out of every five weeks, but that is very difficult to organise because some weeks you can have all 22 available and then players are left without a game. They then get fed up because they had missed the two previous matches through work or family commitments and were hoping to be put straight in the starting line-up, so when they are not, they just pack in playing altogether. We have had a massive problem with that over the last 10 years or so and that situation is normally when clubs fold.
Clubs playing in the Non-League pyramid where players are paid expenses don't have that problem because invariably they are packed with 16-21 year-olds who are at college or Uni and therefore don't have those work & family commitments that the older players have.

A lot of people say that the cost of playing 11-a-side parks football is too high for the poor standard of facilities on offer (e.g. ramshackle changing rooms and waterlogged pitches), so players are put off by that. If all Sunday League and Saturday afternoon parks level 11-a-side football was played on 3G instead, I suspect the cost would be even higher though and even if the kick-off times were staggered (which is what they actually do in the KOPA League on various 3G pitches), it still wouldn't solve the problem of player unavailability because of work & family commitments. I would guess the KOPA League teams only survive because most players playing in that get paid expenses, so the teams can therefore attract the best players around who can commit themselves every week no matter what the kick-off time is. Your average park League (like the MWL) do not have these luxuries, so they lose teams all the time.


Quote
I am also aware of the Hertford and District League and Hertford County League in your area. How does the standard of those leagues compare with the WSL? I imagine you would be familiar with them since many teams from the HDL and HCL share players with, or also have teams in the WSL.


Those two Leagues do indeed share a lot of players with MWL teams. Two of ours (Daniel Cascoe and Leon McKenzie-McKay) both played for Wormley Rovers, one of the better teams in the Premier Division of the Herts Senior County League, although they both now play for us on Sundays only due to work & family commitments. The Herts Senior County League Premier Division is Step 7, and the only difference between that and the MWL is a bigger emphasis on fitness at Step 7 level. Ability-wise, I would say the MWL in general is about the same, and the top teams like Upshire are Step 5-6 level.
The Hertford & District League is outside the Non-League pyramid. It is totally parks football with no dugouts or railed-off pitches, but one or two clubs from there have found their own grounds and gone up to Herts Senior County League (Division One) level over the years. The playing standard of the Hertford & District League is very similar to that of the MWL. Good players play for teams in that League because they cannot commit for the travelling required to play in the Herts Senior County League.


Quote
How many league games have Upshire lost in the past 3 seasons?! I see they are still undefeated this season.

Last season (2012-2013), Upshire lost two matches to fellow MWL opposition, losing on penalties to the now-defunct Larsens in a Cup match and losing 3-2 Away to Percival in their only Premier Division defeat.
The season before that (2011-2012), they finished with a 100% record in winning the Premier Division title, but lost 1-0 to Percival in one Cup and 4-2 to Lea Valley Royals in another.
They lost several matches the season before that (2010-2011) but still won the Premier Division title.

It will be interesting to see if anybody in the Premier Division can beat Upshire this season once the current waterlogged pitches drain out. There are a lot of good sides who have all improved their squads recently, although Enfield Crusaders have just folded up and I have been hearing rumours that East Herts might do so as well soon, although hopefully they can hold on until at least the end of the season.



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stevegraze
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Jan 15, 2014, 3:09 PM

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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

So it sounds like the MWL, Herts and District League, and Herts County League are much of the same? (standard) Would you say the top divisions of each league are about the same standard? (which would be odd given that the HDL is a feeder league to the HCL!)


HughesVideo
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Jan 15, 2014, 3:51 PM

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In Reply To
So it sounds like the MWL, Herts and District League, and Herts County League are much of the same? (standard) Would you say the top divisions of each league are about the same standard? (which would be odd given that the HDL is a feeder league to the HCL!)

The top division of the Herts Senior County League will be the strongest because of player fitness and commitment, but if Upshire were in it they would probably be in with a shout of winning that League, especially bearing in mind that most of their players are current or former Step 3-5 players.

The top team in the Hertford & District Saturday League for the last few years have been Greenbury United who are all ex-Step 5-7 players, but they have got too many veterans playing for them now who have lost their fitness and one or two other teams have now caught up and/or overtaken them this season.



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stevegraze
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Jan 16, 2014, 3:43 AM

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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Very interesting. I thought Bengeo Trinity used to be a pretty useful team in the Hertford & District League too? It would be interesting to see how e.g. Upshire or Enfield Rangers would get on if they moved to the Hertford County League or Hertford & District League.

Remember Pearscroft United? (ex Sportsmans Sunday League) They moved to Saturday football in the Middlesex County League. Halfway through the season they are 7 points clear at the top of the league and are through to the quarter-finals of the London FA Junior Cup.

One of their recent games: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOIER8L9D8U


HughesVideo
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Jan 17, 2014, 5:36 PM

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Another thing which is now becoming massively popular is the organised 'jumpers for goalposts' matches which are apparently being organised by various websites and social media networking, although I have no idea myself where to find those contacts online.


Found one...http://www.flexifootball.com/

This is most definitely the future of amateur 11-a-side football on Sundays.
No more Leagues. Just play arranged Friendlies when you fancy it. Frown



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stevegraze
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Jan 18, 2014, 11:19 PM

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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

An article from the Guardian on the demise of grassroots football:

http://www.theguardian.com/...th-threats-withering


HughesVideo
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Jan 18, 2014, 11:34 PM

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An article from the Guardian on the demise of grassroots football:

http://www.theguardian.com/...th-threats-withering


Yes, an excellent article. I read that on Friday...and some of the comments made by readers are spot-on, especially the one complaining about certain Sunday Leagues still insisting on using snail mail instead of e-mail and then fining clubs left, right and centre who do not comply, thereby resulting in those clubs being forced to fold up from having a lack of money.
Sounds very familiar, unfortunately. Unimpressed



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stevegraze
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Jan 29, 2014, 8:38 PM

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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I see Upshire are through to the quarter-final of the FA Sunday Cup again. New Salamis lost narrowly 1-2 AET against Branksome Railway from Bournemouth. Salamis were 0-1 down at half-time. They equalised in the 49th minute. Then Branksome won the game with a late goal in the dying minutes of extra time, just before the game went to penalties.


HughesVideo
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Jan 29, 2014, 9:52 PM

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I see Upshire are through to the quarter-final of the FA Sunday Cup again.

Not yet they're not...unless Lebeq Tavern Courage have withdrawn for some reason ?

Their game was postponed last Sunday (26th January) because of a waterlogged pitch after Upshire had already travelled all the way to Bristol.
It has now been re-arranged for this coming Sunday (2nd February) as Upshire's Home game at Cheshunt FC.



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HughesVideo
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Jan 29, 2014, 10:11 PM

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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

...and I'm pleased to say that on Sunday (26th January) my team Edmonton Rovers put an end to a dreadful run of 14 defeats in our last 15 matches with a 4-1 win against Highgate Redwing in Division One.
Here are the highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7HO02pqClQ

The reason for that victory was Enfield Crusaders folding up just before Christmas. We managed to snap up their experienced goalkeeper Mal Saphiris before other clubs found out they had dropped out of the League and he made a massive difference as we have not had a proper goalkeeper all season.
Our young right-back Tom Simmons (a new signing this season) has also now started playing for Broxbourne Borough on Saturdays (Step 6...Spartan South Midlands League) along with several players from Division One leaders The Sheaf, so that has improved us as well and we are now hoping to pull well away from the relegation places.

Enfield Crusaders withdrew from the League because their Manager decided to sign up a number of Saturday Step 3-7 players after their promotion to the Premier Division, with some of their more loyal players who had got them up through the divisions then leaving to join a team in a lower division because they were considered to not be good enough for the Premier. The Semi-Pros then stopped turning up once they realised the Premier Division of the Waltham Sunday League was even tougher than what they were playing in the day before !
This happens so many times in our League it's untrue.

As for waterlogged pitches, the League had three Sundays totally wiped out after the two-week Christmas break, so up until Sunday just gone, every team went five weeks without a match and some teams have not played for 7 or 8 weeks. We played on an absolute mudbath on Sunday and I can't see any games going ahead in our League this Sunday. Let's hope Upshire get their FA Sunday Cup game on. It looks as if the drainage is quite good at Cheshunt FC at the moment...compared to other Non-League grounds in the area.



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stevegraze
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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Oops! Blush Perhaps I have too much faith in Upshire?! Well they are in the last 16 at least.

14 defeats in 15 matches is pretty drastic. What was going on? Even at this level that is a very poor run of form.

Seems like we have controversy in the latter rounds of the LFA Challenge Cup, and Tripimeni are likely to get a bye into the final: http://nonleaguematters.co.uk/forum/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=518129;page=2;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;



HughesVideo
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In Reply To
14 defeats in 15 matches is pretty drastic. What was going on? Even at this level that is a very poor run of form.


Basically, no goalkeeper and heads going down from seeing a succession of outfield players going in goal instead and letting in silly ones.

Regarding the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals in particular, although the same applies in other Sunday Cup competitions, expulsions for one thing or another seem to have happened quite a bit over the years once it gets to that stage. I guess the stakes are too high ? Unsure



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DonQuixote
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In Reply To
We have talked a lot about the decrease in the number of Sunday league teams (and entire leagues going under). However has the decrease in Sunday teams being counteracted by an INCREASE in Saturday teams?


Obversely the Brentwood Sunday League lost seven sides and gained 12 for this current season.

Although not in London, it has been mooted as one of the better Sunday Leagues around.




FA Vase semi programme wanted: 2001 Taunton v Clitheroe.



HughesVideo
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Jan 31, 2014, 4:38 PM

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Obversely the Brentwood Sunday League lost seven sides and gained 12 for this current season.

Although not in London, it has been mooted as one of the better Sunday Leagues around.


Are you involved with a team in the Brentwood Sunday League, DonQuixote ?
Those figures are certainly bucking the trend.

Has the increase been gained from extensive local advertising ? If so, it's something the Waltham Sunday League need to look at for sure. That sort of thing is pretty much non-existent for them.



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Lord Astwick
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In Reply To
I see Upshire are through to the quarter-final of the FA Sunday Cup again.

Not yet they're not...unless Lebeq Tavern Courage have withdrawn for some reason ?

Their game was postponed last Sunday (26th January) because of a waterlogged pitch after Upshire had already travelled all the way to Bristol.
It has now been re-arranged for this coming Sunday (2nd February) as Upshire's Home game at Cheshunt FC.


They are now as they won 5-2 against Lebeq Tavern Courage.

Their reward for this victory is a home Quarter Final against Hundred Acre (who play in the West Midland Festival League) on 16 February.


stevegraze
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Feb 3, 2014, 2:56 PM

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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

This DQ was different though as it was not caused by fielding ineligible players (the usual reason why teams get DQd from LFA cups). Also strange for BOTH teams in a tie to be DQd despite the full 90 minutes being played. I guess the LFA do not take kindly to the police being called to intervene in one of their sanctioned matches!


Quote
Regarding the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals in particular, although the same applies in other Sunday Cup competitions, expulsions for one thing or another seem to have happened quite a bit over the years once it gets to that stage. I guess the stakes are too high ?



HughesVideo
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Feb 10, 2014, 8:57 PM

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Re: [stevegraze] Waterlogged Pitches [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

We had yet another Sunday completely wiped out through waterlogged pitches yesterday in the Waltham Sunday League with some teams now not having played a match since the 8th December...over two months ago.

I have therefore done a new 'Edmonton Rovers Chairman's Blog' regarding these problems and how postponements have affected my own team during the 37 years that we have been in existence.
Here's the link: http://www.edmontonrovers.co.uk/chairmansblogs.html
Yes there were undoubtedly fewer postponements for waterlogged pitches back in the 70's & 80's, but there have certainly been one or two seasons just as bad as this one where Sunday League pitches in the North London area were flooded, snowbound or frozen for several weeks on end. I suspect this season will turn out to be the worst one of the lot though. Frown



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Lord Astwick
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Feb 20, 2014, 9:50 AM

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They are now as they won 5-2 against Lebeq Tavern Courage. Their reward for this victory is a home Quarter Final against Hundred Acre (who play in the West Midland Festival League) on 16 February.


Upshire lost 3-1 on penalties, after a 3-3 draw.

However, a quick look at the Upshire twitter feed: https://twitter.com/Upshirefc shows that the game was a little 'fractious' to say the least, as it appears Hundred Acre came back from 3-1 down with two penalties - despite just having eight men on the pitch........


(This post was edited by Lord Astwick on Feb 20, 2014, 9:54 AM)


HughesVideo
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In Reply To
They are now as they won 5-2 against Lebeq Tavern Courage. Their reward for this victory is a home Quarter Final against Hundred Acre (who play in the West Midland Festival League) on 16 February.


Upshire lost 3-1 on penalties, after a 3-3 draw.

However, a quick look at the Upshire twitter feed: https://twitter.com/Upshirefc shows that the game was a little 'fractious' to say the least, as it appears Hundred Acre came back from 3-1 down with two penalties - despite just having eight men on the pitch........


A bit more on this here: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/...h-20140220103945.htm



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stevegraze
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Mar 11, 2014, 9:08 PM

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Re: [HughesVideo] Waltham Sunday League [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Any more updates from that Upshire -v- Hundred Acre fracas? The FA could get tough with both teams since there were allegations of referee abuse, damage to stadium signs, and fan trouble too. After all Phoenix and Apoel (holders) both got kicked out of the LFA Sunday Challenge Cup for far less serious offences.


Yorks Amateur
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The quarter final between Upshire and Hundred Acre was played on 16th Feb. The semi final is being played in four days time. There is nothing on the FA website to confirm that Hundred Acre will not take part in the game this weekend.

Surely the FA must have investigated the game by now?


stevegraze
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Does anyone know what is going on with Baldon Sports in the OBDSFL? They have played only 5 matches in the past 5 months! Shocked
http://full-time.thefa.com/Index.do?league=3117271

Have they folded or were they disqualified for some other reason?

Speaking of which Turkish league giants Akincilar have disbanded after a financial dispute with their players. The players were unhappy about club finances: http://www.londragazete.com/?p=10649


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Apr 18, 2014, 6:54 PM)

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