Youth Team Star
Oct 3, 2009, 10:59 PM
Team(s): Edmonton Rovers (Sunday League), Ebbsfleet United (Club Cameraman)
Post #5 of 540
Right now, there is a debate going on at an MWL club's forum saying that Eureka are the best team they have ever played.
Yes, here's the link to that on my website.
I agree that the SAL is probably the best Non-Pyramid League in London, but there are certainly a few Sunday Leagues that run them very close....these being the afore-mentioned Hackney & Leyton League and Mercury Waltham League (The 'Mercury' sponsorship has now been dropped actually), and also the Orpington & Bromley League, the Morden League, and particularly the Cypriot (KOPA) League and the Turkish Community Federation.
The Cypriot and Turkish teams tend to dominate the later stages of the London F.A. Sunday Cup competitions as they attract a lot of Step 3 & 4 players because of 'rewards' from the rich businessmen from those particular communities who sponsor their clubs. Just have a look at the squad lists of the top clubs in the KOPA League and you will see plenty of familiar names if you follow the Ryman League. You will also see some of the Cypriot teams paying to use stadiums for their home ground instead of park pitches.
When Aris reached the London Sunday Challenge Cup Final, they produced their own match-day programme which was more-or-less a 100-page book full of adverts from sponsors. Absolutely incredible, and your average English Pub Team will never compete with that.
Just to correct Steve on the MWL clubs being 'trounced' by Hackney & Leyton League clubs in LFA competitions. That's not strictly true as the now-defunct Trent Park (Arkay) from the MWL beat Eureka 2-1 in the LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup the season before Eureka beat us 4-0.
I don't know which other teams from our League have faced Hackney & Leyton League teams in recent seasons, as most teams in the MWL are Herts, Middlesex or Essex-affiliated as opposed to London.
Debates about Sunday League football often centre on the vast reduction in the number of clubs and Leagues over the past 10-15 years, which therefore leads observers to believe that 'it is not as good as it used to be', but having run Edmonton Rovers for 33 years now, I can honestly say that the standard now is actually better than it used to be because you have to be more committed to play Sunday League football nowadays what with Sunday work commitments and nightclubs open all night.
The 24-hour drinking (and drugs !) culture has weeded out most of the beer guts and 'glory-hunting thugs'. Virtually every team we play in the MWL these days (and we are only in Division One, not the Premier) turn up an hour before kick-off in sponsored track tops, they do properly-organised warm-ups for 30 minutes before the kick-off, they are much fitter than teams we used to play in the 70's & 80's, and virtually all of their players have either played in the Ryman League, Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, or for Professional clubs' Academies as youngsters before being released.
I am now putting highlights of Edmonton Rovers matches on You Tube from this season onwards. If you take a look here at the goals our opponents scored in our first League match this season, you will probably be quite impressed.