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Shetland Football 2009??


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With the season drawing to a close next month, it will shortly be time to think on what next season holds for Shetland football before the AGM's begin in at the end of the year.


Some of comments from the shetland 2008 thread to get things moving:


wheest wrote

The problems, issues, and possible solutions will never go away nor will they be fixed, improved on or addapted to help the game move ahead as long as there are three governing bodies running senior mens football in a community of this size. So unless they ALL see the bigger picture we can get use to the same fare and level for the forseable.


EistnWast wrote

I do think the biggest problem with Shetland football, is the lack of promotion and relegation. It works in set-ups with a similar standard of teams on the mainland, but they don't have the problem of reserve teams to hinder them. To get round this , scrap the reserve league, and have teams loan their players out to Stoichkov's proposed Town & Country Leagues. 3 (or 4 with North, South, Central) way play-off for promotion and relegation, including bottom team in Premier League. If teams don't want to be promoted, the chance to play in the play-off goes to 2nd, 3rd or 4th place team.


Baxter wrote

scrap all playing bans such as the junior and senior counties. If players get injured they get injured, tough. let it be more like the proffessional game.


B.C Benvie wrote

Like most leagues south (scotland & england) teams are allowed to register only 25 players to select from. They can sign players during the season but must deregister a player who they can not resign. This would enable the better 'reserve players' at Delting & Celtic to join other teams which would raise the standard of the poorer teams and make the league more competitive throughout. The 'B' would be a proper reserve league in which youth team and registered players could play in. The best players in Shetland would be playing on a more regular basis.


Boris wrote

Shetland football really needs to move towards having teams from areas with large enough populations to support teams at all levels. It's the only way the standard of football will improve and we can avoid the annual rush to get back into the B League where life is a bit less competative.


Marshall wrote

Mossbank FC?, Hoofields FC? Whalsay C at least 3 more team maybe on the cards next season. OK not going to be great teams but they still need a core off players to set up a team. Players that will come away from your A&B teams. Where will the play? in the works league most probably why? because its a good set up as with the Parish Cup.


Those are a few comments from the issues on the 20 odd pages of the 2008 thread, what do you think is the way forward for Shetland football should we seek as clubs to bring the four major associations in Shetland football under one banner? as clubs that are involved in at least three of them should we be looking to table motitions at their AGM's to bring them to the table?


What are the downsides? Orkney seem to be able to provide football for all under one banner http://oafa.leaguerepublic.com/page.do?id=7929248


Your thoughts please :idea:

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I think B.C Benvie's idea of havin a maximum of 25 players registered has potential, as teams like whalsay have 70 odd players signed, many of which aren't playing regularly. They would surely find other clubs, and make the weaker teams in Shetland stronger.

I think Unst and Yell should join, and ness need to strengthen in some way, this would make the whole league a lot more competetive.

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I think Unst and Yell should join, and ness need to strengthen in some way, this would make the whole league a lot more competetive.


D'you mean make the A league more competitive?


There's a lot of football going on beyond that - if there was a league based on merit they'd have to make sure they were good enough to be in it.


I like the promotion/relegation idea but believe there's an awful lot of folk who want a game of football, but don't want to take it too seriously.

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We're hoping to enter a team in the Works League next season, "The Wastside Rebels" so far we have about 20 guys up for playing and as far as I know only 3 or 4 are signed to Whitdale (B) at the moment so shouldn't hurt them at all.


Watch this space!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a look at the Edinburgh and Lothian league website and e-mailled their league Secretary to ask about transfers/player registration etc.



His reply is as follows:


Clubs can register up to 30 players at any one time (seems a lot but it’s been like that for years). For transfers, each club signs a Transfer Form (which can be downloaded from our website Documents>Association Documents>Transfer Form) and player then signs a new registration form. £2 fee levied against club who is seeking transfer. Alternatively club can cancel a player’s registration and player is then free to sign for another club. Players cannot be transferred or have registrations cancelled after 31st March in the season. Full details are given in our Rules 13 -15 which can again be viewed on Documents>Association Documents>Constitution & Rules.[/b]



If you look at their website you will see that their membership has grown in the last two years while the rest of the country has had falling membership. Their aim is to get people playing the game.


This policy of 30 players they have seems to enable plenty of guys to get a game and not spend too much time standing around watching. It has also allowed them to increase the nunmber of clubs they have in their leagues.


I personally think the SFA has done a really good job this year with the county set up and that the member groups provide excellent training and coaching for the young kids/juniors. I belive they now need to think about increasing participation on a weekly basis. A squad size of 30 would be a start in doing this a may lead to new clubs like Mossbank etc joining the SFA set up not the works league or a collaboration between the works and B league. PLayoffs or a regional competition?


You might also want to check out the Amature Football Association website for other common problems/solutions. (prob of interest to Penfold)

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Some good points B C Benvie, I wondered about making the SFA competitions more attractive for new clubs to join. The more clubs you can get to join the association the stronger it is. There has to be some way to open the competition up at B/Reserve level?


Another thing the association should look at now is how to bring new blood into the committee to help with the administration, they should sit down at the next monthly meeting and see what they need to do to bring independant folk on to the committee as the Association looks to move the County set-up and local competitions on.

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After having sought folks views and getting the opinions of other interested parties. I have come to the following conclusions.


1) The present ambition of the Shetland Football Association at both senior and junior level has a positive impact on the local game, by pushing forward the level of competition that their representative team partake in, it has encouraged their member clubs to lift the level of their own game.


2) At senior level the move to seek better competition has had an impact on the local club competiton, some teams in the premier league have had gaps of three weeks without a competative game. This situation cannot continue ad infinitum as eventually the standard of competition at club level will fall away. The structure of the association at present should lend itself to allow these games to go ahead. the 8 clubs who benefit from the B league set-up can hardly argue that they have no players as they generally have a pool of players to draw on from their reserve's.


Instead of being seen as a detriment to the local game the clubs should bite the bullet and say ok we have players xy and z away on county duty, so we will have to draft up players from our reserve team. If they cant or wont do this then what is the point of the reserve league.


3) With the County squad potentially away at the Island games, Inter-County, Challenge Cup in 2009, there will be an awful lot of breaks next year, The association should look at how to keep the other 200 odd players playing through these breaks, should they fixture a cup on these dates or just leave the fixtures they way they are and clubs play through them using their combined pool of players from A's and B's?


4) the SFA should revisit the rule on one team clubs having to enter the Premier league as if we continue to do this we will lose clubs again slowly but surely, for next year introduce promotion and relegation to the the competition, bottom team down from Premier league top up from the "B" league, open up the SFA competitions by seeking applications from teams in shetland to join the "B" league under those auspices. There would need to be checks in place on A teams and reserve teams playing in the same division but in time if you make it attractive to teams you may get to a point where you could run a setup where you have two leagues and a separate reserve league, it would take time though.


5) It is time to join the Senior and Junior associations, so that the good work that is being done at both levels can be built on and also to reduce the amount of admin and increase the amount of co-operation. Of the majority of Senior teams 8 have junior set-ups and two run one jointly, so there is a benefit to the clubs of these set-ups being streamlined, as a club secretary I would be far happier to have to attend just one set of Agm's and monthly meetings.


Also there needs to be a closer relationship with the Parish cup, I believe that the Parish Cup final is on this Saturday the 6th as well as the Reserve leagues bloomfield cup, now I know that the semi-finals of the Bloomfield cup have not been played yet but there is the potential of having Delting and Whalsay playing the Parish Cup and bloomfield cup finals on saturday and this after a game on the Friday in the premier league.


If the clubs in Shetland are going to reap the benefits of the ambition and success that the County select competing at higher level will bring, then they need to look hard at how to get the local set-up structured to do that. That way the County select will benefit from steady stream of players that can compete at that higher level instead of players who for the next 10 years play in a league set-up that has them sitting on the sidelines for upto three weekes at a time, and riven by petty squabbles and associations vying for a limited amount of players which will slowly but surely bring about a reduction in the level of competition, we dont want reach the stage that we are the whipping boys of the Island games etc after all the hardwork that has been put in!


These are just my personal views and Im not expecting everyone to agree, but I do hope it will stimulate some of the vigorous debate that is needed to move the whole thing in the right direction.

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On the point of teams being forced to play in the A league, I'll write something similar to what I wrote in the Shetland Football 2007(?) thread.


The teams in the A league (otherwise know as the Shetland Football Association) voted for this insane rule to protect their own interests. In doing so they successfully made the Burra team fold. I doubt they will care if Yell go down the same road. They care more about having enough teams in the A league than they do about the good of Shetland football as a whole.


If it is proposed to change this rule at the AGM then the same old argument will take place. It ends with something like this.....

"weel whit's tae stop any team dropping doon tae da B league"......

"we dunna want da same situation as we hed afore whan it wis a 6 team A league".

Then the vote takes place......Delting, Whalsay, Thistle, Spurs, Celtic, Scalloway vote for one team clubs to play A league only.

Ness, Unst, Yell, and possibly Whitedale (depends if they still remember they were struggling for players not so long ago) all vote for the good of Shetland football as a whole and say teams should play at a level where they are competitive.

Not enough votes to bring about change. The only solution would be for the teams who want change to stick two fingers up to the A league (otherwise known as the SFA), and say if you don't change the rule we'll join another league. If they don't agree then they'll be left with a 6 team league, which is what they don't want.



Of course we might see the clubs cooperating with each other and forgetting about their own individual agendas :roll:

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The reason that the clubs voted to force, Burra, Unst, Yell, Whitedale and Ness United up was because the situation had reached the six club point for them fair enough.


The facts are that since this ammendment one SFA club has folded, and one is struggling to field a team now, Yell had 9? players for their game v Thistle and had to put the manager in goals to make it upto ten, seem to mind Burra struggling after a season of hard games and big defeats last year and then eventually folding.


Whilst I really hope Yell do not fold same as I didnt want Burra to go to the wall, it looks on the cards, Premier league down to 9 reams next year? starting all over again isnt it, five years time you could be back to 8 then 7, hardly what the one team rule was designed for was it? But this time teams are forced out and I would profer that with the bitterness that some of those involved feel towards the Association (member clubs included) they will never seek to enter a team into SFA competitions again, whether the bitterness is justified or not is irrelevant, it his how they percieve it that counts.


Looking around league structures in other associations in Scotland none of them FORCE new clubs that wish to join their association to enter their top division, though some do allow applications to join dependant on their league structure, that is why all new teams seek to join the works league competition as they will be able to compete in their first season of competative football, and not suffer 17-0 drubbings at the hands of Premier league teams, thats a fact of life with football not just here but all over the country. If the association is serious about promoting football in Shetland then it needs to start looking at how to make it favourable for teams to enter its competitions and not go to other associations.

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