Date: 22nd May 2024
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JUNIOR LEAGUE UPDATE

Date: 22nd December 2022

New Information and Notice of Annual Meeting

This is the abridged text of information recently sent to all notified Junior Representatives by                          Neil Crew, Junior League Secretary

Firstly, my sincere apologies for the delay in getting things moving. I have been extremely busy with work over the last couple of months

Getting back to it, I will try to cover as much as I can in this email and hopefully, we can progress towards plans for 2023. There is quite a lot to read, please stick with it!  If you are no longer the right person to receive this message, please make sure that it gets to the right person. I will be starting the process of collating junior contacts for 2023 in the next few days. I would also encourage you to make sure that you share with all your junior coaches/team admins to make sure that there is full visibility of the discussions.

Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who answered the survey. Overall, the responses about the organisation of the league were positive, for which many thanks.

There were several recurring themes within the responses. These were as follows.

  • Extend the season beyond the middle of July
  • Address the issue of teams that are too strong for the Development leagues
  • Allowing teams of similar abilities to play more regularly regardless of geography
  • Flexibility in league fixture scheduling/rescheduling
  • In contrast to the point above, fixing the playing day for Under 11 fixtures
  • Review scheduling of Under 18s fixtures
  • Clearer and more prompt scheduling of cup fixtures

Committee Response

Following discussions within the committee, we have considered a longer season and our proposal is for the 2023 season to start in week commencing 23rd April and finish in the week commencing 14/08/23. This will be a season of 17 weeks. How we might best use that time is explored below. A longer season should particularly help with the Under 18s, allowing a start after the exam period. We confirm that we will be playing again at U9 11 13 15 and 18.

On cup fixtures, again a longer season should provide a solution, although the committee note that coaches will need to co-operate on this as often this is a part of the problem. Furthermore, we will need to understand the constraints put on us by Lancashire with their county cup competitions.

On the matter of league games playing on fixed dates, or not, there were a lot of opinions raised on this.  Overall, the committee believes that we should continue to try to stick to fixed play on days, particularly for Under 13s and Under 15s. We would be open to discussion on continuing play-on-day flexibility for Under 11s and for Under 18s if this would make it a better competition.

One thing that has been raised and discussed was to formally add Sunday mornings to the league schedule, either for cup fixtures, or as a safety valve for some age groups. Under 9’s will still continue on Sunday mornings.

On the organisation of teams into Development/Competition formats and the regional organisation, we have discussed this in a lot of detail. We believe the principle of a Development League format with the freedom for like-minded coaches to work together to provide the best game experience for ALL players on a match day, is the right thing to do

We also understand that clubs/coaches don’t also know what the strength of their teams will be before the season starts, and that given the two-year age group bands, performance in the previous season isn’t always a reliable indicator. We feel the main way to address these challenges, and to make best use of an extended season is to have one or more breakpoints in the season, when reorganisation can take place.

Junior Representatives have been asked to indicate the numbers of teams, and age groups, back to Neil, as soon as possible, to allow some formatting at the Annual Meeting being held for Junior  Clubs, by Zoom, on 5 January. (7.30)

Finally new recruits to the Committee are very welcome. Please contact any of the Committee or make yourself known at the Annual Meeting.

John Williams (Chair) Neil Crew (Secretary) Peter Roots (Committee Member) Chris Nutton (Committee Member)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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