The League AGM was held earlier this evening (which I attended).
We are in Division One again next season, but the League is now down to four divisions because 8 teams have dropped out and only four new teams have been accepted in. We already knew that Mardan, Turnford Geese & Asco had dropped out from our division. None of the others are a surprise and they are all from the lower divisions. The Premier is stronger with Enfield Crusaders and FC Alpha both going up.
There are 11 clubs in the top three divisions and 12 in Division Three (which is now the bottom division).
The 10 teams in Division One alongside us are as follows:
St. Mary's (Edmonton)
It's pretty obvious that The Sheaf are going to 'piss the division' unless we sort ourselves out, but Apoel will be another FC Alpha and Upshire Reserves will also be a very tough game. Apoel are a Greek Cypriot team who have just won the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup and (I think) the top division of the KOPA League, although they also run a team in the top division of the Barnet Sunday League, so it's unclear at the moment which Apoel side this is. Our League has a rule whereby new clubs cannot go straight into the Premier Division (unless loads have dropped out).
As for Larsens, I spoke to their Secretary at the meeting and he said they will be losing a lot of their better players, while Highgate Redwing, Broxbourne Saints, St. Mary's and US Acli have only been promoted from Division Two because so many teams have dropped out.
AC Enfield are apparently signing up some of Asco's better players though and don't be surprised if St. Mary's pick up a few from Turnford Geese as Larry Woodhall is Smithy's mate ? I am of course assuming that Smithy & Terry Brown will still be going strong for St. Mary's next year ?
So...there are four teams we have never played before, two others who we have only played once before (and one of them was only in a Friendly), and nobody who we have really been playing year-in-year out.
As for the Presentation Of Awards, FC Alpha won the Division One Best Club Lino, Denis Coventry won the Best Referee Award...yes, I believe he does compile the marks himself ! , FC Grasshoppers won the League Fair Play Award...we probably finished near the bottom somewhere thanks to certain players getting themselves suspended, The Sheaf won the Chairman's Award for best run club (or something like that) and Flamstead End won the best Club Secretary Award (or something like that).
As for Division One Top Goalscorer, according to Full-Time that was Danny Osbourne of FC Alpha by a mile, but they gave the award to Marc Sontag of Larsens who only had half Osbourne's goals ! Very strange.
A Herts FA bod gave a lengthy talk on the new mandatory Player Injury Insurance thing that has just come into force for next season, but it was nothing that I didn't already know (because the London FA had informed us.
There were a lot of angry Club Secretaries complaining about the Statement Of Accounts presented on the night though, quite rightly asking why the League has £37,000 in the bank while clubs are struggling to survive financially. We are getting next season's League affiliation fees paid for by the League next season, but that is only about £50. The Player Injury Insurance scheme is going to cost about £80 per team though, so clubs still have more expenses next season. They were asking for the League to pay for match balls, but they said it was not allowed because it needed a proposal to be made at the Pre AGM meeting. When that meeting was held though, clubs didn't know about the mandatory Player Insurance scheme coming in !
Nothing much else to report apart from loads of forms being given out for us to fill in...which I will bring to 7-a-side on Monday.
Did they add Marc and Lee Sontag's goals together like the 7 a side league did with Del and Stuart Dorward one year?
I have just spotted that the Waltham Sunday League Constitution for Season 2013-2014 has now finally been put on the League's Full-Time website, so I have now embedded the divisions to this page here on our website: http://www.edmontonrovers.co.uk/constitution2013-2014.html
It appears that six clubs have dropped out of the League since the Constitution was announced at the League AGM back in may, and Division One is badly affected as Larsens and Rosemill appear to have folded, while Apoel appear to have changed their mind about joining our League and are presumably staying in the Barnet Sunday League. It's probably best that I don't speculate why, much as I would like to !
We now have Continental coming down from the Premier Division and Broxbourne Athletic, Cheshunt Town and The Beehive coming up into Division One from Division Three. St. Mary's and Broxbourne Saints have now gone back down to Division Two where they were last season though. I would think St. Mary's must have asked to do so ?
I have done a bit of background info on the Latest Club News page regarding the teams we will now be facing in Division One next season.
As usual, none of us Club Secretaries know what is going on, and we won't find out until the August Full Council meeting.
It is quite worrying that both the Barnet Sunday League and the East Herts Corinthian Sunday League are now bigger than the Waltham Sunday League in terms of number of teams and it's quite possible that they will overtake our League in terms of standard of football within the next few years as well if the current trend continues.
...and another one gone now !
The latest to drop out are a new team in Division Three...which means there are now no new teams joining the League at all !
...and another one's gone. Turnford Rangers this time (leaving Division Two down to 9 teams).
Fortunately, it looks as if all 10 in Division One are well-run clubs, so hopefully we will be o.k. and have a decent number of fixtures this season.