The vote taken by members to introduce open age football into the league season 2015/16 is a major step forward, firstly in retaining this level of football in the Altrincham & District FA, and secondly for the opportunity for our current youth teams to move on within the league structure. We hope that next season will be the start of yet another important milestone in the league development. I personally welcome all the new clubs to the league and hope that they enjoy their time with us.
The MU Foundation have been extremely supportive of the league with coaching courses for our youth players at level one and the goalkeeping course at U11, in addition the seminar given by John Shiels re ‘respect’ various banners and signage seen at the mini soccer and 9v9 finals and medals/trophies have been well received. This has been our first year in partnership and we look forward to the next two with anticipation. I thank John Shiels CEO and his team for their generous support and collaboration.
Once again we were able to complete the 2014/15 league and cup fixtures to plan. No mean feat given some of the obstacles which we had to overcome. Poor weather at the start of the cup final run meant we lost the first full weekend of matches. In addition the Easter holidays had a major impact on the second weekend with again all games called off. I have to comment yet again on the 4 game postponement rule which should be adhered to by all member clubs teams. This was introduced to help teams manage situations when players were away on holiday etc not a get out of jail card. The league has continued to be successful with some new clubs applying for membership. The support of all our member clubs has to be commended. The standards set within the league are being maintained and in fact exceeded in some cases and this is a positive step in maintaining our position as one of the best leagues not just in Cheshire FA but in the Northwest area of clubs. We continue to follow the FA model for Youth Development and the benefit of the ‘Whole Game’ initiative which I’m sure most clubs have switched onto.
26 clubs from U12 to Youth shared the league awards Season 2014/15, 48% of the total league member’s. Pick of the clubs were Unicorn Athletic (5) and Broadheath Central (5) closely followed by six clubs with 3 each, Sale United, Wilmslow Town, Hale United, Timperley Villa, Urmston Meadowside and Wilmslow Sports; Once again a successful season.
The cup competition (11v11) eventually got off after a two week delay firstly due to the weather and secondly the Easter holiday which caused no end of trouble in the planning. All the finals were well supported and the spectators enjoyed some excellent and exciting games. Spectator participation was again very good with little or no issues and again this is down to the member clubs leading on discipline and good behaviour. 23 member clubs took part in the 11 a side cup finals. 3 Clubs achieved 4 or more finalists, with Broadheath Central 6, Urmston Meadowside 4, and Hale United 3 the pick of the finalists. Again a number of teams achieved league and cup doubles.
The mini soccer finals days for U9, U10 and U11 9v9 were staged over two weekends at Trafford FC with the weather again being kind to us and good vocal crowds in attendance 21 member clubs at these age groups shared the cup awards with Altrincham Juniors (8 finalists) Wilmslow Town and Hale United (6 finalists) Sale United (5 finalists) and Sale Communities (4 finalists) followed by two clubs with 3 and the other finals shared by 14 member clubs. My thanks to Trafford FC for again, hosting the finals and their kind hospitality.
The U12 9v9 finals were held this season at Lees Field with 5 finals played my thanks to AFC Urmston Meadowside for arranging the use of the ground and the league officials on duty during the day. The awards were shared by all the participating clubs.
We had many pleasing comments from spectators and teams with regard to the organization at the different venues and again I thank all the participating clubs for their help. I reiterate finals are staged for everyone’s enjoyment.
Trafford FC and Flixton FC staged the majority of the 11 a side finals with Altrincham FC hosting one final. Brian McGuiness came to the rescue when we had run out of venues for the last two finals by arranging the use of Linotype FC, a ground which hopefully we can use in the future years. In addition Trafford FC hosted the Mini Soccer Finals and U11 9v9 with Urmston Meadowside running the U12 finals. Thanks to these clubs for allowing the use of their facilities. We staged some 44 finals in total this season, both mini soccer, 9 v 9 and 11 a-side and I thank the mentioned clubs for their support to the league.
I welcome the new Clubs to the League for the 2015-16 Season and hope they have an enjoyable and successful time with us. Special thanks to our existing member Clubs for their continued support to the T&DJFL.
The 2015-16 version of the Football Association's Standard Code of Rules will be on the website in the near future and clubs must ensure that all their officials are made aware of the content. There have been some changes for the coming season so it’s important that all club officials are up to speed.
Fines are issued to clubs normally due to the lack of discipline in carrying out everyday business and these are usually the simplest of tasks such as communicating results, match card discrepancies and general administration.. I reiterate that we do not like issuing fines and feel the money would be better kept with the clubs, however, where necessary we will deal with offending clubs and issue sanctions.
The League referee secretary Simon Franks is currently very busy with the acquisition of referees for the new season hopefully last season’s 92% coverage of Sunday games will be surpassed. Simon as previously is tasked with improving the match coverage of referees and I know he believes that more referees can be signed up to the league. We aim to increase the numbers recruited and also retain our existing referees, your help is needed in achieving this objective. Good communication and a friendly approach goes a long way especially with the younger referees, they, like coaches and managers are learning all the time and need all the support that you can provide. Any interested parties who wish to become referees can contact Simon or Brian Fletcher for details.
I must make it absolutely clear to all Clubs that this League WILL NOT tolerate any referee abuse by spectators / club officials / players and the ‘Respect’ programme in conjunction with the published sanctions will enable us to deal with any incident that may occur.
We have had yet again a very busy close season with the interviewing of new clubs and will be recommending to member clubs some new teams, we will continue when necessary and if there is capacity bring in new clubs and teams, we are still probably the strongest junior league in greater Manchester with well over 500 teams taking part in organised football and with the introduction of the open age league we will hopefully maintain and also grow in this area of football. We will continue to monitor all the divisions very carefully and where possible satisfy our member clubs. We currently have 56 Junior Member Clubs registered for the 2015/16 season.
The non competitive competition is now part of our league and teams up to U12s will be operating in this format for the 2015/16 season. The cup competition for these age groups will be competitive though and will be a Europa cup competition.
The Powerleague festival events for the U7 / U8 age groups start again at the end of September players will again benefit from this organised, safe and friendly football. We are currently working hard to try and extend this indoor event to a further age group.
The FA Fulltime website is again the main reporting system for match fixtures, results and referees with Nigel Peacock (administrator) maintaining the system for the league. All clubs are using the website effectively. In addition the T&DJFL website is also available giving valuable information re the League, clubs, and league members.
We try to maintain our high standards every season for all member clubs and I trust that we can continue to work together and further promote our league at Local, District, County and National level.
Have an enjoyable and successful season.
Timperley & District Football League