Local football league forced to fold

Hampshire Chronicle: Local football league forced to fold Local football league forced to fold

One of Southampton’s major grass roots football leagues has folded – just a year short of its 50th anniversary.

The Southampton & District Sunday Football League will not be running in 2014/15 after a paltry nine teams wanted to sign up for it.

In its heyday, the league – formed in 1965 – boasted more than 55 teams and five divisions.

That was seven years ago and since then it has been in decline.

Last season saw its lowest point, with just two leagues and, by the end of the season, only nine teams involved. Those remaining nine teams have been placed in the City of Southampton Sunday League for the next season, except for AFC Allbrook who will be playing in the Winchester League. There will be no 11-a-side football.

However, the league will attempt to set up in some form at Millbrook’s Goals Soccer Centre as a five-aside league for under-21s.

They will then attempt reform for the 2015/16 season – if there is enough demand.

“We were hoping to get to the 50th anniversary but we knew we were going struggle to get enough teams,” said league assistant secretary Greg Dickson.

“After one team had gone before the season finished, we were down to nine teams and we decided we would put the league on hold.

“Play has been suspended for now.

“It is sad but I would hope we can return the season after next.”

Steve Winter, manager of Division One side Otter FC, has been involved in the league as a player and a manager for over two decades.

“It’s the end of an era,” he said.

“I’ve been involved in the league for a long time, so I’m really disappointed.

“We’ve moved over to the City of Southampton League but we were left with no choice.

“It was becoming impossible for everyone. Teams were playing each other four or five times per season. For the players that just doesn’t cut it.

“When I first started playing there was five or six divisions and over the years it’s dwindled in numbers.

“The people involved have done it proud but they haven’t been able to stop its decline.

“Youngsters just aren’t interested in getting up on a Sunday morning anymore.

“They’d rather be going out the night before.

“Rain or shine, we used to get up (on a Sunday morning) but this is a different generation and the league has suffered because of that.”

A Hampshire FA statement regarding the case stated: “We are fully aware of the situation and still wait official confirmation.”

The county FA were keen to stress this is a stand-alone case and not something that reflects grassroots football across Hampshire as a whole.

Comments (6)

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8:45am Thu 26 Jun 14

Babylon51 says...

This is no bad thing as it will help Saturday football where the bulk of grassroots is played. Currently too many players are signed on for both days and this leads to overtiredness especially towards the end of the season.
This is no bad thing as it will help Saturday football where the bulk of grassroots is played. Currently too many players are signed on for both days and this leads to overtiredness especially towards the end of the season. Babylon51
  • Score: -7

10:08am Thu 26 Jun 14

Woolston ollie says...

No kids coming through all at home with their Xbox, playstations etc. Grass roots football will never be the same. Very sad .
No kids coming through all at home with their Xbox, playstations etc. Grass roots football will never be the same. Very sad . Woolston ollie
  • Score: 5

10:56am Thu 26 Jun 14

hawk299 says...

load of tosh - the league was run badly and teams such as ours moved to the better run CSSFL (we moved 2 seasons ago)

Both leagues covered the same areas at the same time on the same pitches. It's much better now all the teams are playing in the same system - it just makes sense.
load of tosh - the league was run badly and teams such as ours moved to the better run CSSFL (we moved 2 seasons ago) Both leagues covered the same areas at the same time on the same pitches. It's much better now all the teams are playing in the same system - it just makes sense. hawk299
  • Score: 9

2:56pm Thu 26 Jun 14

boilerman says...

Babylon51 wrote:
This is no bad thing as it will help Saturday football where the bulk of grassroots is played. Currently too many players are signed on for both days and this leads to overtiredness especially towards the end of the season.
What a load of tosh.
When I played nearly 100% of guy's played twice a weekend.
What's with this modern day excuse of being tired all the time?
Young blokes get fitter by playing.
[quote][p][bold]Babylon51[/bold] wrote: This is no bad thing as it will help Saturday football where the bulk of grassroots is played. Currently too many players are signed on for both days and this leads to overtiredness especially towards the end of the season.[/p][/quote]What a load of tosh. When I played nearly 100% of guy's played twice a weekend. What's with this modern day excuse of being tired all the time? Young blokes get fitter by playing. boilerman
  • Score: 6

10:00am Fri 27 Jun 14

phil maccavity says...

boilerman wrote:
Babylon51 wrote:
This is no bad thing as it will help Saturday football where the bulk of grassroots is played. Currently too many players are signed on for both days and this leads to overtiredness especially towards the end of the season.
What a load of tosh.
When I played nearly 100% of guy's played twice a weekend.
What's with this modern day excuse of being tired all the time?
Young blokes get fitter by playing.
Agree with Boilerman
However in the past not many people worked on a Saturday afternoon and especially Sunday so there was more time to play twice over a weekend.
The pubs and clubs tended to close earlier on a Saturday night so most people had a bit more sleep on a Saturday night.
Hardly any players were on paid contracts so good players would be free to turn out on Saturday as well as Sunday and the level of play in the top Sunday leagues was of a decent standard which, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be the case nowadays
Cricket seems to have gone the same way too as back in the day Parks cricket thrived
[quote][p][bold]boilerman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Babylon51[/bold] wrote: This is no bad thing as it will help Saturday football where the bulk of grassroots is played. Currently too many players are signed on for both days and this leads to overtiredness especially towards the end of the season.[/p][/quote]What a load of tosh. When I played nearly 100% of guy's played twice a weekend. What's with this modern day excuse of being tired all the time? Young blokes get fitter by playing.[/p][/quote]Agree with Boilerman However in the past not many people worked on a Saturday afternoon and especially Sunday so there was more time to play twice over a weekend. The pubs and clubs tended to close earlier on a Saturday night so most people had a bit more sleep on a Saturday night. Hardly any players were on paid contracts so good players would be free to turn out on Saturday as well as Sunday and the level of play in the top Sunday leagues was of a decent standard which, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be the case nowadays Cricket seems to have gone the same way too as back in the day Parks cricket thrived phil maccavity
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Fri 27 Jun 14

saints4eva12 says...

maybe the sale of shaw could pay for you
maybe the sale of shaw could pay for you saints4eva12
  • Score: 0
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