Chairs Welcome < Officials
A warm welcome to our existing and new member Clubs to what should be another exciting season.
Another season 2016/17 completed almost to plan although some age groups suffered at the end of the season due to county cup commitments and Easter holidays where we had a massive problem with regard to the different local authorities not falling in line, this meant a spread of some 6 weeks across the leagues. Again end of season fixtures had to be scheduled with a knock on affect in the cup competition where some teams had to wait until after the league games had closed before completing their final. I once again thank all the member clubs who were involved with late fixtures for their patience and understanding. I was extremely fortunate with the finals at Flixton with them keeping the ground open for an extra full week to enable finals to be completed. Early season midweek fixtures must be a priority next season to help us overcome some of these difficulties.
The start of the cup campaign virtually went to plan kicking off at the end of March, however, a number of fixtures had to be changed as previously explained, I can accept changes which clubs have no control of but not the ones that suddenly are highlighted a short time before a final is due to take place, such as can't raise a team as players are not available, manager is away on that date etc. Sorry some of the excuses are not acceptable and next season I will ensure that maximum notice of impending finals will be given which will help me in booking grounds and clubs to plan effectively.
The league continues to grow with more enquiries for entry, your continued support for what we are achieving is greatly appreciated, standards of play and clubs continually improve season on season and I thank you all for making this happen. The Whole Game initiative for player registrations etc will go fully live soon for this league and we believe that once all the players are registered it will be much easier for clubs to manage and maintain their records.
Discipline continues to be an issue and I again ask that all clubs address this; non-fulfilments were at a record level where teams near the end of the season decided not to play for one reason or another. I must remind all clubs that all games have to be played or sanctions will be imposed on offending clubs, hence one of the reasons why we asked for an increase in the guarantee fee. I'm aware that the majority of clubs do abide by the rules and I thank them for continuing in this way.
The MU Foundation has continued to support the league again and ran a very successful pilot scheme focusing on 'Leadership Skills' to enhance the training and development of some our referees. The Foundation again supplied the medals for the younger age groups, this was our third and final year of the partnership, however, we have met with John Shiels CEO and his team and I can report that they are happy to continue the partnership which is great news for the league. I take this opportunity to thank John and his team for the last three years of support and collaboration and look to the future in anticipation with further initiatives planned including level 1 and 2 coaching opportunities.
32 clubs from U12 to Youth shared the league awards this season, Pick of the clubs were Broadheath Central (7) 6 Champions, followed by Altrincham Jnrs (7) 3 Champions, AFC Meadowside (3) 3 Champions with a further three clubs with 2 each Wilmslow Town, Unicorn Athletic and Flixton Juniors. An excellent season though for Broadheath Central.
The cup competition (11v11) commenced as planned at the end of March. Finals were again well supported with some exciting football on view. Spectators once again played their part with no issues to report again this is the result of you all taking a lead on discipline, sportsmanship and respect within your clubs. 23 member clubs took part in the 11 a side cup finals. Broadheath Central, Altrincham Jnrs and Unicorn Athletic were the pick achieving 4 finalists with Egerton FC and Wilmslow Sports close behind with 3 finalists. We were even able to play last season's U16 Div 3 game which was an added bonus. My thanks to the Divisional Secretaries who presented at their cup finals. The other finals were shared by the remaining 18 clubs in the competition. The following clubs achieved league and cup doubles, Cheetham Hill Jnrs U13s, Alderley United Warlocks U13s, De La Salle U14s, St John's U14s, Broadheath Central Hawks U15, AFC Urmston Meadowside Romans U15, Broadheath Central U16s and Moorside Rangers Youth Serie A.
It was good to see so many new names in both the league and cup competitions which must to be good for the competitions.
The mini soccer finals days were once again held at Trafford FC with an extra night added due to the number of finals this season. 16 member clubs at U9 shared the awards with Hale United (4 finalists), Wilmslow Town, Broadheath Central (2 finalists) and the other finals shared by 13 member clubs. The U10s had 16 member clubs taking part with Sale United (4 finalists) Brooklands Dragons and Altrincham Juniors (2 finalists), however each of the 12 finals was won by a different club with the MU Foundation Girls winning their final, a first in our league . The U11 finals were contested by 16 member clubs with Timperley FC, Benchill Celtic and Wythenshawe Amts (2 finalists) each the pick, The U12 Champions Cup finals had 14 member clubs contesting the finals, with Timperley FC, Urmston Town and Fletcher Moss (2 finalists). The Knockout Cup was held at Brooklands Dragons where 4 finals were contested, my thanks to Brooklands for hosting these 4 finals.
In the U12 league 7 divisions were contested with 12 member clubs represented all 7 divisions were won by separate clubs.
Trafford FC once again hosted the mini soccer finals and their help and hospitality is second to none.
Many people present on the finals days commented on the way they were organised and run with everyone leaving the venues in a good way. We had many pleasing comments from spectators and teams.
Trafford FC (9) and Flixton FC (8) staged the majority of the 11 a side finals with Linotype Cheadle Heath Nomads hosting three finals and Altrincham FC 1 final. In addition Trafford FC hosted the Mini Soccer Finals and 9v9 finals over two very busy weekends with Brooklands Dragons supporting the knockout cup. Thanks to these clubs for allowing the use of their facilities. We staged 67 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.
In the MCFA cup competition the following clubs were successful, Broadheath Central U15 Hawks, Fletcher Moss Rangers U14s with Sale United U13 Lions Finalists. Regretfully this season we had no joy in the Cheshire FA Cup competition. I congratulate these teams on their success.
Applications have once again been received from Clubs/teams for entry for season 2017-18 it is clear that we are popular across the County with more teams wishing to join the league year on year.
The Altrincham District FA Central Appointing System continues to work well with support from referees across the District and beyond. The coverage given that more than 200 fixtures are played each weekend is in excess of 97%. It is the view that we can achieve 100% across all divisions given that there are more than 200 registered referees and Stuart will be working hard to achieve this next season. Can I thank Anthony Taylor, Chris Broadhurst, and especially Stuart Liston for being the main link from the T&DFL to the District FA in overseeing all of this? Anthony continues to be given prestigious appointments and I'm sure many of you will have watched this seasons FA cup final with Anthony appointed as referee.
The Referee awards presented this season are a reward for the 3 recipients for their outstanding performances throughout the season, Senior Referee of the Year Nigel Peacock, Young Referee of the Year James Memory and a special award given to Tom O'Brien.
The League re introduced the annual award presentations held at the Flixton Dance Studio over two consecutive Friday nights, each night was well supported by member clubs and I thank clubs/teams for turning up to collect their awards. From feedback received I think everyone receiving awards were happy with them.
The U7/U8/U9 festival was again a huge success staged at the Powerleague soccer dome. Clubs continue to enjoy the safe, friendly non competitive environment with some good football being played in the competitive U9 cup competition which forms part of our commitment to the FA Development Plan. Good reviews were once again received from clubs and the finals and presentations at the centre went to plan. This is also an opportunity for our new young referees to get experience in a non competitive playing environment.
I welcome the new Clubs to the League for the 2017-18 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 2017-18 onwards version of the Football Association's Standard Code of Rules will be posted on the website 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.
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.
The non competitive competition is now part of our league and teams up to U11s will be operating in this format for the coming 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 /U9 age groups start again in September players will again benefit from this organised, safe and friendly football.
The FA Fulltime website is again the main reporting system for match fixtures, results and referees with Nigel Peacock (administrator) maintaining the system on behalf of the league. All established clubs are now conversant with the system.
The Cheshire FA award winners were as follows:
- The FA Charter Standard Club of the Year Award - Timperley FC
- Cheshire FA Coach of the Year - Wesley Ratcliff, Benchill Celtic JFC
- Cheshire FA Best Inclusive Project Award - Egerton FC Down Syndrome Group
- In addition Timperley FC and Wesley Ratcliff are North West Regional winners.
I congratulate all the individual and club winners of these prestigious awards.
It's very pleasing and rewarding when member clubs hard work and player development bears fruit in the league and cup competitions, however, we must remember that not all our clubs teams are fortunate in this respect but are still an integral part of the league. Player development of all the players taking part in this league is our number one priority and we will do whatever is necessary to continue down this path. However, it is abundantly clear looking at the league and cup results that all member clubs are setting very high standards and we hope that this trend continues.
We are now in our 9th full season as a Charter Standard League, and we hope that we can replicate the successes of last season during 2017/18. We look forward to working with you all once again and hope you all have an enjoyable and successful season.
I can only see it getting harder with potentially a few blockers, County Associations and Local Authorities constantly changing which does make life difficult for us all, but I'm sure that by working together we can overcome these. The junior game is thriving but we have to try very hard to re introduce the open age game in a much more interesting way as this would be a perfect succession plan for our youth players.
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.
Timperley & District Football League