League Match Secretary, Eric Owen, has issued the following update on the mini-leagues which are being organised for the end of the season:
I hope everyone is well.
I wanted to give you all an update on the supplementary mini tournaments we intend to run to give as many of our sides as possible some football when the season restarts.
We will be dividing most of the divisions up into mini leagues of 4 or 5 teams which will predominantly be regionalised as best as we can. Each team will play each other in a league format and then depending on time and pitches etc there will be semi-finals or we may go straight to a final but we will advise as the tournaments progress. Obviously, there may be issues around weather and pitch availability.
Mini-leagues open to all teams already out of SAL Cups plus any losing in the first two rounds after we come back
We need clubs to be flexible with this as we will have teams who get knocked out in the SAL cups in the early weeks of our return joining the mini leagues as well. There will be fixtures for most sides who are already out of the cups on the 10th April but unfortunately, we will not be able to put all fixtures out until we know the results of the SAL cup rounds played on the 3rd. I will notify clubs of the potential league formats as soon as cup games on the 3rd April are out of the way and we know who has progressed or not.
Feel free to organise friendlies for the 3rd April if you are not in the SAL cups.
Fixtures will start on 10 April
The nature of these tournaments is to give our clubs competitive football and we are happy for you to mutually agree venues for these games if the home drawn clubs is struggling with pitches or agree different kick off times but as always, please notify myself and Daryl. I will try to pencil games in around your home pitch allocations you have informed me about. We will attempt to supply officials for all matches and usual league and county rules, discipline, and registration rules will apply.
Groups of 4 or 5 playing each other once, semi-finals (if possible) and finals to follow
If a team can't play a match for any reason, they will have to forfeit for obvious reasons, but we hope that won't happen as most of us are chomping at the bit to play.
Great news is that most clubs are entering the majority of their sides into these tournaments but please advise asap if for any reason a side changes it's mind. There may even be a trophy for each winner !!
This is quite a logistical headache to arrange so we would appreciate your patience and understanding in getting these games on.
Keep well and I will update you all regularly
We are pleased to report that all but one vets team has committed to seeing the season through to a conclusion with the League, Cup and Shield competitions expected to be played to a finish. Veterans Secretary Graeme Wilson has confirmed the following:
So, what happens next?
Fixtures will be scheduled starting with Easter weekend (3rd / 4th April) for those who have declared that they're happy to play on these dates.
In a perfect world all matches will take place on a weekend however the reality is will not be possible for every game. I will do my utmost to minimise this for everyone as much as I can.
If your match is not taking place at the usual time (due to pitch constraints) please inform me immediately so I can update the website as this will have an impact on match official appointments.
Late fixture amendments
It is inevitable this will happen as we compress several rounds into a few weeks so please continue to check the website on a regular basis.
I hope you share our excitement at football returning, especially after the last few months. Let's get playing again!
Following the government’s announcement that grassroots football can restart from the 29th March the League Management Committee can confirm that fixtures will restart on Saturday, 3rd April.
Having taken all of the above (and more) into account, the League Management Committee has recommended to clubs the following:
All clubs were asked the following questions:
The answers to the above were factored into the decision making process and the he following points were among those considered in determining the way forward:
The decision to void the league season has been a difficult one for the League League. All suggestions on how we might complete the league season were considered fully. However, there were obstacles for every scenario that made those options unworkable.
Clubs have been asked to notify League Match Secretary, Eric Owen, by 15 March 2021, latest, of their intention regard to participating in football upon the restart. We will have to work quickly to make the best of the remaining weeks of the season, so any clubs not complying with this deadline risk not being included in the planned fixtures.
The Southern Amateur League kicked off a brand new Podcast this evening with the first ever episode featuring a discussion with the Representative Team Manager Bob Leeds about his time at Old Finchleians to joining the League Committee as Rep Team Manager.
Bob shared his stories about his first season in charge and his thoughts going into the 2007/08 season when the League went on to become National Champions winning the FA Inter League Cup that year.
We spoke to Daryl who is our new Social Media Officer at the Southern Amateur League and he had the following to say;
"Since joining the League as Referee Secretary a couple of seasons ago I have had a number of plans to increase the engagement online and away from the pitch. Taking on the role of Social Media Officer gave me the opportunity to do this by launching a brand new podcast and it only felt right to have Bob as our first ever guest! As President of the League and also as Representative Team Manager he had a number of stories to share, so much in-fact we have made it a two part episode.
We have some great guests lined up and eventually when we are able to get back out there playing football I will be ground hopping around the League reaching out to Managers, Players, Club Volunteers and 80% of the content we record will be done out at the clubs making the podcast more grassroots. Im looking for more people to get involved, come on and have a chat, egg on your upcoming opponents and in general just have a good laugh!"
The SAL Podcast is available on our website and from the Spotify app on your smartphone. To get involved drop Daryl an email - email@example.com