Warm-up fixtures announced in preparation for forthcoming cup competitions

Now that we have confirmed our plans for a streamlined cup competition programme that will run in the absence of the possibility to complete a full league programme, the L & C has announced warm-up fixtures in preparation for the competitive fixtures. More information on this, as well as other updates, can be found below.

  1. League fixtures for every team on the 3rd April have been released. They are league games to be used as a warm up so teams don’t go into the cups on 10th April without having played. We have saved everyone a job arranging friendlies. Referees will be appointed as normal by the referee’s secretary. All normal procedures such as confirmation, referee payment by BACs, completion of result texts, match sheets, team stats and refs marks are to be followed. The games are voluntary, so if for any reason you do not want a match that day, contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.
  2. The deadline for ensuring all match sheets, team stats, refs marks and payments are in is Thursday 11th March. After that the cup draw will be made with those who have complied included.
  3. The preparation for the resumption of football continues, the cup rules and competition format were issued yesterday. Note the deadline for registration has been brought forward to the end of February (rule 4) and squad eligibility is in rule 5. Any queries on registrations to Keith Marsden registrations@landc.org.uk please.

Lancashire & Cheshire AFL return to football

Since the announcement of the Government roadmap out of lockdown, and the resumption of team sports from 29th March, the league committee have been working on assessing the options available. The FA extension to the 30th June gives three months to conclude the 20-21 season.

Following the committee assessment, we are recommending to the clubs our plan – the league divisional season is curtailed now (null and void as we are nowhere near the point where Points per game is viable). The L & C roadmap for conclusion of the season has been sent to every club and shows the government’s timetable, the committee’s decision-making to this point, and how we plan to ensure competitive football for all clubs.

Despite the league season being curtailed, the positive aspect of this is that it allows the four league cups to run in an amended format of group matches followed by quarter and semi-finals, and the final. This plan would give all teams at least five games, and take up to the end of May to complete. Full details will be made available soon.

The reality is that the remaining 682 league fixtures will not fit into three months due to ground constraints and would involve a punishing Sat/Wed/Sat schedule for the whole of the 3 months, and include some Monday matches for some teams. We all are involved to enjoy our football, this would not be enjoyable, and it would most likely fail. We should not start what we cannot finish.

The reasoning for this decision has been sent to every club; in our preparation, we ran provisional trials to see how we could fulfil all league fixtures. This proved that it would be impossible even if there were no further disruptions.

A combination of the risks that remain because of Covid-19, the punishing – and unrealistic – schedule required to fit in all fixtures, player availability due to work, family, religious commitments, as well as pitch availability, is why the L & C have decided to move forward with a more slimline, and manageable competition format to ensure the season reaches a conclusion.

If any club disagrees, or has any questions, please let us know.

All match sheets, team stats, refs marks and payments MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE 11TH MARCH to be entered into the cup draw, unless you need County FA to fix user ID problems and are in communication with us about this.

L&C update for all club secretaries

This is a particularly trying time for all in grassroots football. The national lockdown has put a halt to the game and with the uncertainty surrounding when it will be safe to resume, the L&C has sent out voting forms to all clubs to give their preferences in the event that the season cannot be completed in its entirety.

We have every intention of finishing the league season and are making plans so that we are ready to go if and when grassroots football is given the go-ahead. However, in the event this is not possible, the league has sent a ballot paper for clubs to give their views, should the season not be completed.

This is one of the points to bear in mind in our latest update:-

  1. The voting is underway for the possibility of season 20-21 curtailment. Please consider the options carefully and consult your clubs for their views.
  2. The committee are raring to go once we get the go ahead that it is safe to do so. We want to be ready to restart without any issues – all administration matters (in both meaning of the word!) from before Christmas must be completed before you restart.
  3. Match sheets, refs marks and match stats must be up to date. John Howard, Harry Jack and Gill Bowden are continuing their checks, so please assist them by doing the necessary NOW, not waiting till a date for a restart is known.
  4. The treasurer Phil Faulkner has sent invoices for all outstanding amounts. Many clubs have paid, but a significant number have not replied at all. We fully understand that there is no income, but you need to speak to Phil to make arrangements for when you can pay.
  5. We hope all are safe, secure and well.

Club Tributes to Dave King

Received in response to the sad announcement earlier this week

I’m genuinely saddened to hear of Dave King’s passing. Horrible news; I always found him to be such a lovely fella. Please pass on mine and Sandra’s condolences. He was a gentleman, a great servant to the league and very much appreciated by myself and Sandra. His work in organising the league dinners was fantastic and it was always good to see him at Chorltonians. I’ll miss having a pint and a chat with him. Tony McNicholls, Chorltonians FC

Just seen the sad news regarding Dave. Your tributes to him in the email were obviously very heartfelt. I have fond memories of Dave from your visits to Parrswood games, I recall he liked the odd cigar. Steve Taylor, Parrswood Celtic FC.

So sorry to read the obituary for Dave King – I can only endorse all the acknowledgements and compliments for him. Dave was always so warm and friendly whenever I spoke with him at meetings, matches and presentations of course which he organised superbly. Our members will be sad to hear of his passing so on behalf of all who knew him at Rochdalians our condolences to his family and friends. Mark Wilson, Rochdalians A F C.

Nice tribute, Dave Jameson Spurley Hey FC

Just read about Dave King. Sad news. A really nice fella who worked hard for the league and football in general. A random memory I have is from the league dinners some years back (at Edgeley Park). I remember him wondering around chatting with people followed by big puffs of cigar smoke which he kept wafting away when they built up too much. A strange memory – but one that makes me smile nonetheless. Sorry for your loss gents & take care. Jack Norbury Govan Athletic Football Club.

My sadness about the news of Dave King, who always had time for a chat, I thought he was one of the really nice guys. Please pass on the thoughts of our club to Dave’s family. Peter Bird AFC Oldham.

That’s terrible news, I always remember Dave with great affection. I never thought the last time I would see him would be meeting him in Urmston to hand a trophy back, lovely man. Phil Bower Irlam Steel.

Joint Statement from North West County FAs on Local North West Grassroots Football Restrictions

Updated Statement (Issued 31st Dec 2020 at 12 noon)  

 Yesterday the government reviewed the tiering restrictions in place across the country which resulted in changes to all the North West County FA’s.
The following information applies to Grassroots Football at NLS Feeder Leagues (Step 7) and below and applies to all member clubs and leagues affiliated or sanctioned by County FA’s in Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Westmorland, Cumberland and Liverpool. We continue to recognise the challenges that the Covid pandemic presents and fully appreciate and thank all our volunteers involved in the grassroots game across the North West for all your hard work throughout 2020.  

The following defines which local authorities are aligned to which regions and which Tier they are now in: 
   
Adult Football From the updated guidance provided adult clubs, teams and individuals (Players, Coaches and Spectators) cannot continue to play or train in Tier 4 and the game is therefore suspended. Those in Liverpool City Region (Merseyside) may continue, but those involved are not to move in or out of their Tier 3 region to participate.   For absolute clarity the above means that travel is NOT permitted from Liverpool City Region (Merseyside) to any of the other North West Regions.

Youth Football (Under 18’s), Including Disability Football With regards to youth football (Under 18’s) and all disability football. There have been changes for all those regions now in Tier 4 and these are detailed below, specifically in relation to movement/travel of youth teams, players, coaches and or volunteers (including parents). The government’s Tier 4 guidance states organised outdoor sport for under-18s and disabled people will be allowed, while there are exemptions for FA Girls’ Regional Talent Clubs. The government’s guidelines on travel between tiers should be adhered to.
These players now cannot move in or out of their Tier 4 region to train or play.

For absolute clarity the above means that travel is NOT permitted between all regions in the North West. Under 18’s must play only within the region that they reside. For example; Those players and volunteers who live in Greater Manchester, must play only in Greater Manchester and cannot travel to another region such as Cheshire or Liverpool and vice versa. This also means that regions such as Derbyshire, Staffordshire for example cannot travel into a North West region to play.   It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government’s latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidance documents from The FA. Failure to adhere to the guidance will result in sanctions for non-compliance.

Match Officials Match Officials are exempt and are free to travel within the tiers.   It is imperative that everyone involved in the grassroots game continues to be vigilant and follows the governments restrictions and the guidance set in place by the Football Association. For the avoidance of any doubt, any teams where it is found that Players, Coaches, Volunteers or Spectators are not adhering to the government restrictions and FA guidance will face sanctions for non-compliance, including removal of fixtures.   Under 18’s, including disability football and other sporting activities are permitted despite wider restrictions because of the benefits of sport and physical activity for people’s physical and mental wellbeing. If people act irresponsibly when participating in grassroots football (including off the pitch, and when socialising before and after activity) they jeopardize public health and undermine the case for safe sport to take place.

If there are serious or consistent concerns with non-compliance of COVID guidelines at grassroots football which fail to be addressed, then the government may revoke the ability for grassroots football to take place. We cannot stress enough the critical importance of all involved in the game complying with the guidance to allow the grassroots game to continue.   Our key guidance in the North West is as follows: Social distancing wherever possible for players, and always in the case of spectators Robust hygiene standards as per risk assessments but including the wearing of masks in toilet blocks etc. Effective registering of attendees primarily via the NHS Test and Trace QR code system Strongly recommend at all youth games a maximum of one accompanying adult per child, wherever possible   National League System & Women’s Football Pyramid

Football for adult participants across ‘non-elite’ football in Tier 4 regions is not permitted, including all training and fixtures. This immediate advice in place from 31 December applies to the following aspects of ‘non-elite’ football in England in Tier 4 areas: Steps three to six of the National League System (NLS) Tiers three to seven of the Women’s Football Pyramid Regional NLS feeder leagues Barclays FA WSL Academy League (unless under elite guidance) Vitality Women’s FA Cup (which is currently classified as ‘non-elite’ at this stage in the competition)

This joint statement is based on the current position and we will continue to review in line with any government tier reviews.

We appreciate the complexities that the continuous changes have made and wish again to thank you all for the tremendous work that you continue to do and have undertaken throughout the most unprecedented year of 2020. We wish to take the opportunity to wish everyone the very best for what we hope will be a much more prosperous 2021.

Please take care and stay safe.    

Lancashire FA
The County Ground
Thurston Road
Leyland
Lancashire
PR252LF      

This email was sent to gm-ellis@outlook.com    
© 2020 Lancashire FA  

Potential fixture availability on 26 December and 2 January

The shutdown of amateur football has resulted in a fixture backlog that was building because of the challenges of Covid.

As such, the league committee has considered the request from some clubs who have asked if Boxing Day and 2 January would be available for action.

We can confirm that fixtures will be offered on those days for those clubs who would like to play. As always, the availability of pitches is a factor.

If your team would like a fixture on either or both of those dates, please let Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk know, and if you can have home games.

As you can see, we are doing everything possible to enable fixtures to be played as early as possible to avoid the prospect of season curtailment due to overrunning.

All to play for as league season halted

PLAYERS and officials from the league and clubs were very disappointed that the season had to be shut down for a month due to the latest lockdown and they can’t wait for the restart.

The league officials are working hard during the lockdown to ensure that the season can continue once restrictions are eased, and fixtures for the first week back are now in place thanks to more sterling work by fixture secretary Malc Kershaw.

His problems have been eased by the decision of Manchester FA to cancel their cup competitions for this season.

League chairman Mike Yates said: “With new clubs and teams coming into the league it was extended to eight divisions with well over 90 teams, and after the early games it looked set to be a very exciting and competitive through the divisions with many of the new teams having played a big part in this.”

In the Premier Division four teams were moved into the top flight and they are playing their part in a very competitive division, which includes AFC Oldham who are in fourth spot.

Top of the pile are Mellor FC, long-time Premier Division members and frequent trophy winners who proudly boast a perfect record after their first five games.

In second spot are Rhodes Cup holders Salford Vics who have played some exciting football and are unbeaten up to the break.

Division One promises to be the most competitive in the league with new and old teams all in the mix in the promotion hunt and just three points separating the top five teams.

Moston Brook’s new look first team rule the roost on goal difference from league debutants Stretford Paddock who look set to make a major impact.

De la Salle Reds, also new in the league, lead newly-promoted Hadfield Athletic and Bury Ams on goal difference and hot on their heels are North Walkden who have games in hand on the high-flyers but results show there are no easy games in this division.

Division Two also looks to be highly competitive with just one point between the top four.

Old Stretfordians got off to a flying start and despite recent defeats still stay top ahead of impressive new team Shaw Athletic.

In Division Three another new team, Sale Amateurs, have shown why they were Altrincham League champions as they share top spot with Trafford neighbours Aldermere, the oldest team in the league’s history, while another new team Hattersley are well placed behind the top two with games in hand.

Kartel Sports came into the league with an impressive history and they have shown their class as they lead Division A on goal difference with a game in hand on AFC Stockport, three points clear of Moston Brook reserves.

Aldermere introduced a reserve team this season and they are out on their own in Division B, seven points clear of neighbours Flixton. Another new team, Salford Albion will present a big threat with three games in hand.

Salford Storm reserves are enjoying their second season in the league as they are three points clear of AFC Stockport Warriors in Division C although StalyLions, with a 100% and four games in hand look to be a big threat.

The new Division D is dominated at the top of the table by four new teams led by Irlam Tigers A who are level on 15 points with Deans reserves who have a game in hand.

Urmston Town Vale are a point behind the top two and Greater Manchester FC have vital games in hand that could see them move into the top two.

Grassroots football: local lockdown update

Manchester FA have released a statement regarding local lockdowns, agreed upon by all North West CEOs. All club secretaries need to be aware of changes implemented by the government and how that affects league fixtures.

It will affect any clubs moving in or out of Tier 3 areas, prohibiting adult clubs or individuals from moving in or out of these regions or local authorities to participate in football matches.

The full statement can be found in the following link. https://www.manchesterfa.com/news/2020/oct/16/joint-north-west-statement

Weekly update: important information on Covid, fixtures, and registrations

This week’s update includes vital information in the context of the coronavirus and the wider restrictions that could potentially be announced this week. All clubs have a duty to act responsibly so that grassroots football can continue at this difficult time.

  1. Fixtures up to and including the 24th October are showing on Full Time. Grounds are still unavailable. If your ground becomes available, please notify Graham Ellis and Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk. Malcolm is first point of contact for any fixture matter.
  2. Please use the new instructions for match sheets, referee reports and referee confirmation/payment on this page – https://landc.org.uk/secretary-reference/. A photo or scan of your matchsheets is to be emailed to matchsheets@landc.org.uk. The referee payment instructions have been updated, as per the email during the week.
  3. In line with our policy of assisting clubs financially, in addition to waiving of 20-21 fees, and noting the late start to the season, the first tranche of registrations this year are not going to be invoiced out to clubs until the end of November rather than the normal date of mid-October. Please note that the invoice will include any registrations from the second half of last season plus any other outstanding dues at that time.
  4. Clubs are reminded that at this time organised football has been allowed to continue as long as all Covid19 precautions are in place and followed. With Manchester on the brink of being classified a Tier 3 area, where all  grassroots football will be stopped, clubs should actively discourage supporters and spectators from attending to minimise the number of contacts being made. All attending must maintain social distancing

Matchday round-up: South Manchester win to go top of Premier Division

THE weather relented and the sun shone on another outstanding day with upsets and plenty of dramatic action in all eight divisions of the league.

Premier Division

It’s still all to play for in the Premier Division as South Manchester, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, are the new leaders after they scored the only goal of their game at Lancashire Amateur Cup finalists Milton.

Abacus Media are level on points with South after a comfortable 4-1 win hosting Dom Doyle.

But lurking with games in hand are non-playing Mellor with a 100 per cent record, and reigning champions Rochdalians who marked their first game of the season with a crushing 7-1 win at AFC Oldham.

Radclyffe were also impressive as they won their first outing this term in a goals-filled 6-3 success at Manchester Polonia.

The other game in the top flight ended with honours even as High Lane shared four goals with Irlam Tigers.

Division One

Division One looks to be equally competitive with no teams left with a 100 per cent record.

The game of the day was at Ten Acres Lane with an 11-goal thriller between Trafford United and North Walkden.

The socially distanced spectators were treated to an absolute humdinger and despite falling behind more than once, United rallied to win 6-5.

Birthday boy Ben Wordsworth put North Walkden to the sword with a first-half hat-trick as well as converting the winner after sublime interplay between Tom Groves and Martin O’Regan.

Nathan Bradley converted from 12 years before North Walkden put through their own net as Trafford stuck to the rule of six to claim the three points.

Ben Wordsworth was not available for comment on the easiest chance of the day which he blazed over the bar.

New boys De La Salle were very impressive with a big 9-1 win at Dukinfield Athletic to stay a point behind leaders Moston Brook who had a comfortable 5-1 win over Didsbury.

Hadfield stay in joint second spot with an emphatic 6-2 win over Signol OB and Newton put on a great display and keep an immaculate clean sheet as they ended Stretford Paddock’s bright start to the season with a fine 2-0 win.

Division Two

Old Stretfordians continue to dominate Division Two after a 4-2 win against Salford Vics reserves and the big-hitters were new team Shaw Athletic in an 8-2 romp at Rochdalians reserves.

Stoconians grabbed the derby spoils with a comfortable 5-1 defeat of Mellor reserves and Signol Athletic JFC triumphed over Oldham Vics by the same scoreline.

Division Three

Hattersley have made very promising start to life in the league and lead Division Three on goal difference with a game in hand on their two main rivals after dispatching Stoconians reserves 4-1.

Sale Amateurs had to work hard for a 4-3 win over Elton Lib Hargreaves to stay in second spot and there was another thriller at Village Manchester as they hosted Aldermere.

Village were slow out of the blocks and were hit by strikes from Peter Walster and Scott Kinsella.

But the second half was dominated by Village who reduced the arrears with a cracker from Daniel Hodgson and Aldermere were indebted to keeper Tom Shaw who pulled off a string of impressive saves to deny Village and keep his side 2-1 ahead to stay a point behind Hattersley.

Wythenshawe Wanderers were too hot for Hooley Bridge Celtic to handle as they cruised to a 6-0 win with goals from Eden Fallon (two), Henry Freeman, Warren Thompson, Jack Hoyland and Mark Lucas.

Division A

Moston Brook reserves were the hot shots in Division A with a 7-4 victory over Old Stretfordians seconds but they remain a point behind leaders AFC Stockport who won a close encounter with Parrs Wood Celtic by the odd goal in three.

Salford Storm won by the same margin at Chadderton Park and new boys Kartel were impressive in their first win of the season accounting for AFC Oldham reserves 5-2.

Division B

Division B leaders Aldermere reserves lost their 100 per cent record after being well beaten 4-0 by newcomers Salford Albion and local rivals Flixton JFC closed the gap on them to two points with a 3-1 win over Moston Brook thirds.

Bury Ams reserves were in the goals with a 5-3 win at Chadderton Cott reserves and Dukinfield Athletic reserves emerged with a 2-1 win in a close contest at Heaton Mersey.

Division C

The top two teams in Division C stay level on points after they both posted wins with Stockport Warriors on top by goal difference after a 4-1 win over Village Manchester reserves with Salford Storm reserves edging a 2-1 win over Oldham Vics reserves.

The other game in the division saw Staly Lions roaring as they kept their 100 per cent record with an emphatic 5-1 win over Stoconians thirds.

Division D

Greater Manchester FC continued their successful start in the league with a win but Deans reserves took them all the way before the leaders prevailed 2-1.

Irlam Tigers A dropped to vital points in a 3-3 deadlock with Moston Brook fourths to allow GMFC to overtake them, while Stoconians fourths and Rochdale Galaxy also shared the spoils in an entertaining six-goal encounter.

Urmston Town Vale are handily placed in third spot after a comfortable 4-1 win over Chadderton Park reserves.