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Home: Non-League Football Discussion: Restructuring Discussion:
quality of step 5 (and below) leagues

 

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Dan
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Mar 8, 2009, 9:53 PM

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Post #26 of 32 (2068 views)
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Re: [Roman] quality of step 5 (and below) leagues [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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If you look purely at FA Vase performances, the Midland Alliance doesn't actually do particularly well in that competition...

I guess this could have something to do with the amount of all-Midland Alliance ties that 'come out of the hat' every season.



Just to defend the MFA this is a major issue with teams progressing, it's almost as if the MFA has its own section, it's also very annoying with the chance to visit new grounds you end up most dejected to draw a side from your own league. Since our promotion to the MFA we have played 10 FA Vase games and 6 have been against fellow MFA sides.


royals26
Man City Transfer Target!


Mar 8, 2009, 10:18 PM

Posts: 6291
Location: Reading
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Post #27 of 32 (2062 views)
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Re: [catweazle] quality of step 5 (and below) leagues [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Not sure I'd break it down by county necessarily - if you look at it by 'area' say within roughly an hour of me there are as follows:-

STEP.....Clubs
STEP 01 - 2
STEP 02 - 6
STEP 03 - 10
STEP 04 - 25

... thus a player from round here has a good choice of STEP1-4 clubs that he could gravitate towards including Oxon, Hants, Surrey, Wilts, North and South West 'Lahnden' - as well as Berks & Bucks.

This season from a purely subjective viewpoint and based on a fairly small sample, the strongest STEP05 clubs I've seen, have been from the HELLP & SSMP - though admittedly not seen any WESTP this season yet but the WESSP clubs have been poor by comparison - and surprisingly I'd include Poole Town in that, in spite of their phenomenal league record.

Even the couple of CCLP games have been of a higher quality, though that league does seem to get poor results in the Vase of late.

Might be worth doing a quick look at how the STEP05 teams promoted last season, have done this - .... though again basing a league standing on the performance of one former club might skew it somewhat. There are often exceptional factors - i.e. it was clear Truro were something special in the WEST even when they were back at STEP06 and would not reflect a normal progression of a typical WESTERN league side upon gaining promotion?

A better comparison might be made in the case of Merstham and Crowborough for example - though again there might be circumstances that invalidate this argument i.e. are both sides roughly the same as the promotion season - have they significantly strengthened/lost players/funding??

A further indicator could be where clubs have transferred @ STEP05 - Reading Town have at times 'flourished' in the Hellenic and at others have foundered - is this anything to do with the relative strengths of the two leagues?
How have Badshot Lea fared heading in the other direction?
Both sides seems to be fairly well placed in their first season.
- I get the impression that the CCLP clubs think they are stronger than their counterparts in the Hellenic.

I'm not too convinced about the Hellenic East's perceived playing weaknesses either, this season they have, in their upper reaches, some of the stronger STEP06 sides around.
Admittedly their lower clubs are pretty 'duff' [sorry Wickite! Angelic] but then the Hellenic West and CCL1 have their 'cannon-fodder' too.


acmold
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Mar 9, 2009, 10:27 AM

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Post #28 of 32 (2019 views)
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Re: [Dan] quality of step 5 (and below) leagues [In reply to] Can't Post or


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If you look purely at FA Vase performances, the Midland Alliance doesn't actually do particularly well in that competition...

I guess this could have something to do with the amount of all-Midland Alliance ties that 'come out of the hat' every season.



Just to defend the MFA this is a major issue with teams progressing, it's almost as if the MFA has its own section, it's also very annoying with the chance to visit new grounds you end up most dejected to draw a side from your own league. Since our promotion to the MFA we have played 10 FA Vase games and 6 have been against fellow MFA sides.



I have wondered if clubs from north Gloucestershire and north Oxfordshire could not be put into the region for F.A. comps as the Midlands Alliance clubs, just to mix things up a bit. For the likes of Kidlington and Hook Norton it would mean less travelling than the current area which appears to be "Mid West" and could mean a trip to Dorset, and for the clubs already in that region it would not mean any longer journies as Pegasus and Westfield are as far away or even further away than north Oxon and Glos.


southend statto
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Mar 10, 2009, 11:25 AM

Posts: 2015
Location: East Anglia (South Division)
Team(s): most of my local sides

Post #29 of 32 (1876 views)
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Re: [AndyE] quality of step 5 (and below) leagues [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Your comment 'Essex has 21 step 4 clubs' set me thinking - wow! The step 5 ESL is a weak League now but is that because it has supplied more promotees to the step 4 Isthmian North than any of the other Isthmian feeders - with no clubs coming down - making up their numbers with reformed/newly formed clubs?
I doubt that a few years ago, any of the ESL-bashers would of thought the League weak?
Having said that, I cannot see the ESL being a strong League again unless the rumours are true in that Essex based ECL clubs switch (Tiptree being the first one for next season). The FA is also in favour of a step 6 League in Essex.
Personally though I would merge the ESL and ECL with a Premier Division with a Division One (north and south), but I can't see that happening.


AndyE
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Mar 10, 2009, 1:18 PM

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Location: Rochester
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Post #30 of 32 (1839 views)
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Re: [southend statto] quality of step 5 (and below) leagues [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Yes, if we go back a year or fifteen, the ESL certainly would have had to count as one of the stronger leagues at that level. I'm counting 21 clubs which have moved upwards from the Essex Senior League since it started in 1972, only three of which have subsequently dropped again (Basildon United, Wivenhoe Town, Woodford Town).

Does a Step 6 league for Essex have the same problem as it would in Kent - that there are very few clubs with floodlights below Step 5 level, and in most cases there's little realistic chance of this changing.

I can't see that merger of ECL and ESL ever happening either - the Thurrock to Southend and East London clubs really wouldn't be keen. Perhaps more feasible is a "Thames Gateway League", merging that part of Essex with South East London and North Kent (as far east as Chatham, perhaps). Oh yea, it exists, it's called "Isthmian League Division One North" ...

The problem with that is what we would do with the clubs in the ESL and KL who aren't really in that footprint. The three ESL clubs from the Bishop's Stortford area could shuffle into SSM without too much trouble, but Kent clubs like Deal, Herne Bay and Tunbridge Wells would be trickier (and indeed Hythe, but they look like getting promoted).


Mr. T
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Mar 10, 2009, 1:44 PM

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Post #31 of 32 (1833 views)
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Re: [Mr. T] quality of step 5 (and below) leagues [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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For example, should certain step 5 leagues be re-classified as step 6 as the quality of member clubs football is seriously below that of other leagues?


This is not entirely unconnected to the fact that before 2004, almost a quarter of what are now Step 5 clubs were in what is now Step 6.



I've had a quick trawl through the 2004 NL Annual to determine the status of the 289 clubs in the current Step 5. By my calculations, the breakdown is as below. The status given is the current level of the competition in which the clubs played in 2003-04.

Step 3 2
Step 4 9
Step 5 169
Step 6 72
Step 7+ 33
There are 4 new or reformed clubs.

Thus, the 105 clubs at Step 5 that have come up from what is now Step 6 or lower account for 36% of the total at that level. I said earlier that it was almost a quarter but I based that on the net movement of around 70 clubs from Step 6 to Step 5 since 2004.

Nine of the 14 Step 5 divisions have more clubs from Step 6 than they have lost upwards to Step 4. For instance, the Northern League has lost only 1 upwards but has 9 from Step 6+; Western 3 and 12; Hellenic 3 and 10; Wessex 4 and 10; SSML 3 and 10; ECL 3 and 9.

The three leagues that have taken the biggest hit from the expanded Step 4 have fewer clubs from Step 6+ to replace their upward losses: MA 10 and 7; NCE 10 and 9, NWC 12 and 10.

The large complement of former Step 6+ clubs at Step 5 is partly accounted for by the need to make up numbers lost to Step 4 since 2004 (net movement 64) but promotion and relegation between Steps 5 and 6 has also contributed i.e. a simple mixing of clubs. The net movement upwards here is about 70 and yet the 14 Step 5 leagues/division have in total 15 clubs fewer than the 15 that existed in 2003-04. The loss of IL2 does not account for all of this because 12 of its clubs were distributed amongst the other Step 5 leagues (although the CCL did demote five on the basis of ground grading failures in order to accommodate the IL2 cubs).

Southend Statto's argument that some Step 5 leagues may not be worthy of the rank is to a considerable extent backed up by these figures, although I appreciate that perceptions may count too and in some areas of the country the standards of grounds, football, support and finances may be better than in others (indeed, at any level of the pyramid).


DaveU
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Mar 11, 2009, 1:06 PM

Posts: 1464
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Team(s): Maidstone United, Chelsea

Post #32 of 32 (1726 views)
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Re: [southend statto] quality of step 5 (and below) leagues [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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Your comment 'Essex has 21 step 4 clubs' set me thinking - wow! The step 5 ESL is a weak League now but is that because it has supplied more promotees to the step 4 Isthmian North than any of the other Isthmian feeders

The same could be said of the Kent league, Cray, Ramsgate, Maidstone, Whitstable and Thamesmead being promoted in the last 5 years with only Erith & Belvedere being relegated in return. The problem is of course compounded by having no step 6 league below.



There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

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