Man City Transfer Target!
Jun 18, 2012, 1:52 PM
Post #7 of 16
On a separate point, the future structure of the Hellenic and Western Leagues, it would appear that the footprint of the latter is going back to what it was in the 1950s and 1960s, with Gloucestershire clubs being put in the Western League rather than the Hellenic. Until the Hellenic started encroaching into Gloucestershire in the early 1970s, clubs such as Stonehouse, Hoffmans and Gloucester City had all competed in the Western League. The mould, which had lasted from the 1930s onwards, was cracked by Cinderford Town and Cadbury Heath joining the Midland Combination. Then a few years later the Hellenic League got in on the act and a lot of Gloucestershire teams went in it, and many still do. However, the acquisition of the Chiltonian League in 2000 moved the league back east again. I can still the logic in having all the Bristol and region clubs in one league at Steps 5 and 6, but the travelling distances for clubs from Cheltenham to the Cornish border is 300 miles there and back again. If Falmouth or Truro get back in at either Steps 5 or 6 then it becomes a round trip of 430 miles to the former. As a match official [30 years ago] I was sent to Falmouth on August Bank Holiday Saturday - the 180 miles there took around nine hours - coming back it took less than 4, including a stop at Exeter Services. Leaving home at 4.30 am and returning at 9.30 pm was a very long day to me.
The movement of Gloucestershire clubs to the Hellenic sort of tied in with Falmouth coming into the Western League, prior to that the main Gloucestershire clubs in the Hellenic were Ciren Tn (1969) and Fairford (1970), both being nearer Oxford and Swindon than Bristol - Ciren is about two miles nearer Oxford than Bristol !. Falmouth came into the Western League in 1974, followed by Saltash in 1976, and Liskeard in 1979, this seemed to move Gloucestershire more towards the Hellenic with the likes of Forest Green coming in.
The South West is an area that is over looked and the clubs have the right to play at a decent level and they can't really be expected to travel from Cornwall to Gloucestershire to play games. Is there any scope in having the SWP at step 5 for Devon and Cornwall, the Western League for Somerset, west Dorset, Bristol, south Gloucestershire and rural Wiltshire, the Hellenic for Oxon, Swindon area, West Berks, north Gloucestershire, Hereford & Worcester, the Midland Alliance for Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry and Staffordshire area. And the UCL having all of Leicestershire.
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