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Plan to reshuffle junior football in Carlisle

Carlisle's Junior Football League is set for a major reshuffle as it has outgrown itself.

Jim Hunter, chairman of the league’s management committee, confirmed proposals to restructure the league are being discussed.

There are currently up to 3,500 children from 25 clubs and 184 teams of various age groups from the Carlisle area and outlying towns and villages competing in the league.

Mr Hunter said none of the teams would be asked to leave but he admitted it has grown too big.

He explained: “We need to speak with all the clubs to work out a strategy to restructure the league and once the changes are in place it will be the best thing for everyone.

“We need to make sure everyone agrees on what needs to be done.”

One of the biggest issues affecting teams is a lack of suitable facilities, Mr Hunter added.

“We are working with the Cumberland FA and the council to try to make things better but we will need everyone’s help to work towards this.

“The league is not unworkable – the problem is that there is a lot of teams and not enough facilities,” he said.

“There are so many competitions that need to take place and we are absolutely deluged.”

Bad weather over the Christmas period has resulted in a huge backlog in fixtures.

It has seen the fixture list “thrown into disarray”, Mr Hunter said, and now there are more teams interested in joining the league.

He added: “We want to accept them but there needs to be a major restructure.

“The league has been running for decades and it has grown massively over that time, which is a positive thing but managing it is getting more and more difficult. We have to restructure the management set up and how the league is being run and why it is being run as it is.”

Have your say

What a load of rubbish blaming it on lack of facilities. There are plenty of facilities just football teams are not utilising them. Why not work with schools / colleges and exchange free pitch hire for coaching at the school / college.
Grassroots football teams have managed for years without 3G pitches, the problem is there are too many win at all costs coaches running todays teams who call off matches when they cant field there strongest team as that would put a dent in Mr coaches ego.

And how a league can say its got to big is beyond a joke. This is what you should of been striving for when the league was formed? Or did you ay right lets form a league and hope we aren't successful because god forbid we get any extra teams playing football!!

Get a grip and do the only thing possible, split the league into regions, this will cut down travel expenses for parents which will make football more accessible to more kids. It will allow the league to continue to grow and it will also allow you to do the right thing for kids and get rid of a 9 month season and allow the mini regions to play in a different short format with the possibility of holding different finals day throughout the year where the teams who finish top 2 in each region go to a mini festival in a central location and play. this could be repeated throughout the different positions i.e 3rd and 4th place teams in each region have a festival, 5th and 6th placed teams another etc. etc.

This way the teams all get to play a lot of games all culminating in a few festivals throughout the year where you are playing teams of your own ability which makes it more enjoyable for kids.

This format should be repeated all over Cumbria and not just in Carlisle. If it was run like this then it would just be the one league with different regions throughout the county, this will make the regions more manageable to run and there is only one central management structure needed for the full county so all the current league resources could be pulled together and run as one rather than as separate entities, this then could be overseen by the Cumberland FA.

Posted by Brian on 29 April 2014 at 09:12

Re; interested observer.....That is a fantastic idea, Physical Eduacation (PE) at School!
Jokes apart though, Clive Briggs has hit the nail on the head in regards the problem.
We have a council that is removing facilities for the youth of the city, and building a plastic (ice!!) rink will hardly solve the problem. That £60K spent on that could have been invested towards a 3G pitch which could be used for a variety of sports.

Posted by John Smith on 25 April 2014 at 14:49

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