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David187

Not enough players to go around !!!

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Been down way down west at the weekend visiting a friend (who is a keen local football follower) and one thing he was saying was how in west cornwall there seems to be a real shortage of players and it seems to get worse the further you go down, it is a real worry when these smaller (restricted catchment area) clubs start struggling to put teams out as you have to fear for thier existence, the main example he mentioned was the St Just and Pendeen teams as they both manage to field Combination teams every year but has heard that this could be the hardest year ever for both Clubs ! I hope this is not the case as we want to see all our local Clubs thrive not struggle 

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3 hours ago, David187 said:

Been down way down west at the weekend visiting a friend (who is a keen local football follower) and one thing he was saying was how in west cornwall there seems to be a real shortage of players and it seems to get worse the further you go down, it is a real worry when these smaller (restricted catchment area) clubs start struggling to put teams out as you have to fear for thier existence, the main example he mentioned was the St Just and Pendeen teams as they both manage to field Combination teams every year but has heard that this could be the hardest year ever for both Clubs ! I hope this is not the case as we want to see all our local Clubs thrive not struggle 

One of my concerns is that clubs don’t do enough to actually recruit players. You don’t see many posts on social media from these clubs actually trying to find players.

I run the Trelawny League Page - I put a plea out last week trying to get people to share a status so that I can attract players to play in our Flexible Football League. It got shared 8 times... not once by a club page! That’s 8 people from the 2454 people that saw the post! 

The best way to reach people/players these days is by Social Media - I follow the majority of our local clubs on Facebook and it is extremely rare that I see any of the clubs making a public plea for players. Even the teams who were struggling to field teams last season made no such plea on their own social media pages! I find that bonkers.

All clubs down in the West should be sharing my posts regarding the Flexi League and all of the players and club volunteers should be spreading the word. Why, I hear you ask... because these guys that I hope to get into the Flexi League will hopefully enjoy it. They will enjoy playing football and this would be what was needed to convince them to join a Saturday side. By them enjoying the football and thus joining a Saturday side, that is an extra player for a team! He may then get some mates playing, which would again boost numbers at these teams. Have I seen anyone other than myself actively promoting the Flexi League? Nope. That bothers me because it was a success last season; it  attracted 103 players that weren’t registered to a Saturday side! I’ve already seen a couple of those players register for a Trelawny side this season! That’s what it’s about!

Everyone involved in football can see that there is a shortage of players and volunteers, yet very few are actively trying to help fix the problem - and that’s the struggle that I face in my attempt to recruit players. One voice alone can not be heard by many, however a number of voices can!

Let's get people playing again Cornwall 👌

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It is obvious why clubs don't advertise on social media for players or very few do. They don't want people to know they are in trouble plus most club social network groups are their own players and supporters. They feel it is like already preaching to the converted. 

We need to break the taboo of clubs advertising for players. They think that if theY advertise then they won't get new players as they think potential players won't climb aboard a sinking ship. It only works if you get a group of mates want to swap clubs as they then will know some players there. 

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5 hours ago, cornishteddyboy said:

It is obvious why clubs don't advertise on social media for players or very few do. They don't want people to know they are in trouble plus most club social network groups are their own players and supporters. They feel it is like already preaching to the converted. 

We need to break the taboo of clubs advertising for players. They think that if the advertise then they won't get new players as they think potential players won't climb aboard a sinking ship. It only works if you get a group of mates want to swap clubs as they then will know some players there. 

It's always been a problem - one player wants a change and his mates follow him. Good for one club, not the other. It doesn't happen so much higher up the leagues, but Combo and below, every now and then it happens. Frustrating for managers and supporters alike.

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This problem is not unique to the South West . I've bored  forum readers to tears with my postings about the serious problems in Norfolk . As regards the anti social , sorry I meant to say social media aspect , about 5 years ago I sat through a bewildering hour at an F.A. meeting , listening to a young man ( are we still allowed to say that ?) explaining that the answers to all the problems was the use of social media  . I must be honest it bored me to tears , there's a limit to the amount of times I can hear " like "  in a talk , however he stated that the use of it had increased the amount of teams in his league by 6  for the forthcoming season . He was a clever speaker because it turned out that the 6 new teams had all been poached from the 2 neighbouring counties , a fact he didn't mention . 5 seasons on , that   particular league is now struggling to survive . Also since that time 2 other leagues have disappeared and 2 of the remaining  5 Saturday leagues will in all likelihood be absorbed into the other 3 next season . From this we can deduce that  his idea didn't solve the problem .

I think that in theory the use of social media appears to be a good idea . But you have to ask yourself , if a person is keen to play and is reliable he or she will look for a team . In my experience a person who has to be encouraged to play by this means isn't usually reliable  or that keen .

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We all have to face facts, the interest in football, and a lot of physical participation  sports is declining.

There are so many other things that the youngsters can do today, things that we never had, things that do not require effort !!!!!

It is the same in the working world, no-one wants to be a block layer, chippie, plumber and so on, they go to uni and study all manner of nonsense.

And as for supporting football ....that is done through the TV, every match and kick is shown from all over the world, the mystery is gone.

And it is going to continue in decline for a good few years yet.

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It seems like when a player leaves the game it's hard to get them back. Not helped by poor organisation by the league's. For instance last season the Trelawney league fixture secretary deciding on an all time low for mid week games at the start of the season, then deciding (without consulting the clubs) to cancel all cup competitions. Meaning that all but 2 or 3 clubs per division having nothing to play for with 15 games to go, strange decision when every other league in Cornwall managed to fulfil their fixtures. 

Another problem is the harsh penalties for clubs unable to field a team. Clubs were expected to play 3 games per week at the end of the season & were fined & deducted points, meaning even less of an incentive to keep the team going. I think the league's need to take responsibility and realise it's not all about them.

Then we have the new idea of players needing to have an Id card in junior football, so instead of just signing your name at pre season, you now need to bring a photo of yourself, some photo id (which lots of people don't have), answer emails (some people don't have an email address or know how to use a computer for that matter). All of these ideas will reduce player participation. 

Also I've noticed that we never see adverts in the West Briton like we did 15 years ago. Ie "training starts July 1st at local playing field, two teams in combo & Trelawney prem, old & new players welcome". Doesn't take long to sort.

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22 hours ago, Roy D said:

It seems like when a player leaves the game it's hard to get them back. Not helped by poor organisation by the league's. For instance last season the Trelawney league fixture secretary deciding on an all time low for mid week games at the start of the season, then deciding (without consulting the clubs) to cancel all cup competitions. Meaning that all but 2 or 3 clubs per division having nothing to play for with 15 games to go, strange decision when every other league in Cornwall managed to fulfil their fixtures. 

Another problem is the harsh penalties for clubs unable to field a team. Clubs were expected to play 3 games per week at the end of the season & were fined & deducted points, meaning even less of an incentive to keep the team going. I think the league's need to take responsibility and realise it's not all about them.

Then we have the new idea of players needing to have an Id card in junior football, so instead of just signing your name at pre season, you now need to bring a photo of yourself, some photo id (which lots of people don't have), answer emails (some people don't have an email address or know how to use a computer for that matter). All of these ideas will reduce player participation. 

Also I've noticed that we never see adverts in the West Briton like we did 15 years ago. Ie "training starts July 1st at local playing field, two teams in combo & Trelawney prem, old & new players welcome". Doesn't take long to sort.

Just to get a few things clear here...

It’s all well and good blaming the Trelawny FIxtures Secretary for the fixturimg last season; but he couldn’t help most of what happened. It was his first season in the seat having never done the role before. It wasn’t him that pissed on every pitch for hours on end each day that caused them to waterlog. It wasn’t him that said the teams couldn’t play midweek at the start - a lot of teams said they couldn’t play. As for the cup competitions, despite being a league officer, I was critical of how the league went about cancelling the cups. It could have been done in a much better way. Lesson learnt there. However, it was obvious that cancelling the cups was the correct decision considering that league games were still being played on the days leading up to the end of the season. There were no complaints at the AGM which showed that the teams supported the decision, although they did state the way in which it was done wasn’t the best. Again, that lesson has been learnt.

I proposed a rule change this year suggesting that if a club fails to raise a team on its first occasion, the financial penalty be £0. This was rejected by the clubs. A financial penalty is a deterrent. The clubs realise that, hence the rejection.

The photo ID checks, I believe are only being done by the Trelawny League. It takes a moment to upload a photo and with 99% of the population now having a smartphone with a camera, it’s easy. Again, 99% of the population have an email address so to sign for a club via email is extremely practical as well as money saving (paper). It makes transfers much easier aswell. ID checks - if teams were honest and played players legally and in accordance with league rules, there’d be no need for ID checks. A lot of youngsters these days get their provisional driving license and passports when they can, so ID checks have actually been pretty good thus far (350 registered), only two people have had to use the last resort option - birth certificate. The ID checks and photos are also not an annual check - there’s five years between checks.

The Trelawny League are moving forward with the times faster than any other league in Cornwall, maybe even the country. We are using technology even more these days because that is the way the world is evolving. The Combination league teams still have to send teamsheets in the post - ask their member clubs what they would rather do.

Its also massively important to mention that the support network that I have put in place for our clubs is second to none. I’ve hosted drop in sessions, presentation evenings, online Facebook live demos; I’ve created step by steps, easy to follow documents and been available to answer calls, texts and emails 14 hours a day. The clubs voted unanimously to go this way and after the hard work is done this season (uploading photos, updating profiles etc), the registration process will literally take three clicks for the administrators and players next season. 

Im not sure if you've seen any of the presentations or paid any interest in the Whole Game Registration System itself; if you haven’t, give me a call sometime and I’ll run through it with you. It’s a great system once you get the hang of it (it doesn’t take long).

 

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1 hour ago, Dave Bartlam said:

Just to get a few things clear here...

It’s all well and good blaming the Trelawny FIxtures Secretary for the fixturimg last season; but he couldn’t help most of what happened. It was his first season in the seat having never done the role before. It wasn’t him that pissed on every pitch for hours on end each day that causing them to waterlog. It wasn’t him that said the teams couldn’t play midweek at the start - a lot of teams said they couldn’t play. As for the cup competitions, despite being a league officer, I was critical of how the league went about cancelling the cups. It could have been done in a much better way. Lesson learnt there. However, it was obvious that cancelling the cups was the correct decision considering that league games were still being played on the days leading up to the end of the season. There were no complaints at the AGM which showed that the teams supported the idea, although they did state the way in which it was done wasn’t the best. Again, that lesson has been learnt.

I proposed a rule change this year suggesting that if a club fails to raise a team on its first occasion, the financial penalty be £0. This was rejected by the clubs. A financial penalty is a deterrent. He clubs realise that, hence the rejection.

The photo ID checks, I believe are only being done by the Trelawny League. It takes a moment to upload a photo and with 99% of the population now having a smartphone with a camera, it’s easy. Again, 99% of the population have an email address so to sign for a club via email is extremely practical as well as money saving (paper). It makes transfers much easier aswell. ID checks - if teams were honest and played players legally and in accordance with league rules, there’d be no need for ID checks. A lot of youngsters these days get their provisional driving license and passports when they can, so ID checks have actually been pretty good thus far (350 registered), on,y two people have had to use the last resort option - birth certificate. The ID checks and photos are also not an annual check - there’s five years between checks.

The Trelawny League are moving forward with the times faster than any other league in Cornwall, maybe even the country. We are using technology even more these days because that is the way the world is evolving. The Combination league teams still have to send teamsheets in the post - ask their member clubs what they would rather do.

Its also massively important to mention that the support network that I have put in place for our clubs is second to none, I’ve hosted drop in sessions, presentation evenings, online Facebook live demos; I’ve created step by steps, easy to follow documents and been available to answer calls, texts and emails 14 hours a day. The clubs voted unanimously to go this way and after the hard work is done this season (uploading photos, updating profiles etc), the registration process will literally take three clicks for the administrators and players next season. 

Im not sure if you've seen any of the presentations or paid any interest in the Whole Game Registration System itself; if you haven’t, give me a call sometime and I’ll run through it with you. It’s a great system once you get the hang of it (it doesn’t take long).

 

And that is very well said, move with the times because it will not wait for anyone.

The electronic whole game system looks to be a super piece of work, once it is understood, it will be a godsend to clubs and officers.....just embrace it, secretaries will eventually love it.

 

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Problem that is not exclusive to football. For example, my home town of Liskeard (where my parents and brother still live), used to be able to field three rugby fifteens on a Saturday, now they struggle to get one side out, and the cricket club is on the brink of folding all together due to a lack of numbers. Perfect storm of reasons including people now having to work Saturdays, their partner having to work so creating childcare responsibilities on weekends, people getting fed up with the poor facilities on offer (the changing rooms and pitches are continually getting worse on local authority park pitches)greater options of activities in their free time, the sheer expense of the travel and kit required for those playing for clubs that don't pay "expenses"and (a large factor) around 50% of young people moving away from the area to go to university and many never returning. I suspect this last reason has decimated the available numbers in rural areas.

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13 hours ago, Way Of The Park said:

Problem that is not exclusive to football. For example, my home town of Liskeard (where my parents and brother still live), used to be able to field three rugby fifteens on a Saturday, now they struggle to get one side out, and the cricket club is on the brink of folding all together due to a lack of numbers. Perfect storm of reasons including people now having to work Saturdays, their partner having to work so creating childcare responsibilities on weekends, people getting fed up with the poor facilities on offer (the changing rooms and pitches are continually getting worse on local authority park pitches)greater options of activities in their free time, the sheer expense of the travel and kit required for those playing for clubs that don't pay "expenses"and (a large factor) around 50% of young people moving away from the area to go to university and many never returning. I suspect this last reason has decimated the available numbers in rural areas.

I think you've hit the nail right on the head sir - sadly. But, don't let's give up hope. We must continue to encourage young people, were ever and when ever we can. Sporting competition is healthy and a good character builder, if encouraged and nurtured properly.

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