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Two problems with the South West Peninsula League Premier division


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I'm still in favour of the "new" league system, but for me there are two fundamental problems:

1) The season is too long.

2) There are not enough clubs.

All this is meaning a lack of midweek football. It feels like months between our evening games (and probably is!)

I mean, what is the point in requiring clubs to spend thousands of pounds on floodlights if they never get to use them?

This lack of evening games must also affect attendances - I know of several fans who used to only come to evening games because of Saturday work or family time.

This fractured season causes fans to lose interest. Supporters are much more likely to come along if games are played on a more regular basis.

I think Phil Hiscox and co do a great job, but I would make the following adjustments: Increase number of clubs to 22 and cut a week off both ends of the season. This would lead to better atmospheres at evening games, increased gates and therefore greater revenue for the clubs.

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It would be good Dan, provided the fixtures are done sensibly. Otherwise you could end up with teams on the periphery of the geographic area (which would include St Blazey and Falmouth, and even more so Penzance when and if they go up) having silly travelling times during the middle of the week, thus making it very awkward for players and supporters alike. Arranging the fixtures for a league season is a real nightmare and the tendency, to make it easier, can be to pretty much replicate the previous season’s but just change some around from home to away etc. and replace relegated teams with the promoted ones. What you don’t want to see is something like Buckland having to play Falmouth on a Wednesday night in December or vice-versa just because that’s the way the fixtures turned out. But overall I think you are right, usually a great atmosphere midweek, especially if the sides are reasonably local to each other (better banter!!).

Regarding adding a couple of teams to the Division, then I think sensibly they would need to come from the West of the area (at the moment there are only 8 Cornish teams in the division and only 2 of those are west of Bodmin) but as Porthleven have already shown, clubs are having to be a bit more prudent and there is a reluctance to commit to the extra expense and travel so I doubt it would happen even if League rules allowed for it.

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In my opinion I think the league will decline even further in the next few years.

Players arent' giong to want to spend 7 hours on a Saturday away from family for £50 or whatever, when they can get the same amount playing for a Combo side or a side in the West Division.

We have to accept that we're in Cornwall and logistically things aren't possible.

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A very good, thoughtful contribution Arlen. It does not automatically follow that mid-week = better attendance, especially in the depths of Winter. As for Bar takings, a Saturday afternoon gives supporters time to drink before and after the game and benefits the Club more on average.

Another consideration is that small band of volunteers who "man the pumps" at every game.Do they want to turn out on a cold December evening?

The comments re the Devon/Cornwall split is also very pertinent, with the imbalance throwing up too many unattractive fixtures.

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Guest The Judge aka RED OR DEAD

I can add a 3rd problem to the list of things wrong with the Prem Div, It dosn't have NEWQUAY in it........... YET !

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Dan, can you understand why clubs West of Truro though don't want to be in the new league?

Porthleven to Newquay is an hour drive alone, then add Collumpton and wherever else East of Launceston on top of that, you have a hell of a journey for the club. I would have thought that most supporters of clubs would love to see their side in the Premier League, but what about the players? The majority of the day away from their families for the same amount of money that they could get in the West Division or the Combo league. I expect those at the age of 20 and under would be up for it, but the older ones, won't be interested.

Have a look at Perranporth's side, nearly all of them could be playing in the higher league! ask yourself why they aren't

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Dan, can you understand why clubs West of Truro though don't want to be in the new league?

Porthleven to Newquay is an hour drive alone, then add Collumpton and wherever else East of Launceston on top of that, you have a hell of a journey for the club. I would have thought that most supporters of clubs would love to see their side in the Premier League, but what about the players? The majority of the day away from their families for the same amount of money that they could get in the West Division or the Combo league. I expect those at the age of 20 and under would be up for it, but the older ones, won't be interested.

Have a look at Perranporth's side, nearly all of them could be playing in the higher league! ask yourself why they aren't

I thought Penzance were showing ambition for the premier division this time around. Or has this faded now?

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I've just had a look at Tony Kempster's site to see if our travelling really is THAT bad compared to other step six leagues.

In the SWPL Premier, over the course of a season the most distance travelled by any team is Falmouth Town with 1,360 miles. The least is Plymouth Parkway with 573. The overall average for all teams in the division is 787 miles.

In Western One, the most out-of-the-way team is Elmore who travel 1,329 miles. Keynsham Town travel just 458, and the average is 684.

In Wessex one, the most travelled by any team is 960 and the least 542. The average is 750

NWCL one: High: 1,755 (a lot further than Falmouth or indeed Penzance would have to travel!!), Low: 553. Ave: 801

NCEL 1: High: 1,236, Low: 548, Ave: 764

Eastern Counties 1: Average 880.

So we can see that our travelling really isn't all that different to other step six leagues.

Love it or hate it, the SWPL is here to stay. I don't play, but if I did, I know I'd want to play at the highest level possible.

Is a couple of hour trip to Cullompton really that bad??

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Guest Sport Lover

Why do football players think travelling a couple of hours is a bad thing? A lot of other sports you have to do this to get a descent game.

The two sports I know about are hockey and Table Tennis. In my hockey career we travelled all over the south west and as we moved up the leagues, we then went to Cardiff, Swindon, Bristol etc etc. In my county career we travelled to Portsmouth, Newcastle, Ipswich, Sheffield, Peterborough, Oxford etc etc. Two years ago we, (Cornwall), played in the county championships at Portsmouth where we played 4 games in a weekend and then qualfied for the national finals which were held in Sheffield!

Why do a lot of football players think so differently?

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Cos there is money involved in football Sport Lover. Why would you drive a hundred miles to play a game of football and get £50, when you can drive 10 miles and get £50? Whilst the money is there, players aren't going to be driven to play at the highest level.

What do you acheive by doing it??

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By playing at the higher level, pushing yourself to your ability?

or is it all big fish in little pond syndrome?

What do you get out of it though??? take the money away and perhaps players might do it. Whilst the money is there, they won't. I know you got your hockey, but there's no comparison to it at all

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Bring back the old South Western League,I say !

Do you mean when teams like Appledore, Clyst and D. & C. Police were in it? :D

Brilliant!!

Didn't clubs like Newton Abbot Spurs, Torquay, Okehampton and Barnstaple used to have teams in the south western league as well?

I bet it was a lot more costly and time-consuming travelling to East and North Devon in those days.

Step six clubs all over the country frequently travel two to three hours to play (both Saturday and midweek), so why should we be any different?

St Darren, it's not all about the money, some still play for a thing called "the love of the game".

Do we really want to go back to an unofficial step seven league off the radar drafting in teams like Goonhavern to try to develop the league? I don't!

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Guest Man on the Post

Well said Dan.

Back in the fifties players travelled quite a long way without the benefit of bypasses, dual carriageways or the Tamar Bridge! Stop moaning about travelling and just get on with it. :SM_carton_y:

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I must admit from a supporters point of view, you cant beat a decent mid week trip. I hope we get to visit the likes of Buckland under floodlights....and even Torpoint now. Its always a different atmosphere and a couple hours drive is nothing. All the rubbish and about travelling is just nonsence. :blink:

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Guest The Judge aka RED OR DEAD

St Darren keeps going on about £50 a game. Not too many in Div 1 West will get anything like that, perhaps at PZ, and as far as the Combo goes, is it only Perranporth who pay silly money ?

If a player wants to play for a club and loves the game (as I beleive all players do), then he will do so regardless of the 'expenses' offered and the distances involved. Nothing like a good overnight stay in Torquay on a Sat night for a bit of player bonding.

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How many 'PLAYERS' have you spoken to that wouldn't want to play at a higher level? From what I can see it's the 'CLUBS' that are moaning about the travelling.

For me, I want to play at the highest level I can whether I get paid or not. Travelling is not an issue as I live for Saturday and FOOTBALL!!

It should be called Footballday anyway and made law that a man will not take any stick from nagging wives/girlfriends about spending Footballday playing/watching football!!

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Spider, I appreciate what you're saying, can I assume that you live in the East of the County?

What I'm saying is that, there are probably a fair few players that might work on Saturday morning, be it building, leccy work, delivery work, if they had to leave at 11am to go from West Cornwall to East Devon then they're going to lose out on money. Unfortunatly if clubs down here want to progress then they're more than likely going to have to offer better "expenses"

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Dan Blazey

i wouldnt believe all you read on Tony Kempsters site he has Witheridge to Falmouth at 101 miles and Cullompton to Falmouth at 113 Miles even though we are 15 miles further on than Cullompton. He also has Witheridge to Cullompton at 22 Miles but it's only 15. As for the travelling side we at Witheridge are just happy to be part of the Premier Division and would travel with our Bus of supporters to the far reaches of Cornwall every week if the league was full of sides from West Cornwall and apart from Falmouth we do the most travelling in the Premier.

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NDD,

thanks for that - will bear it in mind, although I still think it's good as a rough guide. Hopefully you'll bring a fair few down to Blaise Park next month!

Mike, got to say I can't blame anyone for wanting to Withy go via Tiverton - looks an awkward place to get to! My instinct would be to come off at Okehampton and find my way across country, more or less directly.

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Bring back the old South Western League,I say !

Do you mean when teams like Appledore, Clyst and D. & C. Police were in it? :D

Brilliant!!

Didn't clubs like Newton Abbot Spurs, Torquay, Okehampton and Barnstaple used to have teams in the south western league as well?

I bet it was a lot more costly and time-consuming travelling to East and North Devon in those days.

Step six clubs all over the country frequently travel two to three hours to play (both Saturday and midweek), so why should we be any different?

St Darren, it's not all about the money, some still play for a thing called "the love of the game".

Do we really want to go back to an unofficial step seven league off the radar drafting in teams like Goonhavern to try to develop the league? I don't!

only a tosspot would make a comment like that!Goonhavern won the league they where in to earn the right to take there place in the swpl i would love to see how long your team survived in the top league without a penny spent on players!but then its not to hard to imagine considering your team does nothing since your big money players deserted you and left you as nothing more than a mediorcre team that bangs on about past glory that you achieved by having the biggest amount of cash to throw around!!!

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