NOTTINGHAM SFA NEWS
It has been a difficult January for the Nottingham Schools’ Football Association. Out of ten possible representative fixtures so far this month only two have been played. This has been as a result of a combination of very wet weather added to difficulties experienced by intended opponents.
The difficulties and problems surrounding representative football are causing fixture lists to be reduced and several Associations are not running the traditional age groups, which mean it becomes difficult to find opponents for the number of matches which would make a satisfactory season.
Last Saturday’s matches home and away for all four City teams were victims of the weather and this is always going to be a potential problem in any season. Looking back at the records confirms what we would assume, namely that this is by no means the worst season for weather affected matches. Reports from the mid eighties indicate that the fixture list was blighted by such difficulties.
The problems come when other considerations are added to this. In the past, the teachers’ pay dispute was a further complication but this was more of a problem for the individual schools’ competitions; the representative programme of matches carried on. Currently the complications are potentially more serious and even threaten the existence of area representative football.
There are external pressures over which there seems to be no control or no appetite to confront. Added to this is a reluctance of some players to test themselves at the highest level of competition they could manage which results in representative squads being weaker than they should be. It is to be hoped that these pressures can be overcome so that the valuable work that Nottingham Schools’ Football Association and that of other Associations contributes to the local sports scene can continue.
One game that did beat the weather was played during half-time of Notts County’s match against Walsall. Fernwood School (Wollaton) and Nottingham High School (Junior Section) met in the Notts County Final of the Football in the Community Boys’ Under 11 competition which had earlier been played in three preliminary rounds organised by the City Association. The High School team scored a scrambled effort in the last minute to go through to the next stage of the competition