Club Friendly Advice

Due to ongoing confusion surrounding applications for Friendly Matches, the Interim Management Group have informed all clubs of the following:

  • Apply for the game via the Scottish FA Club Extranet.
  • If your club is the home team inform the WoSFL IMG Secretary and Disciplinary Secretary of the details of the game
  • If your club is the away team, you only need to inform the WoSFL if your club is playing a team that is NOT a member of the WoSFL
  • If the travelling distance between the two clubs is 25 miles or less, that is all you need to do
  • The Referee Department at the Scottish FA will confirm an appointment
  • Please note that this confirmation only covers the appointment of a Referee. If you haven’t followed the above procedure, it will be rejected
  • If the travelling distance between the two clubs is over 25 miles, please inform the WoSFL of the justification for the match and why it should be approved
  • You will be informed if it is not approved and the Referee Department will be advised to remove the game from their list

Please note that under the present circumstances the deadline for an application to the Referee Department is 48 hours before kick-off, so please send approval requests in well before that to allow the WoSFL IMG to discuss it.

Club Surveys Returned

We are now in a position to bring you an overview of the results from the survey which was sent out to clubs last week.

The answers submitted by clubs were consistent across both tiers and all conferences. The headlines are:

  • Start date – there was no strong consensus for starting on either 10th or 31st October (both options received 49.1% of the vote)
  • Supporters – the lack of access for supporters is naturally a huge issue for clubs in the WoSFL (70% of clubs would not support a return to action without supporters present)

The online meeting with the Scottish FA on Thursday evening confirmed that they are making a case for financial support to the Scottish Government and the WoSFL are party to that. While this is encouraging, there is no official timetable as yet.

So where does this leave us? We are aware that this opens up more discussion and an email regarding all of the information we are releasing to supporters in this release has gone out to clubs this afternoon.

When we have received the timetable and templates from the Scottish FA, we will pass them onto our member clubs.

In terms of a start date, we have proposed to clubs that the league commence no earlier than Saturday 24th October. This will allow time for any financial package details to become clearer, and will also avoid any complications regarding the SoccerShop Challenge Cup, where we have 13 members clubs competing in Round One.

The Interim Management Group are keenly aware that some huge decisions are looming and we believe it is vital that our clubs are at the heart of that. We will seek to update you again as soon as we have more information.

West of Scotland Football League Interim Management Group

Club Restart Survey Issued

As mentioned on social media and our releases yesterday, each club has now received a link to complete a survey on key issues which may arise during the course of the 2020/21 West of Scotland Football League season.

The idea behind this survey is to ascertain the ability of member clubs to return to play competitive football if and when the Scottish FA/Scottish Government permit us to do so and to provide their opinions on various other key questions throughout the rest of the season.

We believe that supporters should be aware of the kind of questions that the survey asks clubs.

  • Does the club anticipate applying for a SFA National Club Licence by February 2021?
  • What date do you think the league season should start? 10th October or 31st October
  • Would the club support a return to competitive football if spectators are not permitted?
  • If the decision is taken to start the season with no spectators, what would be an acceptable period of time (in weeks) for the club to continue without gate receipts and other associated income?
  • If access to changing rooms is permitted, given the current 2m distancing guidance, is the club able to meet this requirement at their home ground?
  • Do you have access to additional changing facilities, eg. a leisure centre or school that would allow the club to meet these requirements?
  • Are the club’s players willing to return home immediately after matches without access to showering and changing facilities?

The views of all West of Scotland Football League clubs will be taken into consideration and will guide the Interim Management Group in future deliberations to ensure that our season is able to begin safely and that all clubs are in a position to compete.

Opening Day Fixtures

We are pleased to be able to release fixtures for Matchday 1 in the West of Scotland Football League!

These fixtures will hopefully supporters and clubs something to get excited about while we await polling results from clubs about the season start date, at which point we will be in a position to issue our full fixture list.

Premier Division

MATCHDAY 1

GROUP 1GROUP 2
Auchinleck Talbot vs Irvine Meadow XIPollok vs Beith Juniors
Blantyre Victoria vs Bonnyton ThistleKilwinning Rangers vs Cumbernauld United
Clydebank vs Kilbirnie LadesideRossvale vs Cumnock Juniors
Glenafton Athletic vs Largs ThistleRutherglen Glencairn vs Hurlford United
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy vs BenburbTroon vs Darvel

Conference A

MATCHDAY 1

GROUP 1GROUP 2
Craigmark Burntonians vs MaryhillArthurlie vs Lugar Boswell Thistle
Forth Wanderers vs Irvine VictoriaBellshill Athletic vs Whitletts Victoria
Glasgow University vs Shotts Bon AccordLesmahagow Juniors vs Johnstone Burgh
Maybole vs GirvanSaltcoats Victoria vs Muirkirk Juniors

Conference B

MATCHDAY 1

GROUP 1GROUP 2
Annbank United vs Kello RoversArdeer Thistle vs Gartcairn
Carluke Rovers vs Cambuslang RangersDalry Thistle vs Port Glasgow Juniors
Renfrew vs ShettlestonNewmains United vs Ashfield
St. Cadoc’s vs Thorniewood UnitedRoyal Albert vs Greenock Juniors

Conference C

MATCHDAY 1

GROUP 1GROUP 2
Neilston vs WishawEast Kilbride Thistle vs Glasgow Perthshire
Petershill vs Larkhall ThistleKilsyth Rangers vs Drumchapel United
Vale of Clyde vs Ardrossan Winton RoversSt. Roch’s vs St. Anthony’s
Yoker Athletic IDLELanark United vs Vale of Leven

All kick offs are 2pm unless otherwise stated.

Division Structures for 2020/21

Since the WoSFL Interim Management Group was set-up, we have been assessing the situation regarding the forthcoming season.

On the basis that there is still a high probability of disruption to the season, we believe it is important to put in place an alternative to a normal season of Home and Away fixtures.

As such, we have restructured the way we organise our season to give the WoSFL the best possible chance of a season that is competitive, worthwhile and workable.

Premier Division

Phase 1

The teams have been split into two groups using last season’s finishing positions based on the Points Per Game formula that was used to declare League winners in the West Region SJFA.

The 20 teams into two groups of ten. Groundsharing teams are not in the same group, with a view to ensuring no home clashes.

The groups are below…

Group AGroup B
Auchinleck TalbotKilwinning Rangers
Glenafton AthleticPollok
Irvine Meadow XIBeith Juniors
Kilbirnie LadesideHurlford United
ClydebankCumnock Juniors
Largs ThistleRossvale
BenburbTroon
Kirkintilloch Rob RoyRutherglen Glencairn
Bonnyton ThistleCumbernauld United
Blantyre VictoriaDarvel

Phase 2

A draw will be made to set out the teams to play a further ten games, with each team getting five home games and five away games against the teams that they haven’t played so far.

Promotion and relegation would remain as before with three teams coming up from the Conferences and seven going down from the Premier Division.

The aim would be to complete Phase 1. Teams in both Groups playing 9H & 9A each = 18 games. We then start Phase 2, which is an inter-group campaign of a further ten games (5H & 5A) for each team.

Total games for each team is 28.

Conferences

Phase 1

The teams are split into groups using last seasons finishing positions based on the Points Per Game formula that was used to declare League winners in the West Region SJFA and also using the ‘Serpentine’ method originally used in positioning the teams into the Conferences.

The sixteen teams are placed into two groups of eight (as shown below). Groundsharing teams have not been placed in the same group, to ensure no home clashes.

Conference A

Group 1Group 2
Shotts Bon AccordArthurlie
Craigmark BurntoniansWhitletts Victoria
Irvine VictoriaLesmahagow
GirvanBellshill Athletic
MaryhillJohnstone Burgh
Forth WanderersMuirkirk Juniors
Maybole JuniorsSaltcoats Victoria
Glasgow UniversityLugar Boswell Thistle

Conference B

Group 1Group 2
RenfrewDalry Thistle
Cambuslang RangersGartcairn
ShettlestonPort Glasgow
Carluke RoversGreenock Juniors
Kello RoversRoyal Albert
Thorniewood UnitedAshfield
Annbank UnitedNewmains United
St Cadoc’sArdeer Thistle

Conference C

Group 1Group 2
NeilstonKilsyth Rangers
PetershillSt. Roch’s
Ardrossan Winton RoversLanark United
Larkhall ThistleGlasgow Perthshire
WishawEast Kilbride Thistle
Yoker AthleticVale of Leven
Vale of ClydeSt. Anthony’s
Drumchapel United

Phase 2

Each team from Group 1 would play each Team from Group 2 once only.

4 Home + 4 Away.
Total Games now = 22
Conference C Group 1 = 20
Conference C Group 2 = 21

Phase 3

Reverse of fixtures from Phase 2
Total Games (Conference A & B) = 30 games
Conference C Group 1 & 2 = 28 Games

Also as notified, we will issue a poll to clubs tomorrow to get their input on important matters relating to the new season, including the start date. We will decide what we plan to do regarding these issues when we have feedback from our clubs.

TheSoccerShop Challenge Cup Draw!

The draw for the First and Second Rounds of TheSoccerShop Challenge Cup was just made. The full draw is below!

(West of Scotland Football League clubs are in bold because… well… that’s a lot of fixtures!)

FIRST ROUND

Pollok v Tranent
Thornton Hibs v Rutherglen Glencairn
Dunbar United v Drumchapel United
Vale of Clyde v East Kilbride Thistle
Maybole Juniors v Vale of Leven
Easthouses Lily v Larkhall Thistle
Carluke Rovers v Kilbirnie Ladeside
Irvine Victoria v St Anthony’s
Sauchie v Kilwinning Rangers
Threave Rovers v Ormiston
Jeanfield Swifts v Lochgelly Albert
Bonnyrigg Rose v Newtongrange Star
Broxburn Athletic v Creetown
Spartans v Kinnoul

SECOND ROUND

Craigmark Burtonians v Bonnyton Thistle
Greenock Juniors v Vale of Clyde/East Kilbride Thistle
Johnstone Burgh v Maryhill
Ardeer Thistle v Pollok/Tranent
Glenafton Athletic v Neilston
Royal Albert v Wigtown & Bladnoch
Shettleston v Shotts Bon Accord
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale v Dalry Thistle
Cumnock Juniors v Wishaw Juniors
Glenrothes v St. Cadoc’s
Hurlford United v Civil Service Strollers
Darvel v Easthouses Lily/Larkhall
Kelty Hearts v Auchinleck Talbot
Ardrossan Winton Rovers v University of Stirling
Luncarty v Whitletts Victoria
Glasgow Perthshire v Petershill
Thornton/Rutherglen Glencairn v Nithsdale Wanderers
Eyemouth United v Muirkirk Juniors
Edinburgh United v Arthurlie
Newmains United v Edinburgh University
Edinburgh South v Blantyre Victoria
Troon v Preston Athletic
Kilsyth Rangers v Rossvale
Gartcairn v Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts
Broxburn/Creetown v Irvine Meadow XI
Irvine Victoria/St. Anthony’s v East Kilbride
Glasgow University v Hill of Beath Hawthorn
Thorniewood United v Craigroyston
Renfrew v Bonnyrigg Rose/Newtongrange
Saltcoats Victoria v Lochore Welfare
Musselburgh Athletic v Benburb
Gala Fairydean Rovers v Sauchie/Kilwinning Rangers
Kennoway Star Hearts v St. Roch’s
Dundonald Bluebell v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy
Annbank United v Maybole Juniors/Vale of Leven
Newton Stewart v Yoker Athletic
Linlithgow Rose v Kello Rovers
Largs Thistle v Dalbeattie Star
Lugar Boswell Thistle v Lochar Thistle
Cambuslang Rangers v Girvan
Lesmahagow Juniors v Port Glasgow Juniors
Lanark United v Ashfield
Bellshill Athletic v Cumbernauld United
Whitehill Welfare v Carluke Rovers/Kilbirnie Ladeside
Beith Juniors v Clydebank
Heriot-Watt University v Dunbar/Drumchapel United
Forth Wanderers v Threave Rovers/Ormiston
Blackburn United v Newburgh
Gretna 2008 v Penicuik Athletic
St Andrews United v Hawick Royal Albert United
Haddington Athletic v Abbey Vale
Upper Annandale v Berwick Rangers
Vale of Leithen v Heston Rovers
Jeanfield Swifts/Lochgelly v Caledonian Braves
Dalkeith Thistle v BSC Glasgow
East Stirlingshire v Spartans/Kinnoul
Rosyth v Camelon
Peebles Rovers v Oakley United
Dunipace v Mid Annandale
Coldstream v Crossgates Primrose
Bo’ness United v Burntisland Shipyard
Lochmaben v Kirkcaldy & Dysart
St Cuthbert Wanderers v Tynecastle
Leith Athletic v Tweedmouth Rangers

SoccerShop Direct Cup Draw Tomorrow

Draws for the First and Second rounds of TheSoccerShop Challenge Cup (for Lowland, East of Scotland, South of Scotland and West of Scotland league clubs) will be made online this Saturday 5th September from 12 noon.

Check out the listing below the 142 clubs involved. There are 14 ties & 114 byes in the First Round, and 64 ties in the Second Round!

Restart Update (27th August)

A productive and informative meeting was held on Tuesday morning between the Scottish FA, SLFL, SHFL, EoSFL, SoSFL, WoSFL and Affiliated National Associations.

Clubs have been reminded of the importance of the new Covid Officer role and the need to maintain the basic hygiene rules which are still 100% in place.

The indicative date for a decision on “local” friendlies is 11th September, with effective date of 14th September. All friendly game requests must be approved by relevant organisation prior to taking place. Guidelines in respect of what “local” means will be issued shortly.

We are now in process of agreeing the match day protocols around these games. Once agreed they will be issued to explain the detail and the absolute necessity to follow these to the letter.

There will be a validation process – basically clubs will need to be approved to play these games. There are major issues around the use of changing rooms and the question of spectators has still to be addressed.

We have also agreed a provisional start date for competitive matches of 10th October and fixtures will now be compiled. As ever this is subject to any changes in the overall picture.

However , the main message from the meeting is to remind everyone that we are in first instance dealing with a public health issue, with legal ramifications and then mandatory football protocols, all of which need to be followed.

We can get our game back, which will be very different, at least in the short term, and we all need to work together to achieve this.

Pyramid Restart Group

Restart Update (11th July)

We are pleased to be able to bring you a further update with regard to West of Scotland Football League clubs resuming training.

The link below connects you to the Scottish FA Phase 3 guidelines for Adult Football (18 + Years Old), which applies to our Clubs. Whilst most welcome, this does not mean simply restarting training from Monday 13 July. There are numerous protocols in the guidelines that must be in place before any return to training.  

PHASE 3 RETURN TO TRAINING GUIDELINES

Firstly,  where Personal Accident Insurance cover is not in place, training cannot restart. Also, each WoSFL Club will need to ensure the facility that they use, particularly if it is not their own, meets all the requirements laid out in the document.

Like yourselves, we have only just seen the update and we will communicate further with Clubs on Monday to give the information we require. We must all work together on this to keep everyone safe.

Bottom line, we are now seeing some real progress. All going well, we will aim for a restart from Monday 20th July for those Clubs that have confirmed and provided evidence that they have all the relevant safety protocols in place. 

Pyramid Restart Group

Restart Update (8th July)

The Lowland/East/South/West Pyramid Restart group had its first online meeting last week.

The meeting was very worthwhile and progress has been made in our joint preparations for the expected restart of training and playing. The headlines are:  

Training and Playing

We are hoping to restart training in August and playing from last Saturday in September or first Saturday in October. These are only indicative dates for now, they will be confirmed or otherwise in line with Scottish Government/ Scottish FA instructions. You will hear as soon as we have anything definite to tell you.  

Fixtures

Outline plans are being drawn up and all Clubs will be asked to complete a Facility Survey to inform the schedule and capacity number for spectators, if and when these are allowed at games. We expect the survey to be ready by next weekend.  

Protocols

These are being worked on for both training and playing and will be modified as the lockdown phases progress. They will be available as restrictions are modified, based on the information we receive.  

Scottish Football Association

We have been in discussions and expressed our disappointment at the lack of information and practical support, including finance, for our semi-professional level of the game.  We have a meeting scheduled with the Scottish FA and will keep you posted on the outcome of those discussions.

What Happens Right Now?

In the meantime, all clubs will continue to observe Scottish Government guidelines which means no training or matches can take place until formally advised.

To do otherwise would be illegal, contravene a Scottish FA Board directive, not be covered by insurance and could result in disciplinary action, and result in the restart at semi-professional level being further delayed.