Staffordshire County Senior League

Chairman's Update

League Statement

The SCSL wish to thank all our Clubs, match officials and spectators for making possible a return to playing football during September. All of our clubs have successfully started their season, which is some achievement given the issues we have faced.

But we still face major challenges and following a review of the games played in September, taking on board feedback from clubs and match officials, the SCSL instructs all our clubs to ensure the following with immediate effect;

Changing Rooms

Where changing rooms are made available then they MUST be used in accordance with the Risk Assessment of the home club and MUST ensure the following;
– that available changing facilities are shared equally between the home and away teams. For example, it is neither fair or reasonable for changing facilities to be made available for the home team only.
– that social distancing guideline within changing rooms are followed at all times
– that changing rooms are not to be used for pre-match, half-time or post-match team meetings/briefings. These must take place on the pitch or other outdoor setting.

Dug Outs and Technical Areas

Dugouts are not to be used and should be taped off. The team manager and physio only should occupy the technical area. Substitutes are to stand behind the barrier (or use seats if provided), ensuring that they maintain social distancing.
As part of their Risk Assessment, some clubs have further restrictions in place for technical areas. These must be adhered too.

Spectators

Spectators are allowed at SCSL matches and their support is welcome. However, to ensure the safety of participants and spectators, guidelines regarding social distancing must be followed at all times, which includes discreet groups of no more than six people situated around the pitch. Spectators must not be allowed to congregate around changing rooms or technical areas.

We must not allow all the hard work we have done in getting us this far to be undone. Local Authorities are quite rightly monitoring the situation and clubs could be visited their officers at any time. In addition, the SCSL will not hesitate to suspend fixtures of any clubs which do not adhere to their own Risk Assessments or the additional instructions above.


September Update

Return to Grassroots Football
I did not want to write this update until it actually happened; but competitive football returned to the SCSL with eight fixtures in the Premier Division to start the 2020/21 season. Its been a long wait with plenty of uncertainty but our Clubs have worked hard to ensure that they comply with the new guidance.

But we have to be mindful that we are still in a Pandemic and we are nowhere near being back to what we would recognise as normal. Football is part of the local community and we need to continue to make sure that we keep players, team officials, match officials and spectators safe.

Dennis Vickers
Like so many in the football community I am still reeling from the shock of the sudden passing of Dennis earlier this week. He served the SCSL for over 20 years in various capacities, most recently as our Fixture Secretary and with all the uncertainty over recent months, it meant that we were in almost daily contact, which included the day we sadly lost him.

I’ve known Dennis for over 30 years and worked closely with him when he was at Norton United and in recent years on the SCSL Committee. Its fair to say that we disagreed with each other more often than not and his straight talking style would have ruled him out from ever being a career Diplomat. But there was tremendous mutual respect and friendship. Dennis was a fantastic football administrator and judging by the messages since his passing, it was obvious that he helped so many people either in sport, as a former school teacher or just as a friend.

The Dennis I knew was a very compassionate man.

Conversations with Dennis usually took the same format and would usually start abruptly with “I have to tell you…..”. That would be the cue to tell all about something or someone, that had fallen below the high standards he expected. And he usually had a point.

We would then move on to “And to be fair….” where he would then tell me about a chat with the person who let him down last week and that all was resolved.

Conversations would always end with a “I’ll have to go….” because that was the thing with Dennis, he usually had somewhere to be. He often spoke warmly about his family; he loved his sport, particularly football & cricket; we spoke about politics but he very much understated the work he did for local charity because I know he raised thousands of pounds over many years.

He will be missed and my thoughts are with Gail, Matt and the rest of his family at this difficult time.

Rest in Peace Dennis

Ross Crawford
Chairman
Staffs County Senior League


The SCSL are delighted to confirm that the 2020/21 season will start as follows

Men Unite Premier Division – Saturday 12 September
Men Unite Division 1 – Saturday 19 September
Men Unite Division 2 – Saturday 19 September

This is subject all member Clubs ensuring the following

  • That a Covid Risk Assessment has been completed
  • That a COVID Officer has been appointed in line with the guidance
  • The affiliation process to the relevant County FA has been completed

12 new applications endorsed for Season 20/21

A fantastic 14 applications from new teams were all accepted by member Clubs. A warm welcome is extended to the following new teams;

AFC Alsager Development
Abbey Hulton United Development
Blurton Reds
Buxton FC Reserves
City of Stoke Reserves
Cresswell Wanderers
Huthman FC
FC41
Foley Development
Milton United Development
Sikh Hunters Development
Stapenhill Swans
Stone Old Alleynians Reserves
Whittington Reserves

With Hilton Harriers & Cannock United deciding to leave with our best wishes, it will mean that 48 teams will compete in the League next season. The Divisional Structure for the new season will be confirmed very soon


Tony Harrison opts for semi retirement

After originally giving notice that he was retiring from the League after 34 years outstanding service, we are delighted to announce that Tony Harrison has opted to extend his career has become a Vice President. Tony is highly respected and without doubt one of the most efficient Registration Secretary’s in grassroots football. His decision to stay on is great news and his experience will be put to good use as the League moves into a new era.


Change at Market Drayton Tigers

Market Drayton Tigers have made the decision to join forces with Wolstanton United of the Premier Division from next season. Wolstanton United Reserves, as they will be known, will continue in Division 1 and play at the same venue at Bradwell Community Centre.


League Fee’s Reduced to NIL for Next Season

In line with its commitment to support member clubs with the implications of the current Covid-19 Pandemic the SCSL Management Committee has confirmed that the Annual League Fee’s for next season will be waived for all current member clubs. This amounts to a financial commitment in excess of £7,000 to be shared amongst our 37 teams and we hope that this provides some relief with the inevitable pressures clubs are facing at this difficult time


The SCSL and Men Unite come together to form a ground-breaking partnership in grassroots football.

We are delighted to announce that Men Unite and the SCSL have joined forces and agreed to work in partnership for the coming season and hopefully for many years to come. The main aim of this partnership will be to raise awareness of mental health wellbeing, particularly for men, amongst who, there as many as 90 suicides each week.

As part of this ground-breaking new partnership, the SCSL are proud to announce that for the coming season our teams will be playing in the following competitions

Men Unite Premier Division
Men Unite Divison One
Men Unite Division Two
Men Unite Challenge Cup

Men Unite was formed in North Staffordshire by guys, who following their own struggles with life, wanted to reach out and get men to open up and talk. They have been fantastically successful in doing that by providing a powerful support network; for example, there is access to a closed

Facebook page with over 12,000 members globally, so that people can share experiences and obtain support

As part of the partnership Men Unite will have their own dedicated page on this Website, which will be regularly updated with news of work that they are doing, the work that we will be doing together, stories of people’s experiences and importantly, where people can get support. 

The SCSL, the most senior grassroots League in Staffordshire have wanted for some time to become more involved within the communities where our teams play. The SCSL are both excited and proud to be joining forces with such a worthwhile organisation as Men Unite.

With 45 teams next season, the SCSL will have well over 1,000 players, then of course there are our club volunteers, League officials and our referees.

All of us at some point have had something to overcome. We are currently living through a pandemic and there will be many of us who have worries about jobs, finances, the wellbeing of family members, home-schooling, relationship problems and many other issues.

It is ok, not to be ok. This partnership will continue to raise awareness of mental wellbeing, that people need to open up and talk to someone; a loved one, a family member, a friend, a work colleague, or someone within the Men Unite network.

Please visit the dedicated Men Unite page on the Website for more information and look out for further updates in the coming weeks


Chairmans Blog

R.Crawford
Chairman