Casey: let’s make sure it’s game on

Norwich Sunday League, Lakewood Utd(blue) v Hethersett Ath at Longdale, Thorpe Marriott.Picture by S

Norwich Sunday League, Lakewood Utd(blue) v Hethersett Ath at Longdale, Thorpe Marriott.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Norwich Sunday League secretary issues plea to clubs over late call-offs

Norwich's Sunday League players have been urged to do more to ensure games do not have to be called off at the last minute.

Officials of the Norwich Sunday League told last night's annual general meeting of their disappointment that too many clubs were cancelling games due to a lack of players. Club secretaries were told how fixture congestion was so great towards the end of last season that several games were not played as the pitches were no longer available.

Ben Casey, secretary of the Norwich Evening News sponsored league, urged both clubs and players to do more to fulfil their fixtures.

He said: 'While 95pc of the clubs adhere to the rules, I was disappointed by the commitment of some of the sides, including some in the Premier Division, who let themselves down. Too often it seems clubs are let down by their players.'

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He said the league would consider introducing tougher sanctions on clubs if the problem continued.

Casey also told how, despite clubs dropping out of the league, it remained one of the biggest Sunday set-ups in the country, something 'of which to be proud'.

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During 2014/15 11 clubs pulled out of the league, including Premier Division sides Norwich Busmen and Doghouse.

A further 12 clubs have confirmed they will not be re-applying for the new season, however 10 new clubs are due to enter, with four teams moving up from the under 19 leagues, which was only recently introduced.

Casey said: 'This is hopefully helping us to keep players in the game for longer, rather than leave the moment they have finished youth football.'

There will be seven divisions of the adult league. Three leagues are planned at under-19 level, though that may change due to the recent withdrawals by Beccles Town and Mundford.

Last year's AGM was notable for the decision, after lengthy debate, of clubs to go against Norfolk FA's policy of three rolling substitutes, instead choosing to have five.

The five rolling substitutes rule will continue into next season.

The adult league will begin on Sunday, September 6 and the under-19s a week after.


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