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The Season

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The Season Empty The Season

Post by 2weirdtown Tue Apr 25, 2023 10:33 pm

I see Brighton have 9 league games to play and the Manchester clubs 8.  The Premiership has another month to run.
Why have National league clubs been made to cram their 46 league games in by this coming weekend?
Granted there was a break for the World Cup for the top sides.
I bring this up with Concord Rangers in mind.  It seems to me that making them play up to 3 times a week is playing fast and loose with players health, physical and mental.
I know play offs have to be fitted in but they were only brought in to generate more business (for the few) in the first place.
Given our struggles with injuries this season, I think 46 league games is too many at part time level.
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Post by Colin Voutt Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:35 am

2weirdtown wrote:I see Brighton have 9 league games to play and the Manchester clubs 8.  The Premiership has another month to run.
Why have National league clubs been made to cram their 46 league games in by this coming weekend?
Granted there was a break for the World Cup for the top sides.
I bring this up with Concord Rangers in mind.  It seems to me that making them play up to 3 times a week is playing fast and loose with players health, physical and mental.
I know play offs have to be fitted in but they were only brought in to generate more business (for the few) in the first place.
Given our struggles with injuries this season, I think 46 league games is too many at part time level.

Agree 100%. £££££ is playing to big a part in football - non-league is just shadow of what it use to be.

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Post by Jon_BOA Wed Apr 26, 2023 10:35 am

It's not just an issue for players, I think it is an issue for the fanbase, there have been many times this season where I have dragged myself down to TP as we're playing, but not actually wanted to, and I think even if we'd have been flying (rather than boring me to tears as we were) it would have been too much, we had 7 weeks in a row where we played Saturday Tuesday, no-one wants that much football!

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Post by SteveBradley Wed Apr 26, 2023 4:44 pm

I've always presumed they work backwards from the weekend date that they get Wembley for the Vase and Trophy Fnals, as the finales of the non-league calender. By the time they get the play-offs done before them, they would only allow for at most one more weekend of regular season play ?

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Post by comrade powell Wed Apr 26, 2023 5:31 pm

Jon_BOA wrote:It's not just an issue for players, I think it is an issue for the fanbase, there have been many times this season where I have dragged myself down to TP as we're playing, but not actually wanted to, and I think even if we'd have been flying (rather than boring me to tears as we were) it would have been too much, we had 7 weeks in a row where we played Saturday Tuesday, no-one wants that much football!

Totally agree. When the fixtures were released last summer I was alarmed at the ridiculous number of midweek games and I am still at a loss as to why the NL decided to increase the number of teams at this level. Unless you are an exile living in the south east or are prepared to drive from Bath to the likes of Hemel and Hampton it will be very difficult to return home with public transport. Maybe I’m in a minority but the ‘magic of playing under lights’ has little appeal, especially in sub zero temperatures, while getting into Bath is a real pain on a Tuesday evening due to traffic congestion.

What has made the situation worse was that I remember hearing that several managers disliked playing several midweek games in August annd September and to spread them more over the season. After a fairly severe winter and the fixtures  backlog since Christmas I bet they think differently now.

Possible solutions to the problem…
Return to 22 club divisions
Extend the season into May - there will be the issue of players’ contracts
Get rid of the playoffs - reward the team who finishes runners up rather than giving false hope to such average teams as Braintree or St Albans. As Maidstone have shown, there is a chasm between the NL and this level and clubs finishing as low as seventh are clearly going to ill equipped to survive there.
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Post by Bristol end Wed Apr 26, 2023 7:52 pm

How does 46 league games a season compare with the 1970s & 80's? Presumably there were more local games with Cheltenham, Gloucester, Yeovil, Trowbridge, Weymouth etc that kept the travelling times down.


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Post by comrade powell Wed Apr 26, 2023 8:23 pm

Really good question! I believe this is one of the few seasons when we’ve played as many as 46 league games but with no cup runs to speak of again except for the SPC  there haven’t been many additional matches.

There have of course been seasons with more local games but I’m not sure the distances travelled to away games has been excessive.

Here’s the results from my favourite season…

http://bathcityfcarchive.x10host.com/archive_7778.htm

Some distant away games there - Dover, Hastings while Grantham is a real slog to get to.

Note the extra competitions - floodlight league and league cup are now distant memories and that season we even played European games with a decent FA Cup run to boot! But it appears our league status gave us a bye to the SPC QF. (how about returning to that policy Somerset FA?)

Pitches were far heavier in winter with real dust bowls in the final month.

I don’t remember complaints from clubs or fans about too many games but of course it was a different era. As Colin implies, non league football is a very different animal these days. I know which era I prefer.
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Post by Luton Roman Wed Apr 26, 2023 8:52 pm

comrade powell wrote:Really good question! I believe this is one of the few seasons when we’ve played as many as 46 league games but with no cup runs to speak of again except for the SPC  there haven’t been many additional matches.

There have of course been seasons with more local games but I’m not sure the distances travelled to away games has been excessive.

Here’s the results from my favourite season…

http://bathcityfcarchive.x10host.com/archive_7778.htm

Some distant away games there - Dover, Hastings while Grantham is a real slog to get to.

Note the extra competitions - floodlight league and league cup are now distant memories and that season we even played European games with a decent FA Cup run to boot! But it appears our league status gave us a bye to the SPC QF. (how about returning to that policy Somerset FA?)

Pitches were far heavier in winter with real dust bowls in the final month.

I don’t remember complaints from clubs or fans about too many games but of course it was a different era. As Colin implies, non league football is a very different animal these days. I know which era I prefer.

You want more games or less games? Make yr mind up !

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Post by 2weirdtown Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:11 pm

Big difference between then (1977) and now is the intensity at which matches are played.  The phrase 'box to box' was unheard of then and full backs were called that with good reason.
I watch the pre match warm up nowadays and wonder they're not knackered before the game has started!  Is the spectacle any better?
Players now have to be like finely tuned athletes/racehorses.  When you're at that level, the slightest niggle can make a bigger difference than in the past.
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Post by 2weirdtown Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:15 pm

and whoever heard of players pulling out due to being 'injured in the warm up' in 1977?!
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Post by BenE Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:21 pm

I believe the clubs like a short season to limit players contracts. Why don't they have fewer teams in the league? Because playing as many games as possible in the fewest weeks brings in the most revenue.
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Post by 2weirdtown Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:32 pm

BenE wrote:I believe the clubs like a short season to limit players contracts. Why don't they have fewer teams in the league? Because playing as many games as possible in the fewest weeks brings in the most revenue.

But the midweek games cancel that out as they always draw significantly lower crowds (who no doubt eat and drink less). Energy usage will be higher too.
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Post by LB Thu Apr 27, 2023 1:14 pm

In the back of my mind I had a feeling that we had played a 46 game league season before. It was 1965/66 when we were in the Southern League First Division. No regionalisation in those days, and the geographic spread of the division was from Hinckley and Burton in the north to Kent (which had 9 clubs), Sussex and South Wales.

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Post by Dave Thu Apr 27, 2023 4:27 pm

LB wrote:In the back of my mind I had a feeling that we had played a 46 game league season before. It was 1965/66 when we were in the Southern League First Division. No regionalisation in those days, and the geographic spread of the division was from Hinckley and Burton in the north to Kent (which had 9 clubs), Sussex and South Wales.

2010/11 and 2011/12 of course were also 46 match seasons

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Post by Micawber Thu Apr 27, 2023 4:50 pm

1965/66 was an interesting season. We played 75 games in total. These were in Southern League South, League Cup, Floodlit League, FA Cup, and Somerset Professional Cup. Mike Whitehouse and Mike Denton both played 66 games. Another 8 players played over 50 games that season.

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Post by LB Thu Apr 27, 2023 4:53 pm

Dave wrote:
LB wrote:In the back of my mind I had a feeling that we had played a 46 game league season before. It was 1965/66 when we were in the Southern League First Division. No regionalisation in those days, and the geographic spread of the division was from Hinckley and Burton in the north to Kent (which had 9 clubs), Sussex and South Wales.

2010/11 and 2011/12 of course were also 46 match seasons

Clearly my very long term memory is better than my more recent one!

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Post by miker Thu Apr 27, 2023 5:34 pm

19977, what a season, particularly the league.... Unbeaten at home and just two odd goal defeats away. If my memory is correct Ken Allen threw the ball into his own net for one of Dartfords goals and when we played Barnet they had Jimy Greaves in midfield. Saw the super 4--4 Boxing Day game against Cheltenham which followed the 7-2 Weymouth win.

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Post by comrade powell Sat Apr 29, 2023 12:39 pm

Luton Roman wrote:
You want more games or less games? Make yr mind up !

I was simply trying to respond to the honourable member’s question, old boy.

I’m easy but whichever, spread the games out over the full season. And as I also bang on about, play the SPC preseason.
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Post by comrade powell Sat Apr 29, 2023 12:47 pm

miker wrote:19977, what a season, particularly the league.... Unbeaten at home and just two odd goal defeats away.  If my memory is correct Ken Allen threw the ball into his own net for one of Dartfords goals and when we played Barnet they had Jimy Greaves in midfield. Saw the super 4--4 Boxing Day game against Cheltenham which followed the 7-2 Weymouth win.

It really was something special. Living in London, I missed many of the home games. People tell me that the 5-0 win over Kettering was a magical night. I was lucky enough to witness what I still consider the best non league game I’ve seen, the 2-2 at Wealdstone - both teams on all out attack left the crowd breathless and led to the Harrow Observer reporting that we were the best team seen at Lower Mead for many years. The 6-0 at Cheltenham made up for the farcical 7-1 defeat there in the Trophy when Richard Bourne headed past Kenny Allen from outside the area. He rather made up for that at Weymouth…
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