National Junior League and National Cadet League
Firstly the good news. Despite below, I am pleased to report that total entries have only reduced to 199 NJL (204 last season) and 215 NCL (223 previously). Thanks are due to all organisers who helped with local recruiting and thus increased the number of teams at their venues – 50% at Burton and Rotherham/Bradford.
Now the not so good – this season three “long term organisers” of NJL/NCL whose venues were advertised on the entry forms issued at the end of June, unfortunately later decided they were not able to run the above in their area(s). I now know that at least one has “transferred” to running his own local junior league with all his players becoming “£2.82 player members”, as in his opinion “the additional cost increases to licences/day licences (63.63% increase in one case) brought about by membership were the final straw”. This one venue alone lost 8 NJL and 8 NCL teams from 2009-10.
The last minute unavailability of Southall Sports Centre to run NCL meant that some clubs that had already entered then withdrew. Others were rescued by Ashley Stokes enquiring and then volunteering to run a 12 team NCL at Capital City Academy – many thanks Ashley. Others did travel further to other venues, but not all the original entries.
Additionally there has been a much larger no. of teams playing short handed this season as compared to previously, especially on days 3 and 4.
Our other new organiser was Colin French at Waterside, Southampton with 8 teams and a promise of more to come next season – thanks Colin. Thanks are obviously also due to the longer term organisers, with all centres but one consistently providing a minimum of 9 matches per day for their players (36 over the season). Jane Durham (Northfield) provided “the best value for money venue” with 46 individual matches for ranking points per player over the four days in NCL , and Sylvia Tyler’s Market Rasen NJL gave the players 51 matches – a good deal indeed.