4th Decber 2005
The Luck of the Draw
Two of the top teams in the Alliance Premier have been drawn against each other in the Bill Walton and in the Arthur Moore. Es Cana play Advance Couriers in each of these competitions, assuming they overcome The Difference in their outstanding Round 2 game of the Arthur Moore. They clashed in the League earlier in the season and it finished all square with neither team breaking down the opponent's defence. Two more close encounters are on the cards.
Leicester Market, who also are strong contenders in both competitions, even though they were taken to extra time by Magna 73 Rgrs in Round 3, take on Hockley Rangers, also of the Premier Division.
In the E W Foster, the one to watch is probably Countesthorpe Athletic OB, top dogs in Division 3, who take on Kingsway Rangers who are one of three teams challenging Welford Victoria at the top of Division 2.
The Stokes Cup is always a competition which springs a surprise or two. AFC Beaumont acquitted themselves well in the Bill Walton against Es Cana and now they face the challenge of all conquering Anstey Swifts.

Two Clubs Suspended from The Alliance
Following a lengthy discussion, the Alliance Committee have suspended Monsell Diamonds and Union Inn from Alliance football pending a Special General Meeting of Club Secretaries to be held on 20th December.
At that meeting, a ballot will be taken on a proposition from the Alliance Committee to expel the two clubs.
Full details will be given at the meeting, but in spite of every effort to support the clubs by the Alliance League, it is regretted that neither have reached the minimum standards of discipline, administration and finance required.

If you do not want a game during the next fixture period - 5th to 26th February - you should contact James Shephard before 12th January. Note that you are only allowed one free date in the season.
This is important. Games which are not played because a referee cannot be agreed when there has been no official appointed by the League. will be considered as a disciplinary matter. We know how many problems are being caused by the acute shortage of refs but it is important that games are played at all times to get the season finished.

New Referees
Clive Bruce, the Alliance Referees Secretary, has now attended a Referees Course in Loughborough in order to attract more of the new boys. Welcome packs were issued and we wait with baited breath.

We are reaching the stage where changes to the published fixtures are being made on a weekly basis in order to play postponed cup games. Please be ready to advise your players as soon as the changes are received. We will try to give you as much notice as possible.

You should receive fixtures for County Cup weeks at least a week before. If this is not the case you should contact James or Dennis - do not assume you have not got a game.

14th October 2005

What a start to the season - it has been hectic for all concerned, but there is plenty of good news. First of all, and probably for the first time, there has not been a single resignation since the A G M in June. A credit to all concerned. Secondly, there have been 1900 players already registered compared to 1700 for the whole of last season. (What a task for Morley!)

And on the pitch we have had some tremendous results in the County Competitions. Arguably the top two teams in the County were drawn against each other in the Premier Cup and Advance Couriers flew the flag with a magnificent victory over rivals Spa Valley from the Leicester Sunday League by a comfortable 3 goals to one. Only one of our teams was defeated in this competition.

And didn't the season start with a bang. In an unprecedented storm, a number of games were understandably abandoned at the start of a season when the fixture list has never been so tight.

The problem with the shortage of referees continues across the County and we are no different than the rest. It is very frustrating when there is no referee appointed and we are doing our best to recruit. We do however rely on word of mouth and this is where you come in. Persuade anyone who is no longer getting a game or a young person hoping to make a career out of the whistle, to contact Clive. We will arrange training and carefully select the earlier games.

It is reassuring that a campaign at Premier Division level against offensive language to referees has meant that (at the time of writing) not a single player has been sent off for bad language. Let's hope it percolates down to our level. The refereeing shortage would disappear overnight!

And now the first real moan of the season. We have 1900 players and there are 1100 players suspended by County FA for debt. One hell of a job for Morley to check each registration but much work into the early hours has meant that we have kept our promise to do a 100% check. As a result a lot of registrations have been refused and the cash tills have been ringing at Holmes Park. Incidentally, much of this money is owed to clubs and Leagues and not to County FA! BUT… four players and their clubs are now being charged with playing while suspended. Loss of points and heavy fines are inevitable. All because the many warnings went unheeded.

Here are some tips:
Check the Suspended Players Booklet every time you sign a player, even at kick off - this is when mistakes are made. You will have received the booklet at the beginning of August.
Ask the player if he is clear of debts and not suspended for any reason.
If in doubt, contact County FA on 0116 2845935 during normal office hours.
Remember, you will be the one that has to tell your team that they have had 3 points deducted and the game will have to be replayed.

I could go on about playing unregistered players. Be meticulous with your records. Remember that the "stub" in your book is your safeguard. If there is a dispute, the number could be your saviour.

Finally, a word about the constitution of divisions. It is very difficult to place new teams in the appropriate division. The teams give an indication on their application form as to which Division they think is best and then they are interviewed and their expected strength is discussed with them. Moreover, existing members take priority. At the stage of preparing the constitution a further check is sometimes made but even at this time (in early June) no-one can be certain about who they will eventually sign. Thankfully, only one of the 16 new teams is outstanding in their division and even with hindsight Division 4 seemed right for Anstey Swifts OB. At least, at the end of this season, it is likely that we will only be replacing those teams who are leaving us and so we will be able to pick the best. Our normal criteria of standard of play, discipline, administration and facilities will apply more than ever and many are going to be told to come back next year.

Electronic Player/Result Form
If you have a problem sending your form via the web, please send it by email to Morley and Clive. Do not delay. Also, make sure you keep a copy of your submission by web or email in case it is not received in case it is not received at our end.

Player Transfers
Transfers between clubs in the Alliance are now allowed. But before any transfer is contemplated, you need to give the player's existing club Notice of Approach to comply with FA Regulations. Read Page 11 of your "Guide for Club Secretaries". A further copy is available from Dennis

Referees Marks
Remember that if you mark a referee with less than 5, you must send a written explanation to Morley. This enables us to give the referee guidance for the future. Please give a genuine mark and do not be over-influenced by a single decision.

Representative Game
The Annual "Shirl Beasley Trophy" game against the Hinckley Sunday League will be played at Barwell FC on 9th November with a 7.30pm kick off. Come along and support us - it's a great night and we have a superb team. Any recommendations for selection should be phoned to the Manager, Mark Lever on 0116 2880299.

"The Forum"
Have you got something to say? Do you want to tell everybody? Discuss your games, talk to other players, talk nonsense, discuss the offside rule, ask the referee, ask the Alliance,
The Alliance Forum on our website is there for everyone to use - encourage your mates to use it.

Press Reports
If you can't get through straightaway, leave a message with the result and scorer details, preferably with a contact number. If there's a query, we'll call you back. Alternatively, you can send a text message or an e-mail.
If you definitely want to speak in person to the Press Officer, it's better to call later rather than earlier as most calls come within the first half hour of the allotted time.
If you want to call before the allotted time, you probably will have to leave a message as the Press Officer may not be available.

It is clear from the following appointments that that we are still very short of referees. Please advise Clive Bruce if you know of anyone who is prepared to take a game. Training will be provided by the County FA and we will give support at a personal level.

County Competitions
Congratulations and best of luck to those 60 teams (out of 76) who are in the second round of County Competitions. Remember that your players must have been a member of your club prior to midnight of the previous Thursday in these competitions.

If you do not want a game during the next fixture period - 20th and 27th November and 4th and 11th December - you should contact James Shephard before 26th October. Note that you are only allowed one free date in the season.

Christmas and New Year
There will be no games on Christmas Day and New Years Day, but….
You may request a game to be played in the morning of Monday, 2nd January. You should advise James before 20th November and also let him know if your ground would be available (City and Oadby & Wigston pitches are NOT available)
Remember that games that are postponed on this date will be treated as a disciplinary matter like any other game.

All of our Divisions have more than the usual number of teams (with the exception of the Premier Division). To make matters worse we are likely to be losing two weeks over the Christmas and New Year period. Only use your free date option as a last resort. Only postpone games if it is unavoidable.

If you play on a College pitch, try to work closely with the College concerned and make sure pitches are only declared unplayable at the last minute - preferably a decision to be taken by the referee.

8th August 2005

Yes, the Alliance League is back and bigger and stronger than ever. We are the only Sunday league in the County to be growing and we have just about reached maximum size. This can only be good for our existing members and will mean more competitive games and a tighter finish at the end of the season.

We are clearly the League to join thanks to a very successful website, a young and ambitious Alliance Committee , but most of all to the 1650 players and club officials who do their best to play the game as it should be played and to fly the Alliance flag at every opportunity. Thanks to you all.

The Alliance Committee has tried hard to ensure every team has been placed in the division of the appropriate standard, but with good clubs joining us and new signings by last season's clubs, this can be something of a lottery.

There are many questions to be answered in each of the Divisions. Will anybody topple Advance Couriers from the exalted position of the last four seasons? There record is unsurpassed in local football but they are there to be beaten. Let's see how they fare in their first game away to Seaton United.

Newcomers to the Premier, Countesthorpe Royals, Wycliffe and Magna 73 Rangers all finished the season on a high and are out to make a good impression.

The good news for Division 1 is that Red Star, Bell Inn had a change of heart and rejoined the Division and start their campaign with a home game against The Accies . Four teams have been promoted into this Division, Glen Parva, Polska, A & T and The Navvy and they are joined by DGT Transport who we welcome from the Sunday League. The unknown quantities are Monsell Diamonds , who have been double promoted from Division 3 having taken that division by storm and The Difference who earned triple promotion into this division and could well be a force to be reckoned with.

Groby Town and Academy Builders were relegated from Division 2 and they are replaced by Welford Victoria and Little Bowden from the Harborough area, and F ield Boxmore and the Foxes . In their first game on 31st August, Welford Vics , the holders of last season's referees' award receive Fleckney Old Crown at their well appointed ground.

FC Blackbird (ex Sunday League), Real Muxloe and Webby's Wanderers all impressed the interviewing committee and go straight into Division 3 where they will meet Kirby Muxloe Rangers , promoted from the fourth. Anyone prepared to take a flyer and bet on the contenders for this title should either have a word with Morley or their doctor.

Seven teams remain from last season's Division 5 who, together with relegated "E" and Crown Services , are able to welcome a band of new arrivals all of whom are simply wanting to find their footballing feet before making their mark in 2006-2007. Credit must go to "E" who stuck it out while playing way above their strength last season and to Crown Services who, in spite of having a torrid time on the pitch (played 20, lost 20), won the Fair Play Award together with a refund of Alliance subscriptions for the coming season.

Remember that any postponement will be treated as a disciplinary matter and this applies to mid-week games. Games may be brought forward to a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday if both teams agree and permission is sought from the League's Fixtures Secretary (James Shephard)

It is clear from the following appointments that that we are still very short of referees (as is every other League in the County) Please advise Clive Bruce if you know of anyone who is prepared to take a game. Training will be provided by the County FA and the League will make a contribution towards the cost.

Suspended Players
You will have received a list of suspended players from County FA. Make sure that you do not play any of the players named. Playing a suspended, unregistered or contract player is a very serious offence which results in a heavy fine and loss of points.

County Competitions
Every team has been enterd into a County Competition and the County FA will be circulating the draw in the near future. The first round will be played on 2nd October and Round 2 on 6th November. The County will not normally allow your game to be rearranged. You are expected to field a team regardless of circumstances.

Debts with the Alliance
Last season, too many clubs were too slow in paying their debts. This now means that an overdue payment will result in a Suspension Notice and a further fine.

Mid-week Press Reports
The home team should phone in the result immediately after the game. Both teams should give a full report on the following Sunday.

Pitch Preparation
You are strongly recommended to visit your pitch well before the first game and make sure it is correctly marked out and your posts and nets are in good order. You will need net pegs and wedges - make sure you do not play with leaning posts. Also a lot of posts could do with a lick of paint.
At the same time you should make sure that you are able to insert the corner posts - you may well need a means of making a hole if the pitches are hard.

If you do not want a game during the next fixture period - 30th October, 6th and 11th November - you should contact James Shephard before 27th September. Note that you are only allowed one free date in the season.

All of our Divisions have more than the usual number of teams (with the exception of the Premier Division). To make matters worse we are likely to be losing two weeks over the Chrsitmas and New Year period. Only use your free date option as a last resort. Only postpone games if it is unavoidable.
If you play on a College pitch, try to work closely with the College concerned and make sure pitches are only declared unplayable at the last minute - preferably a decision to be taken by the referee.

It's our thirtieth anniversary!
And we want your ideas on how it should be celebrated. Yes, its 30 years since the Alliance formed a Sunday League to replace the ailing Saturday League. Considering our precarious position at that time and the distance we have travelled, this is something to celebrate. Any ideas? Contact an Alliance Committee member and let us know.

We thought you might like to know what is available from the Alliance to recognize achievements on and off the pitch. Here goes.

The winners and runners up of each division receive a valuable trophy and the players each receive a memento.

There are four Alliance cup competitions. Every team in the Alliance plays in The Bill Walton Cup and the other competitions are the Arthur Moore Cup (Premier and Division 1 teams), the E W Foster Cup (Division 2 ands 3 teams) and the impressive Stokes Cup (Division 4 and 5 teams). All teams reaching the finals at Holmes Park receive a cup and the players a memento. The match officials receive a presentation shirt to mark the occasion.
At then end of the season, the Alliance stages an all day Six A Side Competition to finish of the season with a bit of fun. The Divisional trophies and mementoes are presented at mid-day. It is our intention to make this a family day in the future - any ideas?
Long Service Awards are presented to Club Secretaries who have served 5, 10 and 20 years and there is an award for referees who have been on the Alliance List for 10 years.

Each month, the team with the best set of results or an outstanding performance in an individual game receives a high quality match ball sponsored by M D H Sports.

At the end of the season, Fair Play Awards in the form of a certificate and a set of Alliance corner flags are presented to the team in each division with the best on-the-field disciplinary record. The overall winner receives a refund of subscriptions for the following season.
Similarly, divisional Club Secretary Awards are presented to recognise the best administrative record.
After each game, the referee marks the two teams for the standard of lining by the assistant provided by each club and for the warmth of the welcome he receives and spirit in which the game is played. This results in a trophy for the "Best Club Linesman" and the Referees Sporting Club of the Season. The latter also receives a refund of subscriptions.

There it is - it's worth working for!