SUNDAY Football League officials have been forced to admit that the league has “had its day” this week.
League secretary, Owen Durbridge confirmed the league’s inability to go into the new season with a minimum of six sides means the Newtown Football League is no longer viable.
“As it stands, the league will not take place this season,” said Durbridge after only the Crown Montgomery and Red Lion Caersws formally applied.
However Durbridge remains adamant that the league will seek to retain its affiliation to the Central Wales Football Association.
“The league has decided to adopt a new strategy geared toward providing football to a new group of participants,” said Durbridge.
“If 11-a-side football is deemed out of the question for pubs, clubs, towns and villages then it has been decided to target the formation of a new seven-a-side competition being played across half a pitch.”
Durbridge plans to poll football players through the league’s website to gauge support.
“Perhaps the seven-sided discipline might prove attractive to managers,” said Durbridge. “I will also be making contact with people who have run sides in the league in the past who may support this proposal.”
Durbridge admitted the plan remains in its infancy but accepted the current state of the “Saturday game” meant the current Sunday League format had to change.
“As it stands, the Sunday League has had its day,” said Durbridge. “The notion of a seven-a-side league with games played over an hour might be something that former players may be interested in.
“Sports centres around Montgomeryshire could be ideal venues for potential teams looking to play this level of football as they are all equipped with marked small sided pitches and goals.
“Alternatively, portable goals are readily available and ordinary grass pitches can also be suitable venues.”
Durbridge will now lead the fight to save the Sunday League in the proposed seven-a-side format.
“The league will now consult and put the idea out into the football community of Montgomeryshire,” said Durbridge. The poll is also on the league website at www.nsfl.co.uk