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Players asked to assess proposed new structure for Saturday league football in Norfolk

Action from the Anglian Combination Premier Division last season, with Harleston (stripes) taking on Waveney Picture: Steve Wood

Action from the Anglian Combination Premier Division last season, with Harleston (stripes) taking on Waveney Picture: Steve Wood

Steve Wood Photography

Saturday league footballers are being asked to share their thoughts on a proposed new single pyramid structure at county and district levels.

The proposed Norfolk county and district league structure for the 2019-20 season Picture: Norfolk FAThe proposed Norfolk county and district league structure for the 2019-20 season Picture: Norfolk FA

In recent months Norfolk Football Association have been meeting with representatives of the Anglian Combination, Central & South Norfolk, Great Yarmouth & District, North East Norfolk and North West Norfolk leagues to discuss the future of adult Saturday football.

This follows the continued downturn in participation in the adult game in recent years, both on and off the pitch, with volunteer administrative roles also proving difficult to fill.

As a result a proposed new structure for the 2019-20 season has been agreed upon and feedback is being sought before a final decision is made.

The single pyramid system for both county and district levels has been suggested after a series of meetings and discussion opportunities since an initial forum held in February.

The county set up would be across five tiers instead of the current six deployed in the Anglian Combination, with the top three tiers made up of 16 teams each and the fourth and fifth tiers both split into regions. This will provide capacity for 104 teams, 10 more than played at this level last season.

The district league would be across four tiers, the top three of which would be split regionally and the fourth split three ways. This would allow for 108 teams, 14 more than played at that level in 2017/18.

Norfolk FA chief executive Gavin Lemmon explained: “The decline in adult 11-a-side football in recent seasons has been well documented. The proposed Saturday league restructure is the result of Norfolk FA and all of our sanctioned Saturday leagues working together to look for a solution to help support the game moving forward.

“With new league volunteers hard to find and team numbers in many leagues decreasing, the proposed structure is intended to help provide a more sustainable streamlined model for Saturday football.”

A survey for feedback is available at NorfolkFA.com/news ahead of the consultation coming to an end on Friday, August 3, with a final proposal to follow later this year.

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