North Caledonian Football League

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North Caledonian League
Country Scotland
Founded 1896
Number of teams 7
Domestic cup(s) North Caledonian Cup
Current champions Halkirk United
2012-13 North Caledonian Football League

The North Caledonian Football League is an amateur football league operating in the Highlands of Scotland. Founded in 1896, the league has regularly contained a number of reserve teams of Highland Football League clubs alongside local amateur teams.[1] As these HFL clubs are full members of the Scottish Football Association, disciplinary procedures in the league are handled directly by the SFA - a unique situation in Scottish amateur football. Golspie Sutherland are themselves SFA full members and as of season 2007–08, obtain direct entry to the Scottish Cup. Prior to this they entered the Scottish Qualifying Cup (North) each season.

The NCFL is characterized by the number of clubs who use it as a 'stepping-stone' to try and either join the Highland League or join the Junior grade of football. Previous NCFL members include Wick Academy and Fort William who both left to join the Highland Football League and the reserve teams of the Scottish Football League clubs Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County.

Member clubs for the 2013–14 season[edit]

Recent history[edit]

At the start of season 2003–2004 the league was due to consist of 11 clubs when Inverness City were elected to replace Alness United who had applied to join the Scottish Junior Football Association's North Region. However Alness' application was unsuccessful and they returned to the NCFL. The league returned to 10 clubs when Inverness City withdrew at the last minute owing to their failure to secure a viable ground at which to play their home fixtures.

The start of the 2005–06 season saw the withdrawal from the league of Tain St. Duthus due to financial problems, reducing the league to only 9 teams. It was hoped that this would be a mere season's abeyance, but they did not re-enter the following season, and have now gone out of existence entirely. They are succeeded by Tain Thistle, who joined the league in 2008–2009.

Inverness City finally joined in 2006–07 season having found a home ground at North Kessock. However, the league was left with the uneven number of 9 clubs as Bonar Bridge withdrew from the competition. The league title was won by Golspie Sutherland.

In 2007–08, Bonar Bridge returned from a year's abeyance, and were joined by Muir of Ord Rovers in an eleven-team league.

The 2008–09 season started with ten teams due to the withdrawal of Dornoch and Inverness City joining the Junior leagues. The league was also joined by newcomers, Tain Thistle.

Fort William entered a reserve side in the league for season 2009–10, the first reserves to compete since 1999. Bunillidh Thistle withdrew, and Alness United took a year out, but Dingwall Thistle joined to complete a ten-team league.

Season 2010–11 saw Alness United return after a one year absence while Tain Thistle dropped out.

Clachnacuddin enter a reserve side for season 2011–12, whilst Fort William Reserves have dropped out due to problems with pitch availability.[2] Before the season started, both Bonar Bridge and Invergordon withdrew, leaving just eight teams in the league.

Previous Champions[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]