Scottish Junior Football Association
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (July 2011)|
The Scottish Junior Football Association ("SJFA" for short) is an affiliated national association of the Scottish Football Association and is the governing body for the Junior grade of football in Scotland. The term "Junior" refers to the level of football played. The closest equivalent terminology would be Non-League football in England, the difference being that non-league football in Scotland is not similarly integrated in the Scottish football league system. Founded in 1886, the SJFA is responsible for disciplinary matters within the grade, certain player registration procedures and organising the annual Scottish Junior Cup. Other league and cup competitions are organised by three regional committees. The association headquarters are at Hampden Park, Glasgow, which is Scotland's national stadium. There was an earlier Scottish Junior FA which was founded in Glasgow in October 1880. This body also ran a Scottish Junior Cup competition during 1880–81 season, but appears to have disbanded at the end of that season.
The SJFA was formed in Glasgow on 2 October 1886 and the first seasons Junior Cup saw thirty-nine clubs take part. Junior football had existed since the early 1880s, initially as separate local associations across Scotland for clubs not in membership of the SFA. This new national association acted as an umbrella for these local Junior associations, as well as establishing the Scottish Junior Cup, a national cup competition. The first three winners of the Scottish Junior Cup all joined the SFA and stepped up to Senior level. Gradually, a number of Junior leagues grew in strength, particularly in Glasgow where leading clubs drew large crowds. The Glasgow Junior FA having seen a number of its proposals rejected at SJFA meetings seceded from the SJFA in 1907 but returned a year later. Further disputes occurred in 1922 over "poaching" clubs and in 1927, the GJFA was instrumental in the Intermediate dispute which split the SJFA for four seasons. The record number of clubs to enter the Junior Cup was 412 in 1922–23.
The local associations continued to run their leagues until 1968, when the SJFA instituted major reforms, running all the leagues itself, removing the need for the many local associations, replacing them instead with six district committees. These six regions — Ayrshire, Central, East, Fife, Tayside and North — still exist to a certain extent, as divisions in the national league structure and as operators of many cup competitions.
The last major league reform took place in 2002, with the six districts "merging" to create a three-pronged league setup (see "Organisation and regions").
A further reform took place in June 2007. The Scottish Cup, run by the Scottish Football Association for its full member clubs, welcomed four Junior teams from the 2007–08 season onwards. All four join the competition in the First Round. The four teams are the three Superleague winners (West, East and North) and the Scottish Junior Cup winners, all from the previous season. Should a club qualify on two counts by winning both its Superleague and the Junior Cup, only three clubs shall enter. From 2007, Girvan also enter the Scottish Cup automatically each season as a result of being full members of the SFA.
The term "Junior" does not relate to the age of players. Football for youngsters is generally known as "Youth" (up to Under-19) or "Juvenile" (which is to Under-21 level) football. In the late 19th century, membership of the SFA conferred "Senior" status on a club and the Junior grade developed outwith the SFA framework. Today, the Senior grade of football in Scotland is played in the Scottish Professional Football League (until 2013 divided into the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League), as well as the four Senior non-leagues, the Highland Football League, the Lowland Football League, the East of Scotland Football League and the South of Scotland Football League. Over time, as various local football associations and leagues, both Junior and Senior, have risen in strength or in some cases disappeared completely, Scottish football developed its current pattern with either Junior or Senior non-leagues taking precedence in various parts of the country with some occasional overlap. Nowadays, membership of the SJFA automatically confers on a club, registered membership of the SFA, however Junior and Senior non-league clubs still play in separate competitions.
Despite the lesser media coverage the Juniors get, many of the club sides are fairly popular, and some of the bigger games between clubs (such as the local derbies between Arthurlie and Pollok, and Cumnock Juniors vs. Auchinleck Talbot) can attract attendances in the thousands, although crowds were far bigger in the past (76,000 for the Junior Cup Final in 1951, with nearly 90,000 watching the semi finals (including a replay)) compared to the level of support attracted now. Since gaining entry to the Scottish Cup in 2007, Junior clubs have enjoyed reasonable success with Irvine Meadow, Bo'ness United and Sunnybank all defeating Scottish Football League opposition.
Organisation and regions
The main league structure is organised on a geographical basis, with the 161 member clubs being split into three regions:
Each region contains several divisions, the East and West regions also being split into further geographical sections in the lower divisions. This is a remnant of the pre–2002 system in which there were six district committee setups that comprised the leagues. Pressure to create more competitive leagues and a higher number of "big games" caused the rationalisation to three main district leagues.
|1||West of Scotland Super League Premier Division
|2||West of Scotland Super League First Division
|East Premier League
|North First Division (West)
|North First Division (East)
|3||Central District League First Division
|Ayrshire District League
|East Region South Division
|East Region North Division
|4||Central District League Second Division
As well as the local leagues, there are a number of local cup competitions competed for; however, the biggest competition is the Scottish Junior Cup, which every junior club competes for annually, with the final generally held each May. This cup was established in 1886. Highlights of the advanced stages of the competition are broadcast on national television, with the final match usually being broadcast live. The cup's sponsor for 18 years, until the start of the 2006–07 season, was the OVD Demerara Rum company, replaced at the semi final stage of the 2006–07 competition by Scottish coach operator Citylink. They are now sponsored by Emirates Airlines as of season 2009–10.
Scotland Junior international team
|Head coach||Keith Burgess|
|Most caps||Bert McNab (12)|
|Top scorer||George Wilson (7)
Dennis Gray (7)
| Scotland 10–1 England
(Hamilton, Scotland; 11 May 1889)
| Scotland 11–0 Ireland
(Glasgow, Scotland; 15 February 1890)
| England 5–0 Scotland
(Wolverhampton, England; 9 April 1927)
The Juniors also play internationally, with the best players being picked to play for the Scottish Junior international team against other countries' non-league select teams. The Umbro Quadrangular tournament takes place every two years, and is competed against teams from Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. The tournament is hosted in turn by each country, with matches taking place at the larger junior grounds in the host country, such as Dunterlie Park, Pollok's Newlandsfield, and Petershill Park when the tournament was last held in Scotland, in 2005. The team's most capped player is Bert McNab of Petershill who won 12 caps between 1951–55.
After the formation of the Scottish Junior Football Association in 1886, officials began to explore opportunities for representative international matches. On receipt of a £17 guarantee, the Lancashire Junior League in England agreed to raise a team and on 11 May 1889, the first Junior international was played at Douglas Park, Hamilton with Scotland winning by 10 goals to 1. A return fixture was unable to be arranged as the Lancashire league could not provide a sufficient guarantee.
On 15 February 1890, Scotland played their first match against Ireland at Hibernian Park, Glasgow. The 11–0 scoreline in Scotland's favour remains a record victory for the Scottish Junior international team. This fixture did become an annual event and on 14 February 1891, the team travelled to Belfast for their first away match, a 1–1 draw at Ulsterville, the home of Linfield F.C..
In 1894, games against England resumed with a fixture against Birmingham & District Counties F.A. in Leamington. These games continued until World War II then were revived for a short period in the 1970s. Scotland suffered a record 5–0 defeat in the 1927 fixture at Molineux, Wolverhampton. Games against Wales began in 1912 with a fixture against a representative side of the North Wales Coast F.A, the first game taking place in Bangor on April 13, Scotland winning 2–1.
In 1920, the Scottish Junior international side created history by being the first representative football side from Scotland to undertake a foreign tour. In June, a party of thirteen players and three officials visited Norway and played three games each in Stavanger and Bergen. The full Scottish national side did not play a match outwith the British Isles until 1929 when they also travelled to Norway.
A game against the Irish Free State was played on 9 March 1929 in Dublin with Scotland winning 2–1 but regular games against a Republic of Ireland side did not begin until 1947. The first game in this series was played at Dalymount Park, Dublin on 25 May, with Scotland winning 3–2.
The number of games against the different home nations has varied in regularity over the years. From 1958 until 1967, Northern Ireland were Scotlands only opponents, while in the 1970s there was an eight-year gap between the two sides meeting. Currently, games against England and Wales are in abeyance and the team contest the biannual Quadrangular Tournament with friendly and testimonial matches arranged intermittently in the intervening seasons.
|GK||Richie Barnard||Camelon Juniors|
|GK||Allan Fleming||Kelty Hearts|
|DF||Ross Archibald (withdrew)||Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic|
|DF||Tam Courts||Kelty Hearts|
|DF||Colin Leiper||Camelon Juniors|
|DF||Chris Malone||Kilbirnie Ladeside|
|DF||Austin McCann (withdrew)||Clydebank|
|DF||Chris Robertson||Cumnock Juniors|
|DF||Will Snowdon||Bo'ness United|
|MF||Blair Batchelor||Camelon Juniors|
|MF||Chris Donnelly||Bo'ness United|
|MF||Sean Jamieson||Newtongrange Star|
|MF||Steven Masterton||Hurlford United|
|MF||Michael McKenna||Musselburgh Athletic|
|MF||Scott Pittman||Broxburn Athletic|
|FW||Steven Hislop||Bo'ness United|
|FW||Kris Renton||Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic|
The following list notes players who all went on to gain full international honours for Scotland after winning Junior international caps, the Junior club with which they played at the time and the year of their Junior cap.
|Smith, NicolNicol Smith||Darvel||1893|
|Hugh MorganHugh Morgan||Longriggend Wanderers||1896|
|Muir, WillieWillie Muir||Glenbuck Athletic||1896|
|Low, ThomasThomas Low||Parkhead||1896|
|Walker, BobbyBobby Walker||Dalry Primrose||1896|
|Colman, DonaldDonald Colman||Maryhill||1899–1903|
|Key, GeorgeGeorge Key||Parkhead||1899|
|Alex BennettAlex Bennett||Rutherglen Glencairn||1902–1903|
|Yorston, BennyBenny Yorston||Mugiemoss||1925|
|Hogg, BobbyBobby Hogg||Royal Albert||1931|
|Dave MackayDave Mackay||Newtongrange Star||1953|
|Pat QuinnPat Quinn||Bridgeton Waverley||1956|
|Crerand, PatPat Crerand||Duntocher Hibernian||1958|
|Chalmers, StevieStevie Chalmers||Ashfield||1959|
|Jim ScottJim Scott||Bo'ness United||1959|
|Johnstone, JimmyJimmy Johnstone||Blantyre Celtic||1962|
|Deans, John "Dixie"John "Dixie" Deans||Neilston Juniors||1965|
|Jarvie, DrewDrew Jarvie||Kilsyth Rangers||1967|
|Pettigrew, WillieWillie Pettigrew||East Kilbride Thistle||1973|
|Ian WallaceIan Wallace||Yoker Athletic||1974|
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 25
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 49
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 37
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 38
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 80
- Juniors make mark in Scottish Cup news.bbc.co.uk 29 September 2007
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 175
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 140
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 143
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 164
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 161
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 162
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 166
- McGlone McLure 1987, p. 172
- "Umbro Quadrangular Tournament". Scottish Junior FA. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- McGlone, David; McLure, Bill (1987). The Juniors - 100 Years. A Centenary History of Scottish Junior Football. Mainstream. pp. 136–190. ISBN 1-85158-060-3.
- Official site
- Not the... Pink News
- Scottish Junior News
- "Junior sides face extinction under Government's new plans to make them pay minimum wage to players" – Daily Record, 11 April 2009
- Scottish Junior FA and Scottish Junior Cup 1880–81