South of Scotland Football League

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South of Scotland Football League
SoSleaguetrans.png
Country  Scotland
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1892 (original)
1946 (current)
Divisions 1
Number of teams 14
Levels on pyramid 6
Promotion to Lowland Football League
Current champions Wigtown & Bladnoch F.C.
Website Official Website

The South of Scotland Football League (SoSFL) is a senior football competition based in the south of Scotland. The league is currently composed of fourteen member clubs in a single division, which sits at level six on the proposed pyramid system on a par with the East of Scotland Football League and is intended to act as a feeder to the Lowland Football League.

From the 2014-15 season, it is proposed that the winner of the South of Scotland Football League will face the winner of the East of Scotland Football League for a place in the 2015-16 Lowland Football League. This will be subject to the club meeting the sufficient licensing criteria to satisfy the terms of promotion.

Original league[edit]

A league of the same name briefly existed during the early days of competitive football. The original South of Scotland Football League was created in 1892-93 and featured seven clubs:

The clubs preferred to play in cup competitions and traditional friendlies, so most of the league fixtures were not played. The competition was subsequently abandoned and no championship was awarded.

Current league[edit]

When league football was re-established in 1946, the title Southern Counties League could not be used because Ayr United 'A' and Kilmarnock 'A' were not members of the Southern Counties F.A.. Instead, the new competition was called the South of Scotland Football League. The first season saw the league played in two sections, East and West, but it has been played as a single league ever since.

Teams play each other on a home and away basis. In seasons where league membership has been low, clubs have played each other four times, instead of the usual twice. Recent changes in league membership have been:

For the 2014-15 season, the league will feature the following 14 clubs:

Club Ground Capacity (Seated)
Abbey Vale Maryfield Park, New Abbey 1,000
Creetown Castlecary Park, Creetown 2,000
Crichton Crichton Hospital Park, Dumfries 2,500
Dumfries YMCA MacLeod Pavillion, Kingholm, Dumfries N/A
Edusport Academy Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, Motherwell N/A
Fleet Star Garries Park, Gatehouse of Fleet 1,000 (20)
Heston Rovers Palmerston Park, Dumfries 10,000 (3,500)
Lochar Thistle Maxwelltown High School, Dumfries 1,000
Mid-Annandale Galabank, Annan 3,000 (500)
Newton Stewart Blairmount Park, Newton Stewart 1,500
Nithsdale Wanderers Lorimer Park, Sanquhar 1,000
St. Cuthbert Wanderers St. Mary's Park, Kirkcudbright 2,000
Wigtown & Bladnoch Trammondford Park, Wigtown 1,500
Upper Annandale Hope Johnstone Park, Moffat N/A

Note: Mid Annandale's traditional home ground is King Edward Park in Lockerbie, but has been deemed unsuitable by the league. The club began ground-sharing with Annan Athletic in 2012. A date for their return to Lockerbie has yet to be announced.

League Membership[edit]

Club Years Active
Abbey Vale 2001-
Annan Athletic 1977-1987
Annan Athletic reserves 1987-1991, 1992-2009
Ayr United 'A' 1946-48
Crichton Royal 1992-
Creetown 1946-48, 1972-
Dalbeattie Star 1946-47, 1976-2001, 2009-2012
Dalbeattie Star reserves 2001-2009
Dumfries 2000-2008
Dumfries High School Former Pupils 1994-2000
Dumfries United 1987-88
Dumfries YMCA 2014-
Edusport Academy 2014-
Fleet Star 2004-
Girvan 1951-62, 1975-2005.
Glenluce 1948-50
Gretna reserves 2001-03
Gretna Community 1991-92
Greystone Rovers 1956-58
Heathhall Athletic 1948-50
Heston Rovers 2008-
Kilmarnock 'A' 1946-48
Lincluden Swifts 1977-80
Lochar Thistle 2013-
Maxwelltown High School Former Pupils 1990-2000
Mid-Annandale 2003-
Newton Stewart 1946-
Nithsdale Wanderers (1) 1946-47, 1948-50.
Nithsdale Wanderers (2) 2001-
Queen of the South reserves 1972-73, 1992–93, 1996–97, 2003-04.
RAF West Freugh 1948-49
St. Cuthbert Wanderers 1946-
Solway Star 1946-47
Stranraer 1946-49
Stranraer reserves 1949-88, 1990–91, 2003–04, 2007-2012.
Stranraer Athletic 1995-2008
Tarff Rovers 1946-88, 1990-2003
Threave Rovers 1959-1998, 2004-2012
Upper Annandale 2014-
Whithorn 1946-59, 1962–63, 1964–69
Wigtown & Bladnoch 1946-

Notes:

  1. Crichton was known as Blackwood Dynamos until 1999. The club was to be called Crichton Royal, but the suffix has never been used.
  2. Dumfries was formed by the merger of Dumfries High School Former Pupils and Dumfries Amateurs.
  3. Heston Rovers Youth (formed in 1978) merged with Dumfries in 2008, retaining Heston Rovers as the name of the new club.
  4. Annan Athletic (1987-2008), Dalbeattie Star (2001-2009) and Threave Rovers (1998-2004) have all run teams in the East of Scotland League. From the 2008-09 season, Annan Athletic has played in the Scottish Football League. Dalbeattie Star and Threave Rovers joined the newly formed Scottish Lowland Football League for the 2013-14 season.
  5. The following clubs have resigned during the season:
  • Creetown 1975-76
  • Girvan 1978-79
  • Gretna Community 1991-92
  • RAF West Freugh 1948-49
  • St. Cuthbert Wanderers 1977-78
  • Wigtown & Bladnoch 1962-63 and 1972–73
  • Dumfries United resigned prior to the start of the 1987-88 season.

Cup Competitions[edit]

In 1950, the league’s membership had been reduced to just seven clubs. To compensate for the lack of fixtures, the League Cup was introduced. The final is usually contested by the winners of two mini-leagues, but has also been played as a straight knock-out competition. There was no separate League Cup competition between 1962-1968 and 1973-1975. Instead the trophy was awarded to the runner-up in the League. The Southern Counties Cup, also known as the Challenge Cup, is the league's main knockout competition. It has been played for since 1891, and the first winners were the 5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers. Newton Stewart, St. Cuthbert Wanderers and Wigtown & Bladnoch are full members of the Scottish Football Association and are therefore allowed to enter the Scottish Cup, as are the winners of the league.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stranraer bow out of South league". The Galloway Gazette. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lowland League clubs confirmed by Scottish FA". BBC. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "South Champions Start With a Home Game". DG News-Sport. Dumfries & Galloway News. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 

External links[edit]