Local football: Alliance set for kick off

Doncaster Alliance League vice chairman Ernie Prince.
Doncaster Alliance League vice chairman Ernie Prince.

The new Doncaster and District Sunday Alliance League campaign kicks off this weekend and I’ll be reporting on the action throughout the season in a new column.

Despite having a waiting list of clubs wanting to join, officials have adopted a five division structure with 14 teams in each.

“We’ve had more teams and more divisions in the past, but we are happy with 70 this time around because we don’t want to over stretch ourselves in terms of referees,” said vice-chairman Ernie Prince.

“Equally, if one or two teams drop out of a division during the season there will still be plenty of games for those remaining to play.”

The league had expected competition from the Under-19 League being proposed by Doncaster Rovers, but plans have been put on hold until the 2014-15 campaign at the earliest.

With three of last season’s clubs being axed for a variety of reasons, several new teams have joined the league, including ISG Doncaster.

Formerly members of the Doncaster Senior League, ISG will start life in the Alliance in the Premier Division as a result of officials taking their past form into account.

Several established clubs have also been promoted more than one division for similar reasons.

Renowned for taking a tough stance on players and clubs who step out of line, the league have introduced new rules on games being called off.

“Unlike previous seasons, clubs will not be allowed to call off games because there isn’t an official referee,” said Ernie.

“We have several new referees and we hope to be able to provide officials for most matches.

“However, there will be times when we are going to be short.

“Whenever that situation arises the home club will be asked to provide a referee if they have a qualified official who is not only registered, but fully paid up.

“If they don’t want to do it then the two teams will have to sort it out between themselves.”