Vets league plans senior expansion

OVER-45 football is set to get a boost next season after Southend Borough Combination Veterans League unveiled plans to add a second senior division.

The league pioneered its Senior Division for players aged 45 and above two years ago.

And the format has proved so successful with players that the league wants to introduce an additional competition for the 2013/14 season in order to get a better balance between teams.

“This is the second season we have run the Senior Division but the difference between the top and bottom of the division is quite significant,” said league chairman Les Fordham.

“We currently have players ranging from ex-professional footballers to those who played in Division Seven of the Southend Sunday League.

“The over-45s has gone very well but there is this massive divide and we want to get additional teams in to enable us to create a second division.”

Ten teams are playing in the division this season and there are currently 11 who have applied to play in the campaign which starts next September.

League chiefs are planning to organise two divisions straight away if they have enough teams.

But if they do not, the plan is for all the teams to play each other once and then split the table so the top teams form one division and the lower teams the other.

“It really is the next phase in the development of the league,” added league secretary Tony Hoskins.

“We have 11 teams for next season and if we can get just another one then we can run two divisions.

“Of course, if more than one team wants to join then that would be great.”

League bosses are willing to arrange friendlies for teams wanting to give the league a go before committing.

And they are also willing to help form teams if players are returning to the game.

The league currently has no plans to introduce divisions for older players, although they have not ruled this out as the current over-45s get older.

And the league is not going to introduce walking football for the over-50s, which was trialed by Chelmsford City and Chelmsford Council last year.

But the committee is considering exploring the possibility of setting up a women’s veteran division.

For more information on joining the Senior Division next season, go to: www.sbcvl.com/lm

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