THERE was much to reflect on when the Kernow Stone St Piran Football League held its well attended annual general meeting at Brannel School, St Stephen, writes Leon Prynn

Before the event got fully under way, Cornwall County FA’s designated safeguarding and football services officer, Claire Summers-Evans, gave a helpful presentation on the subject to assist clubs for the coming season.

Mark Adkins welcomed everyone to the meeting following the first season in which all the clubs playing below the National League System throughout Cornwall did so in one league.

He made reference to Tracy Banfield who was going to serve on the committee but sadly passed away during the season and also offered the league’s condolences to the family of Colin Burrell who served on the now defunct Duchy Football League.

In his report, league secretary Steve Carpenter reflected on how the season just ended had its challenges, particularly with the weather, but all were dealt with quickly and overall there were no major dramas apart from those that were weather induced.

Mr Carpenter referred to the loss of several clubs over the course of the season, but said it must be borne in mind that these losses are in line with the average numbers lost in the five previous leagues over the past ten years.

“As regards the routine administration,” added Mr Carpenter, “this has generally been good although the value of fines issued reached just over £4,100. Administration-type fines will always be my bugbear as they are almost completely avoidable and a zero total for these should always be our aim.

“On the field, it was good to see the top end of virtually all of the divisions being very competitive right to the end of the season and despite the weather pressures and delays all cup competitions were completed.

“Congratulations to all of the season’s winners are thoroughly deserved and also go to our county cup winners Hayle and Dropship and, of course, to St Day on their promotion to the SW Peninsula League.

“It is important that we identify where we can improve given the experience of our first season. Cornwall FA will survey our clubs to get their views on where we can improve and this will feed into the committee review.”

Holman Reserves, Perranporth Reserves, Newlyn Non-Athletico Reserves, Chacewater, Mawgan, Speak Out United, Probus Reserves and Goonhavern Reserves were all admitted into division four (West) and Helston Raiders have become Falmouth Athletic and St Erme have become St Erme Godolphin and will now play at Godolphin Way.

One of the proposed rule changes which will have pleased many clubs further down the pecking order is that the standard time for kick-offs will now be 2.30pm for all league games throughout the season. Clubs can also only request to have three dates on which they do not want to be allocated a game when submitting their fixture details.

Referees will also have more to look forward to following a rule change that sees the fee for the premier division games being £50, division one £45 and divisions two to four £35, an increase of £5.

Treasurer Steve Ladlow presented a healthy balance sheet to the clubs and said there would be no change in the annual subscriptions.

He said: “We were very pleased to have continued sponsorship from Kernow Stone and the league management committee will continue to support all clubs and work hard to ensure the league’s finances remain sound and allow the league to grow and prosper.”

The fixture secretary for the premier division and division one, Ian Anear, said that the first season where all football in Cornwall, below the National League System, has come under the umbrella of the St Piran League had been a very successful transition.

“Generally speaking, the changes have worked well,” said Mr Anear. He added that he could not recall a season when so much rain had fallen causing endless problems for clubs and leagues. In total there were 364 changes to the original 812 scheduled matches.

Divisions two to four (West) fixture secretary, David James, said it had been a competitive season. “All three divisions went down to the very last game before the champions and runners-up were decided,” said Mr James.

He revealed a few facts and figures with division two playing 151 of their 156 scheduled matches with five conceded; division three played 153 of their 156 matches with two conceded; and division four played 148 of their 156 matches with 8 conceded. 183 league games were rearranged as were 71 cup matches.

In his dual role, registration secretary Steve Ladlow said the total number of player registrations across all the leagues was 5,104 – of which 2,642 were in the West and 2,462 in the East. There was also 830 notices of approach(NOA)/dual registrations completed as well as 500 transfers approved – 280 in the West and 220 in the East.

“Despite the player registration system making registrations and transfers much smoother and user friendly, a better understanding of the FA/league rules, particularly around the NOA process, is still required by a number of clubs,” said Mr Ladlow.

“Only register those players you intend to use in your squads because of the total registrations for last season there was a considerable number of registered players (circa 750+) that never made an appearance.”