Kevin Gallacher column: Dyke's FA plan will hinder grassroots

Kevin Gallacher

Kevin Gallacher

First published in Sport by

I DON’T agree with Football Association chairman Greg Dyke’s proposals for a B league at all.

I’ve played at the top level but now I’m helping out in grassroots with AFC Darwen.

We are ambitious and we want to rise through the leagues.

But we are also realistic and for now we are looking at a team like Nelson, who have just been promoted from our league, the North West Counties First Division.

But if we were to look further up the ladder we would be looking toward a Chorley.

But if Greg Dyke has his way Chorley, and every other non-league team, would have another rung to climb up.

Before we know it there’ll be six professional club divisions and the rest of grassroots will be forgotten about.

The top clubs can forget about grassroots, because they are so far removed from it, but it’s not fair on the people who work hard and graft and who put in so many hours free of charge, all in a bid to make their grassroots or non-league team better and give them a chance of getting up the ladder.

That’s a challenge in itself because people tend to forget just how many divisions there are in non-league.

So for them to see another division put ahead of them, made up of a number of Premiership B teams, would be a real kick in the teeth.

I really think it would mess everything up and I don’t think it would be successful.

What I do think would be more successful is the return of proper, competitive reserve-team football.

In my day it did not matter if you were a young player or a first-team player, you would play in the reserves.

It was part and parcel of your development and I can remember playing in the reserves on the Friday and then being on the bench for the first team on the Saturday.

That was the way it was – and it was a good thing.

I remember in my early days at Dundee United and playing in the reserves against Rangers and they had two or three first-team players coming back from injury and two or three younger players who were in and out of the first team.

It was so exciting and a real challenge to see how you could handle it against those guys.

And that challenge was still there later in my career. I remember coming back from my broken leg at Blackburn and we played Manchester United and they had Gary Neville and Chris Casper marking me.

Nowadays I can’t imagine too many first team players turning around and playing for the reserves.

But for me that’s wrong and managers should have the strength of character to play them in the reserves, or the development league as it is now called.

It would be a big benefit to the young players they are playing alongside or against.

Comments (12)

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2:02pm Wed 14 May 14

slants says...

What makes me laugh is the nepotism in football.Approx 10% of all British players in the leagues are sons of footballers and managers .They get contracts no matter what their ability.Just look at Beckhams son and Mourinhos sons both at Fulham but other people have been let go .Dont pretend that just because their dad played football they are any good .
What makes me laugh is the nepotism in football.Approx 10% of all British players in the leagues are sons of footballers and managers .They get contracts no matter what their ability.Just look at Beckhams son and Mourinhos sons both at Fulham but other people have been let go .Dont pretend that just because their dad played football they are any good . slants
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Wed 14 May 14

vicn1956 says...

Wasn't the premier league set up to improve the English game- leagues and international team?
Or to help the top teams?
I know which one I believe.
Wasn't the premier league set up to improve the English game- leagues and international team? Or to help the top teams? I know which one I believe. vicn1956
  • Score: 9

3:59pm Wed 14 May 14

Ronaldpetercooper says...

I agree with you Kevin. In the late 50's I played with Crewe Alex mostly in the reserves and we played in the Cheshire League. As youngsters we played against season pros and believe me they were as hard as nails which was just what we needed and gained lots of good experience. The quality of football was excellent. My mates down at Stoke played in the Central League and told me how tough that was. Then guess what to save a few bob the reserve leagues were all terminated. If they want a reserve league they should form one instead of this silly B team idea.
If they want to restrict the foreign players then end all loans in the Premier League and find a system to either restrict the numbers that can play at one time or find an acceptable financial arrangement to reward teams who play English born players although tis is probably a bit silly. Then improve the quality of coaching at all levels after all there is a lot of money floating about to pay for this.
I am sure this would be welcomed by fans as they could go to watch the reserves I the first team were away and the journey a long way away.
I agree with you Kevin. In the late 50's I played with Crewe Alex mostly in the reserves and we played in the Cheshire League. As youngsters we played against season pros and believe me they were as hard as nails which was just what we needed and gained lots of good experience. The quality of football was excellent. My mates down at Stoke played in the Central League and told me how tough that was. Then guess what to save a few bob the reserve leagues were all terminated. If they want a reserve league they should form one instead of this silly B team idea. If they want to restrict the foreign players then end all loans in the Premier League and find a system to either restrict the numbers that can play at one time or find an acceptable financial arrangement to reward teams who play English born players although tis is probably a bit silly. Then improve the quality of coaching at all levels after all there is a lot of money floating about to pay for this. I am sure this would be welcomed by fans as they could go to watch the reserves I the first team were away and the journey a long way away. Ronaldpetercooper
  • Score: 7

4:52pm Wed 14 May 14

Maxrus says...

slants wrote:
What makes me laugh is the nepotism in football.Approx 10% of all British players in the leagues are sons of footballers and managers .They get contracts no matter what their ability.Just look at Beckhams son and Mourinhos sons both at Fulham but other people have been let go .Dont pretend that just because their dad played football they are any good .
You still here
[quote][p][bold]slants[/bold] wrote: What makes me laugh is the nepotism in football.Approx 10% of all British players in the leagues are sons of footballers and managers .They get contracts no matter what their ability.Just look at Beckhams son and Mourinhos sons both at Fulham but other people have been let go .Dont pretend that just because their dad played football they are any good .[/p][/quote]You still here Maxrus
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Wed 14 May 14

roverinmanchstr says...

Yes, I go along with all the comments....Indeed, the England team picked by Roy Hodgson has many of the younger players in than all?/ most of the previous Teams that have been sent to a World Cup so what's all this nonsense Greg???
Yes, I go along with all the comments....Indeed, the England team picked by Roy Hodgson has many of the younger players in than all?/ most of the previous Teams that have been sent to a World Cup so what's all this nonsense Greg??? roverinmanchstr
  • Score: 5

5:40pm Wed 14 May 14

juanbbien says...

Just a thought but I see Brad Friedal is on a free transfer
Just a thought but I see Brad Friedal is on a free transfer juanbbien
  • Score: 3

6:24pm Wed 14 May 14

owd nick says...

Absolutely correct, it's pandering to the big PL teams yet again.

If it's so important why don't they set up a reserves league to run concurrent with the PL fixtures; oh I forgot, it will cost money and next to no-one will turn up to watch, better to get someone else to take responsibility.
Absolutely correct, it's pandering to the big PL teams yet again. If it's so important why don't they set up a reserves league to run concurrent with the PL fixtures; oh I forgot, it will cost money and next to no-one will turn up to watch, better to get someone else to take responsibility. owd nick
  • Score: 4

9:34pm Wed 14 May 14

jogalot says...

+1 for reserve teams. Season tickets used to include all the reserve games as well. Bring that back too. Sometimes the reserve games were better than the first team games, just the atmosphere not quite as good.

I think this will interest everyone. Millions made by all premiership clubs last season:

http://www.theguardi
an.com/football/2014
/may/14/manchester-c
ity-liverpool-premie
r-league-earn
+1 for reserve teams. Season tickets used to include all the reserve games as well. Bring that back too. Sometimes the reserve games were better than the first team games, just the atmosphere not quite as good. I think this will interest everyone. Millions made by all premiership clubs last season: http://www.theguardi an.com/football/2014 /may/14/manchester-c ity-liverpool-premie r-league-earn jogalot
  • Score: 0

7:57am Thu 15 May 14

Incest Each Sunday says...

slants wrote:
What makes me laugh is the nepotism in football.Approx 10% of all British players in the leagues are sons of footballers and managers .They get contracts no matter what their ability.Just look at Beckhams son and Mourinhos sons both at Fulham but other people have been let go .Dont pretend that just because their dad played football they are any good .
If I'd had one-to-one coaching from David Beckham ever since I could walk, I'm pretty sure I'd be quite a good player by time I was 10. If I'd had been taking footballing advice from one of the greatest football brains in the world, ever since I was old enough to understand him, I'm pretty sure I'd be able to read the game better than most of the kids my age. Nepotism is indeed part of football (although that 10% statistic sounds a bit high), but it goes on in most jobs.
[quote][p][bold]slants[/bold] wrote: What makes me laugh is the nepotism in football.Approx 10% of all British players in the leagues are sons of footballers and managers .They get contracts no matter what their ability.Just look at Beckhams son and Mourinhos sons both at Fulham but other people have been let go .Dont pretend that just because their dad played football they are any good .[/p][/quote]If I'd had one-to-one coaching from David Beckham ever since I could walk, I'm pretty sure I'd be quite a good player by time I was 10. If I'd had been taking footballing advice from one of the greatest football brains in the world, ever since I was old enough to understand him, I'm pretty sure I'd be able to read the game better than most of the kids my age. Nepotism is indeed part of football (although that 10% statistic sounds a bit high), but it goes on in most jobs. Incest Each Sunday
  • Score: 5

8:16am Thu 15 May 14

Incest Each Sunday says...

owd nick wrote:
Absolutely correct, it's pandering to the big PL teams yet again.

If it's so important why don't they set up a reserves league to run concurrent with the PL fixtures; oh I forgot, it will cost money and next to no-one will turn up to watch, better to get someone else to take responsibility.
I'm not surprised by Dyke's proposals. Why the FA have charged him with task of turning around the national team's fortunes is perplexing to say the least. He's not a football man, he's a bleeding journalist by trade and, as regular readers of football365's 'mediawatch' column will know, when it comes to football their understanding of the game is questionable to say the least.
[quote][p][bold]owd nick[/bold] wrote: Absolutely correct, it's pandering to the big PL teams yet again. If it's so important why don't they set up a reserves league to run concurrent with the PL fixtures; oh I forgot, it will cost money and next to no-one will turn up to watch, better to get someone else to take responsibility.[/p][/quote]I'm not surprised by Dyke's proposals. Why the FA have charged him with task of turning around the national team's fortunes is perplexing to say the least. He's not a football man, he's a bleeding journalist by trade and, as regular readers of football365's 'mediawatch' column will know, when it comes to football their understanding of the game is questionable to say the least. Incest Each Sunday
  • Score: 2

10:35am Thu 15 May 14

BRFC75 says...

Gallagher a true football man, a honest guy ,pity we cannot find a role for him at Rovers , perhaps as GB slowly and bit by bit gets rid of the con men , gets rid of all Kean`s immoral cronies mates and drinking pals, we might find a position for a decent ex player.
Gallagher a true football man, a honest guy ,pity we cannot find a role for him at Rovers , perhaps as GB slowly and bit by bit gets rid of the con men , gets rid of all Kean`s immoral cronies mates and drinking pals, we might find a position for a decent ex player. BRFC75
  • Score: 1

1:17pm Thu 15 May 14

owd nick says...

BRFC75 wrote:
Gallagher a true football man, a honest guy ,pity we cannot find a role for him at Rovers , perhaps as GB slowly and bit by bit gets rid of the con men , gets rid of all Kean`s immoral cronies mates and drinking pals, we might find a position for a decent ex player.
seconded.
[quote][p][bold]BRFC75[/bold] wrote: Gallagher a true football man, a honest guy ,pity we cannot find a role for him at Rovers , perhaps as GB slowly and bit by bit gets rid of the con men , gets rid of all Kean`s immoral cronies mates and drinking pals, we might find a position for a decent ex player.[/p][/quote]seconded. owd nick
  • Score: 0

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