NEFL clubs shape up for new season

Story by Conall Collier

Thursday, 28th February, 2019 7:25pm

NEFL clubs shape up for new season

Players will be getting ready for the new soccer season over the next few weeks

The new calendar year North East Football League season will kick-off for some 49 clubs (70 teams) from 22nd - 24th March  with a series of Shield games.

The gradings were announced last night and a small number of the gradings are provisional subject to clubs / teams meeting all necessary criteria for inclusion.

This season there will be a total of seven divisions with 10 teams in each with Div 3 and Div 4 categorised in separate groupings on a geographical basis as much as possible and catering for first team and second teams.

The only competition that will cater solely for second teams will be the Reserve Cup.

The Kilmessan FC Shield will include Premier, Div 1 and Div 2 teams that will be drawn in 10 groups of three teams per group.

All groups will contain one team from each division with the highest placed team qualifying for the knock-out phase later in the season. 

Teams in Div 3A, 3B, 4A and 4B  will contest the Fiacre O'Neill Shield in 10 groups of four teams each with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the knock-out phase. 

Head-to-head results followed by goal difference shall apply to determine final positions in Shield competitions. 

The first round will take place 22nd - 24th March, second round weekending 31st March. 

All necessary third round group matches will be scheduled during the early part of the season. 

League fixtures for Div 1 shall be scheduled for weekending 31st March where teams are not scheduled for Shield games.

Premier, Div 2, Div 3A 3B, 4A 4B on weekending 7th April.

Premier (10) - Ardee Celtic, Bellurgan, Boyne Harps, Duleek, Muirhevnamor, Newfoundwell, Parkvilla, Rock Celtic, Square Utd, Trim Celtic.

Div 1 (10) - Albion Rovers, Bay, Carrick Rovers, Enfield Celtic, Hazel Lane, Kentstown Rovers, Kingscourt Harps, OMP Utd, Redeemer Celtic, Torro Utd.

Div 2 (10) -  Athboy Celtic, Bailieboro Celtic, Chord Celtic, Donacarney Celtic, Johnstown, Moneymore, Newtown Utd, Oldcastle Utd,  Trim Town, Virginia.

Div 3A (10) - Bohermeen Celtic, Kells Celtic, Kilmessan, Navan Town Cosmos, OMP 2nds, Park Celtic Summerhill,  Parkvilla 2nds, Robinstown, Torro Utd 2nds, Trim Celtic 2nds.

Div3B (10) - Abbey Celtic, Albion Rovers 2nds, Boyne Harps 2nds, Duleek 2nds, Electro Celtic, Glenmuir, Hazel Lane 2nds, Kentstown 2nds, Millmount Celtic, Newfoundwell 2nds.

Div 4A (10) - BJD Celtic, BMC Utd,  Carrick Rovers 2nds,  Castle Villa,  Electro Celtic 2nds,  Fordrew Rovers, Newtown Utd 2nds,  Rathkenny Rovers,  Slane Wanderers,  Virginia 2nds.

Div 4B (10) - Albion 3rds, Chord Cel 2nds, Donacarney 2nds, Johnstown 2nds *Kilmessan 2nds, Lourdes Celtic *
Robinstown 2nds, Rossin Rovers, Square 2nds, Thatch FC

For promotion/relegation play-offs the team finishing third from bottom in the higher grade shall have home advantage.

Premier/Div 1:

Bottom two in Premier liable for relegation. 
Top two in Div 1 liable for promotion. 
Third from bottom in Premier play-off with third Div 1

Div 1/Div 2

Bottom two in Div 1 liable for relegation. Top two in Div 2 liable for promotion. Third from bottom in Div 1 play-off with third in Div 2

Div 2/Div 3

Bottom two teams in Div 2 liable for relegation. 
Top team in Div 3A and 3B liable for promotion and qualify for a title play-off at a neutral venue. 
Third from bottom in Div 2 go into a three-way promotion/relegation play off with second in 3A and 3B. 

Top team from round robin play-off liable for Div 2 status.
 In the event of two teams level on points head to head results to apply in the first instance, followed by goal difference, and goals scored. If inseperable at that point further play-off/s to apply.

Div 3 / Div 4
Bottom two teams in Div 3A and Div 3B liable for relegation. 
Top two teams in Div 4A and 4B liable for promotion. 
Top team in each division 4 group qualify for a title play off at a neutral venue.

OTHER INFO 
Two returning previous members of NEFL Rossin Rovers who were graded in Div 3 along with Rathkenny Rovers graded in Div 4. 
There are three extra or returning reserve teams Chord Celtic, Electro Celtic, & Newtown Utd all graded in division 4.

Clubs/teams from shortened season that did not re-apply. - 
Woodview Celtic (Div 2);

RESERVES - Ardee Celtic, Bellurgan Utd, Drogheda Town, Muirhevnamor (Premier Reserve); Athboy Celtic, Redeemer Celtic, Rock Celtic (A Reserve); Glenmuir, Virginia FC thirds (B Reserve).
Bellurgan have declared they are putting their reserve team in the Dundalk League.
Other Dundalk area based teams that have not entered, and have a presence in their league from 2018 may in some cases be doing likewise, but aside of Bellurgan none have declared their intent to the NEFL.

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