North East Academy have confirmed to East Kilbride Pirates that they will not be able to fulfil the U19 fixture due to take place this Sunday 30 April 2017.
Just three games in to the U19 season, and we already have our first scheduling casualty. The North East Academy are rumoured to only have 13 players and are instead going to East Kilbride to take part in a controlled scrimmage.
Eyebrows were raised in DC Towers when we first saw the U19 alignment and finalised schedule. North East Academy are one of twelve associate sides referenced in the document. Ten of these sides did not have the minimum number of players required for the season, whilst two – Colchester Gladiators and Essex Spartans – had the required numbers, but were taking a gradual approach in to the league.
The associate sides are scheduled to play ‘mini league’ games against one another, and if they show they have a healthy number of players and coaches, will be considered for entry in to the league in 2018. However, North East Academy and Essex Spartans are both slated to play league sides (NEA to face East Kilbride and Highland, with Essex to face Hertfordshire home and away) to ensure those in the Northern and Southern conferences all play a six game schedule. At least, that was the plan.
It’s not yet been confirmed whether or not this game will be rescheduled, but early indications are it will result in a 1-0 walkover win and a 5 game regular season for the Pirates in 2017.
Remember, while we update the main pages for the U17 and U19 sections of the website, you can access fixtures and standings in the links below.