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Value of Merit Leagues and growing new Teams

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Was following results on Twitter over the weekend and it seems there is a growing amount of A Team's getting underway in the NW particularly at supposedly lesser clubs or areas not traditionally part of the formal league.  Chester & Cadishead played a double header with both fielding an A Team in addition to their First Team, and at Bury we've played Canalsiders, Bamber A, Runcorn and we had a double header with Bolton.  Thinking back a few years when we were struggling for players, and I know Bolton were too, for us to field two teams each is some achievement...

 

What it shows is the real value of merit leagues as a tool for growing participation and getting new sides off the ground. being able to arrange a fixture around other commitments (we've one pitch so need the flexibility) and also being able to judge your opposition based on your own development (we lent Canalsiders players after going 28 up in less than 20 minutes) is a huge plus for the sport.  was madness it wasn't brought in earlier.

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