Sunday League: All change ahead Calder Valley league’s big kick-off

FC Panda
FC Panda

There will be a new name and a new look for Sunday football in Halifax when the season kicks off at the weekend.

A busy summer has seen no fewer than 17 new teams enter what will now be known as The Calder Valley Sunday Football League.

The demise of the Heavy Woollen Sunday League has seen the traditional Calderdale boundaries expanded with teams now competing from Todmorden through to Dewsbury in a three division format.

Based in Lord Street, Halifax, Briggs Priestley Signs & Graphics will once more be the League sponsor, also putting their name to the Senior Cup competition.

It was voted by clubs at Augusts SGM that the Senior Cup would be contested by the ten Premier Division sides, whilst the League Cup would be contested by the remaining 22 Division One and Two clubs.

The League Cup will once more be sponsored by Outdoor World Direct who are based on Roundwood Industrial Estate in Ossett.

The league committee would like to publicly thank both sponsors for their continued support of local football.

Alongside the raft of rule changes in the sport introduced globally for this season, the introduction of Sin Bins will also come into the equation in all competitions.

Trials have proven the system, which removes players from the field for 10 minutes for dissent, has cut down on such offences.

Clubs have also voted to allow more players to take part in matches this season to help to keep up participation numbers. A side will now be allowed to name seven substitutes, of which five can be brought on during matches.

The expanded format has put pressure on refereeing resources and referee appointments secretary Tahir Khan has worked hard in the off season recruiting more officials. Further numbers are still required however to prevent matches from going un-staffed and any interested officials are encouraged to contact the League.

The rest of the league management committee remains as last season, but there are vacancies with volunteers needed by the League who are looking for a permanent media officer and match results secretary.

The season itself will kick off at 11am across the Calder Valley on Sunday, with some big encounters in the first round of fixtures. The reigning champions from both the Halifax and Heavy Woollen competitions lock horns on the first weekend as FC Panda host Mirfield Town at Calderdale College.

The other top flight matches see Birstall CC host Hollins Holme, Clifton Rangers host Deighton WMC and FC Hounds host Feathers in Birchencliffe, Huddersfield.

In Division One, Lee Mount look highly fancied this season and face a trip to Brighouse based Cock of the North FC on the opening weekend. The other encounters are Ravenswharfe v FC Panda Reserves, Ryburn Valley v Wellington Westgate, Wire Works v Thrum Hall and Woodhouse v Park FC, who are the re-branded King Cross Park from the 2018-19 season.

In the bottom tier Battyeford Sporting Club Juniors face Barum Top, Clifton Rangers Athletic face Clifton Rangers Reserves in an early derby encounter, Halifax Rangers host Inter Batley, Old Pond face Old Post Office at Lane Head and Sands Lane meet Spen FC in Dewsbury.