Bispham Juniors FC fold from Division 1.

Official notification has been received from the BFSFA that Division 1 side Bispham Juniors FC have folded from the league.  Here is their obituary.  The table has been affected greatly.  The table on the sister site has been updated and I expect that the tables on Fyldesport will be updated Sunday PM.

PS – Division 1 side Waterloo Hotel FC have changed their name to FC Loco.

In the 2001/02 season Bispham Juniors Football Federation FC joined a BFSFA of eight Divisions in Division 4B.  They were perhaps the forerunners of succesful junior teams staying together and instead of going their separate ways and having a break they came straight into adult football.  A good decision for Bispham Juniors as they finished unbeaten champions in that first season after winning twenty and drawing two of their twenty-two games.  They also notched up one hundred and thirty-two goals with Mark Cottam and David Dean scoring 55 between them.

Their performance was so impressive that the league promoted them straight up to Division 2B for the 2002/03 season but it didn't stop them as they again finished champions four points ahead of Castle Gardens.  They only lost three all season.  In 2003/04 things got a little more difficult in Division 1 but they still managed to finish in a respectable third place level on points behind second placed Poulton but a good way behind champions St Annes Ex Service.

Promoted to the Premier Division for the 2004/05 season the young side impressed when winning six and drawing three of their twenty-two matches which led to a seventh placed finish.  The following season (2005/06) they won eight and drew six and this time finished in eighth.

Bispham Juniors in the red away at Highbury.

Mark Cottam away at Cahoots.

Ex Blackpool FC player Gary Briggs – the long-time Bispham Juniors manager.

In 2006/07 things started to go badly in the top Division where few sides have managed to retain much staying power over the last twelve seasons.  In a campaign to forget a number of the top players decided to leave.  It was of little surprise when the team finished bottom on only twelve points and were therefore relegated to Division 1.

At that time the team that joined Division 4B in 2001/02 had all but folded but their place in Division 1 in the 2007/08 season was taken over by another of the BJFF junior sides.  In retrospect this proved to be a mistake as they should have started afresh in Division 3B.  The young side struggled badly losing their opening thirteen league games.  Their first point came in a 2-2 draw against the Shovels in December and they didn't manage to win a game until April 6th when they hammered the Philharmonic 6-0, a result that saw the end of the Philharmonic.  Bispham went on to finish bottom of Division 1 picking up only seven points along the way.  However, they did pick up greatly towards the end of the season which resulted in a great run in the Division 1 Cup where they were extremely unlucky to lose to Christ the King in extra time.

Bispham Juniors 2007/08  (Gez Currey bottom left)

TheDivision 1 Cup quarter-final with Kngsfield at Commonedge Road.

In the semi-final against Christ the King.

At the beginning of this season (2008/09) hopes were high for Bispham Juniors following their strong finish to 2007/08 but sadly they were once again severely disadvantaged by player defections.  Once again a new crop of youngsters had to come into the squad and once again the quality of Division 1 took its toll as they lost their first nine league games of the season whilst crashing out 11-2 to Division 2A side AFC Additions in the Gledhill Cup.

That disastrous opening run to the season has ultimately resulted in the club folding.  As you've read, a brief history of highs and lows.  The thing to remember is that the players of the last two seasons were not bad players, they were just in the wrong Division.  My advice would be to re-group the youngsters and start afresh in Division 3B next season.  Whatever happens I hope that the players and management haven't been too put off by recent experiences and quickly find alternative employment in Fylde Coast Sunday football.

Sportspy, Janauary 2009

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