Powers in The Midland League – Ambitions at Football – A Final Summary.

24 August 1938

Mexborough and Swinton Times, August 24, 1938

Ambitions at Football
A Final Summary.
Powers in The Midland League.

The Midland league competition of 26 clubs will open its 35th and most crowded season tomorrow

It has regained after five years all the clubs it lost for a spell to the Midland Combination and has been in the happy position of preparing for a new campaign by selecting its members from a number of applicants.

Several of the weaker clubs have as a result, been seeded out; and in their places, to raise still further the high standard of play in the competition, have come in five football league clubs who were not in membership last season.

South Yorkshire starts off with particularly enhanced prospects, in spite of the bad times economically, as three of the returned wanderers are Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster, old (members who brought with them formerly the spice of local rivalry to add to the zest of the competition and to swell the “gates”- on South Yorkshire grounds.

The Midland League this season comprises nine reserve teams of Football League clubs, and fifteen senior teams of other clubs. Geographically the competition covers a considerable area. The clubs are drawn from the following counties:—

Yorkshire               11

Derbyshire              1

Nottinghamshire      7

Lincolnshire             6

Leicestershire          1

This year’s list includes three founder-members—Gainsboro’, Lincoln, Staveley—and Rotherham, who were represented in the original Midland League competition of 1889-90 by Rotherham Town, now merged in Rotherham United. The membership includes, apart from Rotherham Town and Rotherham County, ten former champions of the competition:

Lincoln (1890, 1908, 1920, 1924), Gainsboro’ (1891, 1928), Doncaster (1897), Mexboro’ (1898, 1926), Barnsley (1902), Chesterfield (1910), Grimsby (1911), Worksop (1922), Mansfield (1923, 1925), Scunthorpe  (1927)

The club with the longest association with the competition is Gainsboro’, who start tomorrow on their 30th Midland League season—appropriately, as holders of the championship. Doncaster Lincoln each begin on their 28th season.

The youngest club is Scarboro’, who will to-morrow commence their second Midland League season.

In readiness for a campaign that promises to be full of interest and excitement we try below to provide followers of the competition with a general knowledge of the clubs and the players that will be seen on the local Midland League grounds during the next eight months.

Denaby have re-organised tile management and part of the team. Have Bill Langley, their old captain, the Mexboro’ born man who served Frickley well for several recent seasons as team trainer; Mr, Will Astbury back at the “exchequer; Mr. Jim Hancock as general secretary; Mr. Tom Swinburne—the Midland League referee—as team manager, a new appointment; and Jim Thompson as groundsman, busy completing improvements.

Last season’s splendid defence retained with the exception of Jack Barker who has gone to Leicester; Birch, Taylor, Rodgers; also the half-back line, which last season was as good as anything we saw in Midland League football: Clegg, Ogley, Windle. Windle has already played in the team for more than 200 consecutive games and should be rewarded with a big sum from his benefit match this winter, Only Kelly and Jenkins retained among the forwards.

New men all juniors in the making: Claypole, the Whinney Hill goalkeeper; Speight, the big goalkeeper from Frickley ; Finney, the Goldthorpe man; Burton, the Conisboro’ Welfare amateur; Cartwright, the big South Kirkby defender; Sanderson, an amateur half ; Mell, a half from Frickley; Blythe, that very promising young right-half from Roman Terrace; Leslie Turner, the Warmsworth centre-half; Martin, the fast-moving, scoring left: winger from South Kirkby; Albert Green, the inside forward back from Sheffield; Joe Smith, the Conisboro’ Welfare centre-forward: Pears, a Frickley forward; Beasley, an Army forward ; Hammond, from Denaby Church and ‘A. Turner, the promising young left winger from Ecclesfield. Attack, which was the weak part last season, should be improved.

Mexboro’ have reconstructed their team, dropped several of the older hands , and gone in for young players of promise from the immediate district. Last season served largely as experimental one, and as a result Senior the Denaby junior half; Newton, the Edllington right winger; Higginbottom, the Sheffield junior left wrnger; and Binney, the Barnsley Traction Club goalkeeper, have been engaged.

The only experienced players retained are Davis, Beaumont, Vollans, and Briggs. The most notable addition is Ernetst Higginbottom, the Rotherham utility back. Beresford and Tilson, two other junior forwards, are on the list. The team largely experimental and adjustments may be necessary from ‘time to time during first few weeks of season. Many promising youngsters got together by Mr. Marshall for a revived reserve team.

Wath finished last season in a manner that suggested had they been better starters, Gainsboro would had had a keener fight for the championship. Ten of the regular team, and two utility men, of last season are retained.

Principle change at centre–forward, where Sam. White, of Rawmarsh, takes the place of Williams retired to Frickley. Other new comers include Lloyd, who returns after four years; Nelson, an amateur goalkeeper from SiIverwood; Mitchell, a right half who has just come out of Leeds Training College; Wood, an outside-left from Treeton.

Wombwell continue in their arrangement with The Wednesday, which worked so well last season, and hope again to develop a number of good players from promising young material that comes to their notice. Have been tardy in their signings but promise to have a good team ready for the opening match Stevens, Pennington and Sanderson are the only members of last season’s team engaged.

Newcomers include White, a back from Sutton; Staniland a half from Worksop, Baker, an outside-right who has played with Chesterfield; and Crownshaw, the Worksop. forward. several juniors are under observation and will he introduced into the team as they show themselves potential Midland Leaguers.