Highland Football League

Highland Football League

Infobox football league
name = Highland Football League

pixels = 100
country = Scotland
founded = 1893
folded =
divisions =
teams = 15
feeds =
levels =
website = http://www.highlandfootballleague.com/
The Highland Football League (HFL) is a league of football clubs operating not in just the Scottish highlands as the name may suggest, but also the north east lowlands (Moray and Aberdeenshire). It is one of the three 'senior' non-leagues (that is a league that is not the Scottish Football League (SFL), Scottish Premier League or one of the Scottish Junior Football Association's leagues) in Scotland. The HFL is a full member of the Scottish Football Association.

History

Formation

The HFL was formed on August 4, 1893, at the Inverness Workman's Club. The original league consisted of seven teams: Inverness Thistle, Caledonian, Clachnacuddin, Forres Mechanics, Inverness Union, Inverness Citadel and Cameron Highlanders. Ross County were an eighth original member, but resigned membership in November, 1893. Of the original teams, two are still playing in the league today (Clachnacuddin and Forres Mechanics), and two merged to become current SPL outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Recent History

Many of the member clubs have performed well when competing against SFL clubs in the Scottish Cup. However, from the 1990s onwards, it has been a victim of its own success, with various teams defecting to other leagues. Furthermore it has also had to contend with overexposure of large teams in the area such as Aberdeen and Inverness Caledonian Thistle, as well as the Old Firm to the South, and to an extent, English football. However, the lack of Premier League teams in the area, and to a lesser extent First Division, has/had worked in its favour, with some football fans being less willing to travel long distances to games in southern Scotland.

The league has been somewhat weakened in recent years by the departure of many former members who have subsequently joined the SFL. This happened in 1994 when Caledonian, Inverness Thistle and Ross County left. Until then the HFL operated with 18 clubs, which was reduced by the departure of the three mentioned clubs who were replaced by the election of Wick Academy from the North Caledonian Football League to create a league of 16 clubs. This was the state of affairs till 2000 when Elgin City and Peterhead were elected into the SFL. In 2002 Inverurie Loco Works were elected into the HFL to give it a membership of 15 clubs, with which it continues to operate.

Recently, North Region Junior sides Formartine United and Turriff United have both submitted bids to join the Highland League, following in the footsteps of past Junior side Inverurie Locos. Both teams joining would leave the League with 17 teams, and having an even 16 team league is seen move favourably, so it is likely only one side's application will be successful. Whichever team is successful in their application will join in the 2009-2010 season.

HFL Members

Current members

*Brora Rangers
*Buckie Thistle
*Clachnacuddin
*Cove Rangers
*Deveronvale
*Forres Mechanics
*Fort William
*Fraserburgh
*Huntly
*Inverurie Loco Works
*Keith
*Lossiemouth
*Nairn County
*Rothes
*Wick Academy

Former Members now playing in the Scottish Football League

*Elgin City
*Inverness Caledonian Thistle [Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. were formed by the merger of Caledonian F.C. and Inverness Thistle F.C.]
*Peterhead
*Ross County

Linked Competitions

The HFL also administer several other competitions contested by some or all of the clubs. These competitions are:
*Highland League Cup
*North of Scotland Challenge Cup
*Inverness Cup
*Aberdeenshire Shield

List of HFL championship winners

1893–94 Inverness Thistle
1894–95 Clachnacuddin
1895–96 Inverness Caledonian (won after a play-off)
1896–97 Clachnacuddin
1897–98 Clachnacuddin
1898–99 Inverness Caledonian
1899–00 Inverness Caledonian
1900–01 Clachnacuddin
1901–02 Inverness Caledonian
1902–03 Clachnacuddin
1903–04 Clachnacuddin
1904–05 Clachnacuddin (won after a play-off)
1905–06 Clachnacuddin
1906–07 Inverness Thistle
1907–08 Clachnacuddin
1908–09 Inverness Citadel
1909–10 Inverness Thistle
1910–11 Inverness Caledonian
1911–12 Clachnacuddin
1912–13 Aberdeen 'A'
1913–14 Inverness Caledonian
1914–15 unfinished
1915–16 - 1918–19 No HFL championship competed for during the First World War
1919–20 Buckie Thistle
1920–21 Clachnacuddin
1921–22 Clachnacuddin
1922–23 Clachnacuddin
1923–24 Clachnacuddin
1924–25 Aberdeen 'A'
1925–26 Inverness Caledonian
1926–27 Buckie Thistle
1927–28 Buckie Thistle
1928–29 Inverness Thistle
1929–30 Huntly
1930–31 Inverness Caledonian
1931–32 Elgin City
1932–33 Fraserburgh
1933–34 Buckie Thistle
1934–35 Elgin City
1935–36 Inverness Thistle
1936–37 Buckie Thistle
1937–38 Fraserburgh
1938–39 Clachnacuddin
1939–40 - 1945–46 No HFL championship competed for during the Second World War
1946–47 Peterhead
1947–48 Clacknacuddin
1948–49 Peterhead
1949–50 Peterhead
1950–51 Inverness Caledonian
1951–52 Inverness Caledonian
1952–53 Elgin City
1953–54 Buckie Thistle
1954–55 Winner undecided.
1955–56 Elgin City (won after a play-off)
1956–57 Buckie Thistle
1957–58 Buckie Thistle
1958–59 Rothes (won after a play-off)
1959–60 Elgin City
1960–61 Elgin City (won after a play-off)
1961–62 Keith
1962–63 Elgin City
1963–64 Inverness Caledonian
1964–65 Elgin City
1965–66 Elgin City
1966–67 Ross County
1967–68 Elgin City
1968–69 Elgin City
1969–70 Elgin City
1970–71 Inverness Caledonian
1971–72 Inverness Thistle
1972–73 Inverness Thistle (won after a play-off)
1973–74 Elgin City
1974–75 Clachnacuddin
1975–76 Nairn County (won after a play-off)
1976–77 Inverness Caledonian
1977–78 Inverness Caledonian
1978–79 Keith
1979–80 Keith
1980–81 Keith
1981–82 Inverness Caledonian
1982–83 Inverness Caledonian
1983–84 Inverness Caledonian
1984–85 Keith
1985–86 Forres Mechanics
1986–87 Inverness Thistle
1987–88 Inverness Caledonian
1988–89 Peterhead
1989–90 Elgin City
1990–91 Ross County
1991–92 Ross County
1992–93 Championship withheld (Elgin City had won the league, but had the title removed from them)
1993–94 Huntly
1994–95 Huntly
1995–96 Huntly
1996–97 Huntly
1997–98 Huntly
1998–99 Peterhead
1999–00 Keith
2000–01 Cove Rangers
2001–02 Fraserburgh
2002–03 Deveronvale
2003–04 Clachnacuddin
2004–05 Huntly
2005–06 Deveronvale
2006–07 Keith
2007–08 Cove Rangers

Notes

External links

* [http://www.highlandfootballleague.com/ Official Site]
* [http://www.geocities.com/br1anmccoll/highlandleague1.htm League Champions and membership]
* [http://www.geocities.com/br1anmccoll/highlandleague2.htm Final Tables 1893-2007]
* [http://www.highlandleague.net Semi-official HFL news]
* [http://www.pollokfc.co.uk/directory/highland/highlandclubs.htm Highland league members 10 year records and general information]


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