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Scottish Junior Football Association

The Scottish Junior Football Association (SJFA) is the organising body for the 'junior' grade of football (soccer) in Scotland. This grade of football is commonly mistaken for a level at which boys football is played, but the term 'junior' refers not to the age of the players, but the level of football played.

The 'senior' grade of football in Scotland is played in the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish Football League as well as the three senior non-leagues, the Highland Football League, the East of Scotland Football League and the South of Scotland Football League. The distinction between the two grades 'senior' and 'junior' is basically that the two types of club do not play each other in competitive games.

Despite the lesser media coverage the 'juniors' get many of the club sides are fairly popular and some of the bigger games between their clubs can attract attendances in the thousands, although crowds were bigger in the past compared to the level of support attracted now.

The 'junior' grade is well organised, being split into three regions, the West, East and North in which the clubs compete for a league title. Until 2002 there were in fact six regions, but pressure to create more competitive leagues and a higher number of 'big games' caused the rationalisation.

As well as the local leagues there are a number of local cup competitions competed for as well. However the biggest competition is the Scottish Junior Cup which every 'junior' club competes for annually, with the final generally held each May. This is a well established competition being some 120 years old.

The 'juniors' also play internationally as well, with the best players being picked to play for the Scottish Junior International team against other countries non-league select teams.

Although mocked by many followers of the 'seniors' many consider that the best 'junior' clubs would be very able to compete at least at the third division level of the Scottish Football League.

External Link

SJFA Website