South of Scotland Football League
The South of Scotland Football League (SoSFL) is a senior football competition based in south-west Scotland. The league sits at level 6 on the pyramid system, on par with the East of Scotland Football League and acts as a feeder to the Lowland Football League. It is currently composed of 16 member clubs in a single division.
|Number of teams||16|
|Level on pyramid||6|
|Promotion to||Lowland Football League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Scottish Cup|
South Region Challenge Cup
|League cup(s)||South of Scotland League Cup|
Cree Lodge Cup
Haig Gordon Cup
Southern Counties Challenge Cup
|Current champions||Stranraer reserves|
|Most championships||14 titles|
Since 2014–15, the winners of the East of Scotland Football League and the South of Scotland Football League take part in an end of season play-off for a place in the Lowland Football League, subject to both clubs meeting the licensing criteria for promotion.
A league of the same name briefly existed during the early days of competitive football. The original South of Scotland Football League was created in 1892–93 and featured seven clubs:
- 5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers
- Cronberry Eglinton
- Lugar Boswell
- Queen of the South Wanderers
The clubs preferred to play in cup competitions and traditional friendlies, so most of the league fixtures were not played. The competition was subsequently abandoned and no championship was awarded.
When league football was re-established in 1946, the title Southern Counties League could not be used because Ayr United 'A' and Kilmarnock 'A' were not members of the Southern Counties F.A.. Instead, the new competition was called the South of Scotland Football League. The first season saw the league played in two sections, East and West, but it has been played as a single league ever since.
Teams play each other on a home and away basis. In seasons where league membership has been low, clubs have played each other four times, instead of the usual twice. Recent changes in league membership have been:
- Stranraer Athletic withdrew from the league at the end of the 2007–08 season.
- The newly formed Gretna 2008, founded to replace the Gretna team that had been forced to dissolve following its meteoric rise to the Scottish Premier League between 2002 and 2007, applied to join the South of Scotland League, but then joined the East of Scotland Football League instead.
- Annan Athletic withdrew their reserve team from the league at the end of the 2008–09 season, so that they could concentrate on the SFL Under-19 League and the Reserve League West.
- Stranraer withdrew their reserve team from the league at the end of the 2011–12 season.
- Dalbeattie Star and Threave Rovers withdrew from the league at the end of the 2012–13 season to join the newly formed Scottish Lowland Football League.
- After 44 Seasons in the Dumfries and District Amateur Football League, champions Lochar Thistle were elected to the league for the start of the 2013–14 season.
- Three new teams Dumfries YMCA, Edusport Academy and Upper Annandale were elected to the league for the 2014–15 Season.
- Threave Rovers rejoined in 2016 after resigning their membership of the Lowland League while Fleet Star withdrew from the league but will still field a team in the 2016–17 South Challenge Cup. Crichton, who were saved from folding last season by a merger with Lochmaben Amateurs, have taken the Lochmaben name and moved to Lockerbie.
|Abbey Vale||New Abbey||Maryfield Park||1,000||0||No|
|Bonnyton Thistle||Kilmarnock||Bonnyton Park||1,000||100||Yes|
|Dumfries YMCA||Dumfries||Kingholm Park||500||0||Yes|
|Edusport Academy reserves||Motherwell||Alliance Park||TBC||100||Yes|
|Heston Rovers||Dumfries||Palmerston Park||8,690||3,377||Yes|
|Lochar Thistle||Dumfries||North West Community Campus||1,000||0||Yes|
|Lochmaben||Lockerbie||New King Edward Park||1,000||0||No|
|Mid-Annandale||Lockerbie||New King Edward Park||1,000||0||No|
|Newton Stewart||Newton Stewart||Blairmount Park||1,500||0||Yes|
|Nithsdale Wanderers||Sanquhar||Lorimer Park||1,000||0||Yes|
|St Cuthbert Wanderers||Kirkcudbright||St Mary's Park||2,000||0||Yes|
|Stranraer reserves||Stranraer||Stair Park||4,178||1,830||Yes|
|Threave Rovers||Castle Douglas||Meadow Park||1,500||Yes|
|Upper Annandale||Moffat||Moffat Academy||1,000||0||No|
|Wigtown & Bladnoch||Wigtown||Trammondford Park||888||0||No|
Bold indicates a current league member.
|Annan Athletic Reserves||1987–1991, 1992–2009, 2017-2019|
|Ayr United 'A'||1946–1948|
|Dalbeattie Star||1946–1947, 1976–2001, 2009–2012|
|Dalbeattie Star Reserves||2001–2009|
|Dumfries High School Former Pupils||1994–2000|
|Edusport Academy Reserves||2019–|
|Maxwelltown High School Former Pupils||1990–2000|
|Nithsdale Wanderers (1)||1946–1947, 1948–1950|
|Nithsdale Wanderers (2)||2001–|
|Queen of the South Reserves||1972–1973, 1992–1993, 1996–1997, 2003–2004|
|RAF West Freugh||1948–1949|
|St Cuthbert Wanderers||1946–|
|Stranraer Reserves||1949–1988, 1990–1991, 2003–2004, 2007–2012, 2017-|
|Tarff Rovers||1946–1988, 1990–2003|
|Threave Rovers||1959–1998, 2004–2012, 2016–|
|Whithorn||1946–1959, 1962–1963, 1964–69|
|Wigtown & Bladnoch||1946–2017, 2018–|
- Crichton was known as Blackwood Dynamos until 1999. The club was to be called Crichton Royal, but the suffix has never been used.
- Dumfries was formed by the merger of Dumfries High School Former Pupils and Dumfries Amateurs.
- Heston Rovers Youth (formed in 1978) merged with Dumfries in 2008, retaining Heston Rovers as the name of the new club.
- Annan Athletic (1987–2008), Dalbeattie Star (2001–2009) and Threave Rovers (1998–2004) have all run teams in the East of Scotland League. From the 2008–09 season, Annan Athletic has played in the Scottish Football League. Dalbeattie Star and Threave Rovers joined the newly formed Scottish Lowland Football League for the 2013–14 season.
- The following clubs have resigned during the season:
- Creetown 1975–76
- Girvan 1978–79
- Gretna Community 1991–92
- RAF West Freugh 1948–49
- St Cuthbert Wanderers 1977-78
- Wigtown & Bladnoch 1962–63 and 1972–73
- Dumfries United resigned prior to the start of the 1987–88 season.
In 1950, the league's membership had been reduced to just seven clubs. To compensate for the lack of fixtures, the League Cup was introduced. The final is usually contested by the winners of two mini-leagues, but has also been played as a straight knock-out competition. There was no separate League Cup competition between 1962–1968 and 1973–1975. Instead the trophy was awarded to the runner-up in the League. The Southern Counties Cup, also known as the Challenge Cup, is the league's main knockout competition. It has been played for since 1891, and the first winners were the 5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers. Newton Stewart, St Cuthbert Wanderers and Wigtown & Bladnoch are full members of the Scottish Football Association and are therefore allowed to enter the Scottish Cup, as are the winners of the league.
- "Stranraer bow out of South league". The Galloway Gazette. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Lowland League clubs confirmed by Scottish FA". BBC. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "South Champions Start With a Home Game". DG News-Sport. Dumfries & Galloway News. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Gillespie, Stuart (5 June 2016). "Threave Rovers' South of Scotland League return confirmed after three years in the Lowland League". Daily Record. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- McNaught, John (30 July 2016). "South football kicks off again this weekend". Galloway Gazette. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Abbey Vale, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Bonnyton Thistle, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Creetown, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Dumfries YMCA, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Edusport Academy reserves, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- Heston Rovers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Lochar Thistle, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Lochmaben, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Mid-Annandale, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Newton Stewart, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Nithsdale Wanderers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- St Cuthbert Wanderers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Stranraer reserves, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Threave Rovers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Upper Annandale, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Wigtown & Bladnoch, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.