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  • U16 Girls v Cleveland on Wednesday 9 November at Northfield School, Billingham ko 7pm
  • U16 Boys v North Yorkshire on Saturday 12 November at Longfield Acadmey of Sport, Darlington ko 11am
  • U18s: ESFA Rd 1 v North Yorkshire on Saturday 12 November at Longfield Acadmey of Sport, Darlington ko 11am
  • U18s v Cleveland on Tuesday 15 November at Redcar Athletic FC ko 7.30pm
  • U16 Boys: ESFA Rd 2 v North Yorkshire on Saturday 26 November at Longfield Acadmey of Sport, Darlington ko 11am
  • U18s: v North Yorkshire on Saturday 12 November at Longfield Acadmey of Sport, Darlington ko 11am
  • U14 Girls: ESFA Rd 2 v Cleveland on Wednesday 7 December at Northfield School, Billingham ko 5pm


The County Finals of the boys and girls competitions will be held at the Louisa Centre, Stanley from 1pm until 4pm.

  • Boys: Wednesday 11 January 2017
  • Girls: Wednesday 18 January 2017


Jasmine McQuade (St Bede's RC, Peterlee), Melissa Storey (Hetton School) and Sharna Wilkinson (Harton College of Technology) have been selected to represent the North against the Midlands in the next stage of trials for the schools' international squad.


Sacriston St Bede's RC, entering the Leadgate Eden Colliery Cup for the first time, were winners due to an excellent victory in the last round of matches after the previous two blocks of matches had ended all square.

Easington Colliery Primary School, for the third time in 4 seasons, were the 2016-17 winners of the Daniel O'Hare Memorial Trophy.

In the third block of Harrison Cup fixtures there were victories for Darlington, Stockton and North Tyneside. The game between Chester-le-Street and Middlesbrough was a high scoring draw.

Chester-le-Street PSFA, Darlington PSFA, Stockton PSFA and Sunderland PSFA participated for the Peter Dunn Trophy , which was held at Education Village, Darlington. The 4 team event ended with victory for Chester-le-Street.



An autumnal welcome accompanies my October offering to the wider membership of the ESFA Family. I do hope this newsletter, together with ‘Membership Matters’, Council Meeting Reports and the ESFA website complement one another in a positive way, aid communication and keeps you fully up to date with events and developments?

Danone Nation’s Cup World Finals – Paris, France

Congratulations to the boys from Lewisham PSFA who represented England in the Danone World Finals held recently in Paris. Following their victory in the National Cup at Leicester FC’s King Power Stadium and a visit to the World Cup qualifier, England v Spain at Wembley, the team moved to Paris to compete alongside 31 other sides including teams from Argentina, Brazil and China. The boys’ experience culminated in a game against Romania, played in the Stade de France, in front of 36,000 spectators. Although not victorious in their play-off phase, the team earned well deserved recognition, finishing equal 3rd out of the 32 nations in the Fair Play Rankings, just four points behind the winning team. The ranking takes into account attitude during the matches as well as behaviour off the pitch. Team England were fantastic at meeting the other teams, taking part in all the activities, learning about different countries and cultures, exchanging with children from all over the world. Charlotte Broos from Danone commented that “Lewisham were wonderful representatives for England and for schools’ football”. Match results are below:

Groups phase:

  • Brazil 5 England 0
  • England 2 China 0
  • England 0 Argentina 3

Play-off phase:

  • England 2 Italy 0
  • Portugal 4 England 0
  • USA 2 England 1
  • England 1(0) Romania 1(2)

Football kit distribution

Mike Spinks, my predecessor as Chairman, spent 10 days in Kenya in the middle of October. He was invited to join the Royal Air Force “Football to Africa” charity which included visits to schools around the country.


The ESFA had given the RAF some kit that was surplus to requirements and Mike was pleased to be able to present this to a school situated in the slums of Kibera, a suburb of Nairobi, the second largest such area in Africa after Soweto in Johannesburg. In total some 40 schools, all in deprived areas of Kenya, were given kits, usually in a School Assembly. Several orphanages were also visited, including one where children suffering from HIV/AIDS were living.

Mike tells me that his trip was a humbling experience where he witnessed both real poverty and the huge struggle that so many schools have in attempting to offer what we would all regard as just a basic education.

Girls Football Week

The recent Girls Football Week saw 1,485 events take place with more than 80,000 people taking part, almost four times the original FA target. With 50,000 people, having participated in April’s FA Girls Football Week, it means that a record 130,000 girls have taken part in 2016. Mike Spinks asked at the Women's and Girls Committee for the numbers involved from schools’ football to be clearly identified at the next meeting.

International Selection

The selection process for the Under 18 and Under 15 International teams is well underway with trials taking place throughout the country over the next few weeks. Final squads will be keen to emulate last season’s superb performances and success. The formal SAFIB International programme for season 2016/17 is as follows, and details of friendly matches will follow in the next circular:

U18 Centenary Shield 2016-17

  • Friday 3 March 2017: SSFA U18 v ESFA U18 @ St Mirren FC, KO 1900 hrs
  • Friday 24 March 2017: ESFA U18 v NISFA U18 @ Torquay United FC, KO 1900 hrs
  • Thursday 13 April 2017: FAIS U18 v ESFA U18 @ Dublin, KO 1900 hrs
  • Friday 21 April 2017: ESFA U18 v WSFA U18 @ venue tbc, KO 1900 hrs

U15 Girls Tournament – Bob Docherty U15 Cup

This event is due to be hosted by the FA of Ireland Schools and will take place from 9 – 12 April 2017 in Dublin.

British Heart Foundation

As I highlighted in last month’s newsletter, this is my chosen charity of choice as Chairman this season. Currently, ESFA are in discussion with the BHF to promote their National Lifesavers Scheme. Part of this work involves supporting BHF members’ access into secondary schools to instruct students in the use of CPR. I see this as a significant development and an opportunity to offer young people skills which may help preserve life in an emergency. Please help by supporting the BHF whenever possible.

Administrator Grants

In total we have now received 36 expressions of interest for administrator grants, and 15 full applications have been approved by Council. Many CSFAs are partnering with CFAs for their administrators, with County Sports Partnerships, schools and the ESFA also being popular employers.

Honorary Auditors

Neil Pont (Northumberland CSFA) ex-ESFA Chairman and ESFA Life Member together with Mark Warren, (Staffordshire CSFA) ex-Football League Referee were agreed as Honorary Auditors recently

And finally….

Following the collection that took place to mark John Read’s retirement, I have received a note from him thanking us for his gift. In response, I have promised to pass on his thanks to you, for which he is grateful.


Membership Benefits

Premier League Funding: In Edition 1 of “Membership Matters” we announced the renewal of Premier League funding for one further season to support U11 District rep football: those of you who are eligible to apply for this funding (in effect, affiliated Districts running U11 teams) were emailed about this and so just a quick reminder that the closing dates for expressions of interest for funding is 19th October.

We are starting the planning for the national finals which will, as previously indicated, run in a similar format to the 15/16 season but will include a girls’ event too. The national finals will be preceded by regional events once again, and although we appreciate the relative short notice of these fixtures, we hope that you will be able to take part. With the exception of the Midlands, regional tournament dates have been set for:

  • Saturday 21st January – North (venue tbc)
  • Saturday 4th February – South West (venue tbc)
  • Saturday 18th February – South East (venue tbc)

We look forward to seeing you then. ESFA contact:

St George’s Park: As part of our relationship with the FA, we have an agreement with St Georges Park, the National Football Centre, to have access to the indoor and outdoor 3Gs, the “Sport England” pavilion and the indoor sports hall. We are delighted to announce that as part of this agreement, we have been able to extend this offer of use to our Associations. Obviously subject to availability, our membership can now enjoy special hire rates as long as SGP is booked through the ESFA office. Whilst we appreciate that the location doesn’t always make it an ideal venue for every Association, we hope that this might make it a more attractive opportunity: be aware however the facilities get booked early on so plan ahead if you want to take advantage!

If you are interested in using St George’s Park for your Association’s events, please email and we can look at availability and special rates of hire. ESFA contact:

Fixtures Hub: Further to discussions prior to and during the SGM/AGM, we are pleased to confirm that we expect the Fixtures Hub to go “live” on the ESFA website around the end of October. Look out for details on the “News” section of the website then. ESFA contact:

Workforce Matters

Child Welfare Compliance and Association Suspension: The deadline for Association compliance with the ESFA’s child welfare requirements has now passed. A small number of Associations have failed to meet that deadline so, whilst they continue to work towards compliance, their representative football will suspended. Associations affected have been informed this week, and a list of suspended teams will be available on the ESFA website from Friday 14th October. Please take care to check that your opposition are available to play. ESFA contacts: or

Refereeing: A couple of developments from the FA:

Firstly, in a letter to CFAs, following discussions about the draft National Referee Strategy, The FA has said: “In light of (this) feedback, the FA Referees’ Committee has decided not to proceed with the amalgamation of Levels 6 and 7 into Level 5. However, for Season 2017/18 we will proceed with the change of name of Levels 8, 9 and 10 which will become:

  • Level Y - Youth Referee (formerly Level 8)
  • Level T – Trainee Referee (formerly Level 9)
  • Level D – Referee Developer (formerly Level 10)

An aspect of the proposals which was supported was the importance of allowing those referees (regardless of age) with talent to move quickly (but not too quickly!) through the refereeing Levels. Consequently, we will propose a change to the Referees Regulations to allow CFAs to review the performance of Level 6 and 7 referees during December of each year and, where a referee is showing real promise and ability, the CFA can promote them as from 1 January. Such a change would enable us to retain the ‘faster movement’ through the system which was a key part of the proposals relating to Levels 5, 6 and 7.” Secondly, an instruction has been sent to CFAs to support CSFAs and DSFAs to identify qualified referees wishing to officiate in ESFA activities, by sending lists of those officials to Association secretaries. We appreciate that, in many areas of the country, the appointment of suitably qualified officials is unproblematic but where it is more challenging, the support of the CFA may be helpful. ESFA contact

Bursaries: We’ve had a number of enquiries this season about bursaries for FA coaching qualifications: unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to offer those bursaries but County FAs may well have funding remaining in the pot which was allocated to them for supporting teachers, so please contact your local County FA should you receive any enquiries. ESFA contact:

Please Remember:

Some important reminders

  • 3G pitches can only be used for competition fixtures if they have been tested and appear on The FA’s 3G pitch register, which can be found at
  • We receive a lot of enquiries regarding girls and boys playing in the same fixture. Mixed football is permitted up to and including the Under 18 age group
  • Schools and clubs can apply for funding to replace unsafe goalposts. Details can be found under the “funding schemes” tab at ESFA contact:
  • Unaffiliated football and foreign travel must be sanctioned by the ESFA prior to it taking place. To guarantee that we respond to you in a timely way, please send all sanction requests to the ESFA at least 60 days prior to the planned match. Templates for completion can be found on the “resources” section of the ESFA website, under the “general” heading. ESFA contact:

And in other news…

  • Congratulations and good luck to last season’s ESFA U11 Inter Association Trophy champions, Lewisham Primary Schools’ FA, who are heading for the Stade De France in Paris where they will represent England in the Danone Nations World Cup! 32 countries are sending their victorious national finalist to the competition, which runs from 13-16 October. England have been drawn against Brazil, Argentina and China in the group phase
  • The BBC has recently launched its annual “Get Inspired” Unsung Hero awards, specifically designed to recognise the efforts of volunteers. Why not take the opportunity to nominate one of your volunteer colleagues? It’s easy – click on the link below and fill in the form, before 23rd October, which is when nominations close.
  • The Chairman of Council, Alan Johnston, has this year nominated the British Heart Foundation for his Chairman’s charity. We are in discussions with BHF about promoting their National Lifesavers scheme, supporting them to get into schools to train children in CPR. Details about the work of the charity can be found at

Consultation Matters

“What’s in it for me?”

Again a reminder that the “What’s in it for me” consultation, launched in Edition 1 of “MM”, remains open until 22nd October. At the time of writing, we have had 32 responses and whilst we are grateful to those of you who have taken the time to give us your views, we hope that many more Associations will help us to frame our priorities moving forwards. So, if you haven’t already done so, please complete the short survey, which can be found here:

Once the survey closes, Council and its respective committees will consider your responses and we will share the findings, and our plans to respond to them, after the Council meeting in November. Don’t miss your chance to have your say! ESFA contact:

Calling our Volunteers!

There’s lots of research which tells us why people engage in volunteering and many of our Associations benefit from the longstanding commitment our army of schools’ football fans give us. We’d love to give greater recognition to them (although both long service award recipients and those who win international match tickets tell us they value those rewards), and celebrate their commitment more widely, as well as finding way to encourage new volunteers into the fold. We’d therefore love to hear the views of existing volunteers to help inform our future efforts, so please encourage any and all of your volunteer colleagues to snip this off and put it in the post, or to send their views to ESFA contact:



Durham's hopefuls


St Bede’s RC win in style


Easington Colliery continue their success in this competition

Five first half goals earn Durham an opening win

Off to a good start

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