March 2017

My March Newsletter brings with it a round-up and brief feedback from events in what has been a hectic March ‘on the road’ as well as information that I hope you will find useful.  Full reports from and information for finals this month and future finals, and for all Internationals can be found in the relevant section of the ESFA website.

ESFA under 18 Boys’ team inflict a crushing blow to the Scots in their opening Centenary Shield game

The under 18 boys’ International team recently inflicted what is possibly the worst home defeat for Scotland in the last 25 years in their game at Greenock Morton FC on 3rd March.  England ran out 1-5 winners with Kingsford Adjei netting four times.  However their hopes were dashed of repeating their high scoring run, when they were brought down to earth by Northern Ireland at Plainmoor, home of Torquay United FC, losing 1-4.  Adjei nevertheless, increased his personal tally to 5 with England’s consolation goal.  The under 18 boys’ team travel to Holme Farm FC, Dublin on 13th April to play the Republic of Ireland, in what may turn out to be a decisive match in the Centenary Shield.  (League tables can be found on the International section of the website along with forthcoming CS fixtures).

Under 15 Girls’ Friendly International

The ESFA under 15 Girls’ Team travelled to Dublin to play the Republic of Ireland in the annual John Read Trophy, on Sunday 12th March.  Up to the final 5 minutes of the game it looked as if only penalties would decide the 2017 winners, before The Republic scored the decisive goal.  Score – Republic of Ireland 2 - England 1.  It was good to meet up with John again as he was on hand to present the trophy to the jubilant Irish girls.

The ESFA under 15 girls are looking forward to the Bob Docherty Trophy competition, again in Dublin, in early April, when they hope to lift the trophy as well as beating the Republic in the process.

National Finals

March sees the start of a detailed programme of National Finals which will continue for some weeks to come.  It is a busy time of the year for the ESFA Competitions Department.  I’m sure you will join me in wishing our colleagues in the Office in Stafford good luck in planning and in staging these finals. The team’s organisation and attention to detail is highly regarded.  I have already received several very complimentary and positive comments from finalists so far.

National newspaper page 3!

On a similar positive note, you may be interested to know that Sarah Kearney, ESFA PR & Comms Executive, recently appeared on page 3 of a national newspaper.  Her comments about live on line streaming of schools; football were published in a detailed article by The Times.  This coincided with her live broadcast on BBC’s Radio 5 Live. Great publicity indeed!

ESFA Playstation Schools’ Cup Partnership

The ESFA Playstation Schools’ Cup partnership has won the ‘Sponsorship Continuity Award’ at the UK Sponsorship Awards. Congratulations to Darren Alcock and Sarah Kearney for their direct contact work with Sony on behalf of the ESFA.   A full report detailing the stiff competition, which was beaten off, will shortly appear on the website.  Stuart Inger will represent the ESFA at the Awards Ceremony in London.

Representative Schools’ Football

In preparation for a full discussion during the June Council meeting, Andy Weston and Davis Ebberson are putting together a paper about the state of rep schools’ football, particularly the U18 age group.  They welcome any views, observations, experiences or comments you or your colleagues may have.  If you would wish to contribute, please contact Andy or David via email.

Midlands Council Member vacancy

A vacancy remains for an additional Council Member to represent the Midlands and support the work being done by Neil Hopwood, Paul Rickard and Mark Hignett.  If you are interested in joining Council, please contact Neil, Paul, Mark or myself for more information.

Long Service Award presentations

The LSA presentations for 2016-17 will take at the following venues:

Proposed future visit & date of next Council meeting

Baroness Sue Campbell from The FA will be attending the April Council meeting (1st & 2nd April 2017) to outline the new Woman’s Strategy and discuss how the Association could contribute/benefit.

Please note, that due to the overlapping time periods of the Easter break, in various LEA’s, there will not be an April Chairman’s Newsletter nor an April instalment of Membership Matters.  The next edition of each will appear in May.