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ESFA Membership Matters

Issue 8 May 2017


As many of you will be aware, there are several vacancies for us to fill on Council. Following Stuart Inger’s (SW) announcement of his retirement from Council, and earlier resignations of John Appleby (Midlands) and Keith Cahillane (N), it is critical that we identify individuals to represent you on the national body for next season. Associations in the areas concerned have been informed of the vacancies and a deadline of 26th May set for receipt of nominations.

For those of you who may be considering either serving the Association nationally or nominating others to do so, please do contact any of your local members, the Chairman or the CEO should you have any queries. In the meantime, as an indication of the time commitment needed to attend Council meetings, please be aware that dates have been set for next season and Council will meet on 23 September 2017, 25 November 2017, 27 January 2018, 28 April 2018 and 9 June 2018. Council members are asked to hold the full weekend in their diaries although where business can be effectively conducted in one day, meetings will be held on the Saturday of the weekends noted.

The ESFA offers its grateful thanks to outgoing Council members for their dedication and support, and to those who have given very many years’ service to the Association.


At the AGM last autumn, membership mandated the reconstitution of the ESFA. Work to finalise our application to the Charity Commission has now concluded, and the application for incorporation has been submitted. We expect to hear back from the Charity Commission around the end of May.

In the meantime, these and other national governance developments have ensured that the ESFA is eligible to apply to Sport England for direct funding. Whilst there are not yet opportunities to apply for funds to support costs of running football, Council has expressed an interest in applying for funding to support a volunteer recruitment drive. We expect to hear whether this is something Sport England is interested in pursuing in June.

ESFA contact:

A reminder that the deadline for completion of the data capture forms is 26th May 2017, when completed returns must be submitted to the ESFA HQ. This data is an essential part of our Association’s evidence to potential funders of our scale, size and reach. Without this data, any funding bids that we submit will almost certainly be unsuccessful – any new funder will want to see what they are investing in and how much activity they support. Your support with this data collection is therefore a vital part of the Association’s overall stability and we are grateful to you for your support.

  • Girls’ football: Baroness Sue Campbell, Head of Women’s Football, attended Council on 1st April and Council agreed the following actions, as proposed by Sue:
  • There is a need for real clarity around our 'partnership' - what we expect from each other and how we can maximise the relationship
  • The talent pathway and representative football needs to form part of our joint discussions - aligning our philosophies and putting young people at the heart of our decisions
  • As we roll out the girls and women's strategy ensuring that the ESFA are part of our primary and secondary implementation groups.
  • Providing earlier opportunities for consultation with ESFA colleagues on school programmes and projects

In the meantime, a girls’ football group has been set up within Council, to respond to the opportunities and challenges faced in further developing the representative game. Being chaired by Mike Spinks, in his role as both ESFA and FA Council member, the group will comprise of one Council rep from each region (Andy Williams, Neil Hopwood, Stuart Botham and Gerry Smith) and a further rep for the County game (Phil Harding). Owen Aiston, as incoming Chairman, will also serve on the group.

ESFA contact:


Jersey Football Festival – Report from John Martin, attending on behalf of the Chairman

The event took place at the FB Fields (named after Florence Boot, founder of the chemist chain) about 10 minutes from the hotel, where 5 pitches had been marked and prepared excellently for the morning games. 12 Primary District Associations attended this year with a few districts bringing 2 teams. All teams play 1 game per morning for the six days of matches. Staff planned excursions around the island during the afternoons. On the Friday play-off matches took place. Pat Cullinane has singlehandedly organised, produced and directed this Festival for 43 years in his rather laid back, calm but very admirable style. He has very little presence at the football, keeping out of the limelight, but every day runs incredibly smoothly with the help of Jersey referees, catering from the local W.I and assistance from local teaching staff. Pat has formulated a superb model of good practice and I was very impressed with the atmosphere throughout each session of play. A fantastic example of Schools

Football at its very best with teachers demanding high standards of sportsmanship and respect from their players. Every boy and teacher receives a certificate and pin badge from the sponsors. I presented awards to a referee and teacher who had both attended the Festival for 20 years. A pleasure to visit Jersey and be initiated into the Jersey Way.

ESFA contact:

International programme

Congratulations to our U18 boys, who, with Northern Ireland, shared the Centenary Shield this season following a dominant 5-2 victory against Wales in the final fixture at Bristol Rovers.

The U15 girls’ team had a more challenging season this year, losing their hold on the Bob Docherty Trophy to a strong Welsh side. Read the match reports from the tournament in the news section of the ESFA website.

Our thanks are once again given to those involved in trials and selection, and team management, for our international squads.

Summer Coaching Courses at Repton

Below are the dates for this year’s summer coaching courses. As the activities are no longer funded by the PFA, the event needs to be self-financing and to ensure that we can run the course Council has determined that, as well as the usual Association nomination process, the course will also be open for self-nomination to those who can demonstrate sufficient playing skill and experience. We aim to recruit at least 60 players to each course and your support in submitting nominations by the deadline is greatly appreciated.

ESFA contacts: (boys); (girls)

ESFA Premier League U11 District Finals Announced

This season’s U11 national finals will take place as follows:

Saturday 10th June 2017 at Derby County FC Academy, Moor Farm Training Ground, Morley Rd, Derby DE21 4TB

Boys U11 Competition (approx. 10-1pm) Girls U11 Competition (approx. 2-5pm)

Congratulations to our qualifying finalists!

National Competitions Update

Since the last edition of Membership Matters, the national competitions finals’ programme has

progressed, with the conclusion of the Hudl U18 Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges’ and Schools’ Cups, and the Elite Cup. Grateful thanks are offered to Notts County FC, Doncaster Rovers and Blackburn Rovers for hosting what were all exciting and tightly contested matches. Congratulations to Hartpury College (W Gloucs), who narrowly defeated Monkseaton High School (N Tyneside) 2-1 in the inaugural Elite Cup Final. Millfield School (Mid Somerset) enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Altrincham Grammar (Trafford), although in the spectator stakes, Altrincham out-sang, out-cheered and out-shouted their opposition with vociferous and vocal support for their classmates! In the Girls’ competition, Gateshead College (Gateshead) defeated South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (Bristol & S Gloucs) 2-1. You can watch this, and all of the other finals, streamed live and available to watch again afterwards, courtesy of 247.TV, on the ESFA’s YouTube channel, ESFA TV:

On 24th and 25th April, the Premier League U16 Schools’ National Finals were contested at the Manchester Regional Arena, part of Manchester City’s Etihad Complex. The two days of competition saw some pretty extreme weather conditions, including hail, gales, and thunderstorms!

The Boys’ Open Schools’ title was won by Reddish Vale High School (Stockport) following a 1-0 victory over Ravens Wood School (Bromley). Church Stretton School (S Shrops) took the Small Schools’ Cup following their 4-1 defeat of Gordon’s School (Woking) and the U16 Boys’ Schools’ Cup went to Windsor Boys’ School (Slough), who, after a 1-1 scoreline at full time, defeated Cardinal Hume Catholic School (Gateshead) 4-3 on penalties. Frome College (Mid Somerset) were crowned U16 Girls’ Schools’ Cup winners following a tightly contested 4-3 victory over Thomas Telford School (Telford and Wrekin).

Congratulations once again to all of our National Finalists, both victors and runners up, and our thanks to the schools involved for participating in our National Competitions.

The ESFA’s website has details of the forthcoming finals so please check the news section if you need further information. In the meantime, please be aware that the PlayStation Schools’ Cup Finals originally scheduled for 24-26th May at Stoke City have been moved to the iPro stadium in Derby, now hosting us on 15-17th May.

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