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The Amateur Football Combination is one of the biggest Leagues in Europe with around 100 clubs and 350 teams playing football from September through to May. Our football is true grass roots football. Players pay to play on local grounds. At the end of each season over 60 trophies of the League and London Old Boys' Cup Competitions are presented at the AFC Annual Dinner.
The 2018 event will once more be held at The Oval cricket ground, and will take place on Friday 25 May. To order your tickets visit the dedicated AFC Dinner website.
Tony Cottee to speak at AFC Dinner
Former England striker Tony Cottee has been named as the 2018 AFC Dinner speaker. Cottee, who played seven times for his country, played scored 226 goals in 579 games for West Ham United, Everton and Leicester City in a career which lasted fro 1982 to 2001. Named the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1985/86, Cottee was one of the most prolific scorers in English football during the 1980s and 1990s.
The final marks are now available in the link Monthly Awards (or under Spirit of Football Tab). Dorkinians pipped Rob Roy Reds (Aberdeen Supporters Club) to secure top spot with Old Pauline ion third. These three clubs will be awarded memento's at the forthcoming AFC Dinner on Friday 26th May.
In the Organisation table Rob Roy Reds had a late surge to pip NWB with season leaders Heathrow Seniors finishing in a very credible 4th. Indeed the average mark of 8.21 is exceptional and clubs should be highly commended on this excellent mark It shows why many respect the AFC so highly. Disappointingly the same teams continue to occupy the bottom positions and they must try and improve.
The Facilities table shows yet again that the five top teams do indeed possess excellence pitches and changing rooms by their continued high marks Congratulations to University of Hertfordshire who gained top spot - a pitch that is as good as any in AFA football and is therefore rewarded each season with hosting a cup final.
Its good to see some new names high up in the hospitality table and long may that continue, in what is an important post match activity in our League, where Old Pauline captured top spot to be be rewarded with the Ken Elbourne Trophy at the Dinner.
One club that has struggled this season is Mayfield, not on the pitch where the won 2 North but losing their home pitch and hospitality in August was huge blow but hopefully they can return to their old home or the new 3g at CONEL in Enfield. The new Club Support Committee may have their first club that needs their help in 2018/19.
It should also be noted that individual teams will be targeted to improve their marks significantly and currently there are some still causing issues with very low SoF marks and despite a very small improvement since warning letters in December, It was pleasing to see improvement made by all three teams that were singled out, mid-season as needing to improve: -
John Fisher Old Boys 1sts 6.16 improved to 6.82
Mickleham Old Boxhillians 1sts 6.44
Old Tenisonians 3rds 6.40
Having won the semi final of the Inter-League Cup on 24th March the League was on 4th April, charged with playing an ineligible player, who had been under a contract at any stage during his career, following a protest made by the semi final losers North Riding (they also protested and won having lost in the 1st round). The hearing date was set for 10th April. On 9th April the League was further charged with playing an ineligible player who did not have an International Transfer Certificate (ITC), The second charge was as a result of communications between the English and Irish FA's and had not formed part of the North Riding complaint. At the hearing the charge alleging the player had been under contract was dismissed but the allegation that he did not have an ITC was found proven and the League was removed from the Inter-League Cup. We appealed against the decision but our appeal was dismissed on 16th April, so confirming the earlier FA decision to expel the AFC from the competition and the semi final losers - North Riding have replaced us in the final.
The player played overseas until moving to London in mid-2007 and had played in the AFC every season since then. He also played in the same competition in 2015-16 with no objection. The FIFA regulation requiring him to have an ITC was issued in 2005. It was first published by the FA in July 2011 in the FA Standard Code of Rules. Guidance was first placed on the FA Website in June 2017. We argued that it was not in force in England until first published by the FA in 2011, was not retrospective and so did not apply to the player who had already been playing in England for 4 years by then.
The original hearing and the Appeal Board ruled that an ITC was required under the FIFA Regulations since at least 2005. The player's club should have applied for an ITC in 2007, and if not completed, then it should have been done before he played in the semi final of the Inter League Cup this season.
Player Registration and International Transfer Certificates
There is widespread uncertainty on how exactly this operates within the AFC and the AFA. It has been added to the Agenda of the AFA Governance Rules and Sanctions Committee which meets on Thursday evening 19th April. It should also be reviewed at the next meeting of the AFC Executive Committee and discussed at the AFC AGM, perhaps with further rule changes and guidance. We may need to look at the website.
On behalf of the Rep Team and Officers of the AFC I would like to add my own personal thanks to David Cross, Tony Julien & John Maskell who all gave up their own time to attend both appeal hearings but most of all to Bart O'Toole who not only gave up valuable court time at his own personal expense, but produced a whole raft of documentation and argument that defeated the objection raised by North Riding but was unfortunately defeated with the secondary FA charge - without Bart this would never have been as close as it finally was.
As Arnie said .....................................WE WILL BE BACK !!
The AFC Representative Team would love to look the part off the pitch as well as on it and so in honour of reaching the FA Inter League Final would any individual/s or companies wish to sponsor the team so that we could purchase some or all of the following - obviously and sponsor would appear in the match day programmes, website and on the kit/ shirts.
1) New Team kit comprising of shirts, shorts, socks (plus sponsors name)
2) polo shirts for pre-match travel (plus sponsors name)
3) track suits x 18 - with sponsors name
If you are interested and wish to discuss further please contact the AFC Secretary Ian Andrews
Saturday 24th March saw the AFC Rep team reach the final of the FA Inter League Cup with a magnificent and thoroughly heroic performance to defeat the North Riding League 4-3 aet. Aidan Chapman and his squad performed like men possessed to defeat last years finalists, (The FA were already penciling in a North East Club to host the final!!). It was a day I and all watching will never forget - brilliant lads , simply brilliant.
AFC vs North Riding League
The waiting was over, the squad had been selected, the final team had been published and all match day arrangements had been sorted. The opponents had spent a leisurely overnight stay in a Hemel Hempstead hotel, had a light pre match brunch and training session and were on the pitch warming up as the crowds arrived. Was it to be another master class from manager - David Cross and his team?
The AFC support team were swelled by assistant manager Aaron D’Sousa and helped on the day by Bob Leeds and Pat Folan, who both led on pre match warm ups and tactics. The FA’s representative was again Ray Lewis (ex FL referee) who also thought the AFC were underdogs having looked at final venues in the North East !! The four match officials selected from the FA’s elite were also primed and ready for what was anticipated by many to be a stroll for the North Riding League – were the underdogs strong enough – you bet we were!!
I have to once again thanks and admire Geoff Lence for making the trip from his home in Chelmsford by replacement buses, train tube and foot to the game and back again – he is looking more sprightly at every round and will be a definite be considered as the team mascot if we won .
So to the match in question. The North Riding team playing in all red kicked and within minutes, disaster for the AFC as a strong header won in midfield from the NR captain was somehow missed by the AFC defence allowing their forward to run through unchallenged and slip it past Chris Parlett (Suttonians) 0-1. The start could not have been worse and the AFC team seem overawed by the importance of the game and were definitely well off the pace in the first 10 minutes. Another super chance for NR and on this occasion a fine save from Parlett, pushing the ball onto a post and off for a corner. Come on boys lets fight!!
It was all North Riding in the first ten minutes but gradually the AFC gained confidence and began to knock the ball about and get the speedsters Chris Heritage (Hamptonians) & Ryan Bright (Meadonians) behind the full backs. Two good chances for the AFC came and went and the next ten minutes was more in the NR half than the first ten and so the crowd began to sense the come-back was on. However in Stuart Rose the NR team had a forward of immense power and skill, having scored in every cup round in the past two seasons, his speed and vision saw a great chance smash against Parletts upright, so near to 0-2, but still so far. Could the AFC get an equaliser before half time – you bet they could. A great move and through pass so Chris Heritage in the clear, it had to be a goal , but no the keeper blocks his shot with a great save , but wait he knocks it out and straight against an onrushing defender who knocks it straight past him and into the net GOAL!!!!! 1-1.
The AFC were back in the game and taking it to the opposition, who had decided that the game plan was to target the speedsters, Bright and Heritage certainly took a kicking, the referee maybe could have helped them from the battering they took, but did caution when most thought necessary. NR first caution after 40 minutes with their full back scything down Heritage, followed soon by the first AFC caution as Stevens of Parmiterians dished a bit back!!
Half time and the score remained 1-1 in what ended up a very even half. The half time cuppa & cake and discussions between the AFC contingent suggested caution and expected the next 45 minutes to be the hardest yet as the NR team looked very strong and despite the score most felt they were going to be too strong for the AFC……………..only time would tell and never give up on the under-dog.
A stirring half time team talk by the management team must have worked wonders as the AFC started the second half strongly and another excessively strong challenge saw the 2nd caution for NR as No 4 Dillon hacked down Bright. Everything was looking positive but a rare NR attack saw a needless foul conceded 10 yards outside the penalty area and from the resulting free kick, with the AFC defence switched off, man of match Rose of NR, broke free to fire the ball home 1-2.
It was now a repetition of the first half as once again North Riding gained the upper hand, the AFC backed off, with constant pressure on Parlett’s goal. That man Rose should have made it 1-3 when he broke away again firing a screamer which smacked against the post and away to safety. The AFC were up against it and another needlessly conceded free kick caused massive issues at the back before being cleared from under the bar by skipper Aidan Chapman (Meadonians).
Slowly but surely the fight back began with Stevens firing in a real scorcher from fully 40 yards that flashed just over with the NR keeper clutching this air. Again Bright was felled with what considered should have been a straight red, but only another caution as this time the NR 7 entering the refs book. It was tough out there and all the hard challenges seemed to be affecting our ball players, only time would tell if we could get that equaliser.
The AFC continued to battle and take the numerous fouls that kept coming their way. Twenty minutes into the 2nd half and yet another poor foul wipes out Heritage ………………….but this time it’s in the area, “ penalty” we scream, whistle blows, the ref agrees and up steps Stuart Holt(Meadonians) to fire home 2-2.
Holt was immediately taken off for super –sub George Proctor (Suttonians) a move that had worked in the QF, would it work again? The NR team and management became incensed by the referee pulling them up for so many fouls and this was working in the AFC’s favour but fouls they were and so the AFC ploughed on. Twenty minutes to go and a rare NR shot suddenly hits that man Rose again and finds the net, the assistant Ref’s flag is immediately raised (VAR not required) offside – goal ruled out, we all heave a huge sigh of relief in the grandstand.
We move into the last 20 minutes and what’s this Heritage skips past the tiring NR full back , who cannot foul him as he is on a yellow, so Heritage gets to the by line before firing in a low cross which sees that super sub George Proctor work his predators instinct to glide in and fire home from six 3-2.
The teams begin to swap their players in an effort to win the game or in the AFC’s case hold on. The pressure starts again from the NR team as their substitutes are forwards, fresh quick and skilful. Another silly foul 25 yards out is conceded and up steps the NR skipper to curl it home ,a shot that keeper Parlett must be unhappy to concede, being slow to react. 3-3.– Twenty minutes still to go – can we hold on as the NR team mount constant pressure, but that’s how it remained as it’s extra time once again.
Skipper Cross makes his final change as Mariani (Parmiterians) starts the final 30 minutes replacing Johnny Meldram (Hamptonians). The tackles keep flying in from both teams and further cautions add up, its 5-3 to NR at the latest count. The final one another horrible reckless challenge by the NR no 10 sees him in the book. The resultant free kick almost gets the AFC the winner, so close. Things are looking good as NR are definitely tiring but that is countered by so many AFC players carrying knocks from those excessive number of foul challenges.
Three minutes to the ET half time whistle and Mariani picks the ball up in centre field and drives at the NR defence, a great through ball finds that man Proctor again who takes it in his stride, to fire a quite breath taking 18 yard cross shot, past the keeper and into the top far corner of the net . 4-3
The noise from the AFC crowd is deafening, a whole second half of extra time to survive, but survive they did, with the defence magnificent soaking up the constant NR pressure, Parlett atoning for his earlier error with a string of solid saves and a command of his area under pressure. NR were attacking at every opportunity and it really was a real tough final ten minutes. The clock ticked on, we screamed for the final whistle – but suddenly that man Rose was clear again and just like the first half, his shot was touched onto the post by Parlett, come on ref blow that whistle. Finally he did and in scenes of unbridled joy the team, management and supporters let rip…………………The AFC had made it to the final…………….what an achievement, what a performance yet again from the whole team. Players and jubilant supporters then ate and drank in the Uxbridge FC bar, who had put on an excellent day for both teams and need to receive huge thanks for allowing us to use their facilities. The Final awaits and dare we dream of being the representatives for England in the Euro tournament. Full details of the date and venue for the final will be advised once agreed with the FA.
The following preliminary squad has been named ahead of Saturday's FA Inter-League Cup Semi-Final which takes place at Uxbridge F.C., Honeycroft, Horton Road, West Drayton UB7 8HX. kick-off 2.00pm. (tel 01895 -443557)
It will be reduced to the 16 man squad on Wednesday 21 March.
The semi final draw sees the AFC at home to the North Riding League (who defeated Isle of Man 5-2 in the QF) on Saturday 24th March @ Uxbridge FC ko 2pm. More details will be made available once known.
The 2nd semi final sees York Football League play Kent County League on Saturday 17th March @ Harrowgate Town FC.
It goes without saying that it would be great to see as many faces old and new at Uxbridge to try and cheer the team on to a historic final appearance. Tense it will be and goals a plenty having scored 5 or more in all three previous rounds.
A full match report is below - congratulations to David Cross and his superb Rep Team who defeated the Thames Valley Premier League 5-4 yesterday (3rd Feb) in another absolutely thrilling match played in appalling wet conditions but watched by a crowd of 100+. The semi Final draw sees us with a home tie against the winners of North Riding vs Isle of Man (playing Sunday 18th Feb).
The game kicked off and the first 10 minutes or so were even with perhaps the TVPL having the slight advantage of possession. This all changed in the 10th minute following the award of a free kick on the edge of the TVPL box after a heavy challenge. Up steps Stuart Holt of Meads to curl a beauty into the bottom corner 1-0. It was all AFC we were now controlling the midfield, our passing stretching the TVPL side and an almost identical free kick saw another Holt cracker fly inches wide. It was one way traffic and two more good chances went begging – would the AFC rue this, you bet they would – with TVPL making a telling and decisive break which led to Charlie Cain of Meads bringing down an opponent as he raced into the box…….Penalty……. 1-1.
Would this affect the AFC, not likely as the ever impressive Chris Heritage of Hampton and Ryan Bright of Meads began to boss the midfield and three great chances fell to Holt & Heritage but neither were able to apply that finishing touch. The pressure had to tell and so it did when after 30 minutes, a magnificent twenty yard pile-driver from Ellis McLennon of Sutts flew past the TVPL keeper before he could move 2-1.
This spurred TVPL into almost non-stop pressure and keeper Parlett came to the rescue on a number of occasions pushing one against the post and clear, before with a flying save. thwarting another effort for a corner. It was one-way traffic and Parlett again managed to tip another long range effort round the post. The AFC then give away a needless foul 30 yards out and up steps TVPL’s No 11, Donegan who fires the free kick over Parlett, the effort crashing off then cross bar, where the lurking McKie gratefully bundled the ball over the line. 2-2. Only three minutes to the half time whistle and were both teams going to settle for the draw, not the AFC, following yet another free kick, about 30 yards out the towering Holt smashes his header home 3-2.
HALF – TIME.
Manager Cross must have again worked his magic at half time as the team emerged in rampaging form and left back Charlie Cain of Meads fizzes a great shot past the keeper only for a defender to somehow clear it off the goal line, the AFC crowd are very vocal indeed!! The game settles into an end to end battle and the AFC unfortunately keep running offside, tiredness is now affecting both teams and changes are afoot. TVPL make a couple of key changes which seems to install new life into the tired limbs of their team mates. After 67 minutes a sudden break sees Heritage embark on yet another mazy dribble and a superb cross sees McLennon’s goal bound drive somehow tipped over by the TVPL keeper.
Time is creeping past, sub Walsh of Clapham replaces club mate Wakeford in defence, can the AFC hold onto to their slender lead – you bet they can and increase it they did, as on 75 minutes that man Heritage again in a replica dribble, torments the TVPL defence before crossing for McLennon to fire home 4-2. Surely with so many heavy legs the AFC had to hold that two gaol cushion. But this competition has already shown it has goals a plenty and once again a needless foul in the box results in another penalty to TVPL, which is dispatched 4-3. Now the pressure mounts and manager Cross makes his first change bringing on George Proctor of Sutts to replace the tiring Holt as TVPL make their third and final change, they have chanced it by adding a forward at the expense of a defender.
We move into the last 10 minutes and the TVPL pressure is relentless but skipper Aidan Chapman of Meads holds his defensive group together but the AFC supporters are getting frustrated and worried that their team won’t hold out………………..well cometh the hour cometh that man Heritage again, as a rare AFC attack sees the TVPL keeper hack the ball clear well out of his area, but only to Chris Heritage 40 yards out, one step to the left and one to the right, shoot we scream, with the keeper well out of position, he fires a dipping shot which crashes against the cross bar and falls agonisingly on the line………….but super sub Proctor manages to win the race and taps home from 6 inches 5-3. The AFC contingent go absolutely wild, what a game, the excitement is unbelievable. Two minutes plus stoppages to hold out – surely Aidan and his colleagues can cope. In an instant the AFC crowd are silenced as Langford of TVPL went on a heritage like run, evading tackle after tackle before planting a cracker past Parlett. 5-4.
Please not extra time – let’s just hold out, 5 minutes of added time seems like 15 as TVPL attack and attack and the AFC make their last change, Jones of Meads for Bright to eat up a few seconds. Chances fly inches wide and Parlett again smothers a close range effort. The support from the crowd is deafening, blow that whistle ref, we cry and finally he does, Yet another absolute classic sees the AFC team march into the semi-finals were they have been drawn at home to the winners of North Riding vs Isle of Man, which is being played on Sunday 18th February. A very set of tired players and jubilant supporters then ate and drank in the Casuals bar, who had put on an excellent day for both teams and need to receive huge thanks for allowing us to use their facilities.
The squad for Saturday's FA Inter-League Cup quarter-final against the Thames Valley Premier League has been announced. The game will take place at Corinthian-Casuals F.C. with a 3.00pm kick-off. The following players have been selected: