We are sorry to have to announce the sad passing of AFA Life Vice President, Del Saunders.
Del was a stalwart in AFA football, serving on the London Banks FA and the Southern Amateur League committees for many years.
In addition, Del had been chairman of the Disciplinary Committee at the AFA for almost 20 years. He played his football in the lower sides of Nat West Bank FC and was secretary of the club in the days when they ran up to 23 sides.
He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.
Steve Lucas, ex secretary and chairman of the SAL, said: “Del was great company whenever and wherever you met him, home or away from Norbury or Lower Sydenham, Private Banks at Catford or at so many representative matches, no matter who was playing.
“He was a great committee man who always provided a balanced view just at the right moment to convince others of the way forward whilst always being fair to all parties involved.”
We send our condolences to his son Ben and all of his many friends.
The funeral will take place on Tuesday, March 28 at West Herts Crematorium North Chapel, High Elms Lane, Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 0JS at 2pm.
The wake will be held at The Partridge, St George's Drive, Carpenders Park, Watford, WD19 5TP
The Spring Cup run jointly by the SAL & AFC is now finalised. Listed below are the general rules to help manage the cups but remember this is a friendly tournament and any player or team or indeed club, giving issues will simply be removed. The competition will follow the same rules/discipline as all other competitions overseen by the AFA. The Spring Cups must not become an administrative burden for either league or our clubs.
You can view fixtures and group tables on the Spring Cup page.
1. Teams play each other once so 2 or 3 group games per team.
2. Games are played home or away as directed (with no maximum number of home or away games so all could be at home or all away). They can be reversed if teams agree but you must notify Ian Andrews (AFC clubs) and or Eric Owen (SAL clubs).
3. Games can also be played midweek if mutually agreed and notified in good time to Eric & Ian.
4. In league matches score at 90 mins is the result (so a draw is permissible).
4a. Any teams not completing their matches by Saturday 15th April will be deemed to have drawn the game 0-0 and each team awarded 1 pt . No game can be arranged after 15th April unless that match has no bearing on the group winner.
5. The top team in each group will qualify for a knock out semi-final with the winners playing in the final.
5a. If team withdraws from a group stage fixture after the preceding Thursday the game will be awarded to the opponents as a 0-0 win.
5b. Referees will be appointed where possible but clubs should make every effort to secure club referees when required.
6. Knock out games will be played on either ground of competing teams, on either 22nd or 29th April with the final the following week or midweek if mutually agreed. Preferably all games will be completed by end of April.
7. Semi-final and final will have extra time of 30 minutes and then penalty shoot-outs (as per normal cup rules) to determine a winner as required. NO REPLAYS.
8. Referees will be allocated by either SAL or AFC depending on availability. Costs are the same as all other competitions.
9. League and all other cup games take precedence over Spring Cup fixtures.
10. The respective leagues reserve the right to withdraw a team at any time if they are not conforming to the spirit of the competition.
11. It has taken huge effort to arrange this competition and so we do expect clubs to honour their commitment to making the tournament a success for both leagues.
Match Secretary Eric Owen is asking all clubs to notify him of teams wishing to enter end-of-season Spring Cups by 17 February. The Spring Cups are organised on a league basis, sometimes with a final between group winners, to offer teams competitive football where their season finishes early. Teams having more than 6 games remaining should consider whether they will have time to fit Spring Cup games in, as we may have more postponements yet, but all teams will be considered.
Please use the form below to make expressions of interest.
REARRANGED FOR WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2017
Details of Phil's funeral have now been released, as follows:
Thursday 10 November 2016, 3.20pm
West Herts Crematorium
High Elms Lane
Garston WD25 0JS
The wake will be held directly after the service at: -
Old Owens Sports Ground
Potters Bar EN6 4NE
Phil’s children, Josh & Charli, are aware of a tremendous sense of loss from those Phil touched during his life, both within and beyond AFA football. To this end and to assist our understanding of numbers of those who plan to attend, could you please reply to the above email address: firstname.lastname@example.org indicating if you intend to attend: -
A - Funeral
B - Wake
C - Both
Josh & Charli have requested flowers from family only but in celebration of Phil’s life and the kind of person he was, a ‘Just Giving’ page has been setup. Alternatively, donations can be made to the family's chosen charity on the day.
To donate in memory of Phil please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/philip-cains-memorial-fund
We are very sad to learn of the passing of referee Phil Cain (pictured, right) recently, at the age of just 58. Phil was a popular character throughout AFA football as referee, referee tutor and long term member of Alexandra Park FC. He was also Old Garchonians referee secretary this season, having coached many of the club's players in their youth.
Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time. Her will be sorely missed throughout AFA Football.
RIP Phil. A fine referee and a friend to so many of us.
The following is from John Morris of Alexandra Park F.C.:
Phil Cain RIP
The Amateur Football Alliance and North London football community has lost one its most colourful and passionate characters: Phil Cain. He was a one in a million person who's charisma, distinctive growling voice and opinions would light up many a changing room and clubhouse, and everyone who knew him will have their own tale or story to tell.
Phil's love and contribution to the beautiful game stretches back several decades through his roles as a much respected coach, club official and referee. His disciplined approach to both coaching and officiating were renowned, but always laced with humour, whether he was taking a training drill or issuing a red card! Off the pitch Phil was highly entertaining, with many stories to tell and jokes to crack, which made him such a big hit as MC at last seasons SAL dinner.
Having tried his hands at many occupations, Phil set up his own football coaching business in the early 1990's...The Palace Soccer School, and went on to coach 1,000's of youngsters in North London, many of whom are still playing/involved in football locally. Recognising the somewhat limited opportunity to play competitive youth football, Phil then established the Alexandra Park Youth Football Club and nurtured its development between 1995 - 2004, whilst also encouraging and assisting young players to join the semi/professional football ranks.
Phil also played for APFC in the latter part of his playing career during the 1990's, often skippering a side in his own inimitable way! Players would run through brick walls for him, but those playing against him would want to hide behind one. Regardless of the result, it was never dull and boring when Phil was around and in charge!
Phil went on to become an excellent referee with the AFA, and more recently shared his experience and knowledge of the game, together no doubt with some colourful anecdotes, with new referees as both a tutor and mentor. He was definitely a players referee, as he would talk to players, have a laugh, but fairly put them in their place when required.
His final whistle came far too soon, but his legacy within youth development and refereeing, individuals and teams, will last for generations.
NUFC Oilers have announced their move to the the Hive Sports Ground in Edgware, home to Barnet F.C., for 2016/17. Oilers will use pitches in the state of the art training complex adjacent to the stadium the Bees have called home since 2013.
Oilers joined the league in 2013, playing home games initially at the Old Latymerians ground in Hounslow before moving to London Marathon Playing Fields in Greenford in 2014. The pitches at the complex are known to be first rate and worthy of Oilers' status in Senior Division 1.
The SAL representative team will contest a new tournament starting in the 2016/17 season with the annual friendly fixtures against the Amateur Football Combination and the Arthurian League incorporated into the new Argonaut Trophy. The Herts Senior County League make up the 4-team line-up with each team playing three matches in a mini-league competition.
The three AFA leagues have played each other in annual friendlies for many years and the SAL-AFC fixture is played for the Steve Langley Cup. In addition, the AFC and SAL have met the Herts Senior County League through the FA Inter-League Cup in recent seasons with Herts reaching the final in 2014.
The competition will be played on a round-robin basis with teams playing each other once, alternating home and away fixtures each season. The games will all be played midweek on non-League stadium grounds with the ‘home’ league organising the fixture. In addition to the traditional 3-1-0 points system, drawn matches will be decided by penalty shoot-outs (no extra time) with the winning team receiving a bonus point.
The following fixtures were drawn for the 2016/17 season:
From the archives
The following is drawn from the AFA archives:
The Argonaut Trophy competition was inaugurated in 1951, with a presentation by the Tatler & Bystander of a beautiful silver nef, which must now be worth over £1,000. The magazine's gesture was a response to widely held concern at the time that many schools were turning from soccer to rugby football.
The initial entry was confined to some 16 clubs "not normally engaged in competitive football" and included the universities, officers' teams from the services, public school old boys and so on. It was administered by the Tatler's assistant editor for one year, and then handed on to a free-ance sport historian Sidney Patman who continued until his death, when T. Lawrence took over, who in turn died earlier this year.
The Football Association, and in particular Sir Stanley Rous and Sir Harold Thompson took a personal interest in the launching and esnured that the pan-county aspect of the competing clubs raised few practical problems, for example match officials were appointed by the F.A., directly or indirectly. Ther have been virtually no disciplinary situations and it has been possible to happily presume that this early personal involvement also represented sanction; at least this is what its two principal secretaries have assumed.
In the intervening years the group of clubs has expanded minimally to come two dozen at any one time, and there are now some half a dozen variations on a theme within the "Argonaut" umbrella. For example, there are both mid-week and Saturday competitions, with associated osers' adjuncts - assuring all entrants of least two games, and there are some city or services four-legged entries for specific presentations which have been made over the years.
The recent death of Tom Lawrence, together with the measured stability of a favoured competition brings us to a point where we would like to regularise the position by formal sanction, all our entrants being, of course, validly affiliated and mostly to the Amateur Football Alliance. We would like to ask if the Football Association would permit us to approach the A.F.A. for sanction, or whether (in view of our entrants covering more than 3 county associations) the F.A. prefer to give formal sanction and remain the sanctioning body.
We are sad to announce the tragic death of Amateur Football Combination chairman and AFA life vice-president David Goldring who died following a heart attack suffered during training with his club, Old Woodhouseians, last week.
David was a stalwart of AFA football having served as an officer of the Southern Olympian League, becoming a prime mover in that league's merger with the Old Boys League in 2002 to form the Amateur Football Combination. Even after four decades of serving on the Old Woods committee he was still an active member organising club tours and serving food after Saturday games.
David will be sorely missed by all in AFA football. A full tribute to David has been posted on the AFA website.
We are sorry to report the passing of SAL vice-president Peter Foster following recent illness.
Peter was a major force at Midland Bank (now HSBC) and was an active officer on the SAL Management Committee from 1993 taking on various roles on sub-committees, becoming a vice-president in 2003. Sadly he has suffered from health problems in retirment and we have not seen him around for a number of years now.
Details of his funeral are yet to be confirmed but will be posted here when known.