We are sad to report the passing of Old Wilsonians Life President, Mike Harris, a stalwart to the club and to AFA football as a whole. During his time with Old Wilsonians Mike was a player, referee, club officer and, in more recent years, archivist and historian.
Club Secretary Jamie Parkinson's obituary on the Old Wilsonians website give a fuller picture of a man who will be missed by all.
Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
We are pleased to announce the dates and venues for all eight Challenge Cup finals for 2021:
Following a meeting with the Referee Appointment Team that consists of five League Management Committee Members and one League Match Official I can confirm that the Match Official Appointments have been completed for the 2020/21 Southern Amateur League Challenge Cups.
Last year was my first season appointing to the League Fixtures and the SAL Cups, I thought that was hard but this year has been a whole lot harder. I want to thank each and every Match Official for their continued hard work, commitment and support to myself, Mark Freedman, the Referee Appointments Team and the Southern Amateur League.
Therefore, I am delighted to announce that Deryll David has been appointed to the SAL Senior Challenge Cup Final for the 2020/21 season.
Deryll has been a Referee for 11 years and has been officiating on the Southern Amateur League for 10 years. He was informed via telephone from the Referees Secretary of his appointment to the Senior Final and he had the following to say.
When I had a call from Daryl to inform me of my appointment, I was shocked and delighted to be given the appointment! I'm ecstatic to be taking charge of the SAL Senior Cup Final.
A full list of appointments to the Southern Amateur League Challenge Cups can be found below.
Congratulations to you all!
Following the news earlier today of the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, former President of The Football Association, we would like to suggest that clubs wishing to mark the occasion do so with a minute's silence and, where appropriate, flags lowered to half-mast.
His Royal Highness was President of The FA between 1955 and 1957, although he attended his first FA Cup Final in 1949 and would be a regular presence at the Wembley showpiece into the 1960s.
The tradition for him to be introduced to both teams before kick-off included the memorable 1953 Final made famous by Sir Stanley Matthews’ Blackpool side winning 4-3 against Bolton Wanderers. The Prince remained an honorary member of The FA and accompanied HM The Queen at the 1966 World Cup Final at Wembley in which England defeated West Germany 4-2 to lift the trophy for the only time, at the time of writing.
In 2021 there are many different perspectives on how to mark such occasions and we do not wish anyone to feel pressured to participate in any observance where they do not feel comfortable. We therefore encourage clubs and/or teams to discuss the issue ahead of kick-off to ensure any such observances go ahead smoothly.
League Match Secretary, Eric Owen, has issued the following update on the mini-leagues which are being organised for the end of the season:
I hope everyone is well.
I wanted to give you all an update on the supplementary mini tournaments we intend to run to give as many of our sides as possible some football when the season restarts.
We will be dividing most of the divisions up into mini leagues of 4 or 5 teams which will predominantly be regionalised as best as we can. Each team will play each other in a league format and then depending on time and pitches etc there will be semi-finals or we may go straight to a final but we will advise as the tournaments progress. Obviously, there may be issues around weather and pitch availability.
Mini-leagues open to all teams already out of SAL Cups plus any losing in the first two rounds after we come back
We need clubs to be flexible with this as we will have teams who get knocked out in the SAL cups in the early weeks of our return joining the mini leagues as well. There will be fixtures for most sides who are already out of the cups on the 10th April but unfortunately, we will not be able to put all fixtures out until we know the results of the SAL cup rounds played on the 3rd. I will notify clubs of the potential league formats as soon as cup games on the 3rd April are out of the way and we know who has progressed or not.
Feel free to organise friendlies for the 3rd April if you are not in the SAL cups.
Fixtures will start on 10 April
The nature of these tournaments is to give our clubs competitive football and we are happy for you to mutually agree venues for these games if the home drawn clubs is struggling with pitches or agree different kick off times but as always, please notify myself and Daryl. I will try to pencil games in around your home pitch allocations you have informed me about. We will attempt to supply officials for all matches and usual league and county rules, discipline, and registration rules will apply.
Groups of 4 or 5 playing each other once, semi-finals (if possible) and finals to follow
If a team can't play a match for any reason, they will have to forfeit for obvious reasons, but we hope that won't happen as most of us are chomping at the bit to play.
Great news is that most clubs are entering the majority of their sides into these tournaments but please advise asap if for any reason a side changes it's mind. There may even be a trophy for each winner !!
This is quite a logistical headache to arrange so we would appreciate your patience and understanding in getting these games on.
Keep well and I will update you all regularly
We are pleased to report that all but one vets team has committed to seeing the season through to a conclusion with the League, Cup and Shield competitions expected to be played to a finish. Veterans Secretary Graeme Wilson has confirmed the following:
So, what happens next?
Fixtures will be scheduled starting with Easter weekend (3rd / 4th April) for those who have declared that they're happy to play on these dates.
In a perfect world all matches will take place on a weekend however the reality is will not be possible for every game. I will do my utmost to minimise this for everyone as much as I can.
If your match is not taking place at the usual time (due to pitch constraints) please inform me immediately so I can update the website as this will have an impact on match official appointments.
Late fixture amendments
It is inevitable this will happen as we compress several rounds into a few weeks so please continue to check the website on a regular basis.
I hope you share our excitement at football returning, especially after the last few months. Let's get playing again!
Following the government’s announcement that grassroots football can restart from the 29th March the League Management Committee can confirm that fixtures will restart on Saturday, 3rd April.
Having taken all of the above (and more) into account, the League Management Committee has recommended to clubs the following:
All clubs were asked the following questions:
The answers to the above were factored into the decision making process and the he following points were among those considered in determining the way forward:
The decision to void the league season has been a difficult one for the League League. All suggestions on how we might complete the league season were considered fully. However, there were obstacles for every scenario that made those options unworkable.
Clubs have been asked to notify League Match Secretary, Eric Owen, by 15 March 2021, latest, of their intention regard to participating in football upon the restart. We will have to work quickly to make the best of the remaining weeks of the season, so any clubs not complying with this deadline risk not being included in the planned fixtures.
The Southern Amateur League kicked off a brand new Podcast this evening with the first ever episode featuring a discussion with the Representative Team Manager Bob Leeds about his time at Old Finchleians to joining the League Committee as Rep Team Manager.
Bob shared his stories about his first season in charge and his thoughts going into the 2007/08 season when the League went on to become National Champions winning the FA Inter League Cup that year.
We spoke to Daryl who is our new Social Media Officer at the Southern Amateur League and he had the following to say;
"Since joining the League as Referee Secretary a couple of seasons ago I have had a number of plans to increase the engagement online and away from the pitch. Taking on the role of Social Media Officer gave me the opportunity to do this by launching a brand new podcast and it only felt right to have Bob as our first ever guest! As President of the League and also as Representative Team Manager he had a number of stories to share, so much in-fact we have made it a two part episode.
We have some great guests lined up and eventually when we are able to get back out there playing football I will be ground hopping around the League reaching out to Managers, Players, Club Volunteers and 80% of the content we record will be done out at the clubs making the podcast more grassroots. Im looking for more people to get involved, come on and have a chat, egg on your upcoming opponents and in general just have a good laugh!"
The SAL Podcast is available on our website and from the Spotify app on your smartphone. To get involved drop Daryl an email - email@example.com
We are delighted to welcome EIGHT new clubs into the SAL fold this summer, four open aged clubs - including two with SAL 'previous' - and four more in the Vets Section - including the returning Southgate Olympic.
Bromleians played in the SAL from 1967-2002 before a club restructure led to their withdrawl to pursue a different path in the Kent County League. Catford Wanderers were members from 1929 to 1982, winning five SAL championships in that time. A brand new club, Hammersmith, is affiliated to the Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, previously represented by the Old Latymerians who played in the SAL from 1945 to 2013 while Little Heath provide more young blood, founded in 2018 and making the jump from Sunday to Saturday football.
The Vets Section is pleased to welcome Battersea Boys, founded in 2015 and based at Colliers Wood United F.C. in Wimbledon. KOPA Vets, effectively a representative team from the KOPA League, founded in 1975 by Cypriot clubs based in north London, will be based at the excellent Walker Ground in Southgate. Livingstone RARA will call Mayfield Stadium in Thornton Heath home and have previously played in the Merton Vets League Last but not least, Southgate Olympic - full members of the SAL from 1958 to 2013 - will enter their Vets side - welcome back lads!
We hope all existing member clubs will make all eight feel welcome in their new league and the Management Committee look forward to seeing what they can do on the football pitch if and when we are allowed back out to play.
As of 6pm today the vote by member clubs on how to conclude season 2019/20 has closed.
The following option received the most votes
1. Competitions are brought to an immediate end with results expunged (i.e. without promotion or relegation occurring).
Therefore the 2019/20 league season is null and void.
If and when we are allowed to play football again we will look to try and complete the SAL Challenge Cups.
We are in exceptional times and this has been an extra ordinary vote. None of us could have envisaged that the season would end this way when we kick off in September.
At some point we will we be able to play football again but until then please can I ask that your take care of yourself and your families.
They, not football, are the most important things at this time.