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.
The SAL representative team slipped out of the FA Inter League Cup at Uxbridge this afternoon, losing to the only goal against the Teesside League having played 63 minutes with ten men against a very fast, physical opposition.
The opening exchanges were even but the visitors' quick counter attacking had begun to stretch the SAL defence when skipper Arren Sutcliffe conceded a penalty after fourteen minutes. The kick was good but Sutcliffe's Nottsborough clubmate George Thomas dived to his right to parry the shot and preserve parity.
Teesside continued to play on the break and it was a through ball that turne Thomas' game upside down as he handled outside the area and, as the last defending player, was shown the red card by the referee on 27 minutes. The SAL's very own Teessider - Dan Ashley - took over between the sticks for the free kick which was not converted.
The dismissal appeared to galvanise the SAL and they began to make inroads at the other end with Dan Barber twice going close and having a penalty appeal turned down shortly before half time. A good save from the Teesside 'keeper kept the game goalless which it still was at half time.
In the second half the Teessiders again began brightly but the SAL again worked their way back into the game and a fast paced tussle ensued with the crucial breakthrough coming on 73 minutes when a ball over the back four gave the Teesside striker the opportunity to lob home as Ashley came out to narrow the angle.
Jordan Greaves and Andy Barrell both came on to help take the battle to the visitors but, although the ball spent a fair amount of time in the Teesside final third in the last ten minutes, the defence and goalkeeper stood firm and the SAL were destined to miss out.
Bob Leeds, Pat Folan and the team were bitterly disappointed to miss out on the chance of second final but they should not overlook their performance which showed grit and determination against worthy opponents, a man down for most of the game.
The half-yearly Council Meeting will take place on Thursday 28 January 2016, starting at 6.30pm. The meeting will take place at the same venue Civil Service Club, 13-15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ.
All clubs are required to send a representative on pain of death, reduced to a fine if paid within the stipulated time frame.
The SAL reached the semi-finals of the FA Inter-League Cup for the third time in five attempts today with a convincing 4-0 win against the Herts Senior County League at Colney Heath.
The hosts were runners-up in the previous tournament so this was expected to be a tough test but the SAL proved to be more than a match for Herts. Sutcliffe and Classen formed a brick wall in the centre of defence while veteran striker Alex Ewin, who scored in the final when the SAL were victorious in 2008, along with Barber, Sinclair and Taylor, caused the Herts defence problems from the start.
The SAL pressed in the opening exchanges but didn't manage to break through, allowing Herts to fight back. However, on 31 minutes Ewin showed that he hasn't lost that special touch to put the SAL in the lead. The margin was doubled before the break with Alan Taylor converted from close range to give the SAL a buffer just before the break.
In the second half the SAL were playing up the slope but as the game wore on they looked more and more assured and Taylor got his second to extend the lead in 69th minute with a right foot shot after an SAL breakaway. The game was sealed in the 76th minute when Chris Sinclair turned the ball home.
Manager Bob Leeds was delighted with the performance and has good reason to look forward to the semi-final draw which will be announced after 6 February when the last quarter-final takes place. In today's other tie the West Yorkshire League progressed through a 1-0 win against the Cambridgeshire County League. The semi-final must be played by 5 March.
The dates and venues for five of the seven ISEH Challenge Cup finals have been confirmed with the first ever Senior Cup final due to take place on 7 May at HSBC.
For those who haven't been to a final before, each will have its own matchday programme complete with team line-ups and the winners of each cup will have their photo included in the end of season SAL Standard magazine, produced for the Awards Evening so make sure you get your photos taken!
The full list of venues and dates is as follows: