The Middlesex Schools’ Football Association is delighted to confirm that the Inter-District competitions first established in 1932 will return for the 2021-22 season.
Although not all of the eight boroughs recognised by the English Schools’ FA as remaining within Middlesex are fielding teams, one of the ‘original’ Districts returns to the County fold, with Hackney participating in the U11 competitions. Hackney, like Islington, is part of the historic boundaries of Middlesex; Islington & Camden will play in the secondary school competitions, which include the age groups from U12 to U15 inclusive.
The U12 and U15 tournaments will include a guest district; Luton & South Bedfordshire will play in the 2021-22 Leagues following a vote taken by the other participating boroughs.
In accordance with the prevailing regulations for youth football, the U11 age group will be organised as two ‘Trophy Events’, with the Batchelor Cup running before Christmas and the Alf Gant Cup running from January onwards. All the other age groups run as single leagues in the usual ‘home and away’ format.
Commenting on the publication of the Inter-District fixtures, MSFA General Secretary Gareth Coates remarked: “It is enormously pleasing that our Inter-District competitions are returning after the 2020-21 season was wiped out by COVID-19. The changing landscape in respect of the ESFA competitions, coming 18 months into the pandemic, created new opportunities for Districts, but also presented new risks. It would have been easy for the volunteers running District teams to decide not to resume their roles after a year out, but we are delighted that half our Districts are playing in at least one age group.”
“They have been supplemented by teams from boroughs either just outside our boundaries or whom, in the case of Luton & South Bedfordshire, are well outside our area but have been voted in by the membership. We’re delighted to have them and will continue to offer invitations to Districts just beyond our borders, provided their parent Counties don’t object.”
“The Champions Cup concept is an interesting one, but many Districts, including all of those in Middlesex fielding teams have found it challenging from both financial and logisitical perspectives. We respect their viewpoints and have attempted to structure our fixture list in a way which accomodates their needs and those of the County Boys’ Representative Teams.”
The Leagues will run from October to March, with natural breaks built in for Inter-County matches, Christmas and Easter, which is the intended end of the Representative Team season.
To access the Inter-District Leagues section of our website, follow this link. For an at-a-glance guide to all five age groups, click here.