The Middlesex Schools’ Football Association has reluctantly decided not to field Boys’ Representative Teams during the 2020-21 season.
Every effort was made to compete in the South-East England Schools’ FA (SEESFA) competitions but, given the ever-changing regulations in respect of COVID-19, it became apparent that it would not be practical for Boys’ teams to participate. This was, at least in part, because only five of the other County Associations in membership of SEESFA had also entered, meaning than the competitions would begin with a single round-robin group, as opposed to two regionalised sections.
MSFA would have been required to commit to five matches – at least one of which would have been away to Norfolk or Suffolk – which would need to be played before the end of March. Given that trials have yet to be held to select the MSFA squads, this represented a practical and logistical challenge which the Association did not feel ready to meet.
Happily, MSFA will still have teams competing in regional and national tournaments this season. Under-14 and Under-16 Girls’ teams will represent the County in smaller, four-team SEESFA tournaments. Trials will commence in early November and with only four confirmed matches per team – three of which will be ‘away’ at this stage, the logistical challenges are not as great as they would be when attempting to play three matches in a ‘block’ as is customary for the Boys’ teams.
The Association fervently hopes that this change to the Representative Match programme is a ‘one-off’ and that a full roster of five teams will be able to compete in 2021-22.