Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Midland Football Alliance
The Midland Football Alliance was an English association football league for semi-professional teams. It covered Leicestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, the league consisted of a single division which sat at Step 5 of the National League System, or the ninth level of the overall English football league system. Each season, the club of each feeder league was eligible for promotion to the Alliance. Successful teams in the Alliance were eligible for promotion to a Step 4 league, the league merged with the Midland Combination in 2014 to form the new Midland Football League. The league drew ten member clubs from each of the two leagues for its inaugural season, paget Rangers won the first league championship by a margin of 12 points from Hinckley Athletic in the 1994–95 season, and gained promotion to the Southern League. The Alliances status as a feeder to the Southern League was cemented when Armitage 90 were relegated in the opposite direction, Armitage went on to dominate the league in the 1995–96 season but disbanded midway through the season, with the result that their record was expunged from the table. For the 1999–2000 season the increased in size to 22 clubs when two clubs were promoted into the Alliance but none relegated out of it. One of the clubs was Oadby Town of the Leicestershire Senior League. The following season Coalville Town became the first Alliance team to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup, with the creation of the National League System by the Football Association the league was officially defined as a Step 5 league. In 2014 the Alliance merged with the Midland Combination to form the new Midland Football League, the clubs which had been members of the Alliance formed the Premier Division of the new league. The Alliance was known under various sponsored names following deals with companies including Baker-Joiner, Polymac Services, Harvey World Travel, Travel Factory, and Aspire. The league was contested on a double round-robin basis, with each playing each of the other teams in the division once at home. Three points were awarded for a win, one for a draw, goal difference was used to separate teams on the same points. As the Alliance was a Step 5 league, its clubs were eligible to take part in the FA Cup. According to official FA regulations, clubs from the Alliance were eligible for promotion to a Step 4 league, clubs promoted from Step 5 leagues were placed in the most geographically appropriate Step 4 leagues as determined by the FAs Leagues Committee. The number of clubs promoted from the Alliance each season could vary, all clubs gaining promotion from the Alliance were placed in either the Southern League or the Northern Premier League. Attendances at Midland Alliance matches were generally small, with many matches attracting fewer than 100 spectators, in the 2006–07 season the average attendance across the league was 124, but in the 2007–08 season this fell to 87. The best supported team in that season was Atherstone Town, whose average attendance was 162
Boldmere St. Michaels F.C.
Boldmere St. Michaels Football Club is an English football club based in Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield, currently playing in the Midland League Premier Division. The club was established in 1883 as a football team attached to the local church. As the boys outgrew youth football, they organised an open-age team, in the 1947–48 season they reached the semi-finals of the FA Amateur Cup, losing 2–0 to Barnet in front of 27,000 at Highbury. In 1949, the joined the Birmingham & District League. During the 1950s the clubs fortunes declined somewhat, as they resolved to remain staunchly amateur at a time when their rivals were becoming semi-professional, the club won the Walsall Senior Cup in 2005–06 and completed a hat trick by retaining the trophy in each of the following two seasons. The following season, they reached the final of the MFA League Cup and they also equalled their best league placing in the MFA by finishing third, with a record points haul. Originally named Church Road, the ground was renamed in 2004 after former chairman Trevor Brown, the grounds facilities have been upgraded since the mid-nineties to Southern League standard, a level to which the club ultimately aspires
AFC Bridgnorth is a football club based in the town of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England. AFC Bridgnorth are the phoenix club of the old Bridgnorth Town. The club badge depicts the hall in Bridgnorths high town. Runners-up, 2014–15, 2015–16 West Midlands League First Division, winners, 2013–14 TJ Vickers Cup Runners-up, 2013–14 Official website
Stourport Swifts F.C.
Stourport Swifts Football Club are a football team from Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire and one of the oldest non-league teams in the country. The Swifts currently play in the Midland League Premier Division, Stourport Swifts was formed in 1882 and began playing competitive football shortly after. In 1931, they joined the Warwickshire League but only played in the league for two seasons before leaving the league, but were back five years later until the outbreak of World War II, when the league resumed Stourport rejoined the league. The club played in the Worcestershire League throughout the 1970s before joining the West Midlands League Division Two in 1979–80, a fourth-placed finish in 1985–86 earned the club promotion to division one and two seasons later the club was promoted to the premier division after finishing in second place. The club finished in place in the premier division in 1996–97 and then on 1997–98. Their third season in that league saw them win their first ever league championship, 2000–01 also saw the club reach the fifth round of the FA Vase. The club was placed in the West Division, finishing in place in their debut season. However, the failed to finish in the top half in subsequent seasons and were relegated back to the Midland Alliance in 2012. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Westfields Football Club is a football team from Hereford, England, formed in 1966 and currently playing in the Midland League Premier Division. The club is affiliated to the Herefordshire County FA, westfields FC were formed in November 1966 by a group of local youths who played friendlies on Widemarsh Common. One of the youths, Andy Morris, is involved with the club and is now its chief executive. Westfields initially entered the Herefordshire Sunday League, where played for ten years. In 1973, they fielded their first Saturday team in the Worcester, Two years later they moved their ground from the King George V playing fields to Thorn Lightings Rotherwas headquarters where they gradually developed the ground over the subsequent years. In 1978 the club stepped up to the West Midlands League, promotion to Division One came in 1983–84, followed by a further step up to the Premier Division three years later. During the 2016–17 season they qualified for the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history, the Fields moved to a new £250,000 ground in the heart of the city in December 2003. The new ground gained the unusual name of allpay. park thanks to a sponsorship deal with Hereford-based firm allpay. net. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Westfields at the Football Club History Database Official website
Tividale Football Club is a football club based in Tividale, near Dudley, West Midlands, England. In the 2011–12 season, under the management of Dean Whitehouse, they reached the 5th round of the FA Vase and they won the Midland Football Alliance in 2013–14. They now play in the Midland League Premier Division, having been relegated from the Northern Premier League Division One South at the end of the 2015–16 season, in 1966 they joined the newly formed West Midlands League Division One. In 1973 they gained promotion to the Premier Division and remained there for nearly 20 years, new manager Terry Jones was able to turn the clubs fortunes around and in 1993 Tividale finished second in Division One and won promotion back into the Premier. Unfortunately in the year the Midland Football Alliance was formed, moving the West Midlands League one step down the pyramid. Since their return to the Premier Division Tividale have generally been a side, although in 2001–02 they finished second. Between 2002 and 2004 the club reached the final of the Walsall Senior Cup in three seasons, winning the trophy in 2003. Ian Long joined as joint-manager with Stuart Scriven in 2013, after Scriven left the club due to work commitments in 2013, Long assumed sole managership of the first team. In their first season in the Northern Premier League Division One South Tividale finished in 8th position, ian Long left his position as Manager in May 2015, and the whole of the 2014-15 staff and players went with him. Philip Male and Ross Thorpe were appointed as joint managers but Thorpe left in December 2015, the 2015-16 season ended with Tividale being relegated to the Midland Football League, following which Stourbridge Youth team manager Dave King was appointed as Tividale manager. Tividale moved to their current ground in Packwood Road in 1974 and this name was chosen to honour a British Waterways official who had granted the sites lease to the club. In 1991 a new rule was introduced by the West Midlands League that all Premier Division clubs must have floodlights, as Tividale could not afford to erect lights at The Beeches, they had no option but to step down to Division One. Floodlights were eventually erected two years later, more recent development work has seen the building of a 200-seater stand, new changing rooms, a boardroom, and the refurbishment of the Social Club. W. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Coleshill Town F.C.
Coleshill Town Football Club are a semi-professional football club based in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, currently playing in the Midland League Premier Division. Coleshill Town were established in 1894 and joined the Midland Combination Division Two in 1967, in 1970 they won this division and were promoted to Division One, where they remained for the next thirty years. In 2000 they were relegated but bounced back at the first attempt, in the 2007–08 season Coleshill were crowned champions of the Midland Combination Premier Division. Pack Meadow has recently had a new 70 seater stand built to meet regulations for the Midland Football Alliance, in the 2009–10 season, the club finished in the top eight of Midland Alliance, but lost in the semi-finals of the League Cup. Dosthill Colts shared the Pack Meadow stadium in the 2010–11 season, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Heath Hayes F.C.
Heath Hayes F. C. are an English football club based in Heath Hayes near Cannock, Staffordshire, England established in 1965. They are currently playing in the Midland League Division One and they play at the Coppice Colliery Ground and wear a blue and white kit. Heath Hayes United were formed in 1965 by a group who broke away from the Heath Hayes Youth Club, initially they played in the Cannock Youth League but left after a dispute with the leagues organisers over their use of a public house as a headquarters. They next played in the Cannock Chase League and moved their base to the Constitutional Club, changing their name to Heath Hayes Cons. The 1970s and 80s were spent playing in the Mid Staffs and South Staffs Leagues, before the decision was taken in 1989 to join the Staffordshire Senior League, in 1996 they moved to the West Midlands League Division One North
Studley Football Club is a football club based in Studley, near Redditch, Warwickshire, England. They play in the Midland League Division One which is the 10th tier in the overall English football league system, Studley FC was formed in 1971, playing Sunday football in the local Redditch league, they were known in those days as B. K. L. The side was made up mainly of employees of BKL Fittings, the club was re-launched as Studley Football Club on 2 June 2002, following the collapse of the company BKL. Further developments are planned for the future and they have reached the first qualifying round of the FA Cup twice, in seasons 2003–04 and 2008–09. The Beehive is situated in Abbeyfields Drive, which is off the main Birmingham – Alcester Road. Recent years have seen a lot of improvements take place at The Beehive, the rooms have been given a complete face-lift, and for the first time ever. Average attendance in league matches at the Beehive is about 100. Studley FC home page Studley FC records