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
Merthyr Town F.C.
Merthyr Town Football Club is a Welsh semi-professional football club based in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. The club will play in the Southern Football League Premier Division, Merthyr Town were founded in 1909 and played in the Football League during the 1920s, but the club folded in 1934 and were replaced by new formed Merthyr Tydfil F. C. in 1945. In 2010, the club reformed again after Merthyr Tydfil FC was liquidated, after finishing third in 1911–12 the club were promoted to the first division, though they were relegated back to the second division in 1913–14. The Southern League did not operate during the First World War, in the summer of 1920 the Football League expanded with the creation of a new Third Division, which was made up entirely of the First Division of the Southern League from the previous season. Despite having finished bottom in season before, usually a relegation place. In their first season in the Football League, the club had a better season. This, however, proved to be their most successful league season, from then on the club declined further, and finished bottom of the Third Division in 1924–5. Although they finished 14th in 1925–6, in the seasons the club finished 17th, 21st, 20th and then bottom again. They were replaced by the ill-fated Thames, during their penultimate season in the Football League the club had their best season in the FA Cup, getting past the first round for the only time, before losing to Watford in the second round. The club dropped back into the Southern League, but lasted four seasons. In 2010, Merthyr Tydfil F. C. of the Southern Football League Premier Division were liquidated despite finishing the 2009–10 season 17th of 22 clubs. The club was reformed under the name of Merthyr Town and consequently were required to drop three divisions to begin the 2010–11 season in the Western Football League Division One. The club was forced to switch grounds, and left Penydarren Park to take Rhiw Dda’r. In their first season they won Division One and were promoted to the Western League Premier Division, the newly promoted club once again called Penydarren Park home. Their first match back at their ground was a 1–9 defeat to Welsh Premier League side Llanelli in a pre-season friendly in July 2011. However Merthyr went on to secure a consecutive championship and with it promotion to the Southern League. On 6 April 2015, Merthyr Town were promoted back to the Southern League Premier Division only five years after being expelled, the club is fully owned by the supporters trust. As of 02 February 2017 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
Willand Rovers F.C.
Willand Rovers Football Club is a football club based in Willand, near Exeter, in Devon. They are currently members of the Western League Premier Division and play at the Stan Robinson Stadium, the club is affiliated to the Devon County Football Association Willand Rovers Football Club was formed in 1946, after the financial collapse of Willand Wanderers FC, during the Second World War. The club moved to their present home of The Stan Robinson Stadium, in the 1950s and were playing in the Devon and Exeter Football League. The club in 1990 was relegated to the Senior Division of the Devon, however, the club went back to the premier division for the 1991–92 season. For the start of the 1992–93 season they were among the members of the Devon League. They went on to win the winning that league twice before gaining promotion to the Western League Division One in 2001. Willand Rovers made it to the Les Phillips Cup Final in 2006, losing to Corsham Town and they reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in 2009–10. Willand Rovers play their games at The Stan Robinson Stadium, Silver Street, Willand, Cullompton. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, richard Pears Headley Steele Official Club website
Bristol Manor Farm F.C.
Bristol Manor Farm Football Club is an English football team based in Bristol. They are currently members of the Western League Premier Division and play at the Creek, the club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA. Bristol Manor Farm Football Club was formed in 1960, the club joined the Western Football League Division One in 1977 and won the league in 1982–83, gaining promotion to the Premier Division. In the same year the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, the following season they reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase. Bristol Manor Farm stayed in the Premier Division until being relegated in 2001, the club equalled its FA Cup record in 2010–11, reaching the Second Qualifying Round. The youth team, which was formed in 2003, achieved promotion in their season to the Somerset Floodlight Youth League Premier Division and were beaten Somerset Cup finalists in 2005. The youth team won the Somerset Cup the following year, beating Mangotsfield United in the Final, having spent two seasons in the Gloucestershire County Youth League, the team moved back to the Somerset Floodlight Youth League for 2009–10 under new manager Richard Trott. Alan Crawford Danny Maye David Mehew Marek Piszczek Official Website
Wells City F.C.
Wells City F. C. are a football club based in Wells, Somerset, England. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA and they are currently members of the Western League Premier Division and play at the Athletic Ground. They joined the Western League Division Two in 1929 and won the Western League title in 1950, declining performances culminated in relegation to the second division after the 1956–57 season and after three seasons in the Western League Division Two, Wells City left the league. Wells rejoined the Somerset Senior League in 1960–61 with the competing in the Mid-Somerset Football League. Wells finished 6th in their first season back in the Somerset Senior League, the side finished very much in mid-table until 1965–66 when they were third behind Street and Welton Rovers Reserves. They were runners-up behind Paulton Rovers in 1971–72, relegation from the Premier Division to Division occurred at the end of the 1977–78 season with promotion to the top section being gained at the end of 1979–80. Promotion back again was a time in arriving, not until 1994 would Wells City grace the top flight of Somerset football. Soon the yo-yo effect happened once more with relegation at the end of 1997–98 followed by bouncing back up in 1998–99. The club maintained a Premier Division place until promotion back to the Western Football League Division One in 2008, Wells City would finally reclaim the Somerset Senior Cup in 2006–07, defeating Burnham United 2–1 at Weston-super-Mare. Wells Citys first season back in the Western League saw them finish a respectable finish in 10th place. On 24 April 2010 Wells City earned promotion to the Premier Division of the Western Football League after finishing 1st and they were however relegated back to Division One in 2013. Wells City play their games at the Athletic Ground, Rowdens Road, Wells
Keynsham Town F.C.
Keynsham Town Football Club is a semi-professional football club founded in 1895 in Keynsham, England. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Crown Field, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA. They were elected to the Western League in 1973, and won the Somerset Senior Cup in 1951–52, 1957–58, Keynsham Town were founded in 1895. They have played continuously apart from a break during World War II and moved to their current ground and they first played in the Bristol & District League and progressed through the Bristol Premier Combination and Somerset Senior League and won the Somerset Senior Cup in 1951–52 and 1957–58. They were elected to the Western League in 1973 but were relegated three years later in 1976, since then they have been promoted to the Premier Division three times and relegated three times. They won the Somerset Senior Cup for the time in 2002–03. They currently play in the Western Football League Division 1, Keynsham Town wear an Amber and Black Home kit and an all Burgundy Away kit Keynsham Town play their home games at Crown Fields, Bristol Road, Keynsham, BS31 2BE. Keynsham Town played at locations in Bristol prior to World War II, The Hams until 1910, Gaston until 1925, Park Road until 1930. After World War II, they took up residence at their current ground, the ground was redeveloped in the 1970s. And is now equipped with floodlights, the clubs record attendance was against current Premier League side Chelsea when 3,000 people attended a floodlit game during the 1988–89 season. Jacob Millard, Real Madrid, Manchester United Keynsham Town L. F. C. are the football club affiliated to Keynsham Town. They won the Somerset Cup in 2006–2010, Keynsham Town F. C. – official club website Keynsham Town Ladies F. C. – website of the affiliated ladies football club Keynsham Town at the Football Club History Database
Hellenic Football League
There is also one team each from Hampshire and Northamptonshire The league was established in 1953. In the 2000–01 season the Hellenic League absorbed the Chiltonian League and now has a Premier Division, Division One East, Division One West and three divisions for reserve teams. In the 2006–07 season the Hellenic League absorbed the Banbury District, starting with the 2004–05 re-organisation the Hellenic League became a step 5 and 6 league in the National League System. Premier Division clubs play at Step 5 level, which offers progression to the Southern Football League Division One for Premier Division winners who have the required ground status. Acceptance to HL Division One is also offered to teams playing in the various Step 7 County Leagues of the related Hellenic League area,50 teams play in the Hellenic Premier and Division Ones. 18 teams play at Veterans level The league started with only a Premier Division, for the 1971–72 season, Division One was split into Division One A and Division One B. The following season, Division One A and B were merged, after the 1999–2000 season, Division One was regionalised into East and West. The Hellenic League football cups are the Floodlit Cup, the Supplementary Cup and the Challenge Cup
South West Peninsula League
The South West Peninsula League is a football competition in England, which was formed in 2007 from the merger of the Devon County League and the South Western League. The league is restricted to clubs based in Cornwall and Devon, the league consists of a Premier Division of up to 20 clubs, which is ranked at Step 6 in the National League System, and two divisions at Step 7 being Division One West and Division One East. One club from each of the Division One leagues can be promoted, One club from the Premier Division can be promoted to the Western League Premier Division each season, with Buckland Athletic promoted after applying and finishing runner-up in 2012. The bottom two clubs from each Division One division can be relegated each season to the nearest feeder league, the feeder leagues for Division One West are the Cornwall Combination, East Cornwall and Plymouth & West Devon Combination. Feeders for Division One East are the South Devon, the Devon & Exeter, the leagues principal sponsor is Carlsberg. The League Cup competition is sponsored by Walter C Parson Funeral Directors and is called The Walter C Parson Cup
Gloucestershire County Football League
The Gloucestershire County Football League is a football league in England, founded in 1968. The league is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA and it sits at step 7 of the National League System and is a feeder to the Hellenic League Division One West and Wessex League. Clubs to move from the GCL to the Hellenic League in recent seasons are Brimscombe & Thrupp, Longlevens, the league has always consisted of a single division of clubs. In the 2015–16 season,17 teams competed in the league, the Bristol & Suburban League, Bristol Premier Combination, and the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League feed the Gloucestershire County League. The League has a size of 20 member clubs, who have to be affiliated to the Gloucestershire Football Association. The clubs ground or headquarters have to be located within the County of Gloucestershire or in parts of the City of Bristol that were within the 1908 city boundaries. The league is part of the National League system and clubs may apply for promotion to or from the League, the Committee is drawn from the Western Football League, Gloucestershire County League, Somerset County League, South West Peninsula League and the Wiltshire League. The league was formed in 1968. Its first Chairman was F. Dowling, who was assisted by the Hon. Secretary. Les James has the Leagues Cup Competition named after him in recognition of his service to football, Chairman, Mr F. Dowling, presented the championship trophy to Stonehouse FC, who were the first winners of the County League. Stonehouse Town were original member of the County League and competed in the competition for 20 years until 1988, from 1947 until 1960 the club played in the Western Football League