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
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
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
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
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
Ashton & Backwell United F.C.
They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Backwell Recreation Ground. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA, the club was established in 1911 as Backwell United and played in various local leagues, although activities were suspended during both World Wars. At this time played in the Bristol Church of England League, progressing to the Bristol. This was denied, however, owing to the local authoritys refusal to grant planning permission for floodlights to be erected, the club went to appeal, which they won, and floodlights were in place for the 1993–94 season, allowing the club to progress to Premier Division football. Performance has been steady over the years and the first team reached the 5th round of the FA Vase in the 2004–05 season. For the 2005–06 season a change of manager and an exodus of experienced players resulted in a last-place finish and they first entered the FA Cup in the 1994–95 season. Ashton & Backwell United play their games at The Lancer Scott Stadium, West Town Road, Backwell, Somerset. Bristol City -3 July 2013, The Lancer Scott Stadium Note, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Official Site Backwell United 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
Wiltshire Football League
The Wiltshire Football League is a football league based in England. It has one division and was set up to consist of no more than 56 clubs, all clubs are affiliated to an affiliated County Football Association. The area covered by the competition is within the County of Wiltshire or within 15 miles of the Wiltshire County boundary, the League extended its boundaries this season and changed its name to The Wiltshire Football League. This season saw the League enter into a Pyramid of Football Agreement with the Western, a new logo was introduced, changing the design for the first time since the League was formed. With the introduction of new Senior Status standards by the Wiltshire County Football Association, an Intermediate Status was introduced, Division 1 became the Premier Division, Division 2 the Intermediate Division, Division 3 became Junior Division 1 and Division 4 became Junior Division 2. The Intermediate Division was sponsored by Plaister Auto Services, there were an insufficient number of Clubs at Intermediate Status this season, so the League reverted to two Junior Divisions. The League had new sponsors this season in Plaister Auto Services, there were an insufficient number of Clubs at Intermediate Status this season, so the League closed the Junior Division
Dorset Premier Football League
The Dorset Premier Football League is a football league based in Dorset, England, which sits at Step 7 of the National League System, or level 11 of the overall English football league system. The league was formed in 1957 under the name Dorset Football Combination League when a number of clubs within the county became disillusioned at being dictated to by junior and minor clubs. The objective of the league on its formation was to increase the standard of football and competition throughout Dorset and neighbouring counties, the inaugural season saw 12 clubs in membership with Swanage Town lifting the Championship and the 15th Training Battalion R. A. S. C. The following season the top two places were reversed, in the first 5 seasons, Swanage Town won the Championship four times and finished in runners up spot on one other occasion. On one occasion they won the Combination League 5 times in a row from 1962 to 1966, the league has now been placed at Step 7 of the National League System, standing parallel to the Hampshire Premier League. Clubs promoting from the DPL usually join the 2nd level of the Wessex League, however, the conclusion of the 2005–06 season saw Sherborne Town move to the Western League Division One. Bridport, who maintain a team in the DPL, also play in the Western League. The bottom club may be relegated to the Dorset Senior League, the 2002–03 season saw the League change its name to the Dorset Premier Football League. It was felt that more reflected the Leagues status. In 2010 the League was awarded the FA Charter Standard status, only the third league in the FA’s jurisdiction to be so awarded
Western Football League
The Western Football League is a football league in South West England, covering Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, western Dorset, parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The leagues current main sponsor is Toolstation, so it is known as the Toolstation League. The champion club may apply for promotion to a Step 4 league, below the Western League are four local leagues covering smaller areas, the Gloucestershire County League, the Somerset County League, the Dorset Premier League and the Wiltshire League. The South West Peninsula League Premier Division is also a feeder to the Western League but due to having Step 6 status, Premier Division, Division One, The league was formed in 1892 as the Bristol & District League, and became the Western League in 1895. In the years before World War II, many teams played in both the Southern and Western Leagues, the Western League was considered as secondary to the Southern League. On four occasions, member clubs have lifted the FA Vase, Tiverton Town twice, Taunton Town once and most recently Truro City, totton in 2007 at the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium before a competition record crowd of 27,754. Truro City were the one of the three to win the FA Vase while in Division One, while none are current members of the Western League. Bedminster | Clevedon | Clifton Association | Eastville Rovers | Mangotsfield | St. George | Trowbridge Town | Warmley | Wells Official Site Western League -Fixtures, Results and Tables
Larkhall Athletic F.C.
Larkhall Athletic Football Club are a football club based in Larkhall, in Bath, Somerset, England. From 2014–15 they have playing in the Southern Football League Division One South & West. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA, the club was founded in 1914, and played local football until joining the Western League when it expanded to two divisions in 1976. They won promotion to the Western Football League Premier Division from the First Division for the first time in 2008–09 as champions and they had previously won the Division One title in the 1988–89 season but remained in Division One. In 2010–11, in only their second season at Premier level. They remained in the Premier Division for the 2011–12 season however, in 2014 they won the Western League double and progressed to the Southern League for the first time in club history. The Larks best FA Vase runs before the 2008–09 saw them reach the Second Round on three occasions, in the 2011–12 season, the surpassed their 2008–09 season by reaching the Fifth Round, but lost to Herne Bay. They equalled this feat in 2012–13, losing in the round to the eventual finalists Tunbridge Wells, and in 2013–14. Larkhall Athletic play their games at Plain Ham, Charlcombe Lane, Larkhall, Bath. The Larks also run a side, who play in the Somerset County League