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
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
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
Melksham Town F.C.
Melksham Town Football Club are a football club based in Melksham, Wiltshire, England. They are currently members of the Western League Premier Division and play at the The Oakfield Stadium, the club is affiliated to the Wiltshire Football Association The club was formed as Melksham F. C. in 1876 and in 1894 became founding members of the Wilts League. They entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1946, in 1951 the club changed their name to their current one. They joined the Western Football League in 1974, Melksham won Division One in 1979–80, gaining promotion to the Premier Division. They stayed in the division until they were relegated in 1988, the club left the Western League in 1993, when they were relegated to the Wiltshire County League after finishing in bottom position. However they returned to the Western league in just one season when under manager Mel Gingell, the club three seasons later in the 1996–97 campaign under manager Darren Perrin, were promoted to the Premier Division One, as champions. The club then spent the next thirteen seasons in the top division of the Western league before being relegated to Division One again at the end of the 2009–10 campaign. At the end of the 2011–12 season the club gained prmotion back to the Premier Division when they finished as runners-up in Division one. In the 2014–15 season Melksham won the Western Football League Premier Division, until 2017, Melksham Town played their games at The Conigre, Market Place, Melksham, SN12 6ES. The club had played at the Conigre ground since 1926. C. in the FA Vase, andy Sandell Murray Fishlock David Seal club website
Slimbridge Association Football Club are an English football club representing the village of Slimbridge, near Dursley, Gloucestershire, currently playing in the Southern League. The club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA, in 1951 the club moved to their current ground at Wisloe Road after Evi Thornhill, a former player bequeathed the land to the club in his will. From then until the 1990s the club competed in the Stroud and District League. They won the league at the first attempt, and were promoted to the Gloucestershire County League where the club maintained back to back promotions by winning back to the Hellenic League. In 2013 they transferred to the Western League Premier Division, after securing a 3rd-place finish in the Western League Premier Division at the end of the 2014-15 season, it was confirmed that the club had earned promotion to the Southern League. The record attendance at Wisloe Road is 525 for a game against Shortwood United in 2003, slimbridges second highest ever attendance was in a pre season friendly with Forest Green Rovers in August 2011. It is situated not in Slimbridge but just over the A38 in nearby Cambridge, the ground also plays host to the home games of the ladies team at Forest Green Rovers. On 26 July 2016 the grounds name was changed to Thornhill Park, the change in name was to honour former chairman Evi Thornhill who gave the land to the club in 1960
Barnstaple Town F.C.
Barnstaple Town Football Club is a football club based in Barnstaple, Devon, England. They are currently members of Division One South & West of the Southern League, the club was established in 1904 as Pilton Yeo Vale, and were founder members of the North Devon League in the same year. They played in the leagues first match, hosting Ilfracombe on 1 October, however, that was to be the only defeat all season in the league and club went on to win the inaugural league title. At the end of the season they adopted their current name, after winning a second North Devon league title in 1908–09, they club switched to the Exeter & District League, where they remained until World War I. After the war returned to the North Devon League, before rejoining the Exeter & District League. They won the title in 1946–47 and were runners-up the following season. In 1949–50 Barnstaple won Division Two, earning promotion to Division One, in 1951–52 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 5–2 to Folkestone in a replay. The club were champions in 1952–53, and reached the first round of the FA Cup again in 1954–55. They reached the first round of the FA Cup for a time in 1959–60. The league was reduced to a division in 1960. The league expanded back to two divisions in 1976, with Barnstaple placed in the Premier Division, in 1979–80 they won their second Western League title, and finished as runners-up in the following two seasons. After finishing second-from bottom in 1990–91, Barnstaple were relegated to Division One, three seasons later they won Division One, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. They remained in the Premier Division until being relegated again at the end of the 2012–13 season, however, they made an immediate return to the top division after winning Division One in 2014–15. The following season saw the finish as runners-up in the Premier Division. The club play their games at Mill Road in Barnstaple. It has a capacity of 5,000, of which 250 is seated and 1,000 covered. C, players Barnstaple Town F. C. managers Official website
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
Hengrove Athletic F.C.
Hengrove Athletic Football Club are a football club which is based in the Bristol suburb of Hengrove. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Norton Lane, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA. The club was founded in 1948 by ex-members of Christchurch Hengrove Boys Club playing at school pitches until moving to their current base at Norton Lane in 1964, the club played in the Bristol & Suburban League before the first team progressed to the Somerset County League in 1974. Their reserves play in the Somerset County League and their team plays in the Bristol & Suburban League. During the 1980s, the played in the FA Vase for seven seasons. The 2012–13 season saw the club promotion to the Premier division of the Western league when they finished as runners up behind Sherborne Town in Division One. They were relegated back to Division One at the end of the 2013-14 season, Hengrove Athletic play their home games at Norton Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol, BS14 0BT
Radstock Town F.C.
Radstock Town Football Club is a football club based in Radstock, Somerset, England. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at the Southfields Recreation Ground, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA. They again rejoined the League after the First World War and the 1920s were to see a number of top six finishes, indeed, 1923–24 was the clubs most successful season, finishing as runners up to Lovells Athletic by six points. The original move to Southfield took place in 1927, when as a First World War memorial the miners purchased the field through an issue of £5 shares. Radstock- along with Frome Town and Clandown – chose to compete in the Wiltshire League, in the 1970s Radstock switched to the Somerset County League, which they won in 1976–77 and again in 1978–79. Radstock rejoined the Western League for the 1979–80 season and they spent the next few years either in Division One or at the foot of the Premier Division. At the end of the 1993–94 season Radstock were relegated to the Somerset County League, the following season, third place in Division One was sufficient to ensure another promotion and the club is now established back in the Premier Division of the Western League. With thirteen victories to its name the club has won the Somerset Senior Cup on more occasions than any other side in the county, the first time was in the competitions inaugural year of 1895–96 when they defeated Wells City 4–0 in a replayed final at Midsomer Norton. Other victories came in 1905–06, 1927–28, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1936–37, 1938–39, 1959–60, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1973–74, 1982–83, Radstock Town play their home games at Southfields Recreation Ground, Southfields, Radstock, BA3 3NZ
Ilfracombe Town F.C.
Ilfracombe Town Football Club is a football club based in Ilfracombe, Devon, England. They are currently members of the North Devon League Premier Division and play at Marlborough Park, the club was founded in 1902 as Ilfracombe F. C. and became a founder member of the North Devon League in 1904. In 1920, the Town suffix was added to the clubs title, in 1922, the club switched to the East Devon League. The club in 1923 then acquired its present ground of Marlborough Park, the 1949–50 season also saw the club make its debut in the FA Cup. After only two seasons, they were relegated and after four seasons in Division Two, left the Western League in 1959. With relegation the club stopped playing in the FA Cup having to wait until 1989 before entering it again. After a quarter of a back in local football in the North Devon League, they re-joined the Western League in 1984 as members of Division One. The club gained promotion in 2007 to the Western Football League Premier Division, in 2014 the club withdrew from the Western League and returned to the more local North Devon League. In 2016 the clubs record goal scorer Toby Reed transferred to local rivals Combe Martin FC, Ilfracombe Town play their games at Marlborough Park, Ilfracombe EX34 8PD. The ground has 1500 seats in two covered stands, the clubhouse has a fully licensed bar with catering and function rooms, available to hire. The ground has six pylons to enable evening games to be played