Worldnet 2016 is almost here..

DESCRIBED by some as ‘Football Christmas’, the IFA’s flagship tournament WorldNET takes place this coming weekend, at the University of Central Lancashire Sports Arena in Preston. With 29 teams from across the UK and 1 from France taking part, a festival of IFA football is guaranteed, as old friends and new meet up. The tournament opens on Friday evening with this year’s IFA Cup Final, to be contested by Preston B and Rochdale. Then on Saturday the 30 teams play in 6 groups of 5, the final placings of which determine whether each team plays in the main cup or plate competitions on Sunday. You can follow results from the tournament on this website and by following @Worldnet2016 on Twitter.

An image that sums up WorldNET for many.. Grammy from KaisAyr gets into the spirit of the weekend during the 2013 IFA Cup Final.

Grammy from KaisAyr gets into the spirit of the weekend during the 2013 IFA Cup Final.

Competing teams are asked to read the following information;

There will be no permits issued this year. We will operate an “honesty” policy on Saturday morning – the charge for parking will be £1 per car. The team representative who signs in at the control desk in the morning is responsible for paying the parking cost for the whole team, so please make sure you know how many cars are coming, and be ready to hand over the cash when you arrive. This money will be donated to the Mark Gorry Foundation. You are naturally welcome to overpay.
One representative from each team will be required to “sign in” at the control desk no later than ONE HOUR before your first match is due to kick off. That representative should have the cash for their team’s car parking, and also this is when any late changes to their registered squad (see below) can take place. Tournament programmes will be distributed at this point.
An online form will be live later tonight for teams to register their squad. Changes can be made up until the team is signed in on Saturday morning. I will publish the URL later tonight when the form is available.
There will be a microsite hosted on the IFA website running over the course of the weekend which will show all of the results and group standings. While we will be “running” scores from pitches to the control room, please do your best to keep your team’s Twitter feed (if you have one) updated with scores so we can keep track of any that don’t find their way back to us for whatever reason.
The Steve Burns Trophy will be awarded at the end of the tournament to the leading goalscorer. At the end of each game, please give your goalscorers (if any) to the referee for him to enter on the match card. We obviously trust that there won’t be any manipulation of goals to ensure someone from your team wins the trophy – we WILL check with opposition players if anything looks suspicious, but of course we’re all fine upstanding citizens here, so nothing will look suspicious, will it? :-)
The draw for the knockout stages will take place at around 6:30pm in the cafe. To clarify:
  1. First and second place in each group qualify automatically for the WorldNET Cup, along with the FOUR best third-placed teams (determined by points, goal difference, goals scored, number of wins and finally drawing of lots, in that order). The group winners and two best runners-up (same criteria to determine) will be seeded for the draw, and paired with an unseeded team, with the onward path pre-determined as shown in the centre pages of the tournament programme.
  2. The two remaining third-placed teams will be awarded byes to the quarter-final of the WorldNET Plate, the slots in the draw for these teams have already been drawn out, and will be visible in the programme. These two teams will be drawn into one of the two slots.
  3. The six fifth-placed teams and the two weakest fourth-placed teams will be unseeded for the WorldNET Plate draw, and will be drawn against a seeded team, with the onward path pre-determined as again shown in the programme.
Last 16 matches in the Plate will kick off at 11am on Sunday, with the Cup getting underway at noon. Both finals are scheduled to take place at 3pm.
The pitch layout has changed slightly from previous years. The previous “Pitch 3” where the WorldNET Cup final has taken place every year is no longer available to us (Preston North End have leased it for their academy), so the new “Pitch 3” is where the previous “Pitch 7” was, i.e. where the Plate final has taken place previously.
The new “Pitch 7” is the FIFA-standard 3G pitch, which has replaced the old DESSO pitch, and “Pitch 8” is in the middle of the athletics track. All other pitches remain the same.
The intention is for the WorldNET Cup final to take place on Pitch 3, with the Plate final on Pitch 6.
Pitches 1 and 2 are available for friendlies throughout Saturday. I don’t have time to manage “bookings” for this, so the one simple rule for this will be “first-come, first-served” on the mailing list – if somebody has already announced a game for, e.g. 11:15 on pitch 2, and another team announces the same, the first booking is the one that stands. We’ve not had any issues with double-booked friendly pitches before – they’re a far enough walk away from the main pitches – so hopefully that should remain the case.

Burnsy honoured with top scorer award

The IFA committee has decided to honour Rotherham striker Steve Burns, who sadly passed away recently . A new ‘Top Scorer at Worldnet’ award, to be named after the Millers’ goal machine., will be introduced starting at this year’s tournament which takes place this weekend.

Steve Burns in typical pose!

Steve Burns in typical pose!

Steve was a prolific goalscorer for the Internet Millers in the early to mid 2000s, and is well remembered as not only a very good footballer, but also as someone who completely understood the IFA ethos. Steve played the game without a hint of arrogance or malice and with a smile on his face. Steve also made friends with every team he faced, even representing a couple of other IFA sides on occasion. He also served on the IFA committee.

WorldNET 2005 saw Burnsy score 9 times, including 2 in an end to end final against QPR, making this award a fitting tribute to a man widely regarded as one of the best players in IFA history.



Toffees take home the spoils

Everton became the 5th team to win the Big Tam Vets, the first of the IFA’s annual WorldNET tournaments, by beating Bradford by the single goal in yesterday’s final at Weetwood Hall in Leeds. Everton’s triumph was their first in 18 years of playing in either of the end of season events, while 2013 winners Bradford had the consolation of a second consecutive runners-up berth. There was also a glorious Sunday run from tournament stalwarts Airdrie, who beat last years’ winners Bury in the quarter-finals before succumbing to Bradford.


The victorious Everton side

The weekend was once again a huge success, thanks in no small part to IFA legends John Boocock, Roger Goodair and Christine Thacker, who have been heavily involved in organising one or both Worldnet events every year since the first tournament twenty years ago. The IFA thanks them all for their continued efforts and congratulate all teams involved.

An album of pictures from the event can be found here and The Big Tam Vets tournament will return in 2017.


Vets ready to roll in Leeds

The first of this year’s annual WorldNET tournaments, the Big Tam Vets, kicks off in Leeds this weekend, July 16/17. This will be the ninth edition of the Vets tournament, which carries the nickname of Neil Love, a larger than life character who played for Airdrie in the early years of WorldNET. 15 teams will do battle at the University of Leeds’ Weetwood Playing Fields, with defending champions Bury hoping for a 4th tournament win.

Bury - 2015 Winners of the Big Tam Vets

Bury – 2015 Winners of the Big Tam Vets

The draw for this year’s tournament is as follows. In traditional WorldNET fashion, teams will play each other once in 30 minute matches on day one. Final group positions will determine where teams are placed in the draw for Sunday, which continues in a straight knock-out fashion. Results and more information about the tournament can be found on the Vets’ dedicated website and you can follow the action on twitter @bigtamvets

Group A:

Ipswich Legends
Pompey OAP

Group B:


Group C:

Ipswich Vets


IFA Cup – 2016/17 entries still open..

A gentle reminder for all IFA teams that the deadline for entering the IFA Cup for the 2016/17 season is fast approaching. All registered IFA teams are welcome to enter and need to email the IFA list, confirming their team name and adherence to the following..

1: You understand the draw is national from round 1. You may have a great distance to travel.
2: You must make every effort to fulfill the drawn fixture.
3: You must adhere to the deadlines associated with each round.
4: The only games “more important” than an IFA Cup match, is a “proper” IFA game. Regional Cup games DO NOT COUNT.
5: IFA Cup games must count towards the 24 League games.


Worldnet 2016 draw and schedule confirmed..

The draw for this year’s Worldnet tournament has been made and the schedule is confirmed. Pitch numbers are in brackets.

10:30 (3): AFC Wimbledon A v Darlington
11:15 (4): Peterborough v Bury A
12:00 (5): Grimsby v AFC Wimbledon A
12:45 (6): Darlington v Peterborough
13:30 (7): Bury A v Grimsby
14:15 (8): AFC Wimbledon A v Peterborough
15:00 (3): Darlington v Bury A
15:45 (4): Peterborough v Grimsby
16:30 (5): Bury A v AFC Wimbledon A
17:15 (6): Grimsby v Darlington

10:30 (4): Livingston GS v Port Vale
11:15 (5): Ayr v Rochdale
12:00 (6): Runcorn v Livingston GS
12:45 (7): Port Vale v Ayr
13:30 (8): Rochdale v Runcorn
14:15 (3): Livingston GS v Ayr
15:00 (4): Port Vale v Rochdale
15:45 (5): Ayr v Runcorn
16:30 (6): Rochdale v Livingston GS
17:15 (7): Runcorn v Port Vale

10:30 (5): Barnsley v Sheffield United
11:15 (6): Altrincham v Ipswich
12:00 (7): Southampton v Barnsley
12:45 (8): Sheffield United v Altrincham
13:30 (3): Ipswich v Southampton
14:15 (4): Barnsley v Altrincham
15:00 (5): Sheffield United v Ipswich
15:45 (6): Altrincham v Southampton
16:30 (7): Ipswich v Barnsley
17:15 (8): Southampton v Sheffield United

10:30 (6): Stevenage v Halifax
11:15 (7): RC Lens A v Man United
12:00 (8): Watford v Stevenage
12:45 (3): Halifax v RC Lens A
13:30 (4): Man United v Watford
14:15 (5): Stevenage v RC Lens A
15:00 (6): Halifax v Man United
15:45 (7): RC Lens A v Watford
16:30 (8): Man United v Stevenage
17:15 (3): Watford v Halifax

10:30 (7): Man City v Doncaster
11:15 (8): Preston B v Wrexham
12:00 (3): RC Lens B v Man City
12:45 (4): Doncaster v Preston B
13:30 (5): Wrexham v RC Lens B
14:15 (6): Man City v Preston B
15:00 (7): Doncaster v Wrexham
15:45 (8): Preston B v RC Lens B
16:30 (3): Wrexham v Man City
17:15 (4): RC Lens B v Doncaster

10:30 (8): Morecambe v Preston A
11:15 (3): Hearts v AFC Wimbledon B
12:00 (4): Bury B v Morecambe
12:45 (5): Preston A v Hearts
13:30 (6): AFC Wimbledon B v Bury B
14:15 (7): Morecambe v Hearts
15:00 (8): Preston A v AFC Wimbledon B
15:45 (3): Hearts v Bury B
16:30 (4): AFC Wimbledon B v Morecambe
17:15 (5): Bury B v Preston A

Apologies to the six teams who play in both the first and last game of the day, unfortunately because of the odd number of teams in each group there wasn’t another way of doing the fixtures so that no team was forced to play back-to-back.

As with previous years, a representative of each team will be required to sign in at the control desk AT LEAST ONE HOUR before your first kick-off, so that should give you all the information you need to plan what time to arrive on site.


WorldNET 2014 Squad Registration

All teams are required to submit the squad registration form below by 17:00 on Friday 18th July. The form must contain a list of all players who you would like to register for your team over the course of the WorldNET weekend, with a maximum of 24 players per team.

For those IFA teams who have entered more than one team into WorldNET, a separate form should be completed for each entered team, and no player is permitted to represent more than one team during the weekend (with the exception of the “IFA Sluts XI” team).


WorldNET 2014 Day One Schedule

The schedule for Day One of WorldNET 2014 has been finalised. Following feedback from last year’s event, we have decided to restrict the group stage matches to the six pitches at the far end of the Sports Arena. The two pitches nearest the main entrance will be available throughout the day for friendlies, and will be used on Day Two when the knockout stages get underway.

Group A

Home Team
Away Team
12:303Barnsley2-1Doncaster Rovers
12:304AFC Wimbledon A1-0RC Lens B
14:007Doncaster Rovers0-4AFC Wimbledon A
14:008RC Lens B2-2Barnsley
16:155Barnsley0-0AFC Wimbledon A
16:156Doncaster Rovers1-0RC Lens B

Group B

Home Team
Away Team
12:305Kidderminster Harriers B4-0Bury A
12:306Southampton1-0IFA Sluts XI
14:453Bury A1-0Southampton
14:454IFA Sluts XI1-2Kidderminster Harriers B
16:157Kidderminster Harriers B5-0Southampton
16:158Bury A1-1IFA Sluts XI

Group C

Home Team
Away Team
11:003AFC Wimbledon B1-4Kidderminster Harriers A
11:004AFC Telford United0-2Wrexham
12:307Kidderminster Harriers A1-1AFC Telford United
12:308Wrexham3-0AFC Wimbledon B
14:455AFC Wimbledon B1-5AFC Telford United
14:456Kidderminster Harriers A0-2Wrexham

Group D

Home Team
Away Team
11:005Chorley2-1Livingston GS
11:006Manchester United2-0Ayr United
13:153Livingston GS1-2Manchester United
13:154Ayr United1-0Chorley
14:457Chorley1-2Manchester United
14:458Livingston GS2-1Ayr United

Group E

Home Team
Away Team
11:007Grimsby Town0-3Bury Supporters
11:008Troon Academicals4-0Airdrieonians
13:155Bury Supporters5-0Troon Academicals
13:156Airdrieonians2-1Grimsby Town
15:303Grimsby Town1-4Troon Academicals
15:304Bury Supporters0-0Airdrieonians

Group F

Home Team
Away Team
11:453Altrincham0-2Bury B
11:454Preston North End A3-0Runcorn Linnets
13:157Bury B2-1Preston North End A
13:158Runcorn Linnets2-1Altrincham
15:305Altrincham0-3Preston North End A
15:306Bury B1-2Runcorn Linnets

Group G

Home Team
Away Team
11:455Darlington1-0Port Vale
11:456Manchester City0-1Preston North End B
14:003Port Vale0-4Manchester City
14:004Preston North End B0-0Darlington
15:307Darlington0-3Manchester City
15:308Port Vale2-1Preston North End B

Group H

Home Team
Away Team
11:457Hearts0-3FC Halifax Town
11:458Stoke City1-2RC Lens A
14:005FC Halifax Town2-0Stoke City
14:006RC Lens A4-0Hearts
16:153Hearts2-0Stoke City
16:154FC Halifax Town1-1RC Lens A

WorldNET 2014 Draw

The long-awaited draw for WorldNET 2014 has been made, with holders FC Halifax Town drawn into a potential “Group of Death” alongside last season’s IFA Cup runners-up Hearts and former WorldNET winners RC Lens A. Stoke City complete Group H.

For the first time in a number of years, there will be an “IFA Sluts” team in the 2014 competition, in order to bring the number of teams up to 32. Watford’s Dave Messenger will manage this team of misfits and reprobates through the group stage, and they were drawn into Group B.

The draw in full:

Group A

Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, AFC Wimbledon A, RC Lens B

Group B

Kidderminster Harriers B, Bury A, Southampton, IFA Sluts XI

Group C

AFC Wimbledon B, Kidderminster Harriers A, AFC Telford United, Wrexham

Group D

AFC Chorley, Livingston GS, Manchester United, Ayr United

Group E

Grimsby Town, Bury Supporters (Bury A’s “B” team), Troon Academicals, Airdrieonians

Group F

Altrincham, Bury B, Preston North End A, Runcorn Linnets

Group G

Darlington, Port Vale, Manchester City, Preston North End B

Group H

Hearts, FC Halifax Town, Stoke City, RC Lens A

The full schedule of fixtures will be released in due course. Those teams with potential kit clashes should ensure that they have replacement shirts to wear if required.


IFA Cup 2014/15 First Round Draw

The draw has been made for the first round of the 2014/15 IFA Cup. 33 teams have entered, which means a single preliminary round match.

Preliminary Round (to be played ASAP)

FC Halifax Town v Ayr United

First Round (to be played by 18th October 2014)

Wrexham v AFC Telford United
Preston North End A v AFC Chorley
Preston North End B v Hearts
Watford v Kingstonian
West Bromwich Albion v Stockport County
Barnsley v Tranmere Rovers
Gillingham v Southport
FC Halifax Town or Ayr United v AFC Wimbledon
Stevenage v Bury A
Cambridge United v West Ham United
Manchester United v Motherwell
Sheffield United v Livingston OL
Manchester City v Runcorn Linnets
Rochdale v Livingston GS
St Johnstone v Coventry City
Hull City v Stoke City

A reminder to all teams: it is the responsibility of teams drawn at home to be as accommodating and as flexible as possible, while it is the away team’s commitment to travel. Where possible, please be sensible on splitting costs, etc. Any team who is unable to fulfill their fixture should contact Vinnie White at the earliest possible opportunity.