Quarter-Final Draw Finalised

Following the completion of the final second round tie, the full line-up for the Quarter-Finals of the IFA Cup is now known:

West Ham United v Preston North End
Bury A v Runcorn Linnets
Southport v St Johnstone
Livingston GS v Manchester United

Having knocked out Livingston Olympique Lion in the second round, Manchester United were unfortunate to be handed another trip north of the border as they face the reigning IFA League champions Livingston GS.

Meanwhile, holders Preston North End face a trip to East London to take on West Ham United – with both teams also battling it out for the league title this season, this is a potential double make-or-break tie.

Elsewhere, outsiders (according to the league table!) Runcorn Linnets make the relatively short journey to Bury A, and Southport will look to continue their 100% home record as they host St Johnstone.

Ties to be played by Saturday 26th April 2014, with the semi-finals to be held on neutral grounds, and the final on the Friday night of WorldNET weekend at the UCLan Sports Arena in Preston.


IFA Cup Second Round Draw

This is definitely what the draw looked like

This is definitely what the draw looked like

The draw for the Second Round of the IFA Cup took place last night at the exclusive location of South Mimms service station on the M25 where drawmasters Graham Kelly and Bert Millichip, er, I mean Dave Messenger and Vinnie White pulled the balls from the velvet bag, with the following results:

Hearts v Preston North End
Bury A v Millwall or Bury B (R1 tie being played 7th December)
Livingston OL v Manchester United
West Ham United v Stoke City
Rochdale v Southport
AFC Wimbledon A or Crawley Town (R1 tie being played 14th December) v Runcorn Linnets
Barnsley v St Johnstone
Livingston GS v West Bromwich Albion

The deadline for these games is Saturday 22nd February 2014. As always, concessions must be made by home teams to accommodate travelling teams. The IFA Cup takes priority over all regional cup competitions, with the only exception being a “proper” IFA fixture where the main teams are meeting in the afternoon.

Please bear in mind that the weather is likely to affect this round, so where possible please plan accordingly and have 3G surfaces available if necessary.


WorldNET 2014 Accommodation Details


We have received details of the accommodation available to us on the UCLan campus for WorldNET 2014, with an en-suite option available this year.

The standard rooms (in apartments of 4 or 5 rooms, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities) will again be £50 per person, covering the Friday and Saturday nights of the WorldNET weekend (Friday 18th to Sunday 20th July 2014). We are expecting to be allocated Whitendale Hall again.

There is also an option for en-suite rooms this year, with the price for these set at £70 per person, again covering the Friday and Saturday nights. These rooms will be located in an alternate building on the campus.

A car parking permit for the campus will also be included within the price.

Because of the split in locations, teams will have a choice of either standard or en-suite accommodation – it will not be possible to have a mixture of the two.

Teams wishing to stay on site must have paid their WorldNET 2014 entry fee by 31st January 2014, declared whether they require standard or en-suite accommodation, and provided us with provisional numbers.

In terms of payment, a non-refundable deposit of £15 per room for standard rooms and £20 per room for en-suite rooms must be paid by 28th February 2014, with the remaining £35/£50 per room due by Friday 23rd May 2014.

Entries remain open for WorldNET 2014, priced at £250 per team – a £50 reduction on the 2013 entry fee. Eligible IFA teams can enter using the form below if they have not done so already.

WorldNET 2014 Entry Form


WorldNET 2014 – Full Tournament Details

Following a period of allowing teams to register their interest and to secure a discount by paying an “early bird” deposit, we are delighted to announce that the full entry fee for WorldNET 2014 has been reduced from last year’s figure to £250.

The tournament again takes place at the University of Central Lancashire’s Sports Arena in Preston over the weekend of Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July 2014, and we are expecting an expanded tournament of either 40 or 48 teams.

For those who secured the “early bird” deposit, full payment of the remaining £150 (£200 being the 20%-discounted fee) is due by 31st January 2014. That is also the deadline for any team wishing to stay on site in the university halls of residence. Full accommodation details will be released when they are known.

For teams who have not yet entered, please complete the entry form below. We will contact you with payment details shortly afterwards.

WorldNET 2014 Entry Form


Another big weekend for the IFA

The IFA season continues to gather pace, with a bumper weekend packed with games and goals across the various competitions. In results announced so far, a total of 95 goals were scored across 18 games and a full round-up of results is below..

Goalmouth action from Saturday's game between Tranmere and Bury A

Goalmouth action from Saturday’s game between Tranmere and Bury A

Scottish & British League
Ayr United 2-2 Airdrieonians
Dunfermline Athletic 2-1 Clyde
Motherwell 0-3 Raith Rovers
St Johnstone 0-7 Livingston GS

English & British League
Barnet 2-1 AFC Wimbledon A
Kidderminster Harriers 2-6 West Bromwich Albion
Oxford United 1-5 Rochdale
Sheffield United 4-7 FC Halifax Town
Stafford Rangers 0-4 Stoke City
Walsall 1-7 Preston North End
West Ham United 3-0 Stevenage

English & British League & IFA Cup
Kingstonian 9-0 AFC Wimbledon B
Wrexham 2-5 Runcorn Linnets

English & British League & North-West Cup
Crewe Alexandra 1-5 Southport
Tranmere Rovers 3-2 Bury A

English & British League & Midlands Cup
Shrewsbury Town 1-3 Coventry City

All league tables will be updated later in the week.


Stoke on song in a tale of two cities

Week three of the IFA season was a quiet one, with just the four games played.

Pick of the fixtures was the return to action of Stoke City, having served a suspension last season. The Potters have worked hard to regain their place in the league and the efforts of management team Dan Buxton and Simon Duckmanton were rewarded, as they secured a 2-0 win against James Penny’s Coventry. Stoke started well and some fine last ditch defending from the visitors prevented a couple of tap in, while Buxton himself hit the cross bar. Coventry had a good spell that saw them have one cleared off the line and miss a good one on one chance.

Substitutions midway through the half saw Chris Wollington come on and break the deadlock for Stoke, with a poachers effort after a fine run from Lee Tawn. Wollington then doubled the lead before half time with a shot across the keeper. The game was open and end to end during the second half, Coventry had a late Ryan Harkin goal disallowed for offside, but Stoke’s rearguard held firm.

Elsewhere, three IFA/big team double headers took place. After some confusion in the days leading up to the game, two IFA newcomers met as Gillingham traveled to Wolves. After a goalless first half, a rare event in any IFA game, Darren Everitt gave the Gills the lead early in the second period. The home side then missed a penalty, before the visitors added a second. Wolves then swapped keepers and with his first touch after ditching the gloves, Anthony Penn got the home side back into the game. However, a bizarre third goal secured the win, as a Gills cross wrong footed the stand-in home custodian.

Oxford entertained Bury A and the two sides served up a vintage IFA cracker, packed with goals. Oxford raced into a two goal lead, with Patrick Wehmeier and Thom Airs on target. Oxford then provided a perfect example of the spirit that exists in IFA football, when one of their midfield players was tackled awkwardly but fairly inside the area. The referee blew for a penalty, but the player got straight up and told the ref it wasn’t a foul and the game was restarted with a drop ball.

The second half was a different affair, as Bury pulled level within ten minutes of the restart and then kicked on to be 4-2 in front as Oxford seemed to tire. Paul Soper pulled a goal back to make it 4-3, but the visitors secured an excellent win with two further strikes. The Bury scorers were Nev Hardman with a hat-trick, Jake Wadsworth, Daniel Bowerbank and Paul Pfau.

In another high scoring affair, Rochdale ran out 6-2 winners at Burton Albion. Liam Eaton gave the hosts the perfect start, but Rochdale had a good day in front of goal, with strikes from Jack Leeming, Kyle Davies, Luke Walsh, Jonny Hall and Andrew Lorimer (2). Dan Wright was on target with the Brewers’ second goal.

Last but not least, Shrewsbury traveled to East London to take on Leyton Orient. The home side got off to a poor start, as they were two down in ten minutes to goals from Charlie Warren and Tim Klekot. Orient composed themselves and got one back before half time through Darren Blanchard, but a further strike from Warren secured the win for the visitors.

Week Three full results announced so far;

Stoke City 2 Coventry City 0
Wolves 1 Gillingham 3
Oxford United 3 Bury A 6
Burton Albion 2 Rochdale 6
Leyton Orient 1 Shrewsbury 3

As ever, the league tables will be updated on this website later in the week.


WorldNET 2014 – Initial Details

Although it’s only been a couple of weeks since WorldNET 2013, we already have a number of outline details for WorldNET 2014.

The UCLan Sports Arena in Preston has been booked for the weekend of Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July 2014. The venue cost has stayed the same, and assuming we are able to keep all our other costs in check, the entry fee for next year will not be rising. In fact, we are hoping to reduce the entry fee as a result of having additional teams taking part, and perhaps some headline sponsorship.

In order to attract a sponsor in good time, we believe it is important that we have a firm idea of numbers, and as a result we are going to offer a 20% discount to all teams who pay a £50 non-refundable* deposit by 5pm on Friday 18th October 2013. As a guide, based upon the 2013 entry fee, a 20% discount would mean a saving of £60 for your team.

We will start taking the full entry fee from teams from Monday 21st October, and the deposit reserves your team’s place at the discounted price until 31st January 2014. After this date, your place is still reserved but the full entry fee will be charged.

All teams wishing to enter must complete the Entry Form below, and any questions should be directed towards the WorldNET organising committee (Steve Grant, Steve Cowell, Andrew Kilduff) on the IFA Mailing List.

Accommodation details are unlikely to be available until November 2013 at the earliest.

* Deposits may only be refunded should a team not be eligible to compete at WorldNET 2014, as per the competition Entry Requirements.

WorldNET 2014 Entry Form


Scottish League up and running

With the new English league already underway, it was the turn of the IFA Scottish League to kick off at the weekend. British Cup runners-up Hearts opened up their campaign with a 2-0 win at St Johnstone, an early goal from Stewart and an own goal saw the visitors take the spoils.

South of the border the game of the day saw Crawley, embarking on their first full IFA season, entertain Coventry. In a see-saw game that mirrored the big boys game later that afternoon, Crawley took a two goal lead, before Coventry pulled it back to 2-2 through Luke Hand and Aaron Lewis either side of half time. Unlike the afternoon game however, the Midlands side took the spoils with a winner from Steve Duckett, who netted at the second time of asking, his initial shot blocked by a home defender.

Action from the Crawley - Coventry match

Action from the Crawley – Coventry match

Crawley & Coventry line up before Saturday's game

Crawley & Coventry line up before Saturday’s game

Elsewhere, Manchester City notched a second win on the bounce, with goals from Stuart Manifould, Sam Bourke (2), Sam Walthall and Sean Fagan sealing a 5-2 win against Bury A, for whom the prolific Nev Hardman was on target, along with Danny Morgan. Bury B also fell to a defeat, going down 1-2 at home to Marine, with Jake Wilson grabbing both goals for the Merseysiders.

Also in the North West, Rochdale opened up their season with a 2-0 win over Port Vale with goals from Jan Harwood and Jonny Hall. Telford’s Matthew Bethell scored the first IFA hat-trick of the season to help his team to a 4-1 win at Crewe, for whom ‘keeper Dave Hume thankfully escaped serious injury after a nasty clash. Richard Hyde added the 4th Telford goal, while Andy Wicks’ scored the home side’s consolation.

Finally, a Hertfordshire Derby saw Stevenage kick off their new season with a 4-1 win at Barnet, their first league win since February. Rob Fitzgerald (2), Casey De-Val and Charlie Stapleton notched for the visitors, while Joe Cullum was replied for the Bees.

Week Two full results announced so far;

Barnet 1 Stevenage Supporters Association FC 4
Forever Bury A 2 Manchester City 5
Motley Crewe 1 AFC Telford United 4
Forever Bury B 1 AFC Marine 2
Rochdale 2 Portly Vale 0
Crawley 2 Coventry City SFC 3
PSJ Saints (St Johnstone) 0 Real Maroon (Hearts) 2

The latest league table can be found here…


New IFA season kicks off

The new IFA season kicked off last weekend, with twelve teams taking the chance to get off the mark in the first available week.

Manchester City have returned to the league for the new season and they got their campaign off to a flier against last year’s IFA League runners-up, Bury B. Stuart Manifould opened the scoring for the home team, only to see Jamie Sanders equalise just after the break. City manager Tommy Dawson secured a 2-1 win for his side late on, with a scruffy winner.

West Brom hosted Coventry in another game between two sides who had strong seasons in 2012/13, in a game that also counted towards the Midlands Cup. The home side raced into a three goal lead with strikes from Tyler Douglas, Chris Hunter and Ross Follows, while Cov grabbed a consolation through Ryan Harkin. Burton Albion also got their season off to a winning start, Tony Inwood grabbing both goals in a 2-1 win against Walsall.

Elsewhere, Kingstonian and Gillingham both returned to the IFA league after absence and played out a close game in searing heat, with the K’s Jamie Lenny scoring the only goal of the game, while two teams who will be very pleased with their starts are Southport and Grimsby. Southport beat Port Vale 7-0, while Grimsby went 2 better with a 9-0 win against Sheffield United, who fielded a number of new players.

Week One full results announced so far;

Kingstonian 1 Gillingham 0
Southport 7 Port Vale 0
Grimsby 9 Sheffield United 0
Manchester City 2 Bury B 1
West Brom 3 Coventry 1
Burton Albion 2 Walsall 1


AFC Halifax take the WorldNET crown

On what was a hugely enjoyable weekend at the UCLan Sports Arena in Preston, AFC Halifax added the WorldNET crown to their list of honours, defeating Crystal Palace by the only goal of a close final. Luke Prosser-Holms shot the Yorkshire side to glory, while Paul Sykes lifted the Dave Walmsley Man of the Match award. Elsewhere, Manchester United defeated Darlington on penalties in the WorldNET plate, with David Spruce scoring the winning spot kick.

RC Lens players join in with Halifax and Man Utd's jubilant squads

RC Lens players join in with Halifax and Man Utd’s jubilant squads

The tournament opened on Friday evening, with Preston defeating Hearts in the IFA Cup Final, to earn a record 5th success in that tournament. With fans of other teams watching on, a 1-1 draw meant a penalty shoot-out and the WorldNET hosts held their nerve, with Chris McGrail scoring the deciding penalty to secure the trophy. The traditional England v Scotland match also took place on the Friday, with Scotland winning a good game 3-2.

Preston celebrate a record 5th IFA Cup success.

Preston celebrate a record 5th IFA Cup success.

Scotland's Dave Black and England's Tom Cheeseman, both from IFA league winners Livingston GS, captained the sides in Friday's international

Scotland’s Dave Black and England’s Tom Cheeseman, both from IFA league winners Livingston GS, captained the sides in Friday’s international

Most importantly, the IFA spirit was in full flow all weekend, with 32 teams enjoying the weekend. WorldNET grabbed the attention of both local and national media, with several local newspapers eager to grab interviews and details of the tournament. Sky Sports News spent the Saturday on site, interviewing many of the teams and footage went out several times on the Sunday.

A number of footballs major supporter bodies were also on hand to help promote the event. Kick It Out and The Football Supporters Federation gave full support, and the FSF campaign for safe standing was backed by the display of the Safe Standing Roadshow, who were on site with their rail seat model. Kitaid were also on site collecting old Football kits to be distributed across Africa.

The WorldNET 2013 Charity partner, The Mark Gorry Foundation, spent the weekend educating teams and promoting awareness of Testicular Cancer. Their charity cross-bar challenge proved to be popular event, with a 19″ LCD TV and pair of Adidas predator boots on offer for the winner. The MGF team also raised vital funds through their charity raffle, with the signed England Football shirt being won by one of WorldNET’s Scottish participants!

Manchester City learn all about 'checking their balls' from a member of the Mark Gorry Foundation

Manchester City learn how to ‘love their balls’ from a member of the Mark Gorry Foundation

Early feedback suggests the change in venue may have re-invigorated interest in the end of season shindig. With changes to the IFA rules meaning teams now have to complete 3 league games to enter next season’s tournament, the IFA committee hopes to see more teams participating in IFA football throughout the new season, which kicks off this weekend.

Grammy from KaisAyr gets into the spirit of the weekend during Friday's IFA Cup Final

Grammy from KaisAyr gets into the spirit of the weekend during Friday’s IFA Cup Final