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Secretary's Report 2016-17

NORTHUMBERLAND SCHOOLS’ FA Hon. Secretary’s Report 2016-17

County teams

Our County teams were once again strong and competitive but results did not quite go the way we would have wished - ‘nearly but not quite’ would sum up the season.

Our Under 16 girls had their best season ever. They convincingly won the Northern Counties East league with 4 straight wins. They won their NC semi-final and thus qualified for the ESFA national competition. Here they were defeated by Derbyshire - no disgrace as Derbyshire went on to become national champions. They met old rivals Durham in the NC Final. Although they had beaten Durham in a closely fought encounter in the East league, they lost the final narrowly.  The girls have made great strides forward under Lee Coulter’s leadership and we thank him and his team for their dedication. We hope that his successor can continue to build on this development.

The Under 16 boys also qualified from the East league, finishing as runners-up to Cleveland. The wheels came off slightly in the NC semi-final where they suffered a heavy defeat in Lancashire. They were convincing winners in Round One of the ESFA national competition but were defeated by Cheshire by the odd goal in 5 in Round Two. Thanks go to Andy Blight, Lee Savory and Roch Karaa for all the work they have put in with this team.

The Under 18 boys were once again managed by Steve Swinyard and his team of coaches. Steve has a great rapport with these players and Northumberland continues to provide a quality experience for these young men. The team was dominant in the East league with a 100% record. The vagaries of football on the other side of the Pennines meant that the NC semi-final was much delayed and actually never played. The team therefore progressed to the NC final - and played it 3 months after their previous game. Although the final was a splendid affair, staged at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium, it was a shock to the system when they were defeated by South Yorkshire. Unfortunately the only other match where they were below par was the first round of the ESFA national cup which ended in a 1-2 home defeat to Greater Manchester.

National honours

Congratulations to:

  • Ø  Danny Barlow (Monkseaton HS), Jack Butler (KEVI, Morpeth) and Jack Cooper (Tyne Met College) who were members of the ESFA U18 England team that shared the SAFIB Centenary Shield
  • Ø  Jessica Brown (John Spence HS) who was selected for the ESFA England U15 girls’ team
  • Ø  Newcastle SFA Under 13s - ESFA national champions
  • Ø  Monkseaton HS U18s - runners up ESFA U18 Elite Schools Cup
  • Ø  Churchill CHS U12 5-a-side team - semi-finalists ESFA finals
  • Ø  St Mary’s CS U12 girls 5-a-side team - winners ‘plate’ competition ESFA finals
  • Ø  Wallsend SFA U11s - participants in Danone ESFA Sevens national finals

County Competitions

As ever, we completed a comprehensive portfolio of competitions. Thanks are expressed to all those organisers who made sure that successful conclusions were reached. There were high spots (all planned matches being played in the U11 inter-association trophy) and low spots (the heel-dragging of schools competing in the U15 and U16 cups). Some competitions went on too long into the year - why can matches not be played in a timely fashion?

But some splendid finals were played. Congratulations to all winners - listed separately below.

Other teachers, beyond the (very) old guard have become involved and this involvement needs to develop and grow if the Association is to continue to flourish.


Andrew Smith was appointed as our first paid Administrator - with funds coming directly from ESFA. Andrew is a part-time employee at Northumberland FA and his post with us has enabled him to be employed an extra day a week. This last season has been a steep learning curve for Andrew and he is now ready to take over the reins almost completely. My time as Secretary is really at an end - although I may still (if elected!) have that nominal title. Andrew will also be able to relieve Chris Newman of duties which he carries out far beyond the remit of Treasurer.

One of Andrew’s tasks, working with the Executive Committee, will be to develop a Local Football Network so that all bodies that provide football for young people in our area can work together in a more coordinated way.

A great success this year has been his liaison with Lindsey Robinson (NFA’s Referee Development Officer) to provide referees for all our significant matches and events.  Our grateful thanks are expressed for all the match officials who have worked with us this past season.

Many have helped to run the Association - but special thanks have to be expressed to Chris Newman and Peter Tracey for their unstinting efforts. The three of us may slow down soon - who knows…?


Owen Aiston continues to serve us well on the ESFA Council - where his work this year has sometimes interfered with his role as NSFA Chairman. But, whenever possible, he has been on hand to carry out his Chairman’s duties in his usual conscientious way. We wish him well for next season when he takes on that most prestigious mantle of ESFA Chairman.

In conclusion

Our concerns of recent years (e.g. the future of representative football; the next generation of teachers willing to take responsibility; the inconsistent approach to some schools to playing matches) have not gone away. But - we continue to work through these difficulties and soldier on. Onward and upward!

Northumberland CSFA competition results 2016-17

School Competition


Runners Up

U11 Laidler



U12 Wilks



U13 Dawson


St Cuthbert’s

U14 Morgan

John Spence

St Benet Biscop’s

U15 Blake


Heaton Manor

U16 Diball



U19 Chronicle


St Cuthbert’s

U19 Subsidiary Cup

St Thomas More


U13 Girls Berry


Valley Gardens

U15 Girls Merchant Navy



U14 League



U15 League

KEVI, Morpeth


U14 Girls League

St Benet Biscop’s


U16 Girls League

John Spence


U19 League Division 1

Monkseaton and RGS - shared

U19 League Division 2



U19 Sevens


U11 Sevens School Team

Burnside PS

U11 Sevens Girls


U11 Sevens Association


U11 Small Schools

West Walker

U12 5-a-side (boys)


U12 5-a-side (girls)

St Mary’s

Inter Association Competition


Newcastle and South Northumberland - shared

U12 Pickworth

Newcastle and East Northumberland - shared

U13 Currey


U14 Young

East Northumberland

U15 Johnson


U13 girls

East Northumberland and Newcastle - shared

U15 girls

North Tyneside

U13 Tyne and Wear


U14 Tyne and Wear


U15 Tyne and Wear