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Annual Report






I In Memoriam


Nigel Brown – 21st October 2017, Redditch.


II Summary at a glance


  • 44th Annual Report.

  • Council met on two occasions during the season.

  • Darren Melling took over from Dave Holmes as Sefton Secondary Rep in mid-season; Keith Cahillane resigned as Primary Secretary in early season; Andy Williams resigned as ESFA NW Rep; Megan Ball stepped down as County Girl Teams’ Manager and was replaced by Dan Pugh.

  • 30 competitive county fixtures (ESFA and Northern Counties) – 14 home and 16 away - were played during the season – all time high! The breakdown was – u18 (7), u16 boys (8), u16 girls (4), u14 boys (8), u14 girls (3). This high overall figure was due to the introduction of u14 boys and girls league formatted competitions in the Northern Counties coupled with ongoing progress by our boys’ teams in respective competitions – u18 reaching Northern Counties Final, u14 boys reaching both ESFA national and Northern Counties finals (winners in both) and u16 boys reaching ESFA national semi-final.

  • No international honours at u18 or u15 girls from Merseyside.

  • Congratulations to – Merseyside u14 boys on their national and Northern Counties triumphs; Merseyside u18 Northern Counties runners-up; Liverpool u13 boys, Calday u16 boys, SFX u15 boys on their national triumphs, along with De La Salle (Liverpool) u16 small schools national runners-up; Liverpool u13, u14, u15 on a hat trick of North West victories; Knowsley u15 runners-up in Cheshire Final.

  • A great thank you to all our Merseyside team managers for their commitment over the past season – Gareth Williams (u18), Tom Wyatt (u16 boys), Carl Giles (u14 boys), Dan Pugh (u16 and u14 girls); with Carl Giles and his Merseyside u14 boys being the standout performers of the season.

  • Merseyside continued to organise the three North West secondary district finals thanks to Will  Rowlands (Wirral).

  • All Merseyside inter-association and inter-school competitions/tournaments/events at primary and secondary levels continue to flourish, thanks to the hard work of a team of hard working competition coordinators lead by Tony James (Knowsley) and Darren Melling (Sefton) for secondary association competitions; Joe Ryan (Administrator) and Steve Metcalf (Secondary Schools’ Competition Manager) for secondary school competitions u19-u12 (boys); Andy Reidel (Primary Secretary elect) for primary boys’ association competitions; Nick Corless (Primary Rep) for primary inter-school; Steve Swinnerton and Anna Long (both Liverpool FA) for girls’ football development; Mark Horlick (Liverpool FA) for disability football; Joe Ryan for Futsal; with worthy mention of individual secondary competition school coordinators Tony Brookman (Vice Chairman), Chris O’Malley (Sacred Heart) and Dave Harvey (Kirkby High School).

  • The Everton and Liverpool Cup events continue to be the highlights of the primary calendar – the Everton Cup evening still being played at Goodison Park, the Liverpool Cup evening remaining at Liverpool FC Academy. We still hope for a return to Anfield next season, the 41st Liverpool Cup event.

  • As always, we thank Everton and Liverpool FC’s (including their academies) for their ongoing seasonal support. They enhance our season so much.

  • 25 competitions (13 primary and 12 secondary) were administered throughout the season by MCSFA.

  • Mike Youds (Referees’ Coordinator) and his group of referees continue to serve schools’ football locally reliably well.

  • Discipline, overall, has been satisfactory to good over the course of the season. But, it is always an area in which we must remain vigilant, as it now becomes a safeguarding issue if games are not played in a safe and secure environment. We all have a responsibly to act with respect to all – before, during and after games.

  • Joe Ryan (Administrator), based at the Liverpool FA, has completed the first two years of his 3 year contract. We hope that in 12 months’ time funding is sourced for him to continue in his key role. The quality and volume of his work are first class and his worth at this period in the history of the MCSFA is immeasurable.

  • All targets have been met with regard to our Service Agreement with the ESFA – a prerequisite for any funding.

  • A comprehensive list of MCSFA (& Other) Finals, along with Acknowledgements, will be found on the MCSFA website – – from 1st September, with paper copies on request.


III Transition and Conclusion


  • The end of the 2017-18 season is a watershed for the MCSFA. The new Council formed at the AGM on 11th July will oversee the administration and delivery of schools’ football in rapidly evolving times with the use of developing technology and fundraising core essentials for survival and sustainability.

  • Partnership is another key essential – notably with the Liverpool FA. Without the support of the Liverpool FA 60-70% of our delivery (directly or indirectly) would be severely compromised. We are indebted to them. Our Administrator based in their offices is an important day to day link.

  • There is a serious need to educate teachers and non-teachers who become involved in schools’ football on how schools’ football is structured and organised.

  • I don’t have a crystal ball to tell me the future, but I can state with a fair degree of certainty that schools’ football will remain healthy, but its delivery model will change (is changing) with potential winners and losers – individual schools the winners and association rep teams the losers, especially at secondary level, where funding for rep teams is not currently forthcoming, coupled with greater pressure on players (boys and girls) to commit fully to the FA elite programmes in club academies (boys) and Regional Talent Centres (girls).

  • The status quo in any organisation does not last forever. We need to adapt in changing times, otherwise we disappear off the map. This does not mean we do not continue to fight for what we value and believe in, but at the same time we need to embrace the future. We must remain positive and optimistic.

  • As you know from last year’s AGM, Bob Downing (Chairman) and myself announced that we would be stepping down from our roles at this year’s AGM. That remains the case. We have a Chairman (Will Rowlands, Wirral) and an Honorary Secretary (Joe Ryan, Administrator) willing to take over from us both if elected. However, both Bob and I have expressed the wish to continue on MCSFA Council in advisory/consultancy roles, with Bob also remaining as MCSFA CWO and myself remaining as Schools’ Rep on the Liverpool FA (if agreed).

  • We both regard leaving with nothing tangible in place would be an irresponsible act. We will work in the background to support fellow MCSFA Officers et al during this period of change – TRANSITION!

  • I’m sure Bob won’t mind me ending this Annual Report with humble gratitude from each of us for the tremendous support we have received from all involved in schools’ football across Merseyside over the past 50 odd years – THANK YOU!


  • Ken Davies – Honorary Secretary