Our thoughts are for the well being and good health for you and your families during these testing times. We are sending this short update to keep you all informed and to spread awareness of where Army Football is with regards to impact from the pandemic.
Our staff continue to work in isolation at home as the Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) offices in Aldershot remain closed. We anticipate this will continue in the short term with an aim of returning on a rota basis to the offices later in the year. We remain guided by the ASCB regarding this matter. ALL staff are, however, working and available via email. Click here for contact details.
It was welcoming to receive the Football Association guidance last weekend with a staged return to grassroots football provided. This is extremely positive and provides us all with a welcome boost and something to work towards.
You should all note that from our, Army FA perspective, approval for the recommencement of football must be authorised by Army HQ, following recommendation from DASCB. To this end we are currently preparing a business case, roadmap and risk assessment package that will be submitted to the ASCB for consideration. Once authorisation is provided, we will issue specific guidance which will undoubtedly require the production of detailed risk assessments and mitigation measures being put in place. More to follow as soon once we have authority to proceed.
Once approval is provided the aim is for the 2019/20 season to be completed before the 2020/21 season can commence. The proposal remains as follows:
Completion of 2019/20 Season
The following competitions to be completed in September 2020:
Army Challenge Cup (5 matches)
Army Minor Units Cup (3 matches)
Army Reserve Cup (2 matches)
Massey Trophy (1 match)
Edwards Challenge Cup Finals (1 match)
We will be providing firm dates for the completion of the Army Challenge and Minor Units Cups. We will also be in contact with the Secretaries of the respective Corps and Army Reserve Cup competitions to confirm their dates for completion.
It is also, subject to UKAF approval, the intention to complete the outstanding Men and Women’s Army v Royal Navy Inter Service matches in September.
Commencement of 2020/21 Season
It is our intention to commence the 2020/21 season from October 2020. In order to complete the schedule, we are looking at plans to extend the season to May 2021.
Army Challenge/Minor Units Cups
Deadline dates will be provided for each round and would have to be strictly adhered to. All Unit teams will be contacted shortly and must affiliate and apply for cup entry no later than 31 August. No entries will be accepted after that date. The tournament will be held from 01 Oct 20 with the finals being completed before the end of May 2021.
We have separated the Men and Women’s Corps competition dates so there will be only one confliction during the whole season where both leagues would play on the same day. The deadline date for completion of the Corps Leagues has been extended to May which is only a couple of weeks later than usual. We will provide provisional dates to the Corps Competition Secretaries in due course.
Again, we have separated provisional dates to ensure there is no confliction with Corps football (men/women) and, where possible, Men/U23 train and play during the same week. This will also apply to Women/Development (Amazons) teams during the same week to ease the pressures of the fixture list. There will be no Corps fixtures when the respective Men and Women’s Rep teams have been playing during that week to aid deconfliction.
We await confirmation of whether the planned November matches v German Bundeswehr and UKAF Kentish Cup will take place.
We will also be engaging with Reserve, Crusaders and Masters officials with regards to determining a suitable fixture list.
We will be working closely with the new Unit Football Trustee, Col Neil Blenkinsop, with the target of the commencement of Unit Leagues from 01 Oct 20 onwards.
We are keen to re-invigorate the Army Sixes competition; it is likely to be held towards the end of the 2020/21 season.
New proposals for the Army Super Cup and Champions League Finals are currently under review.
There is still work to be done to clarify the delivery of future FA Coaching and Referee Courses. We are waiting for approval to complete the FA Level 2 course we started in February (which has been delayed due to COVID-19) and it is our intention to resume these blocks between Sept and the end of Dec 20. We will also be aiming to announce two Referee course dates during this period too.
Annual Awards Dinner 2019/20
A decision on a suitable event to deliver the Annual Awards for 2019/20 will be made once the footballing programme is confirmed; more detail to follow.
We will keep you all informed as and when the situation changes and ask that for now you all remain agile and patient so that we can restart the beautiful game safely.