Sussex County Football Association

Sussex’s league competition for female players across the county

In early 2004 the SCFA was asked by the FA to set up a Women’s League for Season 2004/2005. On Thursday 31st March 2004 the inaugural meeting of the SCFA Women’s League took place. In the Chair that evening was the SCFA Chief Executive Ken Benham. The Clubs in at that evening were: Brighton & Hove Albion; Crowborough Athletic; Crawley Down; Crawley Town; East Grinstead; Eastbourne Borough; Eastbourne Town; Hassocks; Hastings United; Haywards Heath Town; Lindfield; Seahaven Harriers and Whitehawk. A straw poll taken that indicated that the Clubs were in favour.

In principal the League was to be managed by members of the SCFA Council.

With just months to go before the commencement of the 2004/2005 season the SCFA learned in July that the Sussex Girl’s League was disbanding and the same body of people were asked to take on a girl’s section.

At the University of Brighton on Tuesday 6th July 2004 the inaugural Annual General Meeting of the SCFA Women’s & Girl’s Football League was held. In the chair that evening was the SCFA’s Deputy Chairman Phil Chaplin. That night the following were elected as the League’s first Management Committee: Chairman – Gareth Flemington; Vice-Chairman – Keveena Mosen; Treasurer – Paul Baston; Secretary – Brian Shacklock; Registration Secretary (Women) – Alan Donald; Registration Secretary (Girls) – Sue O’Reilly (Worthing Minors Girls); Fixture Secretary – Alan Knight and Referees Secretary – Alan Donald.

At that same meeting the following were elected as Club Representatives: Paul Cartwright (Dynamo Girls); Chris Cooper (Horsham Sparrows Girls); Stuart Frier (Crawley Down Ladies); Mark Logan (Crawley Wasps Girls); Mike Lauder (Predators Girls) and Dave Martin (Eastbourne Borough Youth Girls).

So on Sunday 12th September 2004 a new era began with 17 Adult and 38 (80 teams) Girl Clubs at the start of a new female League in Sussex. There were the normal 11-a-side games for the Adult, Under 15/14/13 levels. The League also at Under 14/13 levels ran 9-a-side divisions. The unusual step was taken to play 7-a-side for both the Under 12/11 levels. Both this and the 9-a-side were not part of the FAs Development plans in those days so the League had to adapt their own rules to accommodate them. The League used Shoreham FC Middle Road ground for the League Challenge Cup Finals with Crawley Wasps playing host to the Mini-Soccer and 9-a-side finals at their Pease Pottage ground.