Category: League News

2017-18 League Fixtures Released

Bradford Park Avenue will start the season with a trip to Tamworth, as the fixtures for the 2017-18 National League North campaign are revealed.

The start of the season is exactly one month away, and first up is a trip to the Lamb Ground on 5 August.

Avenue’s first home game will be against newly relegated Southport on Monday 7 August, before Mark Bower’s men welcome York City the following Saturday.

Three of Bradford’s first four matches are against league newcomers in fact, as a trip to promoted Spennymoor Town is scheduled for Tuesday 15 August.

August Bank Holiday sees Bower’s side travel to AFC Telford United on Saturday, before hosting Chorley on the afternoon of Monday 28 August.

September is a time for hope in the FA Cup, before a tough October puts Avenue up against three of the five full-time teams in the division, including a trip to local rivals Harrogate Town.

Boxing Day sees the visit of Curzon Ashton to the Horsfall Stadium, with the return trip to Tameside coming on New Year’s Day. Avenue make the journey to York on 13 January.

Stockport County visit Horsfall on Easter Saturday, while the return trip to Chorley is scheduled for the Bank Holiday Monday that follows.

Bradford once again finish the season with a long trip to Kidderminster Harriers, with the last home game seeing Harrogate make the short journey across Yorkshire.

Make sure you don’t miss a single game all season with your 2017-18 league Season Ticket.

This year’s prices offer some great bargains to supporters, with an adult able to purchase a Season Ticket for just £125, which also entitles the adult to one FREE under-18 Season Ticket.

Concessions can purchase a Season Ticket for £99, while students, apprentices or under-18s can pick one up for just £20.

To find out more, and to buy your 2017-18 league Season Ticket, please click here.

To view Avenue’s 2017-18 Vanarama National League North fixtures in full, please click the image below, or visit the club’s official Twitter or Facebook page.

Chorley Match Rearranged

The third home game to be postponed this season has been rearranged.

Chorley will now travel to the Horsfall on Wednesday 28th January.

This match joins Gloucester City (Wednesday 14th January) and Stockport County (Wednesday 18th February) in being rearranged.

All of the games will kick off at 7.45pm.

Worcester Game Moved

Next month’s trip to Worcester City has been moved back a day to Sunday 11 January.

This is due to the fact that Kidderminster, the owners of Aggborough, of course progressed in the FA Trophy and take priority over the home fixture on the Saturday.

The game at Worcester, however, is subject to change as they are still to play their own FA Trophy first round tie against FC Halifax Town. That game is scheduled for this Tuesday (23rd December).

Of course the official website will keep you up to date with any change in the fixture list.

Football Remembers

This weekend sees the start of ‘Football Remembers Week’. Over this weekend and during the next week there are a series of events being organised by the Premier League, The FA, The Football League and The Football Conference to commemorate one of the most iconic moments of the First World War, the 1914 Christmas Truce football matches.

The first Football Remembers Week activity of is called ‘A Moment in History’. To celebrate the spirit of the Christmas Truce football matches of 1914, football teams across the country are being asked to have a pre-match group photograph taken together and upload them via social media with the hashtag #FootballRemembers.

All 22 players and the match officials who are part of today’s match are having their picture taken together prior to kick-off. You’ll be able to see the photo at the website FootballRemembers.com.

If you are playing or involved in a football match over the next week and want to create your own ‘Moment in History’ then go to the Football Remembers site for more details.

    Background to Football Remembers

‘Football Remembers’ is the series of programmes and events being delivered jointly by the Premier League, The FA and the Football League, in partnership with the British Council, to commemorate the First World War. In 2014 most of the activity centres on one of the most iconic moments of the First World War, the 1914 Christmas Truce football match.

Football Remembers kicked off in May 2014 when the partners launched a Football Remembers education pack that was sent to more than 30,000 schools across the UK. It includes resources to help children learn about the Truce and football’s role in recruitment and morale during the First World War.

Football Remembers also features legacy projects that ensure that young people will continue to learn about the First World War for decades to come. The programme will continue through to 2018 highlighting the involvement of footballers and football.

All Conference Clubs Report Nil Arrears To HMRC

The initiative which the Football Conference introduced six years ago to address the level of crown debt amongst its 68 member clubs recently achieved its ultimate goal when the latest quarter end reports showed zero arrears throughout the entire competition.

Commenting on the success, Financial Planning Committee Chairman, Graham Wood, said, “it has been very rewarding to see HMRC indebtedness in our member clubs fall from a collective high approaching £2,000,000 to a position where all of our clubs are reporting nil arrears. Having reached this point, we are naturally looking to clubs to remain compliant, which of course should be a simpler task than the one just completed”.

Chairman of the Football Conference Brian Lee added, “The strength and resolve of the Board over the past six seasons to drive down debt, has unfortunately taken its toll with a number of high profile club casualties. This was a consequence the Board knew could be a distinct possibility in pursuing such an initiative. However, it was a long term objective and clubs were duly warned they may face a severe sanction if they failed to meet their financial obligations”.

“As a competition we can no longer leave to chance the long term survival of clubs on short term gambles. It is not fair on supporters of these clubs to see winding up petition after winding up petition brought by HMRC. There is a strong wind blowing throughout the game in support of this welcomed change of direction, so we should all join to applaud each and every club who work so hard to live within their means and rightly budget to only play at the level they can truly afford.”

Board Statement from Vanarama Conference – Respect

The Vanarama Conference has listened to supporters, especially those bringing children to matches, before embarking on the next stage of its Respect programme, designed to tackle concerns and to continue its objectives to make the match day experience enjoyable for everyone involved.

Two Board directives, one a new initiative, are now required to be closely monitored by appointed Club Respect Directors, who will be responsible for overseeing issues that come under the Competition’s scrutiny, designed to increase ‘Respect & Sportsmanship’ through applying consistent standards.

Non-playing staff have been instructed not to enter the field of play at half time or full time. They are asked to allow match officials to return to their Dressing Room unimpeded. This will reduce the potential of confrontation, which often leads to scenes that discredit those individuals concerned and their Clubs. These unhelpful scenes frequently lead to unpleasant incidents which result in strong disciplinary sanctions being imposed by the Football Association.

The second initiative is the reinforcement of a practice introduced by the Conference approximately six years ago. The Board has mandated Clubs to ensure that any member of its bench personnel, if dismissed from the Technical Area by the Match Referee, must be directed to a place that does not afford a view of the pitch, for the remainder of the match. The object of the exercise being to prevent continuing undesirable conduct, in full gaze of the viewing public; and to protect the participant from being the subject of similar unpleasant conduct from others.

Chairman Brian Lee commented, “The Conference has been showing an improvement year on year with on-field player discipline, which is a welcome trend; but we accept the actions of some individuals still raise concern. The two areas now to be focussed upon have been identified in various communications received from supporters who attend matches. Unacceptable language is also high on the agenda of dislikes pointed out by spectators, particularly those attending with children. Collectively we must recognise that ‘family values’ are so important, if clubs are to see long term return from their efforts to encourage and retain future generations of support”.

“It is impossible to remove all emotion from our game, and no football lover would want to, but the lack of self control demonstrated by a few individuals needs to be addressed. Bad language and confrontation on the field with match officials is unseemly and erodes our efforts to attract more families. Quite simply, these are elements of our great game which The Vanarama Conference seeks to eradicate. Clubs have been warned to take ownership and how to do it.

Individuals who misbehave will be accountable to the Football Association. Ultimately though it is down to our Members to enforce the directives on a match day. Penalties can be punitive. We want our Clubs to sit up, ‘smell the coffee’, and advise their Staff how to conduct themselves, thus avoiding stringent financial penalties and the unnecessary suspension of individuals for their lack of self control”.

Vanarama – Football Conference Title Sponsor

Vanarama becomes the Title Sponsor of the 2014/15 Football Conference
Company signs three year partnership.

TELFORD, England (July 30 2014) – Vanarama.co.uk, the market disrupting van leasing business is the new title sponsor of the Football Conference. The partnership was launched today in the presence of member clubs and will see the commercial vehicle specialists take the naming rights for all 1,476 games a season across the three divisions in 2014/15.

To mark the launch of the partnership, Vanarama will bring back the competitions traditional name after a 7 year absence. From the start of the new season the league shall be known as the Vanarama Conference, Vanarama Conference North and Vanarama Conference South.

The deal is a statement of intent for Vanarama joining Barclays Bank plc and Sky Bet as one of only three title partners of the top tier of English football. Vanarama will use the Vanarama Conference platform to further build rapid UK wide awareness and understanding of the Vanarama business via the League’s established national; regional and social media platforms.

Vanarama.co.uk is part of the Autorama Group of companies. Vanarama are specialists in van, pickup truck and car leasing, where customers lease their vehicles instead of buying them. A company of football fans, Vanarama will support the sponsorship with a series of fan-based initiatives. The first of these initiatives is for each club’s community scheme to earn from every car or van leased from Vanarama, or one of its sister companies through a special Club offer.

The partnership was negotiated by sports marketing agency SportQuake who will also assist in managing and delivering the national sponsorship campaign. SportQuake specialise in helping consumer brands and rights owners to deliver commercial and cultural value through sport. This year SportQuake has already completed over 100 football partnership deals including major transactions with all 20 English Premier League clubs.

The first game in the new Vanarama Conference will take place on Saturday 9th August 2014 seeing Bristol Rovers FC host Grimsby Town FC at 12.45pm live on BT Sport.

Andy Alderson, Vanarama.co.uk’ s Managing Director, said: “With the Construction sector predicted to play a major role in the growth of the UK economy over the next few years Britain’s van drivers, our customers, will be at their busiest since the peak of 2007. Our research shows a clear fit between our customers and football fans UK wide and as soon as I became aware of this unique opportunity to become such an important part of the national game I just had to get involved.”

Brian Lee, Chairman of the Football Conference said: “I am sure I speak for the whole of the Football Conference family, in welcoming such a competitive and innovative brand as Vanarama, to become our new Title Sponsor. We all look forward to working with Andy and his first class committed team to establish a partnership going forward which will be of major benefit to both over the next few years. Branding is a key element in this sponsorship for
Vanarama, who will now be able to link their rapidly growing name, allied to our national sport through our position in it, backed with vibrant media coverage”.

The Skrill Premier, North and South Monthly Awards – February

Still ‘Controlling The Controllables’ as Luton March On!

Luton Town boss John Still has been named the ‘Manager of the Month’ for February in The Skrill Premier. Today marks exactly a year since Still took over at Kenilworth Road and his side sit 14 points clear at the top of the table. The Hatters had an incredible month as they won all four of their games scoring 19 goals in the process. They’ve extended their unbeaten league run to 24 matches and haven’t been behind in a Skrill Premier game for nearly 1500 minutes of football. It’s Still’s second award of the season after he also took the December honours.

Harrogate Town’s Simon Weaver is The Skrill North ‘Manager of the Month’ for February. Three wins out of three saw Harrogate climb up to sixth spot in the table, putting them right back into the play-off picture. Two of their wins came against sides above them in the table, Boston and Hednesford, they also won 1-0 away at Histon.

Paul Doswell from Sutton United is The Skrill South ‘Manager of the Month’ for February. Doswell follows up his January award as Sutton remained unbeaten in 2014. Paul watched his side take 8 points from a possible 12 during the period as they went up to third in the table. The highlight of the month a 1-0 away win at Dover.

Hednesford’s Taylor Wins Special North Player Award!

Kris Taylor from Hednesford Town is a very special recipient of The Skrill North ‘Player of the Month’ for February. On the final day of January Kris was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Despite that the following day he took to the field for the Pitmen with the same passion and energy he has been noted for in his career, scoring a spectacular goal in the process. His treatment didn’t allow him to make any further appearances for the team during the month, but he has been attending matches and maintaining a presence in the dressing room as he faces his battle with great courage and dignity. He is even looking to make a return to the Hednesford side before the end of the season. Along with Kris’ award league sponsors Skrill will also be donating £1000 to the Everyman Appeal funding their research into male cancers.

Andre Gray of Luton Town is The Skrill Premier ‘Player of the Month’ for February. The striker hit seven goals in just four games during the period as the red-hot Hatters took the division by storm. The highlight of the month a hat-trick in the 7-0 home win over Hereford United. Gray also started the month with a brace in the 2-1 away win at Macclesfield Town. Gray makes it a February double for his side after boss John Still took the manager category.

Gosport Borough striker Tim Sills has been named The Skrill South ‘Player of the Month’ for February. Sills fired his side to Wembley with four goals in their FA Trophy ties during the month as they set up a showpiece final with Cambridge United in March. His haul includes a brace in the second-leg of their semi-final against local rivals Havant & Waterlooville.

The Skrill Premier, North and South – Awards Summary – FEBRUARY 2013/14

MANAGER of the MONTH

The Skrill Premier JOHN STILL from Luton Town
The Skrill North SIMON WEAVER from Harrogate Town
The Skrill South PAUL DOSWELL from Sutton United

PLAYER of the MONTH

The Skrill Premier ANDRE GRAY from Luton Town
The Skrill North KRIS TAYLOR from Hednesford Town
The Skrill South TOM SILLS – Gosport Borough

The Skrill Premier, North, South Monthly Awards – January 2014

January Reward for Bulls Boss!

Hereford United boss Martin Foyle has been named the ‘Manager of the Month’ for January in The Skrill Premier. Foyle’s side remained unbeaten during the period with two wins and two draws from four league matches. All achieved against the backdrop of financial worries off the pitch. The Bulls started off with a draw at pre-season favourites Forest Green Rovers in front of the BT Sport cameras. That was followed by home wins over Southport and Salisbury City. They ended the month with a 1-1 draw at home to FA Cup heroes Kidderminster Harriers.

Barrow AFC’s Darren Edmondson is The Skrill North ‘Manager of the Month’ for January. The former Workington boss was handed the Holker Street hot seat in December and he took hardly any time to produce results. That was summed up by their phenomenal January record where a 100% record was achieved despite some tough away fixtures. Edmondson’s side conceded just two goals during the period and won away at promotion chasers Brackley Town and AFC Telford United.

Paul Doswell from Sutton United is The Skrill South ‘Manager of the Month’ for January. A weather beaten reduced programme in the division saw Sutton win both of their matches. Doswell’s side won away at Basingstoke and Chelmsford without conceding a single goal. The valuable six points consolidating United’s position in the play-off places.

Marvellous Maddison on Target for the Heed!

Gateshead FC winger Marcus Maddison is The Skrill Premier ‘Player of the Month’ for January. Maddison scored four goals in six matches as Gary Mills’ side stayed unbeaten. The Heed kept up their promotion hopes with Maddison on target in the games against FC Halifax, Hyde, Grimsby and Welling. He also contributed two assists.

Ricky Miller of Boston United is The Skrill North ‘Player of the Month’ for January. Miller hit an incredible nine goals for the Pilgrims as they kept up their outside chances of promotion. He scored hat-tricks in the wins over Solihull Moors and Workington, a brace in the defeat at Hednesford and started the month with a goal in the 5-2 win over Vauxhall Motors.

New Dover Athletic signing Jeff Goulding has been named The Skrill South ‘Player of the Month’ for January. Goulding made an immediate impact for the Whites with a hat-trick on his debut at Dorchester. Chris Kinnear’s team winning 4-0. He also scored a brace in the 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood.

The Skrill Premier, North and South – Awards Summary – JANUARY 2013/14
MANAGER of the MONTH
The Skrill Premier MARTIN FOYLE from Hereford United
The Skrill North DARREN EDMONDSON from Barrow AFC
The Skrill South PAUL DOSWELL from Sutton United

PLAYER of the MONTH
The Skrill Premier MARCUS MADDISON from Gateshead FC
The Skrill North RICKY MILLER from Boston United
The Skrill South JEFF GOULDING from Dover Athletic

Football Conference Press Release

Press Association named official data supplier for the Football Conference

The Press Association (PA), the UK’s leading multimedia news agency and digital content supplier, has been named the official and exclusive supplier of data for the Football Conference.

The agreement, which commences immediately, will run until the end of the 2015/16 season; and will see PA collect and deliver high level data from every Skrill Conference Premier game, including information on matches in the Skrill North and South divisions.

This partnership will enhance the Football Conference league’s data rights in the UK, ensuring that the provision of rich, consistent and accurate football data is swiftly available to the media sector via PA.

Margaret Hicks-Clarke, PA’s Head of Operations, says: “We have considerable experience both in the collection and commercial use of football data on behalf of rights holders and we look forward to a successful partnership with the Football Conference.

“Our partnership will further enhance the profile of the Football Conference within the media sector of grass roots football, while also delivering a high level data service to the market place through standalone statistics, plus PA’s industry leading graphics and datatorials.”

Brian Lee, Chairman at the Football Conference, says: “We are delighted to enter into this agreement with the Press Association – a renowned and well-respected supplier of sports data to media outlets throughout the country.

“This move will increase publicity and awareness of The Football Conference’s growing brand, while satisfying the appetite of sports fans to tap into match data on a regular basis. Our partnership has been cemented already through close cooperation to produce a first class web based app which is FREE to all football followers world-wide and will supplement our current exposure to an ever increasing fan base”.

The Football Conference app will be officially launched at 11am on Wednesday 29th January and will be available from a link on the Football Conference website. www.footballconference.co.uk