The Woolwich & Eltham Sunday Football Alliance was formed by the merger of two former local Sunday leagues: The Woolwich & District Sunday League (1891), together with the Eltham & District Sunday League (1959). In 2005, both leagues were operating three Divisions, with around 30 Clubs, give or take.
In order to provide more competition and a more varied and interesting competition, we decided to “pool resources” and the proposal was put to each set of Members Clubs. There was an astounding vote in favour of merging. The necessary work was done and “W & E SFA” was born. We now have 4 Divisions and 8 Cup competitions, one of which (The Plumstead Challenge Cup, which dates back to 1931), is open to teams from other local Leagues. League Fixtures are cast for a Sunday morning.
We remain solid and have now established a reputation for fair play and the close monitoring of conduct. We firmly believe that everyone should be able to play their game without fear of intimidation, threat or lack of respect. We are signed up to the FA’s “Respect” programme and have been awarded the ‘Commended Status’ award for our work with this programme and the values within it. We are also well on the road to attaining Charter Standard League status.
We pride ourselves on innovation are currently in consultation with County FA’s in order to help fix the problem of youth teams simply disbanding, instead of stepping into adult football. Other projects are in the pipeline. Your club must be willing to adopt this recognition and have the desire to gain the Charter Standard award by the end of your second season of membership.
Our belief is that, although the FA is very vocal about “grass-roots” football, it still does not receive the recognition and funding it deserves. We will continue to highlight this to the footballing authorities, pushing for a change of emphasis towards developing our young talent.
So, after just a short period of time, we are pushing ahead with some major issues and growing stronger. Our ethos is “firm, but democratic”. This has filtered through to our Clubs and they are working themselves to evolve into well-respected organisations. We (and they) believe in quality, not quantity and we do not approve every application to join us.
There is, and never has been, room for thugs in football at whatever level, so we have a responsibility to protect our Members against those who seek to disrupt and spoil their Sunday mornings. The Management Committee have drive and ambition; we know we have the resources, contacts and ability to be the best Sunday League locally. We may not have the quantity of some Leagues but we do have consistently good, competitive football with the aim of having fun rather than the ‘winning at all costs’ mentality.
As we near the ending of the eighth season of the WESFA, we find another new name engraved on the Premier Division title shield - that's seven out of the last eight seasons where we have had a different team winning that Division, which indicates a really strong and competitive Division; this is something upon which the Management Committee pride themselves to engage good quality and sporting football.
The 8 Cup Finals are switched between 3 venues, Welling United, VCD Athletic F.C. and Sporting Club Thamesmead. All Cup Finals are played in the month of May, two Finals per Sunday, with kick off times at 10:30am and 2:30pm. At this time we would like to thank all venues for their accommodation and providing top quality playing surfaces for our Member Clubs to compete on.
The next 5 years will be pivotal for us, as major steps are being taken to establish ourselves as a model for local Sunday football, by adherence to our base criteria for Clubs, players and officials. We currently have a 99+% coverage rate for officials on matches.
The Woolwich & Eltham Sunday Football Alliance is a certified Respect League.
We were awarded by the London Football Association during their presentation evening on the 1st November 2012 in the following categories:
LFA “Respect” League of the Year 2012
LFA League Administrator of the Year 2012