In a series of articles, International Surrey Football are providing an introduction to a number of the already established teams International Surrey Football’s first women’s team could face at some point in the future. Today’s article is about the Army Football Association.
The Army Football Association was founded in 1888 and based out of the Aldershot Barracks in Hampshire close to the border with Surrey. Holding the distinction as one of the nearest women’s teams to International Surrey Football.
Even before the Army Football Association was formed a number of Army teams were in the forefront of the developing game. The Royal Engineers, based in Chatham, were in the first three FA Cup finals (1873-75) and were runners-up in the first two years, losing the first ever FA Cup final to Surrey based Wanderers. The Royal Engineers would eventually win in 1875, beating Old Etonians 2-0 in a replay at the Kennington Oval in Surrey.
In 1901 an Army side played a civilian team for the first time competing against Dorset and also Surrey County. The following year Tottenham Hotspur became the first Football League club to play the Army. In 1913 the Army FA took over the Army Athletics Ground in Aldershot as its permanent football home. The ground would be known as the Army Football Ground.
The Army FA operated 3 women’s team, a first team, reserve team and development side. The Army Women’s first team play in the Southern Counties Competition, an 8 team women’s tournament split between 2 groups involving the 3 military teams as well as county sides for Essex, Kent, Middlesex, Sussex as well as the Jersey FA team.
The Army FA holds a distinction to be the only team with both a men’s and women’s side that International Surrey Football has already faced. The Surrey men’s team played a friendly against the Army men’s first team at the Army Football Ground in March 2019 which resulted in a 6-0 win for the Army side in only Surrey’s second-ever game.
Army FA website: https://www.armyfa.com/
Army FA Twitter: https://twitter.com/Armyfa1888
Army FA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArmyFootballAssociation/
Army FA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/armyfa1888/