Category: ISF

ISF Support Kitmas 2021

International Surrey Football is pleased to share that we will be supporting the 2021 Kitmas campaign, started by founded by football coach and activist Paul Watson and his wife Lizzie, with support from stand up comedians Vix Leyton and Mark Watson (Paul’s brother).

Kitmas works with various regional groups to distribute football shirts to those who will benefit most, making sure that as many children as possible have something to open on Christmas Day.

The campaign will run until December 8th as many centres will need to have the shirts in hand at least two weeks before Christmas in order to get them out to their local community. International Surrey Football will be promoting and working to support the campaign helping to raise awareness of the campaign and will be reaching out to various football clubs across Surrey to try and reach supporters able to donate money or shirts to the campaign.

You can donate to the campaign directly, either by donating to their Crowdfunder page: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kitmas

Or send any shirts directly to Kitmas Appeal, PO Box 472, Stroud GL6 1NP

In the news

Here is some of the press coverage of last year’s campaign;

Football Supporters Association (FSA)Kitmas: Fans help make a difference this month

BBC News: ‘Kitmas’ launched to gift football shirts to children this Christmas

Big IssueComedian Mark Watson is planning a ‘Kitmas’ for kids in poverty 

The Mirror: Heartwarming new campaign to get children their first football kit for Christmas 

Big Issue: Big Issue Changemakers 2021: Poverty prevention

Gloucestershire LiveThe football fan with a goal to give disadvantaged kids a Christmas to remember

International Surrey Football Partners with Her Game Too

International Surrey Football is pleased to announce that it has formed a partnership with Her Game Too. Formed in May 2021 by 12 football fans to raise awareness of sexist abuse in football and to also encourage fellow female fans to share their experiences.

International Surrey Football unequivocally supports the campaign’s aim to create a world where women and girls of all ages can feel confident and safe sharing their opinion about football, both online and in real life without fear of sexist abuse.

Surrey Founder and President Danny Clarke said, “Women should feel safe at any football game, whether as a supporter or a player, and sexist abuse or behaviour is unacceptable in the sport ISF is part of.”

“Supporting the women’s game is more than just having a women’s team, it means supporting female players, coaches, referees and supporters, and being partnered with Her Game Too is an important part of this commitment.”

As part of the partnership, International Surrey Football will raise the profile of the group as their first non-FIFA partners, with their logo appearing on our website, adverts and articles in match programmes as well as their logo being added to both team’s new training tops, with sponsors currently being sought after.

If you would like to speak to #HerGameToo or get involved with the campaign, email hergametoo@hotmail.com. For more information on Her Game Too, visit their website.

Surrey Hosts of Inaugural 2022 WUFA Women’s World Unity Cup

International Surrey Football is delighted to announce we have been selected by the World Unity Football Alliance (WUFA) to host the inaugural edition of the WUFA Women’s World Unity Cup, WUFA’s first major football tournament, and what will be one of the largest women’s non-FIFA international football tournament ever held, taking place in Surrey between 19th-25th June 2022, becoming the premier “women’s world cup” tournament in non-FIFA football.

International Surrey Football was selected by the World Unity Football Alliance for the prestigious opportunity of hosting the alliance’s inaugural women’s tournament after presenting a strong case to its members of what the region could offer teams, supporters, and sponsors in terms of ease of access, quality of venues for matches and training, providing a truly global tournament to remember.

The 2022 Women’s World Unity Cup will be the first major non-FIFA tournament held in the United Kingdom since a senior men’s tournament, hosted by the Barawa FA, was held at venues across Greater London in 2018, which included games at 3 Surrey-based venues, Carshalton Athletic FC, Fisher FC, and Sutton United FC, with the tournament seen as being responsible for a lot of the modern interest in non-FIFA football.

Credit: Sheena Booker (@GirlTinyShooter)

With the target now firmly set, Surrey Women’s manager Stephen Satterly will be looking to prepare a Surrey squad that played its first training game against the University of Surrey earlier this year, in what will prove to be an intensive tournament schedule. Each participating team will play 5 games in just 7 days making the need for rotation and managing minutes vitally important to a county side looking to win its first major honours for either men’s or women’s teams and trying to keep the trophy on home soil.

Matches will be played in 5 venues across Surrey, with 4 venues hosting group stage, placement, and knockout games, with a 5th venue hosting the 3rd place playoff and final on the final day. The venues selected to host the games will be confirmed in the coming months as International Surrey Football works to finalise arrangements with a number of host venues for the tournament which will see a total of 20 games played across those 7 days during the tournament.

All games will be live-streamed globally with details of how to watch the tournament coming soon, as well as information regarding ticketing and tournament voluntary opportunities to be made available as well. All 8 teams participating in the tournament will be based out of the county town of Guildford, hosted at the University of Surrey’s student accommodation, with access to training facilities at the Olympic standard training complex at Surrey Sports Park.

Which 7 teams will join Surrey in the tournament is subject to further review and confirmation as teams confirm travel arrangements and any visa or similar requirements necessary before they can participate, each team will be announced later this year. Some teams like Karen FA already beginning preparations with intentions to participate in their first tournament after winning 2 games against local college soccer teams.

The region is best known for its expansive countryside, with the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty extending across much of the southern portion of the county (Credit: Alex Manders)

We are pleased to welcome a number of initial supporting partners that have so far assisted in the planning and early preparations for the tournament, Football Rising, Merrist Wood College, Midfield Generals, Surrey Sports Park, University of Surrey, and WatchISF. We look forward to continuing our work with them as well as expanding this list as we work with a growing number of commercial partners to support the delivery of the tournament.

Interested commercial partners can get in touch at info@intsurreyfootball.co.uk to request a sponsorship brochure and discuss opportunities. Title sponsorship remains available as well as a limited number of local sponsorship slots available to local businesses at a discounted rate.

Opposition watch: Maghreb FC

International Surrey Football will take on Maghreb FC this weekend in the World Unity FA World Series third-place play-off as we look to bounce back from consecutive defeats to the Chagos Islands.

It will be the first time we’ve ever locked horns with Maghreb FC, so ahead of the game we caught up with Maghreb’s Ayman Dahdouh to learn more about who Maghreb are, what they represent and where they might cause us problems on Sunday…

Tell us about Maghreb FC and who you represent…

“We are a team built from Moroccan foundations, welcoming all ethnicities as we unite together to share our passion of expressing ourselves on the football pitch. Maghreb historically symbolises the western region of North Africa and so we felt it was necessary to build a football team that represents our heritage.”

How much does it mean to represent Maghreb?

“Maghreb is who we are. As players it runs through our blood. When we play, we are representing a region of nations that mean absolutely everything to us and our families.”

How long have you been a team?

“Our group of players grew up together within different communities in London. For the past five years many of our players have represented teams together, which has enabled us to forge established and friendly relationships on and off the pitch. We began as a team three years ago, organising and competing in events to raise money for charities worldwide. We then took that extra step by beginning to compete and establish ourselves as Maghreb FC two years ago.”

What shape is the team in coming into this weekend’s game?

“We are a very flexible team who base our philosophy on expressing ourselves. We like to keep possession of the ball and create as many chances as possible while limiting our defensive errors. Being able to transition from four at the back to three and vice versa will play a huge part in how we line up our shape on Sunday.”

What’s your team’s biggest strength?

“Our biggest strength is our resilience in terms of how we show fighting spirit and work for our teammates on the pitch. We understand our style of football and try to replicate our model as close to the script over the duration of the match.”

What are your ambitions for the future with Maghreb?

“Maghreb FC would like to continue to compete within the UK but in the near future we also want to begin to be recognised by international tournaments which we can participate in and win. We also hope to be recognised by the football governing bodies as we continue to grow our network of players within the UK and worldwide.”

Captain’s Notes: Jay Jones

Nobody has represented International Surrey Football on more occasions than Jay Jones.

The ISF men’s captain has donned the blue and gold for each of our six matches so far – including both of our recent matches against Chagos Islands.

In this latest instalment of Captain’s Notes, we hear Jay’s honest take on those two defeats, working under a new coach and this weekend’s clash against Maghreb FC…

How do you reflect on the two games against Chagos Islands?

“I think Chagos have grown as a team in the past few years and credit to them for doing that. I can see that they all play with immense pride and passion and I think that’s something we lacked over the two games. They have built a team with the same faces over the years and that is definitely something we should be striving towards.”

You will have been desperate to get the win in the second game after the result in the first one, but it just wasn’t to be…

“Football can be like this, we both learned a lot from the first game and they went away and implemented what they learned better than us. Chagos were deserved winners in both games and we have some work to do as a team.”

You only had a limited number of training sessions ahead of the matches. What did you focus on and how hard was it to go into the games without much time on the training pitch?

“The numbers at training weren’t great, but that was expected with players still playing on Sundays, which is now at quite a high level. The main focus was on getting to know new faces and getting to grips with what our new manager was looking for. Everyone playing should naturally be match fit now we’re at the end of the season but I feel we lacked some sharpness throughout.”

It had been a long time since we last played before the first match against Chagos Islands. How hard was it to pick up after such a long break?

“It’s always easy to get back onto a football pitch because it’s something that we all love. It’s like going home again.”

Is there anything in particular you think we need to work on ahead of our next game?

“It’s difficult for us to work on things in the build up to the next game as we are never sure who’s available at the moment. A majority of our core group have other commitments in football, but once we’re all on the pitch we should be aiming to bond quickly and get a brief understanding of how each other play.”

We play Maghreb this weekend. What are your expectations for the game?

“I’m familiar with many of the Maghreb players – they are nice lads who are extremely talented footballers. They are good both physically and technically, spending a lot of time off the pitch together as well. There’s no weak link in their team so we’re going to have to step up.”

You’ve played in every ISF game so far – six in total. How does it feel to be the leading appearance maker for the team?

“I had a little laugh before the Chagos game because I realised I would have the most appearances. Hopefully this continues with the trust of my manager and teammates. I’m always very proud to represent Surrey and it would be great if we could get a few more players up to five or six appearances.”

Photo credit: Nathanael Osborne