Category: Women’s Football

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.

Surrey Fixtures in Opening Rounds of 2021/22 Women’s FA Cup

Today the FA announced the first 2 rounds of the 2021/22 Women’s FA Cup which will see a number of Surrey clubs vying for one of England’s most prestigious domestic titles. Below we have listed games featuring Surrey clubs, some with some games likely to include a number of Surrey women’s players.

1st Qualifying Round – (12th September 2021);

  • 51 Sutton United Women v Meridian Ladies
  • 59 AFC Acorns Ladies v Leatherhead FC Women
  • 60 Badshot Lea Ladies v Burgess Hill Town Ladies
  • 61 Woking Ladies v Abbey Rangers Ladies

2nd Qualifying Round – (3rd October 2021);

  • 72 Margate Ladies v Sutton United Women or Meridian Ladies
  • 73 Dulwich Hamlet Ladies v Herne Bay FC Women
  • 75 Bexhill United Ladies or Glebe Ladies v Millwall Lionesses Ladies
  • 91 Walton Casuals Ladies v Woking Ladies or Abbey Rangers Ladies
  • 94 AFC Acorns Ladies or Leatherhead FC Women v Badshot Lea Ladies or Burgess Hill Town Ladies
  • 98 Whyteleafe Women v Dorking Wanderers FC Ladies

The 3rd Qualifying Round will be held on 24th October 2021.

ISF Partners With First Club: Whyteleafe Women FC

International Surrey Football is pleased to announce a partnership with London & South East Regional Women’s League side, Whyteleafe Women FC. Founded in 2016, in one of its first seasons the team won the Greater London Women’s Premier League after going the entire season unbeaten.

The partnership between the non-FIFA team and the East Surrey club will see the two sides pool resources to develop and grow the media coverage of the club side as International Surrey Football works to prepare its media team for its upcoming 2021/22 season men and women’s friendlies as well as its participation in the inaugural WUFA Women’s World Unity Cup in the summer of 2022.

Whyteleafe Women FC already includes some Surrey players within its ranks such as Chloe McNee, who featured for the blue and gold in their inaugural fixture against the University of Surrey at Merrist Wood College in May 2021, even captaining the side for part of the match.

The aspects of the media partnership will be developed over time, with ISF contributing towards some of Whyteleafe’s social media and digital content moving forward, and raising the club’s profile. The club will also be featured on ISF’s in-house live streaming channel, WatchISF on Eleven Sport (formerly Mycujoo).

International Surrey Football is excited by the partnership and eager to begin work with the East Surrey club this season.

WORLD UNITY FOOTBALL ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES FIRST MAJOR TOURNAMENT: WUFA WOMEN’S WORLD UNITY CUP

Credit: Sheena Booker (@girltinyshooter), April 2021

The World Unity Football Alliance (WUFA) is pleased to announce the WUFA Women’s World Unity Cup. WUFA’s first-ever major tournament and women’s event is intended to take place in the Summer of 2022. The host federation will be confirmed later this year. WUFA is excited to deliver this truly ground-breaking event to fans of both non-FIFA football and women’s football.

The WUFA Women’s World Unity Cup will be one of the largest non-FIFA women’s football tournaments ever held. The event will showcase eight teams that represent a diverse group of peoples and regions from around the world. Information about participating teams will be announced at a later date.

The tournament will be played over seven days, with a group stage followed by knockout and championship stages. Each team will play five games over this duration.

The Women’s World Unity Cup is a needed and exciting opportunity for the promotion and development of non-FIFA women’s football, which is too often seen as secondary to men’s football. The tournament solidifies WUFA’s ambitions and support for equality and women’s football. It will be the first large-scale tournament under the WUFA banner and the first truly global women’s tournament in non-FIFA football.

We’re excited to bring this tournament to the forefront of our plans. Its development grew from WUFA’s localised mini-tournament—the WUFA World Series—which saw its first-edition hosted by International Surrey Football in May and the opening stage won by the Chagos Islands.

For more information of WUFA, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and visit our website.

Captain’s Notes: Emily Stanley

International Surrey Women’s Football captain Emily Stanley played the full 90 minutes as we ran out 8-1 winners over Surrey University in our first-ever match on Saturday 24 April.

In the first instalment of this brand-new feature, we catch up with Emily to learn more about her background, get the lowdown on wearing the ISF captain’s armband and see what she made of that big debut win.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

“I currently work in finance and have done since I was 19. I am about to move into a new role working in investment banking, so it’s a massive change to my current complaints handling job! Other than working and playing for ISF, I also play for Dorking Wanderers as a CM.”

What are your personal goals in football?

“To be happy and always give 110% when I’m on the pitch. Whilst I’d love to say I want to be a professional footballer, I’m a bit past that stage in my career!”

How did you get involved with ISF?

“I’ve always wanted to play for Surrey but there was never a senior level team for us, when ISF was announced (back in 2019!) I immediately emailed John to sign up. Originally, the trials were May 2019, so it’s been a long time coming, but it was definitely worth the wait. Danny has always been great at keeping players updated, especially with COVID putting a pause on things again, so whilst it’s been ages, it’s been handled really well.”

Tell us about how you were made captain?

“I had been speaking with Danny [Clarke] ahead of our first game against Surrey Uni via email and he emailed me to say that the coaches had made me captain! I was completely shocked as the first training session I was a little bit rusty but I’m so thankful for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to helping create a major platform for female footballers in Surrey with the help of ISF and the team.”

You only had a limited number of training sessions ahead of the friendly against Surrey University. How did they go?

“They were great, I was only able to attend the first session but the players were fantastic. There was a great atmosphere, even though we didn’t all know each other. The session in place was so well structured which really impressed me, there wasn’t any standing around which can happen at trialist training sessions, so it was a brilliant start. I heard the second session was just as good, with even more players in attendance!”

What’s the biggest challenge when you’re a new team just starting out?

“I think the biggest challenge is getting players on board, I know that some clubs aren’t totally keen on the idea of their players being with another team but ISF are a separate entity, with brilliant coaches and the opportunity for players to really improve, work with other players and develop beyond club levels. It’s something that I’m sure will get better as our name gets out there more but, it’s definitely a challenge for now!”

We had a great win over Surrey University. What did you make of the game?

“I was so impressed by the players during our first game, I hadn’t met everyone who played in the game so initially I was worried it would be difficult to get into a playing system that accommodated for everyone but boy, was I wrong! Everyone gave 100%, there was so much encouragement from each player and the football being played was unreal. You’d never have thought it was our first ever game, the combination play and effortlessness of it all was great to be a part of.”

What impressed you the most?

“Definitely the style of play! I didn’t expect the team to naturally play so well together, there was no real “hit and hope” football which you can sometimes get when you throw a bunch of individual players together. We played as a team, moving the ball between us so easily, it was as if we’d been a team for years!”

You had another big game for Dorking the very next day – how did that go? The legs must have been heavy by Sunday evening!

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in pain Sunday evening! We played Leyton Orient Reserves the next day and came away with a 3 – 2 win in the Capital Cup, we’re now into the semi-finals which is great as a shot at silverware would be amazing after another null and void season. It was such a competitive game and I made up for missing a 1v1 on Saturday by getting a goal on Sunday. Overall, it was great weekend of football for me!”

Photo credit: Sheena Booker