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International Surrey Football
|Founded||2014 (2011 as the DFA)|
International Surrey Football is the governing body of representative football of the historical county of Surrey, and is responsible for managing the Surrey representative football team. Formed in June 2014 from the Dale Football Association following a failed attempt by the DFA to meet the player requirements to play a fixture against the Sealand national football team, either as Dale national football team or the Dale-Westland national football team.
While not a member, International Surrey Football does operate a positive relationship with ConIFA despite not having membership and cooperates with ConIFA in order to provide sanctioned competitions and friendlies with full ConIFA members.
While International Surrey Football is the direct and non-micronational successor of the Dale Football Association it is unlikely that the ISF will participate or aid in the activities of the Micronational Football Association. Unlike the MFA and its member associations International Surrey Football will seek to actively work with a budget created through gate receipts and sponsorship funds.
The creation of International Surrey Football (ISF), originally called the Surrey Independent Football Association (SIFA) was inspired by the creation of the Manx Independent Football Association (MIFA) which was founded in June 2014. The goal of International Surrey Football was similar to that of MIFA, provide international representation to people from Surrey who may not be able to represent England at an international level as well as to promote the history of historical over administrative boundaries for counties which are often overlooked and forgotten, this is then hoped to help develop the potential of local players by giving themselves the opportunity to play against stronger opposition that is not found in their domestic leagues. This is then seen as a means to potentially help clubs advance through the English football league pyramid as well as through knockout competitions such as the FA Cup and FA Vase.
The International Surrey Football, stems from the Dale Football Association with ISF carrying on as a indirect successor to the Dale's football governing body. The Surrey Independent Football Association limited itself to only representative football from those of Surrey and South West London, this is not done by the Surrey County FA and is therefore not considered a clash of interest and means that the Surrey Independent Football Association is not impeding on the work done by the Surrey County FA.
It was originally planned for the Surrey Independent Football Association's debut fixture to take place against Sealand. However, with just 1 week before the game it was cancelled by the Surrey Independent Football Association. The organisation also had to turn down a request from ConIFA member the Chagos Islands who also enquired hoping for a fixture against the Surrey Independent Football Association, and a further later attempt to organise a game against a Sussex representative team also fell through citing similar issues regarding player numbers in all three cases. The Surrey Independent Football Association underwent a rebranding on November 15, 2015 and became International Surrey Football in an attempt to limit possible confusion between itself and the Surrey County FA.
On August 17, 2016 International Surrey Football announced the appointment of its first manager, Michael Lee Charles who was also managing Alton Football Club when the appointment was made. Two days following the appointment of their first manager the team announced call ups to 7 players from the Combined Counties Football League, Hellenic Football League and the Southern Football League. This followed with a further 3 players being called up from more Combined Counties Football League teams and a Isthmian Football League club, this brought the Surrey line up to 10 players.
On August 26, 2016 International Surrey Football announced the appointment of its first assistant manager, Matthew Angell, of Badshot Lea Football Club. During this time International Surrey Football also looked into the feasibility of potentially hosting the 2017 ConIFA European Football Cup but given the high financial demand set out by ConIFA, the ISF ultimately decided against the idea and instead decided to simply seek participation in the competition and host a separate smaller competition involving ConIFA members ineligible to participate in the European Football Cup, such as the Chagos Islands, Barawa, Tamil Eelam, Panjab and/or Alderney, as well as other selected county teams such as the IFA Sussex. It was also determined should Surrey decide and be capable of participating in the European Football Cup a Surrey B team would feature in the ISF's hosted competition instead.
The ISF submitted its application form to the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA) on Saturday 27th August 2016, and is subject to ConIFA Executive Committee approval before membership can be confirmed, the ISF application was added to the ConIFA Executive Committee agenda for their meeting due to take place Wednesday 31st August 2016, having been added by the organisation's European Director, who'd been highly supporting of the ISF since the two organisations opened discussions regarding the 2017 ConIFA European Football Cup. The application ultimately failed however, with ConIFA being unconvinced of Surrey's unique "identity", but had granted the ISF permission to compete against ConIFA teams and participate in select ConIFA competitions, specifically citing the ConIFA World Football Cup as being off limits to Surrey. ConIFA also offered the ISF the opportunity to convince the members of ConIFA to reconsider their failed membership application by inviting International Surrey Football delegates to participate in the 2017 ConIFA AGM taking place in Geneva, Switzerland in late January.
On September 18, 2016 International Surrey Football welcomed a further 3 players, bringing its squad total to 13, giving Surrey enough players to ensure a starting 11 for the first time in its history. This achievement was then followed on a few days later on September 21, 2016 with the announcement that the team had agreed a fixture against ConIFA member Barawa to take place at Alton Football Club in Hampshire on November 1, 2016. The team would go on further with the announcement of the appointment of Aldershot Town Academy and A.F.C. Bournemouth youth coach Lee Collier as the team's coach with plans for Lee to become the manager of the side's 'B' team in 2017.
After the proposed fixture against Barawa was postponed until 2017, International Surrey Football went into a several month hiatus, restarting again in late January, with the organisation deciding to favour local development to encourage the creation of other county teams, as opposed to joining ConIFA which the ISF too unrealistic for a region to join without sufficient historical backing, and instead plans to focus playing against ConIFA members in friendlies and the ISF Surrey International Open.
The ISF also runs some competitions:
The first President of International Surrey Football was founder Danny Clarke who took the responsibility to coordinate the organisation at its initial stages until a time when it was appropriate to vote upon a new President. In order to meet the requirements set out by the Confederation of Independent Football Associations, International Surrey Football were required to appoint a Vice-President and General Secretary as part of their application, these roles were therefore designated to James Hunt, a long standing supporter and friend of Danny Clarke and James-Robert Knight a supporter of the ISF and had previously governed the Micronational Rocket League after Danny stepped down from the role.
|Danny Clarke||2014 – Present||Westfield FC (2014-2017)|
|James Hunt||2016 – Present||N/A|
|James-Robert Knight||2016 – Present||N/A|