English Colleges FA Leagues and Cup Info

AoC Sport leagues are open to member colleges, schools, academies and training providers that can demonstrate that they meet the entry criteria.

The ECFA National Premier League represents the best of college football and its philosophy is to provide the highest quality national league competition for 16 to 19-year-olds.

To enhance the quality and focus on continuous improvement and quality, teams must complete an application in which they demonstrate that they can meet the league requirements and perform at an elite level.

In both the men’s and women’s competition, teams are placed geographically into divisions of eight teams (maximum) who play home and away fixtures to determine the league tables.

In each competition, the best 16 teams then progress to the league play-off competition, the final of which takes place at the ground of an English Football League club in May.

Teams which fail to uphold our operating standards will be at high risk of losing their Premier League status the following year.

Organisations are able to apply for Premier League status from March 2021, the ECFA Committee selects entries and will inform all successful applicants of their decision by May 2021.

Championships and Regional Leagues

These leagues are open to member colleges as well as schools, academies and training providers that meet our entry criteria.

The Championships and Regional leagues operate at a regional and sometimes sub-regional level. All teams must complete an online entry form so that leagues can be created at the meetings of the Regional Operations Groups during the summer term. Late applications will be accepted where there are spaces in leagues.

The ECFA Championships are targeted at teams who have a focus on quality and performance and include teams aspiring to progress to the Premier League.

Once again, for the 2021/22 season, we will be combining what were women’s Premier League and women’s Championship teams into one 11 a-side competition.

The ECFA Regional Leagues are targeted at participation teams, with teams in the women’s competitions having the option of using flexible formats.
As part of our ECFA Regional League offer, some regions offer pan-disability football competitions. These leagues are usually played on a monthly basis in a festival format.

Futsal Competitions

New for the 2020/21 season is the AoC Sport National Futsal Series (AOC NFS) which is the only post-16 futsal league for education institutions.

The new AoC NFS competition has been created in consultation with AoC Sport members and EFL Trust Club community organisations, and the league structure has been developed from the National Futsal League. Unfortunately the coronavirus outbreak disrupted the inaugural season in 2019/20 and has not allowed for any competition in 2020/21. However, we are hopeful of running some form of competition in 2021/22.

The AoC NFS will be underpinned by the regional festival league offering which allows for teams to compete in a tournament style, across four or eight dates dependent on whether you enter term 1 and / or term 2 competitions.

Institutions do not need access to a futsal facility to host fixtures – teams may enter as hosts or non-hosts in all of our competitions. Please contact Sarah.Cochrane@aoc.co.uk to find out more.

ECFA Cup Competitions

Cup competitions are open to member colleges as well as schools, academies and training providers. Teams can enter the cup competitions without entering a league. The following football cup competitions are offered:

  • Men’s Premier Cup (for colleges in the Premier League and Championships)
  • Men’s Knockout Cup (for colleges who play in regional leagues or who do not enter leagues)
  • Men’s Knockout Trophy (for schools, academies and training providers)
  • Pan-Disability Football National Cup (mixed)
  • Women’s Premier Cup (for colleges in the Premier League)
  • Women’s Knockout Cup (for teams in regional leagues)

ECFA Cup Finals take place at the end of April – providing a fantastic occasion which celebrates the quality of football played within the sector.

If you are interested in sponsoring one of our cup finals or competitions, please contact our Dean Hardman, Director for Sport and Student Experience.