ECFA League and Cup Overview

National Premier League

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. Teams are separated geographically into groups of eight teams who play home and away fixtures to determine the league tables. 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.

The philosophy of the ECFA Premier League is to provide the highest quality national league competition for 16 to 19-year-olds. To enhance the quality of the Premier League and focus on continuous improvement and quality standards, teams must complete an application process in which they demonstrate that they can meet the minimum operating standards and perform at an elite standard. Teams which fail to uphold these standards and who fail to meet a minimum of 80% compliance in-line with League 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 February. The ECFA Committee selects entries and will inform all successful applicants at the start of the summer term.

For information on how to join contact AoC Sport’s competitions team.

Championships and Regional Leagues

Previously referred to as category 2 and 3 leagues, they are open to member colleges as well as schools, academies and training providers that meet our entry criteria.

The Championships and Regional league operate at a regional and sometimes sub-regional level. All teams must complete an online entry form by 30 April 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.

The ECFA Regional Leagues are targeted at participation teams, with teams in the women’s competitions having the option of using flexible formats.

For information on how to join contact AoC Sport’s competitions team

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

ECFA Cup Finals take place during the first week of May at a selected professional football club – providing a fantastic occasion which celebrates the quality of football played within the sector

For information on how to enter contact AoC Sport’s competitions team.

If you are interested in sponsoring one of our cup finals, please contact our National Football Development Manager, Lauren O’Sullivan.

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