About our Competitions


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As of 19 March 2021, the ESFA is opening entries for all Association and Schools’ Cup competitions for the 2021/22 season, with a view to fixtures beginning as usual in September. Draws will be made prior to the Summer Holidays, to allow schools and teams additional time to plan for the upcoming season.

For fixtures, all relevant FA, ESFA and Government guidelines must be followed. We will continue to provide updates into guidance and limitations as and when it is made available by DCMS and The FA. All guidance will also be uploaded to our website here

Competition Play On Dates

National Competitions 2021/22 

Play on dates: Click here for 21/22 play on dates

National Competitions 2022/23

Play on dates: Click here for 22/23 play on dates

A message from the Chairman 

For all football-playing youngsters, the opportunity to represent their school in a National Competition is a unique and special experience. 

 In season 2021-22, as football returns, we all have the chance to make that experience possible, and to give those youngsters a schools’ football season to remember after a year to forget. 

 The ESFA’s suite of National Competitions caters for schools of all sizes, for youngsters of all ages, and for girls as well as boys. 

 We know that school sport, and school football in particular, adds so much to the educational experience for so many – indeed, recent research by the Youth Sport Trust has highlighted that well-being is considered by parents to be the most important factor when they choose a secondary school for their child, and that well-being is likely to be better in schools that prioritise sport and physical education.  

 If your school has previously been involved in our National Competitions, I know that you will recognise their value and been keen to enter again in this coming season. If you are considering entering for the first time, you have a great opportunity to give your players that unique and special experience. 

Phil Harding
ESFA Chairman 

Our Competitions

The ESFA’s National Competition programme attracts around 16,000 team entries each season with teams entering year on year as a result of the exceptional provision of competitions offered. The ESFA carefully ensures that the competition offer meets the needs of the schools which enter and the friendly and professional approach of the ESFA National Competitions’ Department, not only keeps teams returning, but encourages new schools and teams to take part in and experience our National Cup programme, season after season. 

National Competitions are at the very heart of what the ESFA has to offer, in creating thousands of opportunities for children to play grassroots football at a National level. Each season culminates with a period of National Finals, in which finalists travel to various prestigious football stadia across England to compete to be crowned champion of England in their respective competitions. 

The ESFA prides itself in being able to showcase the abilities of the top players and teams, but also offers a variety of categories of competition that will be appropriate for differing levels of ability.  National Finals over recent seasons have been hosted at venues such as West Bromwich Albion FC, Man City FC, Everton FC and Stoke City FC, all of which provide an incredible match day experience for those teams involved.  We always strive to ensure that finalists receive a full match day experience and create memories that will last a lifetime.  

Don’t take our word for it…

Here’s some of the feedback we’ve had from National Finalists…

“Thanks so much to you and all your team for making such great memories for all our students and parents in attendance. The players are already talking about what they can do to get back to another National final” – Shenfield High School, Essex

“The organisation and venue were excellent so well done to you guys there. Although we didn’t get the result we’d hoped for, we all had a brilliant day including the 200 students who came down to watch and the rest of the school who watched it on your tv channel. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get to another final in the years to come” – Our Lady’s, Manchester

“Once again, the venue was excellent and you looked after us so well. Thank you for the hospitality. We appreciate the hard work, effort and attention to detail that goes into events like this so wanted to ensure it did not go unnoticed” – Hartpury College, Gloucester

2019 Playstation Schools’ Cup Festival

View all ESFA National Schools’ Cup Competition Information

Simply download the PDF brochure below which lists all of the ESFA’s competitions and eligibility guidance for each

ESFA National Cup Programme 2021