Our joint mission - using football as a platform for personal development, educational attainment and career progression - makes this a particularly exciting joint venture through which we aim to enhance each other’s services for the benefit of our players, students and pupils. I am delighted to see that the partnership will continue into the 22/23 season, in my year as Chair and I look forward to seeing the partnership develop further.

Stuart BothamESFA Chair

UCFB is delighted to announce our partnership with the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA), the national governing body for schools’ football in England.

The agreement will result in new employability opportunities for UCFB students at the ESFA and County School FAs as well as the prospect of an ESFA bursary at UCFB.

As a Foundation Partner for Higher Education, the ESFA will also help to deliver new research opportunities for UCFB students, plus rewards and recognition for volunteers with the aim of scaling up participation and engagement.

Since 1904, the English Schools’ FA has been the National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England, running all national football competitions for schools and districts across the country. National Cup competitions culminate in the staging of National Finals held at various prestigious football stadiums and training grounds from March to June. Previous venues have included Madejski Stadium, Goodison Park and Britannia Stadium and The Hawthorns.

The ESFA has received a record number of entries into national schools’ cup competitions for 2022/23 with over 7000 teams taking part, equating to over 110,000 players. This includes 1886 girls teams and 30,000 girls taking part, which is a record number for participation in the girls' game, for the second consecutive season!

We’ve been working on formalising a link with the English Schools’ FA for some time, so it’s great that we can announce this partnership today. It means that there will be lots of added opportunities for our students with the ESFA. We are thrilled to have agreed this deal – and we’re excited about the potential benefits for the ESFA players and UCFB students.

Sharona Friedman UCFB Chief Marketing Officer