The DPL has since 1984/85 run a League Representative side where they have played other Leagues across the South West including the Wiltshire League, Hampshire League, Bournemouth FA, Dorset Football League, Gloucester County League & the Army Intelligence Corps. Then in 2003/04 the League was invited by the FA to enter into its newly formed National Competition the NLS Cup.
These Friendly matches have always been scheduled with one eye on the FAILC and to help the Rep side Manager see his squad in action before the Competitive match, the key is to get a squad of players that want to represent their League, that they want to attend Training sessions and ultimately be in with a chance of winning an ofﬁcial FA Competition, in non-League circles, Wimborne Town FC are the only Dorset CFA afﬁliated side to win a National FA Competition when they won the FA Vase in 1992 when beating Guiseley FC 5-3 at Wembley.
Being selected for the DPL Rep side is and should be seen as an honour to represent the League, this side has nothing to do with the Dorset County Football Association as many think the Leagues side is in fact the County Side, it is not.
The Manager, Bob Russell is independent of any Member Club and his vision is to ﬁnally see the side win the FA Inter League Cup, we have reached the semiﬁnals of the Competition 3 times in the 9 running’s of it, and the League is rightfully proud of this record, they just want to go a step further and win the competition. The winner of the Competition is then invited by the FA to represent England in the UEFA Regions Cup Competition.
FA Inter-League Cup - 2020/2021
Dorset Premier Football League v Jersey Football Combination
April 27th ~ 2021 @ Bridport FC
Final Score 2 - 5
BACK ROW; Bob Russell [Man] Aaron Robertson [Ham Rec] Dave Wrixton [Ham Rec] Asa Phillips [Merley CS] Sanchez Baker [Balti] Lewis Mills [Merley CS] Jon Manley [Westlands] Will Johnson [Blandford] Sam Handyside [Bridport] Matt Robson [Stur Newton] Dave Court [Coach/Assistant Manager]
FRONT ROW; Shaun Beasant [Dorch Sports] Malik Kamal [Westlands] Dan Ewens [Westlands] Ash Guppy [Sherborne] Nathan Saxby [Merley CS] Dan Edwards [Merley CS] Josh Payne [Westlands] Elliott Manson [Blandford]
(Jersey Football Combination went on the win 5 -1 against West Cheshire League in the final)
The FA Inter-League Cup (Formerly NLS Cup) is limited to leagues at Step 7 – (Regional Feeder Leagues) of the National League System and other off shore leagues as decided by the FA. The competition is strictly for amateur players who have never been under a written professional contract.
The inaugural NLS Cup began on 20 September 2003, when the Liverpool Combination beat the Northern Alliance 1-0. But it was thanks to that UEFA tournament that it was created. The UEFA Regions Cup was established in 1999 to provide an opportunity for amateurs playing at the lower levels of the game to take part in a European competition.
For the 2002-03 UEFA Regions Cup, The FA had nominated the Kent County League as England’s representative. They were chosen from 12 leagues which had indicated an interest in being involved. The Kent side went on to finish second in a qualifying competition hosted by Estonia, just failing to make it through to the Finals in Germany.
UEFA then decreed that, for future competitions, National Associations would only be able to nominate sides which had won a National Competition. As there was no such competition in England at that time, it was decided to develop one.
The first winners of The NLS Cup were the Mid-Cheshire League. They beat the Cambridgeshire County League 2-0 at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium in 2004. The Cambridgeshire County League were also finalists in the second competition, this time losing to the Isle of Man League 4-0 at the same venue.
The Southern Amateur League won on penalties in 2008. Then came a run of 3 invited Island League’s winning the Competition in a row with the Guernsey Senior County League triumphant in 2010 #1 Jersey Football Combination winning in 2012 and then the Isle of Man League winning in 2014 #2 The next 2 Competitions were won by Northern based Leagues as in 2016, the Teeside League won and in 2018 it was the North Riding Football League’s turn to win the Competition, both these finals saw the defeated League also come from Yorkshire.
And so, to the last held Competition 2019/2020 which due to Covid 19 took just over 3 years to complete with the Jersey Football Combination League crowned as winners at St Georges Park in May 2021. #3 Who will now go on and represent England in the UEFA Regions Cup Tournament. Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the FA did not run the FA Inter League Competition in season 2021/2022.
Dorset Premier League Representative Side - Previous Rounds
#1 DPL Lost 3-2 in the semi-final @ the Guernsey Senior County League
#2 DPL Lost 4-2 aet in the semi-final @ the Herts Senior County League
#3 DPL lost 5-2 in the semi-final @ home v the Jersey Football Combination
What is the UEFA Regions’ Cup?
The UEFA Regions’ Cup is a competition for players who have never featured at any professional level. Contested by the winners of national amateur tournaments – with the smallest countries fielding national amateur teams – it is a showcase for the wealth of talent that exists under the radar in European football. It is held every other season with the next edition running from summer 2022 until the eight-team finals in June 2023.
Who are the winners?
Italian sides have won three of the previous 11 editions (Veneto the only multiple champions along with holders Dolny Śląsk of Poland) while there have been two successes for amateur teams from Spain. Five editions have been won by the hosts.
2022/23 – Intermediate Round Draw
The winners of each group qualify for the finals, which in principle will be held in the last two weeks of June 2023, with the hosts to be decided when the qualifiers are known.
• Group 1: Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Scotland
• Group 2: Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Moldova
• Group 3: Turkey, Portugal, Finland, preliminary round winners
• Group 4: Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Wales, Sweden
•Group 5: Germany, Italy, England (Jersey Combination League) North Macedonia (29 September 22 –5 October 22) with ITALY selected as hosts.
No English Representative side has made it out of the Intermediate Round to date
• Group 6: Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, San Marino*
• Group 7: Spain, Hungary, Switzerland, Slovenia
• Group 8: Croatia, Ukraine, Serbia, Malta*
*National amateur team; all other associations represented by regional amateur teams.
As defending champions of the England FA’s InterLeague Cup, the Jersey Combination – Jersey’s grassroots football league – has received an invite to send a squad to Italy next September to play in the UEFA Regions Cup. Their entry, under the guise of ‘England’, comes following an earlier belief that they would miss out owing to pandemic cancellations.
The incentive to win the FA Inter League Cup is to then to go on and Represent your Country in a UEFA Competition, and let’s be honest, how many Grassroots players will ever get the chance in their lifetime to do so ??
But to get there takes commitment from the League, Clubs and most importantly the players, as indicated the DPL has reached 3 semi-finals to date and yes have come up against some very strong outfits, especially the island teams but the League firmly believes that if ALL Stakeholders pull together and give the Representative side a real go and that includes attending Training Sessions, being available for Friendly Matches to help prepare for the FAILC, then we can make it to a Final and, if successful, go on to represent England.
Now wouldn’t that be something to shout about, especially for a League that has only 18 Teams!