May 9th – Concord Sports Centre  7-a-side and honouring our Darren Warner

May 9th – Concord Sports Centre  7-a-side.

Teams to arrive at the following times:

1.00pm -C. Knights Black. Sheffield Red. Sheffield White. Brunsmeer.  Wheatley. Aston Blue .

1.30pm – Aston Red.  Dooley Kicks. Sheffield Black. Titans Red.

1.45pm – City Knights Blue. Dooley Orange.

2.00pm – Bradford Amber. Bradford Blue.  Bradford Claret.  Titans White.

Kit Colour clashes in the matches below, bibs to be taken on the day by all the teams affected ….

      Titans Red v Sheffield White

      Titans White v Dooley Kicks   

      Sheffield Black  v Titans White

At 2.30pm we will be celebrating the life of Darren Warner and be joined on the day by his wife Sharon and some of his family members.

We kindly request all teams remain with us for the short ceremony to honour Darren’s life and contribution to the League.

Presentation of trophies & medals to teams finishing first or second will be done not long after their second match and not necessarily at the end of the day, as we normally do.

FA McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards

We have been asked by Nathan Batchelor, National Grassroots Leagues Services Manager if we could help promote The FA McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards to our member clubs, referees, coaches, players etc.

The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards are for people who make a positive difference. It’s our way to celebrate the fantastic individuals who put their heart and soul into the grassroots game across England – and say a huge thank you to the incredible volunteers who inspire us all.

Individuals are nominated by someone else (not themselves), while anyone involved in a club or league can nominate their own club and/or league.

Award Categories

More details about the awards and how to nominate can be found at

Any help to promote the awards is greatly appreciated, please don’t forget to nominate your league.

Nominations close on the 4th May.


SYACL 7-a-side action restarts at Concord Sheffield.

After a gap of over 5 months, Concord Leisure Centre saw the resumption of competitive action in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League, with over 4 hours of 7-a-side competition across the three artificial pitches on Sunday 11th April afternoon. It was as if the teams had never been away, and if the players were lacking any match sharpness, they hid it well, with 17 high-calibre matches played in terrific spirit and in a variety of weather conditions, including the occasional snow flurry, write Margaret Gregory and Colin Muncie for

The well-established Covid-19 protocols operated throughout the afternoon, with every player given a temperature check and a healthy dose of hand sanitiser on admission to the venue. Attendance was recorded in line with track and trace requirements, and the matches were expertly handled by Sean Wright and his referee colleagues.

Before the matches got under way, there was a minute’s applause as a mark of respect for the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Premier Division action saw City Knights Black extend their advantage at the top of the table to 5 points over Sheffield Black, with Sheffield Red in third. And Club Doncaster Titans (White) in fourth.

However, despite two battling performances, Derek Dooley Sheffield Kicks left Concord empty-handed after two defeats. Dooley coach Claire Cowlishaw takes up the story for

“In our first game against Sheffield Red, the team came up against a good side, but Lewis got injured and went off to hospital, and this knocked the lads’ confidence” Claire explained. [After a bit of a wait at A&E Lewis had no broken bones just a very swollen sternoclavicular (which is the front of his shoulder) they said he has got to rest it.]”

Claire continued, “we saw some great defending from Jack and Adam and some good saves by Dom. The game had some lovely passing and Elliott scored to boost his confidence to get a goal back for the lads but the second goal just didn’t come, despite some good runs up the length of pitch by Brad. The lads did well to say they have had a long time away from football through lockdown. I think all were pleased to get back to playing football even if it wasn’t a winning one.” 

“In our second game versus Sheffield Black, the Lads changed keeper and Nick went in showing some good saves but was not able to stop some super shots,” Claire told us. “Elliott and Brad had some great shots. In the second half Jack had a great run and scored a consolation goal.”

With one week of the League competition left, the Premiership table looks like this;

1City Knights Black651061516
2Sheffield Black632153211
3Sheffield Red613245-16
4Club Doncaster Titans White612335-25
5D. Dooley Sheffield United Kicks602426-42

Into The Championship.

It couldn’t be closer with Aston Swallownest Red and Bradford City Amber locked together on 15 points each and with identical goal differences.

Aston Red enjoyed two wins over Wheatley and Derek Dooley Orange. Wheatley Manager Chris Pow describes that first game. “Special mentions to Tony who turned 60 this year, and our man of the match Kieran in goal for putting in great shifts,” Chris told us, “Aston were always 2 or 3 yards in front though, and beat us comfortably. We enjoy playing against this level, and we are enjoying our time in the Championship.”

Claire Cowlishaw looks back on Derek Dooley Orange’s loss to Aston. “All the players were eager to get back to playing football,” Claire told www.southyorkshireabilitycounts “This was a hard match to start with, playing top of the league. The players put in a valiant effort but were beaten by the better team.”

Bradford City Amber (pictured) had back to back wins over a plucky Brunsmeer Awareness side. Coach Stefan Dubej was delighted with his afternoon’s work.“ Well done to the Ambers today,” Stefan told us.

 “Despite only having 6 players we won both games to keep in the running for the League title. In Game 1 we went into an early 3-0 lead, then in the second half let one in to take the score to 3-1. That’s the way it stayed until the final whistle. Our scorers were Mackenzie, Jordan and George.”

“In the second game I think they thought we were still playing the first game,” Stefan added. “We let one in and at half time were 1-0 down.” 

After an inspired team talk at half time by the coach we scored 3 goals in as many minutes to seal another victory, with our scorers George with 2 and Mackenzie.”

“Our Player of the Day was John Bigmore for all his amazing saves.”

Brunsmeer star Richard Brown gave us his side’s version of events. “It was a weak start from Brunsmeer as Bradford make it 1-0 in the first few minutes; then a couple of minutes later a goalkeeping mistake from Brunsmeer goalkeeper made it 2-0 to Bradford. A third followed shortly before half time.”

“A much more spirited performance from Brunsmeer in the second made the final score 3-1 to Bradford,” Richard added.

“In game 2, it was a much stronger starting performance from Brunsmeer and in the first few minutes Brunsmeer took the lead and into half time at 1-0,” Richard explained. “Bradford started the second half brightly and got the equaliser a few minutes after the restart; they quickly made it 2-1 and then a 3rd followed shortly after, to make the final score Bradford 3-1 Brunsmeer.”

 In the final game of the day, there was a crucial victory for Derek Dooley Orange in a hard fought contest with Wheatley Wanderers. Here’s Claire from Dooley; “This was a more even match and lovely football played with lots of passing between the players. We applied lots of pressure and Stephen broke the deadlock to give the Orange team their second win of the season.”

Wheatley Manager Chris Pow agreed that it had been a close battle with little between the sides. “An early injury and a small squad held us back today, but we put a good game in against old rivals Dooley’s,” Chris said. ”They scored a well-engineered goal, but we had a few good chances ourselves.”

With just one week of League action left, it’s all to play for in the Championship. The table looks like this:

1Aston Swallownest Red650151415
2Bradford City Amber650151415
3Derek Dooley Orange62224408
4Brunsmeer Awareness611425-34
5Wheatley Wanderers601516-51

Congratulations to Bradford City Blue, (pictured below} who have clinched the Division One title with a week to spare. Coach Danny Johnson was absolutely delighted.

“League 1 Champions 20/21!! Well done to the Blues who won both their games today to clinch the League title for the 2nd time in 3 years!” said Danny.

“In Game One, between Bradford City Blues and Sheffield Whites, the first half ended 0-0 with both teams playing well to keep the score that way. Then the second half kicked off and Bradford managed to score the first goal with a good run through the middle from Ethan to pass it to Luke who slotted it home. Bradford scored again with a quick kick in from Luke who passed it to Dale who scored.”

“Then the third goal went in, marked with a bit of confusion whether the ball went over the line for a goal kick or not, but with the ref not blowing his whistle Bradford managed to squeeze it through the defence and a little touch from Tim took it past the keeper; 3-0 was the result of that game. In Game 2, between Bradford City Blues and Sheffield Whites again the first half finished 0-0,” Danny told “Neither team could find a way through to get that first goal, with very good play from both keepers.”

“The second half kicked off, but still no team could get the ball between the goal posts,” Danny went on, “then out of nowhere Luke played a great pass from the edge of the pitch to Dale at the other side, who controlled it well, and with a great strike of the ball scored. The game ended 1-0 to Bradford.”

“Player of the day was Ethan“ said Danny. “He was outstanding today; well done to all the players and teams today it was a really good day.”

It was a tough day for the other Bradford team in Division One, Bradford City Claret (below), who suffered two narrow defeats.

 Coach Paul Jubb admitted that it had been a frustrating afternoon. “It was a bad day for the Clarets today!“ Paul told us. “We lost 4-0 then 3-0 to Aston Swallownest Blue. The Clarets started off with 3 players missing, from beating the Blues in their last game. Mark and Simon came to help out on the day but 7-a-side is a step too far for them to compete in.”

“In the first game it seemed that every time Aston Swallownest had a shot, it went in; and they deservedly won 4-0” Paul told us. “In the second fixture I felt we were the better team and should have been 3-0 up, but we didn’t put our chances away. Again Aston Swallownest scored with every attack, to complete a frustrating day.” 

Paul did enjoy one particular moment from the afternoon. “The highlight of the day for me was Aston Swallownest’s player/manager James Scally’s Ronaldo free kick & celebration,“ Paul admitted. “ I loved it!”  Unfortunately there is no picture of that!!!

So with one League match day left, the title may have been decided, but there’s still a tight battle for second place in the table:

1Bradford City Blue870171621
2Aston Swallownest Blue840444012
3City Knights Blue724154110
4Club Doncaster Titans Red822435-28
5Bradford City Claret813447-36
6Sheffield White705235-25

The final round of the 7-a-side League fixtures is set for 9th May, again at Concord Sheffield.

For the latest news and reports, visit or follow the League on Twitter @scacl.

And finally, a few more shots from the afternoon.

April 11th matchday details

Morning everyone, happy Easter from all at SYACL, all the eggs will need exercising off before our first matchday.

Here are the details:

Please arrive at Concord Sports Centre on the 11th April for the 7-a-side fixtures at the following times:

13.00 –    Bradford City Amber. Bradford City Blue .  Bradford City Claret.
          Aston Swallownest Blue.    Brunsmeer Awareness.  Sheffield White.

14.15 –    Aston Swallownest Red.  City Knights Blue.  D.Dooley Kicks.
              D.Dooley Orange.  Sheffield Red.  Titans Red.

14.45 –    Sheffield Black  &  Wheatley Wanderers.

15.25 –    City Knights Black  &  Titans White.

The league will still not provide bibs for kit colour clashes this season, so please take your own if needed and ensure they are not shared between players at any point during the day. 

Matches requiring bibs :

D.Dooley Orange  v Aston Swallownest Blue

D.Dooley Kicks  v  Sheffield Red

D. Dooley Kicks v  Sheffield Black

Sheffield Black  v Sheffield Red

As previously mentioned to team representatives at the update meeting a few days ago – spectators will still not be permitted into matches for the remainder of this season; and each team is limited to a maximum of 10 players and 2 officials. Any parent/carer travelling will have to wait in their vehicle in the carpark due to Covid regulations.

If you have any queries please contact Mike for clarification or Covid related it’s Colin.

An update: Colin’s Super 7 for Autism fund raising 7k walk, 7k run & 7k cycle has been completed. Anyone wishing to make a donation the fundraising page will close at midnight on Tuesday 6th April 2021.

SYACL looks ahead to competitive restart

Virtual meeting welcomes new Committee members.

With 7-a-side action scheduled to restart on Sunday 11th April, in line with Government guidance, the organising committee of the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League met virtually on the 30th of March to plan the return to competitive action, writes Margaret Gregory for SYACL.

Chairman Mike Stylianou introduced our new secretary, Paul Jubb from Bradford City Disability FC, and a new Treasurer, Tony Pratt, a trusted former colleague of Mike’s from the education sector.

Darren’s widow, Sharon, will continue to be point contact for any safeguarding issues raised at any of our participating clubs.

With the safeguarding of young people and vulnerable adults very much in the public eye, clubs were reminded of the requirement to review their safeguarding procedures in line with current FA guidance, and to document permission to the SYACL website to post images of participants on-line and on social media.

FA Guidance is available at

The SYACL has reviewed its Covid Risk assessments and shared these with Concord and Goals Sheffield.

Although FA guidance permits the return of a limited number of spectators from 12th April, the SYACL Committee had decided to continue with its restrictions on the size of squads for match days for the final round of 7-a-side matches on the 9th May, and the final round of 5-a-side matches on 23rd May. This decision was endorsed unanimously by the participating clubs, and so 7-a-side squads remain limited to 10 players and two coaches, and 5-a-side squads restricted to 8 players and 2 coaches.

The meeting reviewed the SYACL’s existing protocols for match days, including temperature checks on arrival, the wearing of masks and the strict separation of squad bubbles.

Mike was able to update the Committee on consultation with the FA over dispensation for mixed gender adult football.  “I’m pleased to inform you that the FA have this morning agreed to our request to continue mixed gender adult football for next season,” Mike explained. “Due to the difficulties of the last year, they recognise and accept that it would be almost impossible for new female teams to be formed.”

“Female players will continue to play with the male players for season 2021/22, in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League. However, for safeguarding reasons it will only be in the 5-a-side league and will not be permitted for 7-a-side.”

For further details on the 7-a side restart, follow:

or check us out on Twitter @SYACL