The WSFA was formed in 1911, Mr.G.Mercer (Cardiff) being appointed Chairman for the inaugural meeting. Mr.T.A.Rowlands (Merthyr) became the first elected Chairman of the Association in 1912.
Wales' first Under 15 international match was played against England at Walsall in 1907 when the home side won 3-1. Matches against Scotland began in 1914 and against Northern Ireland in 1928.
Following the Second World War, the Victory Shield Competition between the four Home Nations was established in 1947 and annual friendly matches against the Republic of Ireland began in 1951. Since the mid-1970's the WSFA have played friendly matches against many European countries and also entertained Brazil in Cardiff in 1988. The Ballymena International Soccer Festival started in 2000 giving Wales an additional annual opportunity to play against other countries.
Domestic competitions began in 1913 when Barry Schools won the Under 15 Shield and they dominated the early years, winning the title five times in the first seven years. This run of victories was later surpassed by Swansea Schools who won or shared the title 13 times between 1946-1960, a period during which many talented Swansea-born players went on to gain senior caps and have distinguished professional careers.
The WSFA now organises competitions at every age group from under 11 to under 19. The Ivor Tuck Cup for under 19's and the Fred Ball Inter Counties Trophy were named after prominent previous secretaries of the WSFA, the latter being the first schools representative to serve on the F.A.W.
The Tom Yeoman Shield for Under 11's was established in 1955 and the S.B.Williams Mitre Shield for Under 13's in 1967. In recent years a number of other competitions at both inter-school and inter-district/county level have been added.
Aims of the W.S.F.A.
- to encourage the mental, moral and physical development of pupils through the medium of Association Football
- to provide competitions for pupils in both Primary and Secondary schools
- to provide International Football at Under 15, Under 16 and Under 18 ages under the rules of the Schools Association Football International Board
- to work with the F.A.W. and the Welsh Football Trust in the identification and development of players
Working together, the W.S.F.A. and the Welsh Football Trust organise a programme of player identification and establish National Development Squads for 14 and 15 year olds. Squads comprise between 20 and 30 players including Welsh qualified players living outside Wales. The Welsh Football Trust Technical Manager for Player Development is responsible for the programme.
Posted 6th August 2009