Following the announcement of the return of the University All-Star game in December, thanks to the efforts of Football America UK, the team responsible have listened to community feedback and liaised with BUCS and BAFA to make a number of changes to the proposed format.
Following discussions with BUCS and BAFA, all parties have agreed to change the proposed dates of the 2018-19 University All-star game as well as the entry requirements regarding eligibility.
The Key changes are that the close proximity of the BUCS and BAFA seasons will now see the All-Star game shift from its proposed date of 20 April to instead take place following the conclusion of the BAFA NL seasons and ahead of the BUCS seasons, in September.
Further, in line with community feedback and to ensure no confusion with the possible return of the GB Students programme, eligibility requirements have been broadened to include all students registered with a BUCS team during the 2018/19 season.
Full details of FAUK’s announcement are available below and on their blog:
After initial discussions in September 2018 with BUCS Competitions staff, information had not been passed further to BUCS management respectively making the press release news to both BAFA and BUCS. As a result, BUCS and BAFA raised concerns about the date of the game, leading to Football America UK speaking with BAFA Operations Director Steve Rains and BUCS SAG chair Jonathan Rooney.
With concerns about the availability of referees for any dates surrounding the National League season due to a shortage of officials, it has been determined that the earliest date possible for a game to take place would be after the culmination of the BAFANL season in August. This change will reduce the strain on players who are involved in the BAFANL season who want to take part in the event.
Also, after listening to community feedback about the eligibility of players, the trials will be opened up to any student registered with a BUCS team in the 2018-19 season regardless of their nationality. Graduating players are encouraged to still apply and trial as they will be covered by BAFA insurance as this will be a sanctioned activity
An agreement to sanction the game in its new format and on new dates has been offered and FAUK will look to release dates for the Trials, Practice and Game in the next few weeks, meaning that the game is likely to exist as a pre-season showcase of talent from the University League before the start of the 2019/20 University season
Steve Rains BAFA Operations Director said
“Following some concerns from both BAFA and BUCS around the original announcement of this game, we held a very productive and positive meeting between BAFA/BUCS and FAUK.
The outcome was an agreement to move the game for 2019 out of both the BUCS and BAFANL regular-season windows – this ensures both the quality of the game, the potential availability of referees and safeguards any adverse effects on our competitions. We also agreed that the format of the game would be changed to make it a genuine All-Star format, with no nationality restrictions to avoid any confusion with a potential return of the GB Students National Team which BUCS are considering.
We are very grateful to Dave Hagger and Joe Walker from FAUK for listening to our concerns and for agreeing to these changes, which address them. On this basis BAFA will sanction the game for 2019 following confirmation of the arrangements. We’re looking forward to an exciting match.”
BUCS SAG Chair Jonathan Rooney added
“I’m extremely pleased to see this game return, there is a huge appetite for it in the community. We hit a few scheduling snags and on further discussion with BAFA, BUCS and FAUK we have decided to alter the details and delay the game. We have made this decision to ensure that this game is a highlight that shows everything the league has to offer.“
Football America will continue to work together with BAFA and BUCS in an effort to provide the best football events possible for the UK Football community. Coaches applications are still open below, with player applications going live over the next few weeks.