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The Anglian Combination Football League is an English football league that operates in the East Anglia area. The league specifically covers Norfolk and northern Suffolk with rules stating that clubs should be within a 50 miles radius from the centre of Norwich
|Number of teams||104 (2018–19)|
|Level on pyramid||Level 11 (Premier Division)|
|Feeder to||Eastern Counties League|
|Relegation to||Central and South Norfolk League|
Great Yarmouth & District Football League
North East Norfolk League
North West Norfolk League
|Current champions||Sheringham |
|Most championships||Blofield United (6)|
It consists of 104 teams and has seven divisions – the Premier Division, Division One to Four plus the two regionalised divisions, Division Five North and South. Its top division is currently at step 7 (or level 11) of the National League System. An U19 Development Division was proposed to start in the 2014–15 season depending on interest.
Each season, the best of the Anglian Combination's footballers are selected to represent the Anglian Combination in the FA Inter-League Cup, a cup competition for the FA's regional leagues.
CNSOBU (City of Norwich School Old Boys Union) were the first ever champions of the Anglian Combination in 1965, winning the Senior A Division in the league's transitional season. Blofield United are the most successful club in the Anglian Combination's history with 6 top division league titles while Acle United and Wroxham have won the most consecutive titles with both clubs winning the Anglian Combination 4 times in succession.
The league was formed in 1964, as a merger of the East Anglian League and the Norfolk & Suffolk League (established 1897) and had a transitional season in 1964–65 before settling down to a regular format for the 1965–66 season of four divisions for first teams and three for reserves. A further division for first teams was added for 1966–67, and that format remained unchanged until the previously separate reserve divisions incorporated into the main structure for the 2003–04 season. The winners of the Premier Division are also known as the Sterry Cup winners and are eligible for promotion to the Eastern Counties League.
After a league meeting of the Anglian Combination clubs on 9 February 2011, it was decided the Anglian Combination would adopt the FA's Respect programme. This included the practice of all players on the two teams and match officials shaking hands before the game.
On 25 June 2012, a proposed trial for rolling substitutions was rejected by Anglian Combination clubs at a league AGM
To try and solve problems with decreasing youth participation, an U19 Development Division was agreed on at a league AGM on 17 June 2013 with the competition expected to start from the 2014–15 season at the earliest.
From 1992 to 2006, the chartered accountants Lovewell Blake sponsored the league. Dolphin Autos took over sponsorship of the league from 2006 to 2010. Gleave & Associates sponsored the league for one year in 2010–11 season. This was followed by three seasons without sponsorship before the independent financial advisors, Almary Green, agreed to sponsor the league for three year from 2014–15 to 2016-2017 seasons Hadley and Ottaway are the current sponsors from 2017-2018 onwards.
Format and regulationsEdit
No more than 80 clubs and 132 teams (first and reserve teams) are to be permitted to the league system. In theory this means that no more than 52 clubs can have both a first and reserve team competing in the league. No more than one team from a club can play in the same division. The Premier Division and Division One are "senior" divisions while the rest of the divisions are "junior" divisions. There is a limit of 16 teams for each division. Some divisions do get reduced in size either at the start of the season or during the season because of teams withdrawing, due to not enough players or financial problems. Their places for the next season are taken by teams elected from the feeder leagues. Teams play each other twice, home and away, in a double round robin format.
In Division One to Division Three, the top two clubs are promoted while the bottom two are relegated. In Division Four, the top two are promoted and the bottom 4 are relegated. In Division Five the top 2 are promoted from each regional division. In the Premier Division, there is no automatic promotion as clubs need to meet the FA's ground grading guide for admission to the Eastern Senior League in order to do so. Only teams finishing in the top two of the Premier Division are eligible for promotion (the runners-up are eligible if the champions decide not to apply for promotion). The bottom two clubs are relegated to Division One. Clubs need to be elected from the feeder leagues below, in order for relegation to occur from the regional Division Fives, providing that there are no places in other divisions in the league to fill due to withdrawals. 
There are some interesting rules in the Anglian Combination. Unlike professional leagues, no team or goalkeeper is allowed to wear black or very dark shirts. This is because referees kits in this division are all black compared to professional leagues in which referees wear different coloured kits where appropriate. Another rule of interest is that matches can be less than 90 minutes but no less than 70 minutes, although this rule only comes into play if the two team captains and referee agree prior to kick-off and it is common sense for the match to be shorter than 90 minutes. A typical reason that this rule comes into play is for evening kick-offs due to a lack of natural light if the ground of the home team doesn't have floodlights. Similarly half-time intervals can be less than 10–15 minutes with the consent of the referee.
- FA Charter Standard
The Anglian Combination is looking to become a designated FA Charter Standard League. Member clubs have until the end of the 2014–15 season to become an FA Charter Standard club or they face expulsion from the league. New member clubs have one season to achieve Charter Standard status.
Players are allowed to move clubs at any point during the season. However each player is only permitted one move during the season. Once they move, they cannot move again until after the season's end.
- Any team shall not have more than three players who have played in a more senior cup competition in two of the three consecutive games immediately prior to a league game.
- Players must be at least 16 years old to play an Anglian Combination game.
- Premier Division ground grading
Clubs in the Premier Division are subject to the FA's Ground Grading regulations where they are subject to the regulations of Grade H  Clubs that fail to comply to the regulations by a certain deadline could face expulsion to Division 1 at the end of the season. Every Premier Division club in the 2011–12 competition met the deadline of 31 March 2012 except North Walsham Town. They were given a deadline of 25 June 2012 to raise the funds and complete the work needed to meet regulations. Otherwise North Walsham Town would have been demoted to Division 1. However, after finding the funds and getting the necessary upgrades done in time, they stayed in the Premier Division for the 2012–13 season (although they were relegated at the end of the 2012–13 season).
Clubs for 2018–19 seasonEdit
The 2018–19 season started eight teams short. The full complement is 16 teams in each division but Divisions Two, Three and Four started with 15, Divisions Five North started with 14 and Division Five South with 13. Newton Flotman of Division 5 South folded during the season.
Premier Division (Sterry Cup)Edit
Acle United | Beccles Town | Blofield United | Bradenham Wanderers | Caister | Hellesdon | Long Stratton | Mattishall | Norwich CEYMS | Norwich United Reserves | St. Andrews | Scole United | Sheringham | Waveney | Wroxham Reserves | Wymondham Town
Division One (East Anglian Division 1 Cup)Edit
Attleborough Town | Aylsham | Bungay Town | East Harling | Easton | Fakenham Town Reserves | Hindringham | Kirkley & Pakefield Reserves | Mundford | North Walsham Town | Reepham Town | Stalham Town | Thetford Rovers | University of East Anglia | Watton United | Yelverton
Division Two (Allerton Cup)Edit
Brandon Town | Buxton | Caister Reserves | Cromer Town | Freethorpe | Gayton United | Gorleston Reserves | Hingham Athletic | Holt United | Loddon United | Martham | Mattishall Reserves | Poringland Wanderers | Sprowston Athletic | Wells Town
Division Three (East Anglian Division Three Cup)Edit
Acle United Reserves | Aylsham Reserves | Beccles Caxton | Bradenham Wanderers Reserves | Earsham | Great Yarmouth Town Reserves | Heacham | Hempnall | Hemsby | Horsford United | Long Stratton Reserves | Norwich CEYMS Reserves | Redgate Rangers | South Walsham | Swaffham Town Reserves
Division Four (George Hunt Cup)Edit
AC Mill Lane | Attleborough Town Reserves | Beccles Town Reserves | Blofield United Reserves | Bungay Town Reserves | Castle Acre Swifts | Costessey Sports | Downham Town Reserves | Gayton United Reserves | Mulbarton Wanderers Reserves | Mundford Reserves | St. Andrews Reserves | University of East Anglia Reserves | Waveney Reserves | Wymondham Town Reserves
Division Five NorthEdit
AFC Lynn Napier | Dussindale Rovers | Hellesdon Reserves | Hindringham Reserves | Holt United Reserves | Narborough | Necton | North Walsham Town Reserves | Norwich Eagles | Reepham Town Reserves | Sheringham Reserves | Stalham Town Reserves | Thorpe Village | Wells Town Reserves
Division Five SouthEdit
Belton | East Harling Reserves | Easton Reserves | Freethorpe Reserves | Harleston Town Reserves | Martham Reserves | Poringland Wanderers Reserves | Scole United Reserves | South Walsham Reserves | Tacolneston | Thetford Rovers Reserves | Yelverton Reserves
Anglian Combination winnersEdit
For the league's first "transitional" season, the members of the amalgamating leagues were split into three tiers, "Senior", "Junior" and "Reserves". Each of these three tiers was split into two parallel divisions, designated simply "A" and "B".
|Season||Senior A||Senior B||Junior A||Junior B||Reserves A||Reserve B|
|1964–65||C N S O B U||Dereham Town||York Athletic||Southwold Town||Gothic Reserves||Henderson Reserves|
After the initial transitional season, the first teams in the league were split into four divisions, based on their finishing positions in the 1964–65 season. These became the Premier Division, Divisions 1, 2 and 3. A Division 4 was added for the 1966–67 season. Reserve sides were similarly split into three divisions, Reserve Divisions 1, 2 and 3.
|Season||Premier||One||Two||Three||Four||Res One||Res Two||Res Three|
|1965–66||C N S O B U||York Athletic||Horsford United||Poringland||N/A||Watton United Reserves||Thorpe Village Reserves||Norman Old Boys Reserves|
|1966–67||Watton United||Horsford United||North Walsham Town||Eaton Rangers||Hellesdon||Watton United Reserves||Bungay Town Reserves||Shipdham Reserves|
|1967–68||Watton United||Diss Town||Earlham Y C||Hellesdon||Birds Eye (Lowestoft)||Norman Old Boys Reserves||Reepham Town Reserves||Holt United Reserves|
|1968–69||Gorleston||St Andrews||Hellesdon||Birds Eye (Lowestoft)||Thetford Rovers||York Athletic Reserves||Holt United Reserves||Sextons Reserves|
|1969–70||Sheringham||Hellesdon||Birds Eye (Lowestoft)||Overstrand||Earlham Rangers||Watton United Reserves||Thorpe Village Reserves||Fakenham Town Reserves|
|1970–71||C N S O B U||Wymondham Town||Lakenham Y C||Boulton & Paul||Bodham||St Andrews Reserves||Hoveton United Reserves||Shipdham Reserves|
|1971–72||C N S O B U||Fakenham Town||Southrepps||Beccles Town||Stags||Hoveton United Reserves||Fakenham Town Reserves||Hellesdon Reserves|
|1972–73||Hellesdon||Reepham Town||Thetford Rovers||Salhouse||Gorleston Reserves||Henderson Reserves||Wymondham Old Boys Reserves||Norwich Lads Club Reserves|
|1973–74||C N S O B U||Diss Town||Swaffham Town||Carrow||Wells Town||Norwich Union Reserves||Thetford Rovers Reserves||Aylsham Wanderers Reserves|
|1974–75||C N S O B U||Bungay Town||Southwold Town||Newton Flotman||Wortwell||St Andrews Reserves||Fakenham Town Reserves||Newton Flotman Reserves|
|1975–76||St Andrews||Southwold United||Wroxham||Wortwell||Yarmouth Town Reserves||St Andrews Reserves||Newton Flotman Reserves||Sprowston Wanderers Reserves|
|1976–77||Diss Town||Wroxham||Newton Flotman||Gorleston Reserves||Mundham & Seething||St Andrews Reserves||Beccles Town Reserves||Earlham Spinney Reserves|
|1977–78||Lowestoft Town Reserves||Brundall United||Wortwell||Brandon Town||Town Hall||St Andrews Reserves||Sheringham Reserves||Holt United Reserves|
|1978–79||Diss Town||Newton Flotman||Kirkley||Lakeford Rangers||Bradenham Wanderers||Wroxham Reserves||Thetford Rovers Reserves||Wortwell Reserves|
|1979–80||Lowestoft Town Reserves||Kirkley||Lakeford Rangers||Bradenham Wanderers||Acle United||Fakenham Town Reserves||C E Y M S Reserves||Kirkley Reserves|
|1980–81||Hoveton United||Bungay Town||Gorleston Reserves||Harleston Town||South Walsham||Hoveton United Reserves||Kirkley Reserves||Bradenham Wanderers Reserves|
|1981–82||Wroxham||Wymondham Town||Harleston Town||Mundford||Mundham & Seething||Hoveton United Reserves||Bradenham Wanderers Reserves||Attleborough Reserves|
|1982–83||Wroxham||Gorleston Reserves||Bradenham Wanderers||Acle United||Hempnall||Wroxham Reserves||C E Y M S Reserves||Wells Town Reserves|
|1983–84||Wroxham||Blofield United||Swaffham Town||Hempnall||Mulbarton United||Wroxham Reserves||Wells Town Reserves||East Harling Reserves|
|1984–85||Wroxham||Thetford Rovers||Hempnall||Ashlea||North Walsham Town||Wroxham Reserves||Thetford Rovers Reserves||Loddon United Reserves|
|1985–86||Watton United||Wymondham Town||Wortwell||Thurton & Ashby||Mattishall||Watton United Reserves||Blofield United Reserves||Poringland United Reserves|
|1986–87||St Andrews||Ashlea||Aylsham Wanderers||Town Hall||Watton United Reserves||Wroxham Reserves||Aylsham Wanderers Reserves||Loddon United Reserves|
|1987–88||Wroxham||Bungay Town||Town Hall||Watton United||Beccles Caxton||Wroxham Reserves||Carrow Reserves||Hempnall Reserves|
|1988–89||Norwich United||Kirkley||Stalham Town||Poringland Wanderers||Wroxham Reserves||St Andrews Reserves||Overstrand Reserves||Ashlea Reserves|
|1989–90||Newton Flotman||Dereham Hobbies||Mulbarton United||Attleborough Town||Norwich United Reserves||Blofield United Reserves||Lakeford Rangers Reserves||Stalham Town Reserves|
|1990–91||Blofield United||Wymondham Town||Mattishall||Scole United||Corton||Newton Flotman Reserves||Stalham Town Reserves||Mulbarton United Reserves|
|1991–92||Overstrand||Horsford United||Diss Town Reserves||Town Hall Scripts||South Walsham||Wymondham Town Reserves||Mulbarton United Reserves||Reepham Town Reserves|
|1992–93||Mulbarton United||Wroxham Reserves||Thorpe Village||South Walsham||Anglian Windows||Carrow Reserves||Loddon United Reserves||Caister United Reserves|
|1993–94||Blofield United||Lowestoft Town Reserves||Poringland Wanderers||Anglian Windows||Halvergate United||Blofield United Reserves||Thorpe Village Reserves||C E Y M S Reserves|
|1994–95||Wroxham Reserves||Thorpe Village||North Walsham Town||Acle United||Hingham Athletic||St Andrews Reserves||Poringland Wanderers Reserves||Wortwell Reserves|
|1995–96||Horsford United||Loddon United||Attleborough Town||Scole United||Thetford Town Reserves||Blofield United||Beccles Town Reserves||Anglian Windows Reserves|
|1996–97||Mulbarton United||Acle United||Scole United||Swaffham Town Reserves||Downham Town Reserves||Acle United Reserves||Brandon Town Reserves||Aylsham Wanderers Reserves|
|1997–98||Dereham Town||Scole United||Wells Town||East Harling||Great Ryburgh||Acle United Reserves||Oulton Broad / L R Reserves||Thetford Rovers Reserves|
|1998–99||Attleborough Town||Lakeford Rangers||Sprowston Athletic||Watton United Reserves||Dereham Town Reserves||Acle United Reserves||Caister United Reserves||Saham Toney Reserves|
|1999–2000||Kirkley||Sprowston Athletic||Norwich Union||Dereham Town Reserves||Hindringham||Acle United Reserves||Scole United Reserves||Wells Town Reserves|
|2000–01||Blofield United||Gorleston Reserves||Halvergate United||Holt United||Gayton United||Blofield United Reserves||Wells Town Reserves||Watton United Reserves|
|2001–02||Kirkley||Beccles Town||Hindringham||Gayton United||Fosters Athletic||Wells Town Reserves||Halvergate United Reserves||Fosters Athletic Reserves|
|2002–03||Kirkley||Halvergate United||Horsford United||Sheringham||Southwold Town||Kirkley Reserves||Norwich Union Reserves||Costessey Sports Reserves|
In 2003 the league was re-organised, reducing the number of divisions from eight to seven. The reserve divisions were included within the main structure of the league, allowing the reserve teams the possibility of promotion to the divisions containing other clubs' first teams.
|2003–04||Cromer Town||Watton United||Sheringham||Southwold Town||Sprowston Athletic Reserves||Norwich Union Reserves||Hindringham Reserves|
|2004–05||Blofield United||Sheringham||Southwold Town||Norwich St Johns||Kirkley Reserves||Cromer Town Reserves||Sprowston Wanderers Reserves|
|2005–06||Cromer Town||Dersingham Rovers||Mundford||Kirkley Reserves||Beccles Caxton||Thetford Rovers||Foulsham|
|2006–07||Blofield United||Hempnall||Kirkley Reserves||West Lynn SSC||Caister United Reserves||East Harling||Freethorpe|
|2007–08||Wroxham Reserves||Loddon United||Corton||Norwich CEYMS||Bradenham Wanderers||North Walsham Town Reserves||Gorleston Reserves|
|2008–09||Sheringham||St. Andrews||Norwich St. Johns||Mundford||North Walsham Town Reserves||Sheringham Reserves||Dersingham Rovers Reserves|
|2009–10||Blofield United||Kirkley & Pakefield Reserves||West Lynn SSC||Hempnall Reserves||Blofield United Reserves||Hemsby||Thetford Athletic|
|2010–11||Cromer Town||Wells Town||Norwich CEYMS||Harleston Town||University of East Anglia||Mulbarton Wanderers||Bradenham Wanderers Reserves|
|2011–12||Cromer Town||Dersingham Rovers||Harleston Town||Martham||Mulbarton Wanderers||Saham Toney||Yelverton|
|2012–13||Acle United||Norwich CEYMS||Foulsham||University of East Anglia||Waveney||Buxton||Redgate Rangers|
|2013–14||Acle United||Long Stratton||Scole United||Waveney||Fakenham Town Reserves||Redgate Rangers||Mulbarton Wanderers Reserves|
|2014–15||Acle United||Mulbarton Wanderers||Waveney||Blofield United Reserves||Redgate Rangers||Earsham||Scole United Reserves|
To try and tackle the issue of travel costs for players and clubs at lower levels of the league, the Anglian Combination's bottom two divisions were regionalised into Division 5 North and South for the 2015–16 season. This meant that Division 6 ceased to exist. Travel costs are one of a number of reasons why teams fold in the lower divisions of the league and it is hoped that the new system will help slow and maybe even reverse the negative trend. Generally the A47 road from King's Lynn to Great Yarmouth is the cut off point for determining whether clubs in Division 5 are placed in the North or South division
|Season||Premier||One||Two||Three||Four||Five (North)||Five (South)|
|2015–16||Acle United||Waveney||Mundford||Watton United||Sheringham Reserves||Bradenham Wanderers Reserves||Gorleston Reserves|
|2016–17||Spixworth||Bradenham Wanderers||University of East Anglia||Gayton United||Gorleston Reserves||Aylsham Reserves||Great Yarmouth Town Reserves|
|2017–18||Harleston Town||Wymondham Town||Easton||Gorleston Reserves||Bradenham Wanderers Reserves||University of East Anglia Reserves||Beccles Town Reserves|
|2018–19||Sheringham||University of East Anglia||Gorleston Reserves||Heacham||Castle Acre Swifts||Dussindale Rovers||Belton|
Premier Division league titles by clubEdit
|Blofield United||6||1990–91, 1993–94, 2000–01, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2009–10|
|Wroxham||5||1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1987–88|
|C.N.S.O.B.U||5||1965–66, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1974–75|
|Acle United||4||2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16|
|Cromer Town||4||2003–04, 2005–06, 2010–11, 2011–12|
|Sheringham||3||1969–70, 2008–09, 2018–19|
|Kirkley||3||1999–00, 2001–02, 2002–03|
|Watton United||3||1966–67, 1967–68, 1985–86|
|Wroxham Reserves||2||1994–95, 2007–08|
|Mulbarton United||2||1992–93, 1996–97|
|St. Andrews||2||1975–76, 1986–87|
|Lowestoft Town Reserves||2||1977–78, 1979–80|
|Diss Town||2||1976–77, 1978–79|
In addition to the league, clubs take part in the following cup competitions:
- Don Frost Memorial Cup
Single match between the winners of the Senior League (Mummery) Cup and the winners of the Premier Division from the previous season.
- Senior League Cup
Cup competition for all clubs in the Premier Division and Division 1. The two teams drawn together for each tie play one match with extra-time then penalties separating the sides.
- Junior League Cup
Cup competition for any side competing in Divisions 2,3,4,5 and 6 plus the reserve sides of Eastern Counties League clubs competing in the Norfolk or Suffolk county cups. The two teams drawn together for each tie play one match with extra-time then penalties separating the sides.
- Reserve League Cup
Cup competition for any of the reserve sides in Divisions 2,3,4,5 and 6.
Norfolk's premier cup competition with all teams from Norfolk that play in the Premier Division, Division 1 and any Norfolk sides that compete in the Eastern Counties League.
- Norfolk Junior County Cup
Main cup competition for junior sides from Norfolk that compete in Divisions 2,3,4,5 and 6 of the league as well as sides from the lower leagues.
- Suffolk Senior County Cup
Open to teams from Suffolk that play in the Premier Division and Division 1 as well as Suffolk teams playing in the Eastern Counties League.
- Suffolk Junior County Cup
Cup competition for teams from Suffolk in Divisions 2,3,4,5 and 6 as well as reserve sides of clubs that are in the Eastern Counties League that are competing in the Suffolk Senior Cup.
- http://resources.thefa.com/images/ftimages/data/league4780817/48979.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Sheringham clinch Anglian Combination Premier Division title after beating Blofield 4-0". Eastern Daily Press. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
- "Respect Anglian Combination". Full-time.thefa.com. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "League AGM Anglian Combination". Full-time.thefa.com. 25 June 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "No League Sponsor for 2011–2012 Anglian Combination". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Almary Green is New League Sponsor". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 20 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- http://resources.thefa.com/images/ftimages/data/league4780817/48979.pdf[permanent dead link]
- OM. "North Walsham's race against time to stay in Anglian Combination – Sport – Norwich Evening News". Eveningnews24.co.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2012.