Four years ago, Essex Senior League were the first known Step 5 league to film their fixtures when they commenced a working partnership with WD Sportz – at the time that was distinct and individual… now this is a regular occurrence across the country in non league football. It’s a leap, but the ESL dare to be different, to stand out amongst fourteen Step 5 leagues, you have to advance, use technology and the skills at hand to continue to be innovative.
So we are at it again – with the constraints and restrictions the Coronavirus pandemic has presented us with, preventing the return of spectators until at least 17th May, we have embarked on a way to return football to the spectators with live streamed (thanks to a relaxation of the blocked streaming hours) fixtures. Working with WD Sportz and Ticketpass.org, the ESL have devised a way to bring live non-elite football to the non league supporter.
This pilot will cover ten fixtures in the Len Cordell Memorial Cup across the entire competition with clubs across the National League undertaking this adventure with us to bring a safe return to football for the benefit of all our physical and mental health.
Commencing 10th April, DTFC will host Cockfosters at The Harlow Arena Stadium with a 3pm kick-off behind closed doors to comply with the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown. This fixture will be live streamed with commentary to your preferred device. The league has set these fixtures up with a nominal fee to help the clubs raise some revenue to offset the impact of the pandemic on their community clubs, additionally raising money for the chosen charity in the process, as Ticketpass.org are an ethical organisation who donate 50% of their fee back to our nominated charity.
Essex Senior League is a voluntary organisation, providing senior football across Essex, East London and East Hertfordshire within the FA Pyramid System, clubs compete in the National League System and aspire to be promoted to the Isthmian League, widely known by their previous long-term sponsor’s name, The Ryman League.
The League doesn’t just support their membership in providing an organised platform to showcase their talented players, we’ve evolved to support their emotional and mental wellbeing and have a dedicated Mental Health First Aider on hand to assist when necessary.
During the numerous lockdown periods, the league has endeavoured to keep players, match officials, spectators and volunteers motivation up by setting fitness challenges and by providing mental health tips to improve mental health. Everyone has a both physical and mental health – everyone is unique and on occasions either their physical or mental health declines this can be due to medical, physical or mental issues caused by inactively, stress and strains of daily life and living during a global pandemic. It’s for these reasons that the league felt so strongly they should bring back football if at all possible and the Len Cordell Memorial Trophy and Cup competitions evolved. The ‘Cup’ is competed for by senior teams whilst the ‘Trophy’ is competed for by Reserve sides.
With the Government Roadmap stipulating spectators may return at the earliest on 17th May, it may even be possible that our semi-finals and finals will be able to be attended by spectators – now that would really be a fitting tribute to Len Cordell, who gave over 75 years to football. He would be both pleased and astounded that this competition was enabling a safe return to football and thoroughly enamoured by the avant-garde step forward into an additional revenue stream for our level of the game.
The Finals will be held at Oakside Stadium, home of Redbridge Football Club, with which Len held a long association, on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th May.
The full Group Stage Live Stream schedule is detailed below:-
Saturday 10th April, 3pm
DTFC v Cockfosters FC
Friday 16th April, 7.45pm
West Essex FC v Frenford FC
Saturday 17th April, 3pm
Holland FC v Stansted FC
Saturday 24th April, 3pm
Barking FC v West Essex FC
With Live Streams of the following rounds:-
Knockout Round – 1st May 2021
Quarter Finals – 8th May 2021
Semi Finals – 15th May 2021
Plate Semi Finals – 22nd May 2021
Len Cordell Memorial Cup – Finals – 29th May 2021
Len Cordell Memorial Trophy – Finals – 3oth May 2021
To view a full list of Len Cordell Memorial Competition fixtures please follow these links: