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The UK League With Only Two Teams

Did you know that there is a football league within the United Kingdom that consists of just two teams?

This league, which is affiliated with the Football Association, exists in the Isles of Scilly, group of 145 islands, only five of the are inhabited and it’s off the south west coast of Cornwall.

You have to travel 25 miles out to get to the Isles of Scilly and they only have a total 2,300 people living on them so the pool of players you can pick from for football is already very small. But regardless it hasn’t stopped them starting their own Football League which has been running since the 1920s

Two teams, Garrison Gunners and Woolpack Wanderers both play at Garrison Field, they meet 17 times in the league each season as well as playing an additional 5 games of various cup competitions, so only 22 games per season as much matches.

The teams take it in turns to use the home and away dugout at Garrison Field. In terms of the players, the players move between teams each season because at the start of the season, the two captains are chosen, then for example if you’re on a school playground where you have the two captains and you pick the players from the pool. The players names are drawn on pieces of paper, pulled out of hats which make up their teams.

The league runs from November to March during the winter months when there is a lot less tourists as the island relies on the tourism to function, it’s a big source of their revenue coming in to the population of those on the Isles of Scilly.

The players are older and not the usual 18 to 30 years old as they head to look for better job prospects. It can be difficult to get squads together each season because players come back and forwards, however they still continue to keep going on despite the restrictions.

There used to be five teams across different islands but due to players being few and far between, it has to be cut down. It goes to show the spirit of just wanting to play football for the love of the sport, it doesn’t matter what team you’re on, who you’re up against, whether it’s against same players every week, they’re just playing it because they like football, a great thing to see on such a small island.

Even though no teams play in the Cornwall leagues (mainly due to cost), they do travel over once a year, a combined team from the two teams play against a team from Penzance in the Lyonesse Cup, which interestingly has the smallest trophy in the world at just 6mm tall (check out what it looks like in the video below).

It just shows that this is football totally stripped back of all the money and everything else on top of it, it’s just football for the love of football. It’s quirky, it’s unique, it’s different.

Would you like to be playing in a league like this where you know you’ll be playing against the same players each week, you know exactly what’s going to happen, same ground, atmosphere etc, would you get bored of this? Like mentioned earlier in the article, it’s like being back at primary or secondary school where you pick the your mates and people you know and want for your side, so surely not, right?!

Watch a video by non league fan Luke Thompson, aka NLYT, talking through the Isles of Scilly Football League along with photos including that very very small trophy below…

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