It has finally happened! After two years of an incredible amount of toil, sweat and not a few tears, FC Isle of Man have today learnt that the Football Association have granted the club a place in Step 6 of the FA League Constitution of the National League System (NLS) for the 2020/21 season.
FC Isle of Man has been placed in the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) Division One South and will be the first offshore club to be represented in the NWCFL. The allocation of our place is subject to ratification by the FA Council.
This is a truly momentous and historic occasion for the club, as the Isle of Man will finally have an organisation that will represent the Island and its community in the NLS, and could be the first stepping stone to ultimately becoming professional football club.
This entry to NLS will provide a direct pathway for our players to the higher echelons of football in England such as the Football League and Premier League. In addition, there is now potential for the Bowl to be the venue for FA Cup and FA Trophy matches in the future.
FC Isle of Man’s Director of Football, Paul Jones has been at the heart of making FC Isle of Man become a reality and stated:
It is a huge day for the football club. Being placed into a league has been the focus of the last two years of work. We will celebrate this milestone and the efforts required of all involved to date. Thanks also go to the wider Manx community who have already got behind this project.
However, very quickly, our efforts will now pivot towards all the plans we have been making ahead of this decision. Those plans which involve being able to fulfil our On and Off-Island fixtures, as well as realise our aims to provide multiple opportunities for our Island community beyond the field of play.
We look forward to seeing what the future holds. Now we are in a league we, the club’s members and supporters are in control of just how far we go. I am excited to see just what our community is capable of.
FC Isle of Man Chairman, Gary Weightman added:
Just three weeks ago FC Isle of Man became an official football club following its affiliation to the Isle of Man FA, and now we are an actual league football club.
The main aim of FC Isle of Man has always been to play football in a national league. Now that aim, following the culmination of two years hard work, has been achieved.
There is still much hard labour ahead but it is right to enjoy this moment and to thank all those across the Island and around the world who have supported our efforts and who have shown faith in the dream.
Notwithstanding this news, when you consider that we have a high profile sponsor in Manx Telecom supporting us there is an exciting future ahead for the Island’s footballers and the wider community.
We know the island is capable of great things, now is the time for us all to seize the opportunities presented to us.