SCFL - About our League

About the Southern Combination Football League


The Southern Combination Football League was originally established as the Sussex County Football League in 1920 when the league started with just 12 teams and 1 division. In the first season Worthing were champions with Vernon Athletic (2nd) and Eastbourne (3rd).  In that year there were also some familiar names; Chichester, East Grinstead, Lewes, Newhaven, Shoreham and Southwick.


In the 1952/53 season the SCFL created a 2nd Division which was won by Wigmore Athletic (now Worthing United), and then in the 1972/73 season a Reserve section was started with one division, which was won by Southwick.  By 1977/78 the league had increased this to two divisions (East & West), as the clubs felt that there was a demand for a second division. The subsequent champions for the West were Southwick and in the East Burgess Hill, who became overall champions.


1981/82 saw the first champions of the SCFL Youth Division, Crowborough and in the following season a further division was created making East and West divisions. In 1995/96 a further Youth division was added (Northern) division was added.


In 1983/84 the SCFL took the step to create a third division with Intermediate status. This was done on order to help district league sides make the jump from district football and to give them the opportunity to progress through the FA pyramid system. In its first season a former winner of the West Sussex League won it at their first attempt - their name being East Preston, which is now a familiar name in senior football in the SCFL. 


This third division was the brainchild of the then Chairman Peter Bentley, who had a vision, (which has been proved right over time); that this division would provide a stepping stone for clubs wishing to progress. There are many familiar names that benefited from the original Division 3; eg. Oakwood, Saltdean, Hassocks, Seaford, Broadbridge Heath, St Francis and Langney Sports (who are now Eastbourne Borough and play at a higher level).


In 1985/86 the league started a third Reserve Section Division through demand which led to the creation of a Premier Division supported by both East and West Divisions.


In 2015/16 following several years where the reserve divisions had suffered from dwindling support the Southern Combination Football League introduced U21 Football for the first time.  The league now runs a Premier Division, Division 1 and Division 2; a single Reserve Division, two U21 Divisions and three U18 (Youth) Divisions.