If you haven’t heard of or don’t know about YIFA by now then where have you been? They are the latest International Football team and represent Yorkshire.
YIFA, the Yorkshire Independent Football Association, is a non-affiliated group formed with the purpose of establishing a Yorkshire football team to enter into international competition.
A not-for-profit organisation, YIFA first became an entity on July 16th, 2017 – the result of a discussion between a number of like-minded cultural, historical and sporting groups, all determined to raise the international profile of the Yorkshire region.
YIFA manager and former Huddersfield Town Academy player Ryan Farrell was kind enough to give us an exclusive interview about his involvement with the YIFA:
“It was a friend Nic Wojtowycz who mentioned the idea to me, and after that conversation with him he then put me in contact with the YIFA chairman Phil Hegarty.
“In terms of putting a squad together, it’s been really difficult. A lot of players who’ve wanted to play for us have been unavailable due to their club contracts or other reasons. However the trials were a success with a lot of the current squad being made up of lads from the trial.
“I played academy Football at Huddersfield Town and FC Halifax Town up until the age of 18, I then went on to play in USA for a year. On returning to the UK I started playing semi professionally and began coaching. I’m currently coaching full time at Bradford City.
“I understand that people will be sceptical about the idea as I was at the start. Now I view things differently, I believe this will be a great opportunity for players in non league football to play internationally. It creates another pathway for players to stay in football and gives them a chance to compete in a European Championship or a World Cup.
“It will also increase the profile of the clubs who have players playing Yorkshire and highlight what a great job they’re doing.”