About Us

History of Ifield FC

Ifield FC were formed as Sun Wanderers in 1949 and played in the Redhill League. They first placed their Reserves in the recently formed Crawley & District Football League (CDFL) in 1957 and transferred the First XI in 1966. During the 1970’s it became obvious that in order for Ifield FC to progress they would need to improve their facilities and have access to their own clubhouse. A search began for a suitable location and the old Crawley Tennis Club was purchased with a view to erecting it on either Ifield Green or Rusper Road playing fields. At the same time Ifield CC were looking to improve the Cricket Club Pavilion on Ifield Green and discussions took place between the Cricket and Football clubs with a view to sharing facilities and resources. During 1983 Ifield Sports Club was formed as an umbrella organisation for the two clubs and work started on rebuilding the clubhouse. In 1984 Ifield FC took the bold step of applying for and being accepted into the SCFL although membership of the CDFL was still maintained. At one point in their history they ran 5 senior sides and had over 100 players signed on. Since 1971 records of players appearances have been maintained and it is estimated that during this period over 1500 players have signed on and played for the club providing sporting facilities and opportunities for many youngsters in Ifield and Crawley. Many players have remained loyal to the club with over 10 players having played over 300 games and 2 over 500 games.

History of Edwards Sports FC

The club was formed in 1954 following the migration of Edward High Vacuum Ltd to Crawley New Town and the development of the Sports and Social Club ground and facilities at London Road. Their Reserves joined the CDFL in 1957 and their First XI in 1960. In 1991, Edwards Sports and Social Club moved to their present location at Ifield Green following their relocation from London Road. Edwards Sports FC gained promotion to the SCFL in 1993 but was relegated after two seasons. The football team continued to play in the CDFL until their merger with Ifield FC at the end of the 2002/03 season with their very successful under 18 youth team forming one of the teams in the newly merged club.

Merger between Ifield FC and Edwards Sports FC

Ifield FC finished in the top two promotion places in SCFL Division 3 on three separate occasions following their election into the League but were unable to gain promotion because of the restrictions imposed on their ground. This caused immense problems within the structure of the club, as players would leave to play in a higher standard of football, which the club were unable to provide. This had the effect of the club being successful one season and then struggling the next and having to rebuild the team.

They had the continual problem of playing on a council pitch on a public playing field that was also common land and precluded the enclosure of the venue. Further complications included the location being within a conservation area and the existence of a public Right of Way that ran across the pitch preventing the ground being temporarily enclosed on match days. This caused extreme limitations to possible development due to legislative restrictions relating to village greens, public playing fields and conservation areas.

At the end of the 2001/2002 season Ifield FC had to make a choice, whether to stay as they were and risk the prospect of being demoted into local football due to their ground limitations or to consider moving or merging with another club which would enable them to progress into Senior football. They chose the latter course and during the 2002/2003 season negotiations began on a merger with their neighbours Edwards Sports FC.

Edwards Sports FC gained promotion to the SCFL in 1993 but were relegated after two seasons. Although their facilities were of a standard to allow them to play in Division 3 of the SCFL they struggled to attract players of the required standard.

The merger of the two clubs was therefore considered to be a sensible and pragmatic way forward, which would be beneficial to both clubs, and allow the new club to progress as they wished. It was agreed to merge the two clubs at the start of the 2003/04 season.

PRESENT

Ifield Edwards are a progressive football club. They currently run 3 adult senior sides playing in the SCFL and CDFL.It is the intention of the club’s committee that the club will progress further and become a top performer in the Sussex County Football League. This will involve even further ground development work and eventually the erection of floodlights. This is a formidable task but one that is within the club’s grasp. Plans are currently underway to relocate the pitch towards the clubhouse, provide a hardstanding on 3 sides, new dugouts and new pitch drainage to enable the club to gain promotion into Division 2 should they finish in the top 2 this season.