Football has been played in Orkney for over 100 years, under the direction of the Orkney Amateur Football Association. In recent time we have had over 500 registered senior male players between 15 member clubs. Additionally, each of the men’s clubs has youth and junior development teams. Each club is also responsible for their coaching development.
Orkney Amateur Football Association is affiliated to the Scottish Amateur Football Association which governs how our leagues and cup tournaments are run. Orkney Amateur Football Association runs 4 leagues and 12 cup competitions each year, with 16 local clubs participating. In addition, we participate in 4 representative cup finals each year where the County Team competes against neighbouring rival counties, alternating between hosting and travelling away.
Women’s football in Orkney has been a very recent development having only been established in 2006. The idea of putting a women’s football team together was prompted by an enquiry from the Shetland Women’s Football team looking for a bit of competition close to home. An advert placed in the Orcadian, our local newspaper generated interest from over 100 women, and signalled the beginnings of Orkney Women’s Football Club.
The club is going from strength to strength and has affiliated to the Scottish Women’s Football Association. With games against Shetland women already played the team hosted the annual Carolyn Firth Memorial Cup this summer with teams from across the Scottish Highlands coming up to Orkney for a tough but fun day. The Island Games potentially coming in Orkney in 2023 represents a real opportunity for this embryonic club to increase participation and really develop players to the levels needed to be competitive on an international playing field.
Orkney has 17 grass football pitches, the majority of which are owned by the Orkney Island Council. These pitches are located at: Kirkwall Grammar School x3, Pickaquoy Centre x2, Burray, Dounby x2, Finstown, Harray, Holm, Bignold Park x2, Rendall, St Margaret’s Hope, St Andrews, Stromness. All these pitches meet the minimum requirements laid down by the Scottish FA.