The Exeter Friendly Competition was formed in 1995 when half a dozen local clubs conceived the idea of playing friendly matches at Under 11 level on a structured basis. During the first few seasons the Competition was sponsored by Exsports, and was known as the Exsports Friendly League.
In the second season two further teams joined the league, as its reputation for participation and enjoyment continued.
In September 1998 the Competition grew again as two further clubs entered. An Under 13’s competition was also established as teams became too old for under 11’s, but still wanted to play friendly matches.
The biggest change to the Competition came in September 1999 when Mini Soccer was introduced by The Football Association for players under the age of ten. The competition became affiliated to the Football Association for the first time, and eleven clubs entered 18 teams during the first season. By 2001 Under 8’s, 9’s and 11’s sections had been introduced and Mini Soccer has continued to thrive.
The reputation of the Competition grew to the point of seeing 101 Clubs compete in the 2003/04 season whilst a decision was also taken to move the under 12’s section into a competitive league for the first time. 2003/04 also saw the League enter the Devon County Inter-league Competition at under 12 Level where a representative team played against teams from Plymouth, East Devon and North Devon.
At the end of the 2002/03 season a three year long Sponsorship agreement with Life Pensions Investments ended and this saw Exeter Company Hendy Honda assume the role of League Sponsors, this partnership ran its distance before Sponsors, Sainsbury’s of Alphington, took over at the start of the 2005/06 campaign.
Since then the league has grown and is fast developing with an new era of involvement from Current sponsors Function28, co-owned by Russ Murch who is a fanatical supporter of youth football and has involvements with several clubs in Devon and is very keen to push the league as far forward as it can possibly go.
League Secretary Steve Birley welcomed the involvement of Red Post when he said in August 2008: “This is a fabulous combination for the League, a new name and new good people behind the sponsoring. I know the Red Post set up very well and am sure that the League will not for one moment regret an association with such a progressve and forward thinking company that certainly embraces all the very best of football thinking.”