Cornwall residents can finally anticipate some action in international football, after the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA), confirmed the approval of its membership status.
CONIFA works to represent regions with a strong cultural identity, like Cornwall without nation status, making them ineligible for FIFA Membership.
Becoming a part of the organization, Cornwall joins places like Northern Cyprus, Tibet, and a fellow new member, Yorkshire, who were announced just last month. Regardless of Cornwall not being the most obvious place for football to thrive, a number of Cornish players have made it to the big time.
Here are five Cornishmen who would have or may still possibly make significant additions to a Cornish Team:
- Nigel Martyn: Born in St. Austell and fondly called “Big Nige,” some may argue that he is Cornwall’s most famous footballer, and a huge contender for being one of its most recognisable football players. The goalkeeper has enjoyed successful seasons at top clubs like Leeds, Everton, and Crystal Palace.
- Chris Morris: Being the only Cornish player to ever play at a World Cup, the Newquay striker appeared at Italia ‘90 for the Republic of Ireland. He has also played in other international tournaments, for Celtic, playing in Euro ‘88 in a famous 1-0 victory over England. Retiring to make Cornish pasties in his father’s business, he currently helps the FA tutor Cornish coaches.
- Matthew Etherington: Born in Truro, Matthew is another familiar Cornwall player, mostly due to the winger’s time in the big league, playing for Tottenham, West Ham, and Stoke
- Mike Trebilcock: Born in Gunnislake, a major highlight in his career would be scoring twice in Everton’s 1966 FA Cup Final win, making him the first black player to score in an FA Cup, a monumental achievement for the player and for Cornwall.
- Jack Stephens: Born in Torpoint, Cornish hopes for a Premier League representation belongs in his hands, as a young defender playing for Southampton. At 24, he has appeared eight times for the England U21s team. He has also made 22 Premier League appearances in the last season.