On Saturday, London Falcons FC break new ground by playing in the Wimbledon and District Football League for the first time.
After twelve years competing in the London Unity League and GFSN, the club takes its next step in promoting diversity in football by moving to an FA-affiliated Saturday league.
Pete Ransom, the club manager, explains his thinking on the move:
"Since I took over as manager two years ago I've had an ambition to move us to Saturday football. We've had a wonderful time playing in the LUL but I've always felt that we can only achieve our goal of improving inclusion in sport by facing teams primarily consisting of straight players. I think a lot of people have some preconceptions of what a team featuring a number of gay players might be like and we'd like to correct that.
"In addition, the history of our club has been that, without a way to step up a level, we've not been able to offer a fresh challenge after winning a league title. This move puts us in an established league with four divisions and a history in excess of 100 years.
"We've had a difficult summer with several of our best and most reliable players moving out of London or deciding to call time on their involvement in weekend football. However, we've been working hard to attract new members. In our final pre-season friendly we actually had nine players who had never participated in a league game for us before. It's going to take a bit of time to gel but I'm looking forward to that challenge.
"We certainly don't want to end our relationship with the LUL or GFSN as they've offered us so much support and enjoyment over the years. On September 29th we travel to Newcastle in the GFSN Cup and we also hope to participate in the LUL Cup later in the year."
Falcons play their first game in the Wimbledon and District Football League at their new home of Tooting Bec Common at 2pm on Saturday against Imperial College Old Boys 2nd Team.