Young Player Development Review

The FA has today released details of its extensive Young Player Development Review, including proposals on how to improve the game at grassroots level and coaching.

The 25 recommendations to help improve the game at every level.

  1. Agreed mandatory pathway for grassroots youth football playing formats
  2. Promotion of The Future Game as a best practice guide to player development
  3. Public communications campaign to target teachers, parents and volunteers about the importance of player development
  4. The FA to continue work with the other football authorities on whole game youth development issues, and to consider how youth development could be given greater prominence in the game’s governance
  5. Expansion of The FA Tesco Skills Programme nationwide
  6. Work with policy makers to ensure the protection of football provision in primary education sector
  7. Work with the professional game to understand the impact of the ‘relative age effect’ and what solutions might be developed
  8. Identify opportunities for grassroots clubs to provide talent identification and development support to the professional clubs
  9. Update The FA coaching strategy and promote The FA’s coaching philosophy across the whole game, including the development on an online resource
  10. Ensure that age-appropriate qualifications are included in rules and regulations for the appointment of coaches
  11. Establish a Coaches Academy network to bring together outstanding coaches of different levels and experiences on a regular basis for coach education opportunities
  12. The FA to launch the Licensed Club for Coaches to kite-mark qualified and up-to-date coaches in the grassroots and professional coaching workforce
  13. Work with the professional game and grassroots to ensure The FA supply of coach education staff is in tune with the demand across all levels of the game (seniors)
  14. Work with the professional game and grassroots to ensure The FA supply of coach education staff is in tune with the demand across all levels of the game (youth)
  15. The FA should undertake to report on an annual basis the latest available research on coaching techniques as well as an assessment of performance in terms of coach education, retention and development
  16. Develop further opportunities to ensure that England international development team coaches work closely with clubs on the identification, development and transition of young England players into the U16 England development set-up
  17. Expand and coordinate club visit programmes for the international to ensure that the international programme for individuals players is appropriate and consistent with their club-based development programmes
  18. Encourage England teams at all developmental age groups to play with a consistent playing philosophy to ensure transition amongst teams is consistent
  19. Overlay the transition of coaching staff individuals across age groups to provide continuity to young players progressing through the international teams
  20. Require future England senior team coaches to have significant input into exposure to the national development team structure
  21. Work with the professional game to consider ways to support the U17 – Under-21 age groups of developing young English players to ensure they maximise their opportunities for playing elite level football and their chances to experience the Club England environment
  22. Agreement between The FA and the professional game on the mandatory release of players for international duty
  23. Agreement to work with the professional game to collect and collate match performance, fitness and medical testing data to consider the impact of the English football calendar on pre-tournament fitness levels
  24. Undertake research to better understand the ‘player experience’ of international tournaments to inform future decisions on preparation and environment
  25. Formally engage with the leading professional clubs to share their experience on establishing the optimal preparation and environments to encourage player performance.

This all makes for very interesting reading and wondering how long it will take for The FA to enforce a lot of it as it all seems to take time to set up. It seems as though a big focus is to link the professional game with grassroots which is great in theory but surely that has been tried many times before?

I do like that ‘The Future Game’ is mentioned as that really is a fantastic resource for coaching, so great session tips and hints in how to develop a player at different ages and where ideally they should be in the scale of football. I am looking forward to completing the Youth Module’s this year as missed the dates last year.

Sexism in Football

Massive headlines have been made since the weekend, when Andy Gray and Richard Keys were caught off air, yet their microphones still on and had been recorded talking about Sian Massey a female who has reached the top in officiating in the game of football. Before she took to the field as a referee’s assistant in the Wolves v Liverpool game, Gray and Keys were caught mocking the female referee and that someone should go and explain the offside rule. Ironically, Massey got a massive decision correct which left everyone else needing the TV replay’s in order to see it! This was the second premier league game in which Massey has ran the line. A fantastic achievement at the age 25, and such a role model to women in the game. It can be done and you can reach the top!

But what also comes with being a woman in football is the sexism from men who think the game is theres. That they know the game much better than any woman, which is so far from the truth now. Women exist in football in all types of roles. From players to coaches, officials to being on the board in clubs. This leads onto the other woman insulted by Gray and Keys, Karren Brady. Who has been a major force in football for many years now starting out as the managing director at Birmingham City FC and more recently moving to West Ham and becoming vice-chairman. Showing that women can be influential in top football clubs in England.

Andy Gray was sacked from Sky Sports yesterday after another video appeared. Richard Keys appears to be hanging onto his job at the moment, although another video featuring him appeared last night. Whilst I think they should have been judged on the comments aimed at Massey and Brady the other day, bringing up older videos/comments is turning it into a bit of a witch hunt. Someone really is screwing them well and truly over.

In some ways this might really help women in football due to highlighting the fact that sexism is still rife within the game. I took the comments personally, maybe too personally but I have had to deal with sexist comments throughout my entire life, just because I have always played and loved football. It was something you just had to learn to live with, but still hurt at times. Obviously everyone knows it is still a very male dominated environment you just have to go on a coaching course to see that, especially when you get further up the ladder. On my level 3/UEFA B course only one other female coach was on it with myself. You feel as though you have to work twice as hard to prove yourself, as some men are still not convinced that women know the game as well as they do.

Are some men threatened by the presence of women in the game? Especially when they can do the job just as well as men. That is a massive possibility! But another massive plus has been the amount of men in the game who have backed women playing a role in it all over the past few days.

Now lets hope this saga runs its course and women can just get on with being in the game!

North East Coach

On the Tyne & Wear Sport website, I have just come across a link to sign up as a coach. You put all of your information into your profile and organisations/employers can then contact you and/or you are made aware of coaching opportunities.

I wish I had come across this sooner!

I am now all signed up, let’s just hope that I can get some sessions out of it all.

North East Coach – Tyne & Wear

An Introduction

I graduated from the University of Sunderland in 2008 with a degree BSc(hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences. I have always played football from a young age, been a Newcastle United season ticket holder for 6 seasons now, sometimes attend Sunderland games and South Shields FC in the Northern League.

I began my coaching journey at the end of 2005 when I started my Level 1 football coaching course, finishing it early in 2006. I then started coaching an under 9 boys team.

In the summer of 2007 I went out to Greece for 10 weeks as a football coach at a holiday resort.

In 2007/2008 I also done some coaching for girls teams of all different ages, as the club I was with at the time had a very good set up for girls teams.

In 2008 after graduating I started the Level 2 football coaching course, moving to a different level in coaching. Learning different ways to put everything across to players.

In March 2009 I headed out to New Jersey in the USA working for The Sports Factory/TSF Academy. I was out there for 5 and a half months before returning to England. I was working with girls teams of all ages.

Upon returning to England I passed me Level 2 assessment and began Level 3/UEFA B course in 2010. I am currently completing all the pack work in a build up to getting my final assessment.

This blog will focus on the world of football coaching.