Grassroots News

FA Breaking News !!!!! Subsidised Defibrillators for Football Clubs

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and The Football Association (The FA) are calling on grassroots and amateur football clubs in England to help save more lives from cardiac arrests by installing lifesaving defibrillators.

Less than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.

You can help beat those odds by applying for a defibrillator.

The Football Association (FA) and The British Heart Foundation (BHF) have worked in partnership to award a grant for two-thirds of the cost of a defibrillator. This means your club will only pay £318 (+VAT)

We have already placed 640 defibrillators in football clubs across the UK and we now have 900 more available for clubs in the National League System, Women’s Pyramid of Football Clubs and Charter Standard Clubs. So, this is a great opportunity to get one for your club.

Once your application is approved you will be given instructions on how to pay your £318 + VAT. You will receive your defibrillator once we have received the money from your club.


Further information

The BHF and The FA have already helped part-fund and place around 600 defibrillators at grassroots clubs across the country and are now inviting applications from clubs operating within the National League System, Women’s Pyramid of Football or Charter Standard Programme for a further 900 available.

Lisa Hodgson, FA Medical Education Lead, said: “The FA continues to recognise the importance of providing timely and appropriate emergency first aid following casualties at footballing activities.

“Alongside our partners at the British Heart Foundation and WEL Medical, we are supplementing our CPR training by providing an excellent opportunity to receive equipment that could mean all the difference in a potentially life-threatening situation. I would implore football clubs across the country to apply.”

Research shows that over 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise (1) and those with an inherited heart condition can be up to three times as likely to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest if they participate in intensive or strenuous exercise (2).

At least three fatalities occurred during football matches or training this year in England due to cardiac arrest, including former England international Ugo Ehiogu who died whilst working as coach at Tottenham Hotspur FC. A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and to their brain. It causes the person to fall unconscious and stop breathing, or stop breathing normally.

For every minute without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 per cent (3). A defibrillator is an automatic device that can be used by the public to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest. By performing CPR and using a defibrillator until an ambulance arrives, you can help double the victim’s chance of survival.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Sadly there are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK with a faulty gene which puts them at risk of sudden death from a cardiac arrest.

“When someone collapses on the football pitch and their heart stops, the next few seconds are absolutely critical. Every minute without CPR and defibrillation can reduce their chance of survival by ten per cent.

“Defibrillators can be the difference between life and death, which is why we’re urging football clubs across England to apply for this vital equipment and have it nearby in case of an emergency.”

There are around 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in England every year. However, fewer than one in ten people survive (4).

You can apply for a defibrillator by visiting:

You could have done this! You could have done that!

As I take my place in the hot seat, I can see their eyes in the mirror, beaming at me, waiting to begin, I want to crawl away and shiver.

And it begins …….

You could have done this! You could have done that, You could have passed it here, You could have shouted, you could have dropped back, You hit it but was nowhere near?

What do you think you could have done better? How do you think you can improve? What can you take from the game today? Why weren’t you always on the move?

I dread this at the end of the match, I feel like I’m on the stand, and those that sit in the front of the car, are judge and jury of all the land.

I’m learning each time and will make mistakes, What I take from today’s game, is playing with my mates, I had reasons for not shouting, I had reasons for not dropping in, But you weren’t on the pitch today so you can’t possibly begin to understand all of my reasons for everything I do.

I play my game through me, it never is through you! So please do not interogate me, you’re really destroying my game, Let my journey home be filled with praise, What your doing is starting to drain…

My enthusiasm and my enjoyment, questioning all that I do, always try to remember I play my game for ME not you !!


Diary of a Grassroots Coach – Does league position take priority over player development?

How important are leagues to parents, and does league position take priority over player development?

Last season was tough for my sons U9’s team. There had been a number of players who had been scouted by local academies, which meant we had to rebuild our team.

The boy’s took time to gel and they soon realised that winning games, was going to be more challenging. They begun to understand that losing was also part of the game, tough as it was, for young children. Especially having spent the previous season, winning everything possible.

Our season wasn’t as successful as we would have liked if we base it solely on winning games, but the players and families got to know each other and have built a strong relationship ready for the new U10’s campaign!

The slight problem we now face, is that our team may have been placed in so called  ‘lower’ league.

There could be a variety of reasons for this…

1) A lack of points compared to other teams in the league, resulting in relegation.

2) A new league structure due to additional teams joining the same age category, requiring leagues to be evenly numbered.

3) Restructured leagues with a view to making games more competitive, rather than teams getting thrashed.

The list goes on and on.

Some parents may not agree with the team being placed in a different league, and see it as relegation.

There may be parents who choose to take their child out of the team, because they can’t come to terms with not being in the ‘higher’ league. I honestly don’t mind which league we are in, as long as the children
develop and have fun.

I would love to hear other people’s views on this scenario.

RIP – Shropshire Coach dies of suspected heart attack at football session

It is with great sadness that teacher and Allscot U14 manager Craig Colley, who was head of the English department at Lakelands Academy in Ellesmere, died whilst at the regular evening training session of Shrewsbury Juniors Football Club last wednesday.

Official club statement;

It is with sadness and deep regret that we have to release a status on coach Craig Colley, who sadly passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday evening.

Craig was fairly new to the Allscott setup, joining this summer to form the new U14 side and his impression was felt amongst us all.

His passion, desire and love for the game, his players and parents was something to behold.

Our first team will hold a moments reflection before their game this weekend in honour of Craig.

Our thoughts are with his wife Michelle, daughter Rhian, son Finn and all of his family at this sad time. #WeAreAllscott

Image credit Shropshire Star

The FA Announce Guide to Improving Match Day for Children

We can all help children enjoy football more by creating the right environment.

That is why The FA has produced an easy-to-follow guide to help improve the matchday experience for younger players.

From introducing codes of conduct to simply providing refreshments, the guide offers plenty of tips to help every volunteer, coach or manager of a grassroots youth team.

There has never been as many youth teams (over 62,000) playing across the country and we can all do our bit to ensure our young players stay in love with the game.


Get your FREE guide HERE

More funding available, Apply HERE

Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) Network has opened its Football People grants application process, which supports inclusive activities across the continent.

Fare have made available a set of grants to fund activities and events as part of the Football People actions weeks, one of the biggest social action activities in sport.

The campaign aims to get 100,000 people to take part from grassroots groups, football clubs and associations, NGOs, ethnic minority organisations, LGBTIQ fan groups, and more, and to be part of a social movement focused on tackling discrimination in and through football.

Support of up to €500 is available for grassroots activities that promote social inclusion and celebrate diversity, further the empowerment of women and ethnic minorities through football, and help refugee inclusion.

Download the Grassroots Report It APP Here


Organisations can apply for a grant between 1 August and 10 September. Interventions must meet the objectives of the campaign and be held during the two-week period in October.

Piara Powar, Fare Executive Director said: “We want people across Europe to show what football can be, how it is a driving force for social change, regardless of who they are, their background, or where they live.

“Our aim to is to reach 100,000 Football People get directly involved, if you have an idea let us know.”

Funding for larger events is also available during the weeks. The Event grants are aimed at funding larger scale initiatives that take place at a national level. Organisations interested must send their applications by 3 September.

The Football People weeks will run between 5 and 19 October.

For small grants apply here.

For Event grants apply here.


Criminal record checks for those working with children

Criminal Record Checks (CRC) in Football

The FA’s Policy

As part of our safeguarding children strategy, The FA requires those working in eligible* roles with children and young people to pass a criminal records check. This is in line with legislation and government guidance and is standard practice.

We provide the framework and guidance for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks in football and the leagues and clubs then have to implement this to ensure that those who are required to have checks done, do so.

The majority of checks are processed electronically, ensuring that people can be confirmed to work with children and young people swiftly. Where the check highlights relevant information, this is investigated further and a risk assessment is carried out to establish whether or not they will be accepted to work with children and young people in football.

Activities that require a check (Eligibility)
* Eligibility is governed by legislation and government guidance. In brief this means, anyone aged 16 years or over who undertakes any unsupervised roles with children and young people under the age of 18.

These activities include managing, training, coaching and supervising as well as giving advice or guidance on well-being, caring for children or driving a vehicle solely for children on behalf of a club or organisation. In youth football all coaches and managers must hold a current, FA accepted check. This is part of the affiliation criteria for youth football.

Anyone undertaking these activities in football MUST obtain a DBS Enhanced Criminal Record with Children’s Barred List Check.  Role specific guidance for clubs, coaches referees and FA licensed tutors is hosted below along with the CRC eligibility criteria guidance document.

You may have more than one role in football but you only need one check to cover all your roles in affiliated grassroots football.  Please note that this may be different if seeking work with professional clubs.

Guidance on how to get a check
Select the activity in which you have the most frequent contact with U18s from the table below and follow up with the relevant contact point:

Your role in football

  • Grassroots U18s coach, manager, first aider or any other club based eligible role

Speak to your club welfare officer


  • Club welfare officer, youth league welfare officer

Speak to your CFA welfare officer


  • Referee, referee mentor, referee coach, referee assessor and referee tutor in U18 football

Contact your CFA referee development officer


  • Licensed coach applicant

Call 0845 210 8080 or email for advice


  • Working in a private soccer school or unaffiliated football

You may not be able to get an FA enhanced CRC – speak to your line manager or call 0845 210 8080 or email for advice


  • Working in a Premier League club

Contact the designated safeguarding officer at your Club


  • Working in an English Football League Club

Contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer at your Club, or contact 0845 210 8080 or email for advice


  • Unsure what you should be doing

Call 0845 210 8080 or email for advice


Click here for a full list of County FA contacts

Applying for electronic checks is straightforward. For applicant guidance click here and verifiers guidance click here.

Current costs for checks

You are Administration fee paper application method Administration fee online application method Government charge Total
A Volunteer  £20  £10  Nil  £20 or £10 depending on application method
Not a Volunteer  £20  £10  £44  £64 or £54 depending on application method

Paper-based CRC application forms option are available, where online applications cannot be made.

Tracking who has completed checks and training at club level
The FA online Safeguarding Service (click here) enables club welfare officers (CWOs) and assistant CWOs to track and manage club members who are required to do a check and safeguarding children training.

To register your club to use the online disclosures CRC service or to make enquiries not covered by the guidance provided here, please click here or  contact or call 0845 210 8080 and The FA Criminal Records Body will be happy to assist.


New “cheating” laws announced by the FA

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION is cracking down on cheats by introducing two-match bans for diving.

And the new law will come into effect from this Friday with the Championship’s first game.

The sanctions will come into place from Sunderland’s Championship home match with Derby County at the Stadium of Light on Friday, the first game of the new league season, but the idea has been on the agenda for a year.

The authorities will thereby seek to punish incidents that involve clear and overwhelming evidence of simulation, and that had significant consequence on the outcome of a match. It is thereby seen as worthy of a greater punishment than a player actually getting caught by the referee in a match, since the former is successful and the second is attempted.

So, if a player is believed to have dived to win a penalty or get an opposition player sent off, that will go to review that could well see a two-game ban.

Any player who is mistakenly sent off as a result of an opponent diving will have their red card overturned, and the FA will also increase the length of bans for recurring offenders.



Inclusive Utd introduces thousands to football

More than 3,000 disabled people have become involved in football as a result of FA-led grassroots project, Inclusive United.

A joint partnership between The FA and Wembley National Stadium Trust, Inclusive United was set up to engage and sustain the participation of disabled people in football by offering greater and more inclusive opportunities to become physically active in London.

Back in 2012, 15 of the capital’s professional football clubs’ community trusts – including Arsenal Community, Leyton Orient Trust and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation – came together to form a partnership, which was subsequently tasked with delivery of the Inclusive United project.

In Numbers

  • £430,000 – Funds invested over three years by The FA and WNST
  • 3,057 – disabled individuals have taken part
  • 150 – 20-week programmes delivered across 12 professional clubs
  • 81 – new teams created

Since then – between 2013 and 2016 – 150 separate programmes have been delivered across 12 professional football clubs.

In addition, 81 new teams have been created and the project has enabled 613 trained individuals to increase and improve opportunities for disabled people through coaching and mentoring.

Fiona Kingsley, a children’s occupational therapy clinical lead, working with the Leyton Orient Trust, said: “Setting up the Red Dragons Football Club for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder has been an incredible journey for our occupational therapy team, from the initial idea of the club to winning the Inclusive Sports Award at the Waltham Forest Sport Awards.

“The club has brought enormous benefits to the children and their families and demonstrates how interagency working and the bringing together of expertise really helps to meet the needs of this vulnerable group of children.”

It is hoped that the Inclusive United project will create a lasting legacy with sustainable opportunities for disabled people to take part in football through ongoing recreational sessions, links to local competitions and performance pathways.

EFL to trial new penalty format 17/18 – Penalty shootouts may never be the same again

The EFL is to support the trial of a reformed format for penalty kicks, by introducing the new ‘ABBA’ penalty shootout formula into EFL competitions during the 2017/18 season.

The new system, which is currently being supported internationally by FIFA and in some European competitions through UEFA, will see the new ‘ABBA’ penalty shootout system adopted for this season’s Carabao Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and Sky Bet Play-Offs as an alternative to the traditional ABAB pattern.

The trial of the new system is being backed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in response to a hypothesis that the player taking the second kick is under greater mental pressure in the current format. Therefore, a different order of kickers will be trialled in an experiment to reduce any apparent advantage the team taking the first kick may have.

In simple terms, the team taking the first kick in each ‘pair’ of kicks will alternate as follows.

Both teams to take five kicks unless knock-out process is required.

1st kick – Team A           2nd kick – Team B

3rd kick – Team B           4th kick – Team A

5th kick – Team A           6th kick – Team B

7th kick – Team B           8th kick – Team A

9th kick – Team A           10th kick – Team B

11th kick – Team B         12th kick – Team A and so on…

Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive said: “We welcome innovation at the EFL and I am pleased to see that the EFL is able to play its part in an important development for football.

“IFAB have identified a theory that the current arrangements for penalty kicks potentially provide an unfair advantage to the team taking the first kick so we are keen to see if the new system has an impact on one of the most discussed issues in football.

“We all want football matches to be decided in a fair and consistent manner and I am sure the new system will add an interesting dynamic to the conclusion of matches in our competitions if required.”

The first round of this season’s Carabao Cup will present the first potential opportunity for the new system to come into use in EFL competitions, with games scheduled to take place on Tuesday 8th, Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th August.

Have we forgotten what kids football is for?

It’s really sad that people have forgotten what kids football is really about.

  • Is it about winning at all costs? No!
  • Is it about politics between parents/coaches? No!

We know, the same as in a lot of life situations that some children are more talented than others in sport. The same as I know there are people out there that are better brain surgeons than me.

Should we make the children feel inadequate because of this? Absolutely not! Should we involve the children in club rivalry? No! Should there even be club rivalry at grassroots level??!! As long as they’re playing and having the time of their life’s getting caked in mud on a Sunday morning.. what else matters?

We’re draining the life’s out of these kids week in week out.. The question is would I love my children and be any more proud of them than I am now if they were to be signed to an academy tomorrow..? The answer to that is.. I couldn’t possibly love or be more proud of my children no matter what they do!

I have a son that is a goalkeeper that makes some actual WORLD CLASS saves that I couldn’t..even if I tried stop myself.. and he thinks nothing of scoring goal kicks every now and then.. does he make mistakes.. yes… don’t we all!! But he loves what he does! And so do I!! I have another son.. that takes free kicks like I’ve never seen a 7 year old child take before, he’d put Beckham to shame and that’s not even being biased it’s been said by many people.. is he the strongest player on the pitch? No.. But do I burst with pride every time he touches the ball.. yes!

Download the Grassroots Report It APP Here

I have a TEAM full of players that have their own unique little things that make my Sundays and hopefully their Sundays amazing.. are they lucky to have me as their coach… No.. I’m the lucky one!! I don’t vision that we’re going to go on and be world beaters but that doesn’t mean them nor I don’t put the effort in each week purely on the basis that we love the game! No matter what, I can say I’ve taken part in their DEVELOPMENT not only as football players.. but actual human beings as well.

We have a right old laugh week in week out.. At the end of most games they’ll literally come and pile on me and bring tears to my eyes with the little smiles on their faces beaming up at me, hanging on my every word.

It doesn’t end there.. as I don’t just run a team.. I run a club.. and everyone that is part of our club I am proud of.. more so the kids.. after all.. they are what make it!! Let’s give them something back! They are not machines….please for the love of god stop treating them this way!

Yours sincerely,

Disheartened grassroots football manager.

Funding Available from the Co-op

Apply to be a Co-op local cause

To apply to be a Co-op cause you must have a project or event in mind that:

  • takes place in the UK or Isle of Man
  • doesn’t have religious or political aims (although you can still apply if you’re a religious organisation)
  • meets the Co-op’s values
  • takes place or will still be running after October 2018
  • benefits your local community

We’ll give preference to projects run by small, local organisations.

You can’t use money from the fund solely to pay for staff salaries or general running costs, or to make a donation to another organisation.

If you’re successful

We’ll let you know if you’ve been selected in October and you can start promoting your cause to our members from November.

You’ll be paid a share of the funding every 3 months, with the first payment at the end of January 2018 and the last in October 2018.

How to apply

To apply you’ll need:

  • your organisation’s charity or HMRC registration number, or proof you’re an excepted charity, Scout or Guide group or registered Community Amateur Sports club
  • a description of your project and how much you want to raise
  • 2 contact names, including email addresses
  • basic details of your organisation and what it does, including approximate annual income
  • your organisation’s bank details – money from the fund can’t be paid into personal accounts

You can save your application at any time and return to it later. Applications must be completed by 8 August 2017.