Grassroots News

RIP Harvey

Harvey was a beautiful, happy & healthy 7 year old boy. Who loved his football just like any other boy his age

Unfortunately, on the 11th September Harvey had a tragic accident & sadly passed away, leaving his mum, dad and family completely heartbroken. The paramedics tried to help resuscitate harvey for over an hour but he had already been taken by the angels.

A club spokeswoman said: “Harold Wood Cougars Youth Football Club are greatly shocked and saddened by the sudden death of one of our under 8s players.

“He was a talented member of the team and will be missed by everyone that knew him.

“All junior matches have been cancelled this weekend.

“All members of the senior team – Harold Wood Athletics – will wear black armbands in their fixture this weekend and a minute’s silence will be held.

Tributes have been paid to seven-year-old Harvey who died after falling off a wall at the King Harold pub in Harold Wood. Photo: Liam ColemanTributes have been paid to seven-year-old Harvey who died after falling off a wall at the King Harold pub in Harold Wood. Photo: Liam Coleman

“The following weekend all Cougars players and managers will also wear black armbands.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and team mates at this terrible time and we hope they will given space to grieve.”

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) to the pub shortly after 5.20pm on Tuesday, to a report of a child who had fallen from a wall.

Officers and LAS attended and the seven-year-old boy was found with serious injuries.

He was taken to an east London hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6.33pm.

Please help to raise money to support Harvey’s parents and family in funding for the funeral of their little angel.

Any donations over funeral costs will be donated to a Childrens Charity of Danielle and Lewis’s choice.

Rest in peace beautiful Harvey. 💔


Very thankful for any donations xxxx

Donate HERE

Apply HERE – The Premier League Primary Stars Kit and Equipment Scheme is back!

What is the scheme?

We are excited to announce that the Premier League Primary Stars Kit and Equipment Scheme is back and that we are again able to offer registered primary school teachers access to either a free Nike football strip, or a free equipment pack which can be used across the curriculum.

Premier League Primary Stars aims to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills and the Kit and Equipment Scheme, run in partnership with Nike, gives teachers the opportunity to get their hands on free resources to aid their pupils’ learning.

Registered teachers, who did not receive free kit or equipment over the past two seasons, can apply online via the form below. The Premier League Primary Stars Kit & Equipment Scheme is delivered on the League’s behalf by the Football Foundation.

Read our case study about Manorfield Primary School to see the impact that kit and equipment from the scheme has had in schools up and down the country.

What kit and equipment is available?

Available in a variety of styles and colours, this season’s Premier League Primary Stars kit package includes: 14 Nike football shirts and 1 Nike goalkeeper shirt numbered, 15 pairs of shorts and 15 pairs of socks. In addition, there is a special Nike tracksuit for the teacher.

The Premier League Primary Stars equipment package includes: 1 Nike trolley bag, 12 Nike match balls (6 x size 3 & 6 x size 4), 16 Nike training bibs, 4 pop-up goals, 1 set of A-Z floor markers, 1 set of 1-30 floor markers, 1 set of 9″ training cones (0-9), 8 6″ training cones, 5 large foam dice, 1 captain’s armband, 30 bean bags, 1 ball carrier net, 4 balloon balls, 5 24″ hula hoops and 1 Nike Park 18 teacher tracksuit set.

Who can apply?

Applications can be made by teachers registered on who are working with pupils aged between 5-11 years and based at a school in England or Wales. To benefit as many schools as possible, only schools that did not receive a Premier League Primary Stars kit or equipment pack in the last two seasons are eligible to apply during this window.

What are the timings?

Successful primary schools can expect to receive their kit or equipment from distributor, Kitlocker, in the summer term 2019.

  • This year’s application window is open until Friday 26 October 2018.
  • If your application is successful, you will receive a notification during the week commencing Monday 5 November 2018.
  • Successful applicants will be sent a redemption code and link to an online portal to select their kit or equipment. They will need to claim this by Friday 21 December 2018.

Once processed, your school will receive the kit or equipment May–June 2019. (Exact delivery times will be confirmed with you.)

WHSmith Trust Community Grants – Apply HERE

Carrier bag levy

The funding is generated following the introduction of compulsory single-use carrier bag levies by the Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish and English governments.

WHSmith donates proceeds from the compulsory carrier bag levies to charitable causes. Some of the funds donated to the Woodland Trust to support its tree-planting programme for schools. Other funding is donated to the WHSmith Group Charitable Trust for distribution as Community Grants.

Who can apply for a grant?

The following community groups may apply for WHSmith Community Grants:

  1. Registered or Exempt Charities
  2. Voluntary/Community Groups (constituted)
  3. Schools and pre-schools

The following types of beneficiary fall outside our criteria for support:

  1. Party political organisations
  2. Religious organisations
  3. Military organisations
  4. Individuals
  5. Expeditions or overseas travel

How can we apply?

You can apply for a community grant by entering your details in the application form below. There are two annual application rounds – 1st October to 31st March, and 1st April to 30th September – and at the end of each six month period grant applications will be reviewed and grants issued. Grants are made at the discretion of the trustees of the WHSmith Group Charitable Trust and are subject to there being available reserves.

If a grant application is successful, a cheque made payable to the nominated charity or school will be sent to the applicant at their given postal address. Cheques will be dispatched within a month of the end of each application round.

Any funds left unallocated at the end of each six month application round will be donated to UK charities as part of the WHSmith Trust’s wider grant making activity.

Community Grants Application Form

Please complete the form below, click submit and wait for the ‘thanks for entering’ message to appear on your screen. Fields marked with a * are required

You will receive a confirmation email if your application has been successfully received (please check your junk/spam folder). If you do not receive an email within 24 hours then please resubmit your application.


The FA has reiterated its decision to prohibit the publication of results and league tables for teams playing from Under-7s through to Under-11s.

Amid recent reports in the media, The FA’s decision to restrict the publication of outcomes of matches has come under scrutiny.

Pete Ackerley, The FA’s Head of Participation told “This guidance is not new. As a result of significant consultation and research undertaken across the game with children [players],  parents, coaches, clubs and league volunteers, The FA decided in 2012 to extend its implementation from U7s through to U11s.

“The feedback we got was simple – children are competitive by nature, they want to win and don’t need a league table or results section on a website to confirm this.

“Our ambition is for football to be progressive and child-friendly and to move away from the win-at-all-costs mentality that has been recognised to stifle development and enjoyment in sport.”

teamgrassroots respect flyer
Get 500 for £3 HERE

The decision forms part of the implementation of The FA Youth Development Review, a document spanning 25 recommendations based on research and feedback from across the country over two years and published in 2012.

The recommendations included reduction of pitch sizes, number of players and coach development.

Working together with a proactive attitude, adults can help develop a better learning environment for young people that puts their needs at the centre of the process.

Since its implementation there has been a 17.5 per cent rise in the number of teams involved in mini soccer. There are currently 24,710 mini soccer teams registered in England, up by 3,800 in three seasons.

“During seasons teams are allowed to play festivals where there are, of course, winners and losers,” added Ackerley.

“Teams can play for trophies in a true competitive style. What differs is that at this age, competition takes place in trophy events rather than across a season-long period.

“These positive changes have been put in place to improve enjoyment, fun and development of young players allowing more touches, on a better proportioned pitch with an increase of involvement in the game as a whole.”

pass it on

What this means for young players

U7/U8: Even the youngest children will benefit from having the opportunity to play for a cup, two or three times a season. This competition can take place over a two-week period and, for example, can include a knock-out cup event. This means that over a typical 26-week season, six weeks of this will be focused competition.

U9/U10: As children grow developmentally and cognitively, the periods of competition can increase further as their views of the world start to widen. Therefore competition can now take place over a four-week period and, for example, can include group stages and a cup final. This means that over a typical 26-week season, 12 weeks of this will be focused competition.

U11: Children can now start to understand whether a team beats them because they tried harder or they were better players, something they cannot often do before this age. This competition can take place over a six-week period and, for example, can include a Champions League style event. This means that over a typical 26-week season, 18 weeks of this will be focused competition.

The FA Respect Programme 2018

To kick-off the 2018-19 youth football season, The Football Association has announced a renewed focus on the Respect programme as it enters its ten-year anniversary.

Originally launched in the 2008-09 season, the campaign’s new mantra of ‘We Only Do Positive’ aims to improve behaviour on touchlines across the country by raising awareness of Respect among a new generation of parents, coaches, volunteers and players.

The campaign follows extensive research carried out during the 2017-18 season to understand more clearly the effect of negative behaviour at football matches from Under-7s to Under-18s level, focusing on where Respect interventions would be most effective.

‘We Only Do Positive’ is The FA’s new strategic approach is to emphasise the role of parents and coaches while highlighting the importance of positive behaviour and environments – both on and off the pitch – for young footballers involved in mini-soccer and youth football.

The FA’s Respect programme aims to educate parents and coaches on their roles in creating a fun, safe and inclusive environment for players to ensure the campaign is embraced throughout the age groups and result in sustained participation from players and volunteers alike.

teamgrassroots respect flyer
Get 500 for £3 HERE


Creating the right environments for our players, both on and off the pitch is so important. Even though your role could be slightly different from someone else within your club or league, it’s important that we all play our part in creating a fun, safe and inclusive environment.

The Respect codes of conduct are in place to ensure that everyone involved within an FA Charter Standard club or league is playing their part to give the players a positive experience.

We have individual Respect codes of conduct for:

  • Young Players
  • Adult Players
  • Coaches, Team Managers and Club Officials
  • Spectators and Parents/Carers
  • Match officials

In addition we have a variety of social media video & images for your league, club or team to promote the Respect codes of conduct throughout the season.


FA Charter Standard Annual Health Check now OPEN

This year’s FA Charter Standard Annual Health Check window will be open from 1 September 2018 until 31 January 2019. All clubs must have completed their annual Health Check before 31 January 2019.

To start your annual Health Check, you are required to log into The FA Whole Game System.

What is The FA Charter Standard?

Charter Standard is open to grassroots football clubs and leagues. The programme is open For All and includes adult, youth, male and female formats.

The programme encourages improvement across grassroots football and clubs who achieve The FA Charter Standard status are able to demonstrate that they have what it takes to provide the best standard of grassroots football.

Charter Standard helps clubs develop policies and practices making them proud to provide football in a fun and safe environment. This means that clubs are better placed to attract and retain players, helping them to grow sustainably.

Help and support for meeting the criteria is available to clubs and leagues with first time funding being available to clubs to enrol coaches onto The FA Level 1 in Coaching Football.

Clubs and leagues who achieve The FA Charter Standard status receive additional support and resources including:

  • Promotional resources
  • Football equipment
  • Support from The FA and County FA

Your County FA is set up to help clubs and leagues achieve The FA Charter Standard accreditation.

To find out more about becoming FA Charter Standard accredited, please contact your County FA.


Its an interesting question to consider, where is the line where supportive becomes pushy? Is there a definitive line or is it more grey than we think? Heres an impactful article by  from Metrafit penned in 2014 that is relevant still today

As everyone knows, parents will always want the best for their children, and this is true for all walks of life – professional, social, educational, sporting etc. Yet when it comes to excelling in sport at a young age, it has been well documented that some parents may step a little too far over the mark when it comes to wanting their child to succeed – These are known as pushy parents. What exactly do these pushy parents do and what type of effect can their actions (both positive and negative) have on the sporting lives of their children?

Playing a sport as a child is a fun experience to meet new friends, develop social skills and learn more about a sport that interests you. Parents love to be a part of their child’s life, but some parents take their child’s sport too far and get involved too much. Initially, reports suggest that parents sometimes try to have too much of an influence on how their children progress – this is true looking at youth sport. Some of the negative impacts of this influence include: stress (which can sometimes lead to illness), avoidance of certain activities, broken spirit, misbehaviour, and in some cases, an altered parental relationship. There are a number of reasons parents do this – they want their children to have what they may not have had, some parents also try to relive their own childhood through their children. Some are competitive and want to keep up or outdo relatives, neighbours or friends.

A study conducted in 2009 by Holt N et al. (Youth sport parenting styles and practices) showed that there are supportive parents and parents who are overly involved in their child’s sport and have very high expectations (Holt, 2009). The theory that N. Holt and his colleagues came up with was that children reported increased levels of athlete success and motivation when they received positive feedback from their parents (2009). The researchers describe in the article that there are mainly two types of parenting, Responsiveness and Demandingness (2009). Responsiveness is parents who are supportive and respond to their child’s needs. Demandingness refers to parents who are controlling, supervise their children carefully and expect orders to be obeyed without having to explain them (Holt, 2009). Unfortunately, demandingness seems to be the parenting style which results in pushy behaviour.

Footy Mum Special Offer

There are other considerations to involved such as pushing children too hard, too early, or failure to realise that not every child is an athlete, and whether to push their child further in one sport or more. However, the harsh reality is that pushy parents actually have the potential to turn their children off sport for life. This can lead to mass dropout in youth sports, which in turn can have negative effects on the mental and physical health of the child as he / she grows older.

Anecdotal reports in the media and from individuals involved in youth sports suggest a growing number of incidents involving adults behaving inappropriately at their children’s sport events. This illustrates that pushy parents are not only at fault dealing with their sporting children directly, but also at fault for becoming involved negatively in the wider sporting context, i.e. arguing with coaches, referees, opposition players, opposition fans etc. There is a social crossing of boundaries here, which can permanently deter the children in question from remaining in the sport of their choice.

We can see that parents have an important role to play in the sporting lives of their children. However, there is a line which is frequently crossed by the over-enthusiastic parents, and once this line is crossed, it can have serious repercussions for those children involved. Pushy parenting in relation to youth sport should be reduced for the benefit of the children.


Need Goals? Pay Grassroots prices not Premiership prices

Has your child lost their confidence – what can you do as a parent?

During your children’s sporting careers, there will inevitably be times when your children lose some confidence in their ability, or their ability to carry out specific techniques and skills within their sport.

You will see a drop in their performance, probably a lack of ambition in their play as they play safe and a tentativeness that you are not necessarily used to seeing.

This can be caused by a number of different factors.  These could possibly include,

  • A new group and coach – your child may be worried about how they fit in
  • Playing against bigger children – your child may feel intimidated
  • Dropped from a team and worrying about if they are good enough
  • Growth spurts – psychologically they know what to do, but are physically struggling as they retrain their body
  • Parental influence – are you watching all the time?  Does this add to the pressure?
  • Emotional development – have they recognised the risk of potentially getting hurt?

As with many parts of sporting development, it is really important as parents and coaches that we are patient with the child athlete. Many of these phases are temporary and we should just be waiting for the athlete to come out of the other side.

So what can you do as a sporting parent to help support your child during this phase?

Don’t over talk and over analyse the issue

It can be tempting as a parent as we watch our children struggle, to start over analysing and over talking to our children about the issue.  The reality is that children are not stupid and they will probably already recognise and be aware of the issue.  By over talking the issue we run the risk of highlighting it even more and damaging their confidence even further.

Don’t tell them you are worried about their performance

Parental worry can often be interpreted by the child as a vote of no confidence.  Expressing parental confidence engenders the child’s confidence.

Support all of the positive parts of their game

Find plenty of opportunities to praise all of the things that they have done well during training and matches, avoiding any negative connotations.  As always try to focus your praise on hard work and effort.

Speak to the coach

Make them aware of the issue.  This will allow them to make modifications in training to assist.  They may be able to set up parts of the session where they can allow players to make mistakes without consequences, or set up games which rewards and encourages intent as opposed to the actual outcome.

Encourage your child to practise

Confidence is based on evidence and experience.  By constantly working on skills or indeed areas of difficulty, they will know what they are capable of and in time will have more faith in their ability.

Focus on the now

Don’t remind your child of their past losses or previous struggles, focus on being positive so they can perform well today.

Love them

Tell them that you ‘love them’ and perhaps do it more than normal.  We talk a lot about not defining our children on their sporting prowess, but during periods of difficulty this is even more true.  Make them feel safe, focus on the many positive things they do and have going on in all aspects of their life.   This will help heal some of those feelings of doubt they may have.

Children will all hit lulls during their sporting journey, you may feel that they even go backwards at times.  However, please remember to be patient.  The key success for us as parents and coaches should be that our children want to keep coming back week after week, playing with smiles on their faces.  Our approach, particularly during periods of adversity is crucial in helping to fuel this process.


Guest article courtesy of Gordon Maclelland from Working with Parents in Sport, find out more HERE

Funding Available from Sport Englands “COMMUNITY ASSET FUND”

Whether it’s the park you run through, the hall you do classes in or the pitch you play on, welcoming and accessible spaces have a big impact on a person’s experience – and likelihood of coming back.

Traditional sports facilities where people spend time getting active are an important part of this, but it can be much wider too. It doesn’t have to be a traditional space – or a traditional sport.

Our Community Asset Fund is a programme dedicated to enhancing the spaces in your local community that give people the opportunity to be active.

There are a number of things we want to achieve with this investment, but most importantly we want to help local organisations to create good customer experiences and financially sustainable facilities that benefit their community for years to come – which may mean providing help to get things up and running too.

While we will continue to invest in projects that help people get into sport and increase the number who are regularly taking part, we’re also looking to invest in projects that look beyond this to how sport and physical activity can – and does – change lives and becomes a force for social good.

If you think the Community Asset Fund might be for you, have a look at the Guide and Developing your Project documents below.

Apply now for our Community Asset FundOpen in a new window

We’re really pleased you’ve decided to apply to the Community Asset Fund.

To make an application we will need you to confirm a few details. This is important as it provides us with details of you and your organisation in case you need help. The application hub will also allow you to:

✔ Start and submit a funding application

✔ Work on your application when it’s convenient to you and submit when you’re ready – the hub will allow you to save, exit and come back to your application

✔ Re-visit submitted Community Asset Fund applications

Please note, if this is the first time you have applied to the Community Asset Fund then you will need to register. You cannot use previous log in details at this stage.

If you want a different Sport England programme or want to view your historic applications to other programmes you can do this through our main ‘My Applications’ system, which can be accessed by clicking here.

If you require any assistance, please telephone our Funding Helpline on 03458 508 508 or email

St George’s Park to Stage International Youth Tournament

Young footballers from around the world are set to gain unprecedented access to St George’s Park, home to the English National Football Teams in 2019.

The state-of-the-art training complex has recently been unveiled as the host venue for the 2019 UK International Cup, with all tournament matches being played on the hallowed turf on-site; a mouth-watering prospect for football fans of all ages and nationalities.

Sleep Like a Champion

In case your jaw wasn’t already on the floor, it has also been announced that participating teams will have the opportunity to stay in the Official Team England Hilton Hotel, meaning grassroots players will be kicking back with their feet up in the very same beds as global superstars, such as Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

To Find out More

The tournament, which has a total capacity of 80 teams, has three age categories – u9, u10, and u11. Teams interested in signing up can find more information at the official tournament website.

FA introduce “Power Play” to add an extra player when losing by 4 goals.

Development football is designed to create the best learning and fun experience for young players. To ensure an imbalance in ability does not spoil this, the FA has approved ‘Power Play’ as an option that mini-soccer and youth leagues can adopt. So for example….

– If a team is losing by a four goal difference they can put an additional player on

– so 5v5 becomes 6v5.

– If the score returns to less than a four goal difference the team takes off a player. It does not have to be the last player to come on.

– If a team goes on to be losing by a six goal difference a further additional player can be added – so 6v5 becomes 7v5.

– The main aim of the Power Play option is that all players are being challenged and enjoying the game.

– Power Play is available through all minisoccer football formats 5v5 and7v7

Get your complete FA mini soccer handbook HERE file:///Users/user/Downloads/mini-soccer-youth-futsal-handbook.pdf


The Football Association [The FA] has announced the record-breaking results of its latest Grassroots Football Survey.

The survey, which provides grassroots football participants with an opportunity to voice their opinions on the football provision in their county, received 30,315 responses – up from 28,750 and 30,161 in 2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively – from over 6,000 adult players, 1,000 youth players, 6,000 coaches, 3,000 referees, over 3,000 club and league officials, as well as parents, spectators and wider volunteers.


Kelly Simmons, Director of Participation and Development, said: “The third Grassroots Football Survey will continue to shape the national picture of football in England and allow

County FAs to put the thoughts and opinions of those in their area at the heart of decision making. I am delighted we have seen more engagement from participants than ever before and look forward to seeing the impact of increasingly tailored investments and services.”

 Headline statistics and general feedback from the latest Grassroots Football Survey include:  

  • Artificial grass pitches and pitch improvements are key areas for facilities investment
  • However, 35% of participants now find it easy to access an artificial grass pitch
  • 91% believe any form of disrespect does not belong in the game
  • All groups, except adult male players, predict participation levels will increase next season
  • 73% of participants desire greater interaction with their respective County FA

 As part of the process, participants were also asked to provide personal feedback and a selection can be seen below:

 A club Chairman from Birmingham said: “The County FA has been very supportive of our new walking football league since I became Chairman. They have also helped me on a number of issues and their website to check scores and league tables has been invaluable.”  

 A Club Welfare Officer from Cheshire responded: “My early experiences were not great but I am glad to say that things are much better these days. A new management and referee department has been put in place over the past 12 months and their impact has been phenomenal in helping to transform my County FA for the better.”  

 A new manager from Sheffield added: “Plenty of information and support is at hand by phone, email or text and staff have proven to be extremely approachable. Learning materials are also readily available to aid and improve my performance from preparation of fixtures to administration after match days. I’m looking to also become a referee and hope to receive the same level of support and service.” 

 The next Grassroots Football Survey will be launched in October 2018.