Tag: coaches

Aston Clinton Colts JFC Annual Tournament

Tournament Name: Aston Clinton Colts JFC Annual Tournament
Tournament Date: 01/07/2018
Tournament Organiser: Jon Wright
Tournament Web Address: http://www.astonclintoncolts.co.uk/
Team Age Groups: Under 7’s, Under 8’s, Under 9’s, Under 10’s, Under 11’s, Under 12’s, Under 13’s, Under 14’s, Under 15’s, Under 16’s
Entry Fee per team: £35
Tournament Email Address: tournament@astonclintoncolts.org.uk
Address 1: Aston Clinton Park
Address 2: London Road
Town: Aylesbury
Post Code: HP22 5HL
Tournament Image: ACC fc badge 3_0n0gbu.jpg
Tournament Information: Saturday 30th June (afternoon) and all day Sunday 1st July.
One of the most popular football tournaments in the Bucks area with over 1500 people attending. 180 teams, 603 games.
Sky sports style results centre, lots of stalls, including foot darts, pizza stall, hotdog/candyfloss/slush puppy stall, refreshment stall, BBQ, ice creams and on site cafe.
Plenty for the whole family

All hell breaks out at kids party, Are you taking the kids football to seriously?

Wow, where do I start with this one. I’ve had a bunch of kids together since they were 4 years old. I’m just a dad of one of the kids who stepped forward when no one else would.

The Diary of a Grassroots Coach…..

I said from the start that all kids would get the same game time and all kids would play in all positions regardless.

They are now u7s and interact socially away from football and the team are all best friends.

Results wise we win some we lose some, to me I’m trying to build children’s social skills with team play and sport.

This past weekend it was one of the lads birthdays and we were all invited, I thought everything was fine and the parents were happy as no one had said anything to the contrary. I was very wrong.

Half way through the party 2 of the mums and 1 of the dads began to, what I can only describe as “interrogate” me.

They compared my team to every other team in the league, criticised my coaching methods and the red rag to a bull. My decision to give equal time and rotate positions.

This was all in front of my wife and elder daughter, I reminded them that it was a team decision to do this and nobody had mentioned it before, I was told I was playing these kids “out of position” and “losing crucial games”

Download the Grassroots Report It APP Here

My response was to laugh, and say “I think your taking kids football at little to seriously”

This turned into a tirade of abuse, some quite personal. I will be honest it cut straight through my heart as I give so much time and effort it felt cruel to have it thrown back at me.

I left immediately with my wife and children who were distraught how I was treated in such a public way, in fairness 2 of the parents rang me later and apologised, but 1 refused and took her son to another team.

That night I was so hurt and questioned why I was putting myself out, I then looked back at the positive impact I have had on these kids and the role model I have been and thought, damn right I will continue. Come on the weekend!!!!

HHTYFC Chiswick Brooks Tournament 2017

Tournament Name:
HHTYFC Chiswick Brooks Tournament 2017

Tournament Organiser:
Eleri Russell

Tournament Web Address:

U7 – u15

Entry Fee:

Tournament Email Address:

Tournament Address:
JFK School

Hollybush Lane

Hemel Hempstead


Tournament Information:

Club Secretary


Mark Russell


Sporting fc grassroots football tournament

Tournament Name:
Sporting fc grassroots football tournament

Tournament Organiser:
Daniel maguire

Tournament Web Address:

U9 to u16

Entry Fee:
£30 a team or 2 teams for £59

Tournament Email Address:

Tournament Address:
Brockhurst road playing fields


West midlands


Tournament Information:
A local football tournament and we are trying to get as many teams playing over the 28th and 29th may.. Age groups ranging from under 9’s up to under 16’s as of the 2017/17 season.


Tournament host

Daniel maguire


The problem with academies…..

Many thanks to Dan Yeo for this piece on football academies in England.

There’s no doubt that football academies are harsh environments. The FA’s official website even describes the process of getting released by one as ‘heart-breaking’, which, considering they’re trying to increase participation levels, is hardly encouraging…

It’s entirely truthful though and not particularly surprising; when the stakes are so high, the consequences of being rejected become even more considerable. The disappointment of being let go by a big-name Premier League club would be enough to crush any youngster so, when the huge financial influence is also factored in, the pressure can often become unbearable.


Children not even old enough to attend secondary school are exposed to a stressful, ruthless environment in which their every move is carefully monitored and analysed. Those judged to be progressing too slowly are filtered out of the system as early as possible, but the players really at risk are the ones that succeed in making the first few cuts.

The reason for this is simple and something the FA’s site also alludes to; young footballers tend to get carried away. Tell a ten-year-old he’s good and he’ll dream about being the next Messi. Tell a sixteen-year-old he’s good and he’ll think he really is the next Messi. The further teenagers progress down the path of becoming a professional footballer, the more they begin to prioritise the beautiful game over everything else in their lives. Football, for many, becomes an obsession and this is something that authorities need to guard against.


While it’s fantastic that the next generation are competitive and hungry to do well, the current clamour for more home-grown talent and the amount of money being spent on the best academy graduates means that, if anything, academies are encouraging rather than discouraging this kind of compulsive attitude. This has to change.

Spurring youth players on to succeed at all costs may benefit those who finally make the grade but, for the majority who don’t, it can very seriously damage their career prospects and later lives. The PFA estimates that, for every five players offered academy scholarships, only two will receive full-time contracts at the age of eighteen and only one will still be playing professionally by the time they’re twenty-one.


10 Top Tips for Winter training from the FA

Over the coming months, many coaches will brave winter conditions to deliver coaching sessions to young players. Here, FA regional coach development manager, Martin Dighton, provides ten top tips to help fully engage with players when working outdoors.

1) Young children are not mini-versions of adults

As much as they will be adults one day, the young players in your care are certainly not there yet. We must understand and recognise that we can’t treat them in the same way as we would our peers.  We must always have the well-being of each of the children in our care as the priority. The session must fully engage the young players no matter what the weather.

2) Get the players moving as soon as they arrive

In poor weather keeping the players busy is vital. Young children will go cold quickly – almost without noticing –  and once they are cold they will really struggle to warm up again. Telling them to run around a bit more won’t help either unfortunately – it’s too late by then.

An arrival activity is vital. The children should arrive warm and getting them active early is crucial.  Little games of tag, mini 1v1s or 2v2s, and small fundamental movement games will all do this. Make sure you have this section in your session plan ready to go whatever the weather.


3) No queues and keep all the players involved

Having queues of children waiting for their turn is a big no-no in any session let alone on a cold, wet day.  Can you find ways to make sure all the players are all involved all of the time?  If you are struggling for equipment could you set up two or three smaller areas rather than one in order to cut down any form of waiting?

4) Use games during training

Consider what the players expect football to look like. What’s the first question they ask:  ‘When are we playing a match?’  Wet and cold sessions are perfect for match time as it keeps them all involved and active. Play mini 3v3s on a couple of pitches to keep all involved and then carefully manage how you intervene to coach.

5) Work with individuals rather than stopping the whole group

Children don’t like coaches talking for ages at the best of times but on a wet day it’s even more important to keep communication concise. Can you coach individuals whilst the game plays on around them?  Could you give quick challenges to players ‘on the fly’ as they pass you?  Could you set yourself a challenge to intervene for no longer than 30 seconds?  The kids would really appreciate this.

6) Consider practice design and progression

Spend time on planning the session. Will you use a technique-skill-game format or whole-part-whole or a myriad of other templates?  Which will increase playing time the most and which may lead to times of relative inactivity?  How can you create excitement and therefore engagement?  Can you always have a scoring system in place? Can you ensure that if any defender wins the ball they have a way to attack and score too to keep games flowing?

How you progress the session needs to be thought about too.  Can you progress some players without stopping all of them at the same time?  Think about working the session with players in groups; perhaps advance the better players first before gradually progressing the weaker players later on, meaning that they’ll get the extra practice time they need.  This also means that as you talk to each group two-thirds of your team are still active and warm.

7) If in doubt: play matches

If you’re ever in doubt or get caught by the rain or bad weather half-way through a session revert back to several small matches.  Smaller sized matches promote ball contacts, in and out of possession play, transition and game craft. They also ensure that players are never more than one pass away from the ball, so engagement and activity levels stay high.


8) Have some rules about correct kit

It’s important to have some rules or conditions regarding kit. I’ve had children arriving in t-shirt and shorts to sessions in December and I’ve had to take the hard decision to turn them away. Parents sometimes feel that it’s okay because they’ll be running around at football – yes, but they will only be warm if they start warm in the first place. Perhaps having a club wet-weather policy would be a good idea?

We can take note from cricketers playing in early April or late September. They wear lots of thin layers rather than a couple of large ones to keep heat in.  Encourage your players to do the same. It’s nothing different to what my mum used to shout as I ran off to training:  “You can always take some off, if you get too hot”.

9) Safety and welfare are top priority, but each individual is different

We have a responsibility to the children and their parents to look after them and always to make decisions in their best interests.  Safety and welfare are the top priority but we also mustn’t shy away from playing just because the weather isn’t great.

In a grassroots setting I worked in previously we had a rule – if the kids turned up then we would play. It was the choice of the group and their parents if we played.  This meant that sometimes we played for just 30 minutes instead of the full hour, sometimes the session plan went out of the window and we just played little games and sometimes we led sessions with only three or four kids.

What we must always understand is that every child is different, some will love and thrive in the terrible weather whereas others will hate it. Either way, they are both likely to remember it for a life time.

We must make certain that our coaching fosters a love of the game and a love of playing it. Make sure that when you are next faced with bad weather you make decisions and plans based on the best interests of the little people that turn up each week to play the great game of football with you.

10) Find a way to use the weather to create memories

Some of my fondest experiences as a kid were playing outside in terrible weather.  I still remember my first game in snow and the excitement playing with an orange ball for the first time gave us, the sliding tackles that seemed to last a full 30 yards through the midfield mud-pit and the diving headers that gave such a splash landing that if you timed it well could soak the watching parents.

We must appreciate that we could be building memories for our players; let’s make sure they are positive ones where the kids can’t wait to play the next time it rains. Starting to implement all of the above is a good foundation to start from.

Courtesy of The FA.

I’m old enough to know I’m not good enough to play, maybe it’s time for me to walk away.

I sit on the sidelines waiting my turn.

I can’t wait to get on and have energy to burn.

I tried my best in training.

I tried my best at school.

I’ve behaved well for Mam and dad and always for coach.

I ask coach if I can play and he says the game is really tight.

If you let me on I will play with all my might.

It’s not so fun stuck on the side alone.

While my friends are playing and I’m cold to the bone.

I know others are better but I always try my best.

How will I get better if I don’t play with the rest.

My coach wants to win, I just want to play.

This is my childhood at the end of the day.

I thought this was fun but it’s not anymore.

Coach isn’t interested in me only the score.

I’m old enough to know I’m not good enough to play, maybe it’s time for me to walk away.


Check out Grassroots HERE

How could you miss from there?????

Diary entry 14/10/15

Moved indoors this week and had an amazing session full of multiple interplay between the players, confidence was high and the players were really expressing themselves, the last passage of play was world class (as far as 8 year olds go) right from the back virtually 2 touch then it was dragged back to the player who had set everything up, the player hit it first time and the keeper saved it, I was about to clap and congratulate the whole team on the passage of play when from behind I noticed a parent had also been watching and bellowed across the gym “Ah man how could you miss from there” the player looked at me and every bit of confidence that had been gained by the team in that session was completely dismantled. Is it just me?