Tag: the FA

The FA Launch FREE Sudden Cardiac Arrest Module

The FA has launched a free online module to raise awareness and knowledge of sudden cardiac arrests in football. 

The module will enable you to recognise and respond appropriately to a sudden cardiac arrest while also providing you with key facts and information.

Available online, you can complete it at a convenient time and place. Plus, it only takes one hour!

Upon completion, you’ll receive one hour of CPD and an FA certificate.

Research shows that 12 young people lose a life each week in the UK 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.

What’s more, at least five fatalities occurred during football matches or training over the last year in England due to cardiac arrest, including former England international Ugo Ehiogu, who died while working as coach at Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Dr Lisa Hodgson, The FA’s medical education lead, said: “The FA is passionate about raising the awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and highlighting the fact that this can occur in what appears to essentially be, from the outside, a fit and healthy young person playing sport.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is infrequent but it is not a rare event.

“The more awareness we can raise on this issue, the greater is the chance of early recognition and lifesaving intervention being performed.

“We would like as many people as possible to complete this module and to share it among their peers.

“Everyone should be taught these lifesaving skills in all walks of life, not just in sport and we hope that this module helps to do just that.”

To complete the module, click the following link and press ‘ACCESS AWARD’ top right.

COMPLETE THE MODULE

10 TOP-TIPS: WHAT TO DO IF YOUR COACHING SESSION DOESN’T GO TO PLAN

Coaches at every level of the game will experience unexpected changes to player numbers, area size or weather conditions at their coaching sessions. Other challenges include unpredictable player motivation or your well prepared activities not going to plan.

So, what can you do? Here are our 10 top-tips to help you deal with the unexpected scenarios that may occur at your training session.

1) Use arrival activities to assess the scene

An arrival activity used at the start of the session is the perfect opportunity to stand back, observe and assess. To do this, it is crucial that the players can manage the arrival activity themselves – playing a series of small-sided games works well. During the arrival activity you can start to get an idea of player numbers, the attitude of the group (do they need a lift?), the equipment you have and the space available. Make any adjustments to your plan before you get the players to come in to start the session.

2) Coaching sessions don’t have to be balanced or symmetrical

Don’t worry if you don’t have even numbers for your session. If you had planned to play 4v4, resist the temptation to join in yourself and instead try 4v3. Uneven numbers gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with how you group or pair the players.  For example you may challenge your three ‘strongest’ players to play on the team with fewer players. How else could you group the players to provide different challenges?

FREE Coaching session plans HERE

3) Be resourceful – what does your facility offer?

If you don’t have access to goals, cones or other equipment, be creative and look at what your facility already offers you. Most facilities will have some kind of pitch markings or lines that can be used in creative ways. Similarly, if you don’t have a goal, have a look for something that could act as a target. You might use a bench, a chair, the fence or even one of the lines on the floor.

4) Learn how to be a storyteller

If a player has to leave your session early use it as an opportunity to talk about the scenario of having a player sent-off in a game – what would the team’s strategy be?  Similarly, if you have uneven teams you might create a story about using all your substitutes and having a player injured. Telling stories can capture the imagination of young players and help them engage with lots of challenging coaching situations.

5) Not all ‘coaching’ has to happen on the pitch

If the weather forces you to wait in the changing room or your access to the pitch is delayed, you can still provide a learning opportunity for the players. Talk through the session or your team tactics with the players and use whatever space and equipment is available to help you communicate. For example, you might get the players to walk through a pattern of play on the car park (if it’s safe) or get them to put bibs out in a 4-3-3 shape in the leisure centre reception. The learning can continue, when the action has stopped.

6) Ask the kids for help

Children are a rich source of ideas. If you are struggling to think of a way of solving an unexpected coaching session problem ask them for their opinion. You might be surprised at the quality of their suggestions.

7) An opportunity to try new things

If you had planned an attacking session for your centre forward and he/she doesn’t turn up, it’s a great opportunity to try somebody else in a different position. Rotating positions and asking your players to try different roles can be enlightening. For example, if your goalkeeper doesn’t turn up for a session give everybody the opportunity to have a go in goal.

First Aid Kit including Accident book

8) Challenges, points and a timer

If your perfectly planned passing practice is failing, think about how you can inject some competition and challenge. Young players will respond positively to individual and team challenges that involve points, scores, a winner/loser or trying to complete a challenge against the clock.

9) Some things just happen…

Sometimes you can’t stop the kids from being distracted. On these occasions it is worth acknowledging the distraction (like a plane overhead) with the players, rather than fighting it, before letting them get back to the activity. If you have the choice, think carefully about where your practice session (or team talks) take place, so you can minimise the potential distractions.

10) Play games

Don’t be frightened to play a game, guaranteed your players will love it!

Article courtesy of the FA Bootroom.

Sign up to our FREE Newsletter HERE 

“They’ll never make it as a pro” – Football and the ‘Likelihood Estimate’

“They’ll never make it as a pro” is a comment heard on touchlines at every level of the game. But how much do we really know about what talent looks like? Here, Joe Baker, talent development expert, challenges coaches to reflect on their current selection processes and asks: what are the ideal conditions for talent to grow?

FREE Coaching session plans HERE

Given Joe Baker has been researching the development of elite athletes for over 20 years his response to the question “what is talent?” comes as quite a surprise.

 

  “We’ve realised we actually don’t know a lot about it,”  admits Baker, who is a Sport Scientist at York University in Canada, and one of the most respected and well published researchers in the field of expertise, talent development and lifelong physical activity.

 

Thanks Coach only £5.99

“Even though it’s this cornerstone of what we want coaches and sports scientists to do, we know almost nothing about how to select talent effectively and what talent looks like. We can’t even agree on a definition of what talent is,” he adds.

 

The Canadian recently visited St.George’s Park to deliver at a number of events and to help shape the new FA Level 3 course in Talent Identification. There was also an ‘open and honest’ discussion about recruitment in football with FA staff. One of the key conclusions was the idea of a ‘likelihood estimate’ to help guide talent selection.

 

“We need to look at the idea of ‘likelihood estimates’ which basically means:  if you have access and opportunities to certain kinds of things, then it is more likely you’re going to be an elite athlete. It doesn’t mean you are, but it increases the likelihood,” explains Baker.

 

Unsurprisingly, ‘support’ comes out as the most important factor. But there are other key indicators such as: access to training facilities, opportunity to work with elite coaches and parental and financial support. Family members who have participated in elite sport – particularly older siblings – are also considered as positive indicators for a career in elite sport. But, as ever, there can be no guarantees.

 

“I always say that if you want to be an elite ice hockey player but you live in Australia, then that’s bad luck. But if you’re in Canada you’re in a different situation because of all the things that environment brings to you.

 

“Those two people are exactly the same at the start point, but because one happens to find themselves in a certain situation there’s a greater likelihood of success,” explains Baker.

 

For balance, he is quick to stress that there are many successful athletes who rise to the challenge of a lack of access and opportunity.

 

To help solve this complex riddle, Baker feels that all sports need to start a more ‘open and honest conversation’ about the approach to talent selection. Gathering research and data is one recommendation.

 

“The fact we know so little about the talent selection process means there is a lot of room for improvement.

 

“The downside of that is that it involves honest and frank discussions with coaches about how poor they might be at the moment with regards to something that is so fundamental to their job. It is not an easy conversation to have.”

 

This is not a problem exclusive to football, Baker explains.

 

“There has been research done into day-traders on the stock exchange. What they found is: the traders’ decision-making was poor, but their belief in their decision-making was absolute.  It is quite often the same in sport.” Tracking decision-making over a period of time and collecting better data about the players selected, rejected or released, is the recommended starting point. It’s only then that Baker says you can start to apply ‘science’ and start to look at how to remove bias and flaws in decision-making and evaluate the outcome.

 

In the absence of a long-term study into talent selection in football, what would Baker do in the short-term? “The best approach is to provide everybody with as much support, resource and opportunity as possible.  Then we don’t lose anybody who wants to stay in the system.

 

“However, the real world means that you have to make decisions about who stays and who goes. So I think all sports could provide more opportunities for players who exit the system and who may re-engage in the pathway later on.

 

Baker suggests caution when considering to tell a young player “they’re not good enough”.

 

“Making that selection decision is one of the biggest jobs in sport today, because the repercussions are huge, especially early on.

 

“The elite 17 year-old who is released may well continue in the sport, but an U11 who is told they’re not good enough may not and could go on to look for something else.”

 

How much talent does Baker think has been lost as a result of such decision-making?

 

“We don’t know for sure, but it’s a lot”.

 

The FA Level 3 in Talent Identification launches this September.

View the full range of our Talent Identification courses here.

Article courtesy of the FA boot room  written by Joe Baker

Role: Associate Professor, York University

Follow: @bakerjyorku

 

 

Sign up HERE for FA Girls Football Week 23-29 April

This year’s FA Girls Football Week will run from 23rd April – 29th April 2018.

It will be a fun filled week of activities designed to get as many girls involved in playing football.

Whether girls play regularly or are lacing their boots for the first time, it is a great opportunity for them to get active, meet new friends and have fun!

Supported by Disney for the first time, we will provide registered organisers with a range of coaching session resources which use Disney story-telling to deliver football related activities.This allows girls’ taking part to imagine the fantasy world of their favourite Disney films whilst also learning and developing essential football skills.

When you register your activities you will also receive a range of digital marketing resources and guidelines to help you promote your events, as well as support on how to deliver activities in a fun and safe environment.

Register your events before 28th February 2018 and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a hospitality box at Wembley Stadium for the Women’s FA Cup Final on 5th May 2018.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR ACTIVITIES TODAY

10 common problems every coach will encounter and the Solution

Rarely do coaching sessions or match days go perfectly to plan. Here, FA county coach developer, Lee Brown, outlines 10 common problems encountered by coaches offering a variety of solutions you can use with your players.

1) The session isn’t working

If your session has lots of intricacies and isn’t going to plan, it’s important to ask yourself “why are the players there?” The answer is always: to play a game. Don’t be afraid to put them into a match if things aren’t going well, but also consider how you can achieve a tangible outcome that links to your learning objective. Challenge the players. “Try to dribble past at least one player before sharing or shooting” is a good match based dribbling challenge.

2) The players aren’t grasping the session topic

Patience is required when players are trying to learn new things. There are times when the group won’t get things first or second time and the coach should be there to support and help. What the players don’t need is for the practice to be stopped as soon as it looks like they’re struggling. Give them time to solve problems and work things out for themselves

First Aid Kit including Accident book

3) Some of the players are finding the practice too easy, or too hard

Using the STEP principle during the session – changing space, task, equipment, players –can help engage, challenge and motivate the group. By adapting, editing and changing different aspects of the practice you can find different outcomes for everyone. Make plans that allow you to simplify or extend practices and appropriately challenge individuals.

4) I don’t have enough players to have even teams

When the team numbers at training aren’t evenly matched, coaches often find themselves joining in or going in goal. Instead, it’s important to try and link the session objective with specific situations in the game where there are uneven numbers. For example, think about a centre forward receiving back to goal against two defenders.

Players need to practise different game scenarios where they have either more or less players than the opposition.

5) What should I do if a player gets injured or has to leave early?

Sometimes players have to leave a practice session early or aren’t feeling well – it is an issue that also occurs on match day. Use the opportunity to practise that scenario. For example: pretend a player has been sent-off. There are lots of scenarios that occur in football where things are out of your control as a coach. The more you practise them, the more comfortable they will become.

6) I want to play a ‘proper’ game but we only have one goal to use

To make a practice game-related you would ideally have two goals to use – but this isn’t a reality for all coaches. If you only have one goal, you might want to consider using a phase of play type practice where one team attacks the goal and the other has to attack a mini-goal, end-line or play into a target player before allowing the practice to start again going the other way.

7) Our goalkeeper hasn’t turned up

It’s not imperative that you have a goalkeeper for training. Instead, let different players have a go in goal just in case the goalkeeper isn’t available on match day. Taking turns as the a goalkeeper can also help shape positive behaviour. By working together to have a go as the goalkeeper the players will develop a number of social skills about co-operation and teamwork.

FREE Coaching session plans HERE

8) We’re losing the game but need to make substitutions for equal game time

Match day is the acid test for your coaching philosophy. If your team is 1-0 down and you are concerned about ‘weakening’ your team to provide equal playing time– what will you do? In answering this, it is important to ask yourself what your role is as the adult and coach? If you believe in learning and development at training then your behaviour should be consistent.

9) The kids won’t stop messing around

If the players are displaying poor behaviour then you may feel frustrated and feel the urge to stop the practice. Instead, it is important to understand that you can’t always control the players’ behaviour, but you can control your own. By staying in control of your emotions you can look at tweaking the session to motivate the players with a calm mindset.

10) I get too caught up in the action on match day

Using a notebook or a whiteboard on match day can help to manage the emotion of the event. Making notes or setting observation tasks for the substitutes can help you manage your emotional responses and prevent you from solely focusing on the ball or the result. It will also help you consider what you’re going to say during the breaks. Challenge yourself to be absolutely silent for at least 2 minutes of your next game and evaluate what effect it has on the player’s decision-making

Article courtesy of the FA Bootroom, and written by Lee Brown, FA county developer Follow: @leebrownNFA

Sign up to our FREE Newsletter HERE 

7 THINGS YOU CAN DO AT TRAINING TO IMPROVE PLAYER BEHAVIOUR

Try the FAs’ seven behaviour management tips at your next training session and observe the impact on your players.

1) Get started quickly

Get the players on task quickly. By doing so, a coach can identify which players want to focus and which may need additional support as the session develops.

2) Don’t give your attention to those who are poorly behaved

Give it when it is deserved. Affording attention to players for doing the wrong thing sends the message that negative behaviour is a method of gaining the coach’s time. Instead, seek out players who are performing well, trying hard and investing in their own learning and make a strong example of this positive behaviour.

3) Let the players make some of the decisions

Give ownership to players, it will give them more involvement and more control over their own development.

 

4) Don’t stop the whole group to highlight a ‘mistake’

Don’t draw attention to individual player mistakes. If guidance is required, it should be one-to-one while the other players are busy with the task.

 

5) Encourage group work and discussion

Get the players to work together in small groups. Challenge them to work together in identifying ways of succeeding in tasks and practices. Give them ownership for solving the task.

10 Balls for £60 HERE

6) Let the players know your session is a ‘safe’ place

 

Make the players feel comfortable making mistakes and give them the freedom to try again and self-correct.

 

7) More time on task

No need for lengthy instruction or de-briefs. Get the players in, get them on task and get them playing. Want more top-tips like this? Read our guide to effective behaviour management here

 

Article courtesy of The FA Boot Room

 

Sign up to our FREE Newsletter HERE

THE FA DISABILITY CUP RETURNS TO ST. GEORGE’S PARK

The FA Disability Cup returns this summer with England’s top grassroots disability teams competing at the national football centre, St. George’s Park, on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June. 

The competition, which is now in its third year, is the largest of its kind in this country, with six cup finals scheduled to take place in partnership with a range of impairment-specific organisations:

  • Amputee (England Amputee Football Association)
  • Blind (The National Blind Football League)
  • Cerebral palsy (Cerebral Palsy Sport)
  • Deaf (English Schools’ Football Association)
  • Partially sighted (National Partially Sighted Football League)
  • Powerchair (Wheelchair Football Association)

As well as the introduction of a partially sighted category, this year’s event will also play host to an exhibition of frame football, which is a new format of the game currently being developed in conjunction with Cerebral Palsy Sport for people who use a frame or walker.

Phil Heap, National Participation Manager, said: “The FA Disability Cup is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements of players, coaches, officials, volunteers, fans and partner organisations involved across the grassroots disability game.

“I am delighted we will be returning to St. George’s Park for the third year in a row as it provides the perfect platform to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist within grassroots disability football For All. I would like to wish everyone taking part the very best of luck.”

CPD Events for Coaches in England

Below is a full list of CPD events across the England. Click on the event topic to be taken through to the relevant booking page.

FA conference events

Dates Time Topic Location
 

17 Feb 2018

All day Futsal Conference 2018 St. George’s Park
 

15 April 2018

All day Goalkeeping Conference 2018 St. George’s Park

CPD webinars for all coaches

Dates Topic Location
12 Feb 2018 Webinar: psychological development – youth phase Online

 

 

26 Feb 2018

Webinar: psychological development – professional development Online
 

12 Mar 2018

Webinar: psychological block – goalkeeping Online
 

26 Mar 2018

Webinar: modern trends Online
 

16 Apr 2018

Webinar: goalkeeping Online
 

28 May 2018

Webinar: systems of play, playing in the half and half positions Online
 

30 Jul 2018

Webinar: developing observational Online

CPD events for Level 3 & 4 coaches

Dates Topic Location
 

11 & 12 Feb 2018

FA In and Out of Possession: Developing Midfielders SGS College, Bristol
 

21 Mar 2018

Paul McGuinness: Intimidation by skill Southampton Solent University
 

21 & 22 Mar 2018

FA In and Out of Possession: Developing Midfielders Macclesfield RUFC
 

1 Apr 2018

Craig Hinton: TBC Oxford City FC
 

8 Apr 2018

Paul McGuinness: Intimidation by skill Rugby Town Juniors FC
 

15 & 16 Apr 2018

FA In and Out of Possession: Developing Midfielders St Neots Town FC
 

29 Apr 2018

Craig Hinton: TBC Durham County FA
 

5 & 6 May 2018

FA In and Out of Possession: Developing Forwards Brooksby Melton College
 

7 May 2018

Paul McGuinness: Intimidation by skill Cheshire FA
 

12 & 13 May 2018

FA In and Out of Possession: Developing Forwards Barking FC
 

20 & 21 May 2018

FA In and Out of Possession: Developing Forwards Brighton & Hove Albion Training Ground

County FAs also host CPD events which you can find out more about by contacting them directly.

Alternatively, if you are looking to access some great coaching insight, guidance, tips and features, why not check out The Boot Room – The FA’s official coaching magazine. This popular resource is published monthly and features articles by coaches from The FA, grassroots football and professional club academies. While it may not contribute directly to your CPD hours, it certainly makes for an interesting, educational and enjoyable read.

Another great resource is The FA Coaching Community powered by Hive – our new coaching social media and community platform. Free to join, it brings thousands of coaches from across the game and the country together to enjoy great coaching content and engage in discussion. Registering takes a matter of minutes and once you’re in you’ll have access to even more coaching insight articles, interviews and top tips. To sign up, visit www.hivelearning.com/thefa.

The FA also have a range of free online CPD courses available.

Sign up for our FREE Newsletter HERE

10 TOP-TIPS: PLAYER AND TEAM CHALLENGES

Setting challenges for games and training is a great way for coaches to motivate individual players and teams.

Here are our 10 top- tips for using individual player and team challenges in your work:

1) Get to know your players

 How well do you know the players in your group? Do you know who can use their weaker foot? Who is accurate with their short passing, but not with their long passing? Player challenges are most effective when they are designed for individuals, so it is really important to get to know your players better.  Start by identifying strengths and areas for improvement.

2) Stand back and watch

The best way to get to know your players is through observation. Set yourself a challenge to do more watching than talking in your next session or game. By taking a step back it is amazing what different things you will identify when watching the players. Take notes whilst you are watching as this can be the start of creating effective individual challenges.

3) Continue to improve strengths

It is tempting to link all the player challenges to improving weaknesses. Although there are certain fundamentals of the game that all players need to develop, it is also really important to identify what is unique about a player and help them get even better at that part of their game. For example, if you have an excellent dribbler, challenge them to get even better at dribbling.

4) Variety in design

Challenges don’t always have to link to the technical and tactical side of the game. For example: you may have a player who is quiet both on and off the pitch and doesn’t mix with the rest of the group. You may give the player a communication or leadership challenge to boost their confidence. Linked with this you may challenge another player in the squad, somebody with good teamworking skills, to try and integrate the player into the group more.

5) Sessions which challenge the players

Once you have an idea of your player or team challenges, think about how you can design a practice session that allows the players to work on their own individual challenge in a group setting. This is no easy task, but it can be achieved through clever planning.  Game-like activity is the best way to approach the task, with clever use of player positions, pitch sizes and formations.

6) Time and patience

It is important to give players the time to work at their challenge. For example, a player might work at the same challenge for a six-week block, or even longer.  If you change the challenge too often, the player may not have the opportunities to solve the problems that the challenge poses.

7) Matchday challenges

When you are working with younger players, it is crucial that your training sessions link to matchday. Ask the players to continue to work on their challenges during a game and continue to support them.  Don’t let the scoreline detract from what you are trying to achieve with your individual players.

 

Enter the Biggest youth tournament in the UK HERE

8) Different positions

Experimenting with player positions is a great way to provide different challenges. Think carefully about the challenges different positions afford and then link the position with the individual you are working with. For example: if you want to help a player with their receiving skills and awareness, you may play them in central midfield where there will be a lot of pressure when receiving. Similarly, you play them as a central defender and encourage the goalkeeper to play short to start attacking moves.

9) Different age-groups

Similar to experimenting with different playing positions, playing players in different age-groups can provide great challenges. For example: a player who needs to develop their physical qualities or understanding of when to take lots of touches and when to play quickly, may benefit from playing in an older age group where the time and space will be challenged. What other challenges do different age-groups offer?

10) Ask the players for their input

Lastly, don’t forget to ask the players what they think they need to improve or what they would like to work on during training and games.

Article courtesy of The FA Bootroom

 

The FA Goalkeeping Conference 2018 – Book HERE

On Sunday 15 April 2018, St. George’s Park will once again play host to one of The FA’s most popular national coaching events – The FA Goalkeeper Conference.

The event has been designed to provide you with a platform to discuss and understand more about the modern goalkeeper, with a specific focus on the ‘Four Corners’ of goalkeeping development which links directly to the fundamentals of the England DNA .

We’ll be hearing from some of the biggest names from the world of goalkeeping including Richard Hartis, former Leeds United and current England goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele, former Manchester United goalkeeping coach and England national coach Jack Robinson.

The full programme is currently being finalised and will be released in the coming weeks.

For further information and to book your place click the link below.

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE

Breaking!!! FA Announce new plans for 2018

A series of new initiatives and investments to impact the whole of English football, please see FA announcement below;

We have today announced a series of new initiatives and investments which will have a significant impact, both on the FA itself, and for all of English football.
The announcements include a range of measures aimed at improving the culture of the organisation and considerable new investment into every level of the game. These include:-
Quality pitches and changing facilities remain our biggest challenge in the grassroots game. This money will allow us to accelerate our efforts to deliver more and better football facilities for the grassroots game. In partnership with Sport England and the Premier League, this increased investment will support a range of new and existing facility programmes to meet the needs across grassroots clubs, County FAs, local authorities and education sites.
One such new initiative includes a mini-pitch programme which will be piloted in 2018, and if successful it will be rolled out across primary schools and grassroots clubs up and down the country.
Such new initiatives will complement existing programmes such as the Parklife community hub scheme which has been successfully rolled out in Sheffield, with further hubs to follow in Liverpool, London and a further 15 other cities and towns in England. The £9m is in addition to the £20m a year already invested by us into football facilities, all delivered through the Football Foundation and will, alongside the investment of our partners, help to ensure that by 2024 over 80 per cent of all football will be played on quality football pitches.
There are 64,000 mini-soccer and youth football teams. The youth game is thriving, witnessing a seven per cent year-on-year increase in team numbers. We want the first experience of football for all those children to be the best it can be. In order that they can enjoy and learn their football in a safe and fun environment, and also improve the standard of football being played, we are investing to ensure every one of those teams has a Level One qualified coach. We will make funds available to clubs to get their volunteers onto the coaching pathway and improve the standards of their mini-soccer and youth offering.
The largest community clubs are the most sustainable and deliver the most development outcomes in terms of the number and diversity of the teams they run. For the first time, we will invest directly in 150 of the biggest clubs to support this vital community development work.

Clubs will be invited to put themselves forward to enter the programme, which will offer a range of support from business capacity building and direct facility investment. Each club hub will be supported to recruit/retain a UEFA B coach to not only work across its own teams but act as a coach mentor across grassroots clubs in its region. The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence one level below the UEFA A Licence. As of November 2017, there are currently 11,095 UEFA B coaches in England.

We will increase our investment in the women’s game. Over the next six seasons, an additional £50m will be invested into women and girl’s football taking the total investment from the 2018-19 season onwards to £114m.

We believe that no-one in the world is matching this level of investment. It will go into every level of the women’s and girl’s game from school programmes and SSE Wildcats centres, the initiative to encourage girls aged 5-11 to play football, through to investment into the Women’s Super League clubs and development of regional high performance centres to feed the talent pathway to the Lionesses.

The announcement also includes a range of substantial new strategic investments in the game which will be made from the 2018-19 season.

This will total around £180m per year going directly back into football, which is up from £123m in the previous year, representing a 46 per cent increase.

We are a not-for-profit organisation that is now able to make this new investment due to increased revenue from the sale of the Emirates FA Cup and England broadcast deals, a new long-term partnership with Nike and the consequence of the corporate re-structure in 2015 which has enabled The FA to operate more efficiently.

The FA;

The new investments include:-

• More than double the Emirates FA Cup prize fund from the 2018-19 season. This will benefit all participating clubs at every stage of the competition.

• Pay off the Wembley National Stadium debt. This will be done by the end of 2024, ensuring we can remove the burden of debt repayment from then on. At present repayment rates, this means £2-3m saved every year after 2024 and invested back into the game.

• Significantly increasing our investment into grassroots facilities by £9m per year. This money will support a range of new and existing facility programmes to meet the needs across grassroots clubs, County FAs, local authorities and education sites, including a new mini-pitch programme in primary schools and grassroots clubs up and down the country.

• Increasing our investment in grassroots participation activities by nearly £6m per year.

• Investing directly into the 20,000 grassroots affiliated clubs to ensure that each of the 64,000 mini-soccer and youth teams has a minimum of a Level One coach, to provide our youngest players with the quality coaching they deserve.

• The establishment of a new Community Club Hub network. Over 150 large-scale clubs across England will receive direct investment and resource support to deliver development outcomes. Each Hub will also have a subsidised UEFA B Coach mentor to work across their club and wider community.

• A new volunteer strategy to invest directly in succession planning and training across the leagues and clubs network. This will include a reward and recognition element.

• Establishment of a recreational growth fund to support recreational football including small sided, Futsal and walking football.

• Sustain and enhance the disability growth fund to support growth in disability football.

• Increasing our investment in the women and girl’s game by an additional £50m over six years to ensure the sustainability of successful initiatives such as the SSE Wildcats programme, which will see 3,200 new Wildcats centres by 2020, and also ensuring the Women’s Super League gets the support it requires as it grows. This is all part of our commitment to double participation in women’s football and to ensure consistent success on the world stage.

Martin Glenn, FA chief executive officer, said: “The initiatives and investments announced today will make a significant impact to the way football is run in this country.

“They illustrate both how committed The FA is to becoming a more inclusive and diverse organisation, and how much it contributes to English football.

“The FA will now invest over £180m a year back into the game, more than we have ever done before, which will have a positive and meaningful impact at every level of football in England.”

SIGN UP FOR THE PEOPLE’S CUP HERE!!!

Grassroots teams from across England can now sign up for FREE to enter the FA People’s Cup for 2018.

The People’s Cup, which is the largest small-sided football competition in the country, is made up of 18 different categories and offers a chance of glory for all.

The FA People’s Cup

Entry: Free

Application deadline: Sunday 18 February
First Round (Regional): 23 – 25 February
Semi-Finals (Regional): 24- 25 March
Finals (National): 28 – 29 April

With two rounds to progress through before the Finals are held at St. George’s Park in April, and a chance to be at Wembley for the Emirates FA Cup Final in May, could YOUR People’s Cup dreams come true this season?

But with the first round regional stages taking place across the country between Friday 23 and Sunday 25 February, teams need to make sure they are registered as soon as possible with the closing date for applications being Sunday 18 February.

It’s a simple process to register your team too. Simply search for your nearest FA People’s Cup event below and then take it from there to enter! After the first round, teams who progress will head into the semi-finals across the weekend of Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 March 2018.

And the titles will be dished out at St. George’s Park during the grand Finals on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April 2018.

The 18 categories for the 2018 FA People’s Cup are as follows, so find your relevant group and join from there:-

• U14 male
• U14 female
• U16 male
• U16 female
• Youth disability mixed
• Adult male (16+)
• Adult female (16+)
• Adult male disability (16+)
• Adult female disability (16+)
• University Male
• University Female
• Male veterans (35+)
• Female veteran (35+)
• Walking football (50+)
• College Male (Futsal)
• College Female (Futsal)

So, get yourself and your team signed up now. Who knows? It could be your year…

Find your nearest event HERE