Got a question for your Football Association?

The Scottish, English, Northern Irish and Welsh FA logosHere at Club Website we’re always interested in investigating the big issues in grassroots football on behalf of you our members.

In line with this we want to hear your thoughts on the key issues in the amateur game before we embark on a series of discussions with our game’s governing bodies.

Over the coming months, Club Website will be speaking to each of the four national FAs about the big issues in grassroots football in their country and across the UK.

We’ll be looking into the health of the amateur game across the country, the state of football development and the big challenges facing the game both this season and in the future.

As ever, we really want you involved, so please tell us what’s important to you and your football club or league at the moment.

Whether it’s coaching and player development, support for volunteers, finance, discipline or behaviour in the game, if it matters to you, we want to hear about it.

Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments field below or email [email protected]. Don’t forget to include details of where you play your football.

We’ll check out all your feedback and pull this together before we meet with the various FAs. We’ll put the key questions to the people we speak to and will report back here with details of what we’ve found out.

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. Coach Pozz on October 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    As a coach and former player I believe it would benefit the game and the development of our younger players if the season began early March and finished end of November. This would give us a three month break through December to February, a period when the weather makes it difficult to play, train and travel.
    Pre-season training could begin mid- January for professional teams and early Feb for grassroots teams.

  2. simon kiefer on October 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I was interested in the comment from the ‘Football Needs….You’ article that stated that we need more Level Three (UEFA ‘B’) and Level Four (UEFA ‘A’) coaches in the game and, in particular, we need them working with kids rather than using the youth game as a stepping stone to senior coaching. I am a UEFA ‘B’ Youth coach working with kids from U6 upto U16 and would love to progress my coaching to the next level, however as all my coaching is voluntary, I cannot afford the financial commitment required to pursue this and my club does not have the resources to put me through UEFA ‘A’ Badge. If the FA really want a higher level of coaching to be provided at an earlier age and across a wider spectrum, then they will need to consider how they can support unpaid coaches to progress.

  3. Malcolm Jarrett on October 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Is there any relevance in this day and age for 4 Football Associations in the UK. None of the countries come close to winning major tournaments and some find it extremely difficult to even qualify. Why don’t they all put nationalistic pride to one side and support a UK side that may have a better chance of winning something and players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey ( I mention these because I’m Welsh!)may have the chance to play in a successful team.

    Also, I am the Secretaryof a club that plays in the Welsh League and trying to obtain any sort of significant finance in Wales to improve facilities etc is a nightmare and I suspect the same applies in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, I am aware that English Grassroots clubs can get access to quite large grants every season. Because of this the other 3 countries will for ever be the poor relations and the standard of players produced will never match those in England. Another reason for a UK FA!!!

  4. Bryan Hollis. on October 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    In order to improve long term player development we need to have non competitive leaues up to the age of sixteen. This would stop coaches selecting there best players and would allow players to experiment in games without the fear of being criticised. We also need to have more UEFA B coaches and more coaches taking the youth module courses to level 3. More alweather surfaces with floodlights are required to enable clubs to train youth players in the winter months. I am a UEFA B coach and at present I am working my way through the youth module ladder.

  5. Paul Owen on October 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    A question for the Football Association of Wales, why can’t you implement a clear and unambiguous mini football structure across Wales? You can go from one town to another and find clubs playing a completely different set up than yourself. It should be made clear how many players should be on each team, how long a game should last, whether there should be half time or not. At the moment, it’s a bit of a shambles, and introduces tension between coaches before a ball has even been kicked. Jjst tell us what we should be doing and we can get on with it.

    Paul Owen
    Machen Devils
    Under 10’s

  6. l huxley on October 15, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    we have a son who has played football since the age of five and is very talented at what he does he dedicates all of his time to the game he is a young 15…his date of birth is 29.6.95 and even though he has progressed we are finding it very hard to help him in wales on finding his path in football as what we are finding sometimes its not what you can do its who you know or sometimes just good luck..our son is going to be leaving wales at sixteen to attend a football college in england costing us around twenty thousand pounds and both my wife and I wonder why people in wales can call welsh football over when we are watching good talent being lost….we are proud to be welsh and perhaps if international football had true welsh lads who love the game not the fame our country would stand a good chance of moving forward…there are good basic players here who need using and not losing…………..

  7. Paul Jones on October 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Coaching initiatives are great. Promoting football in Primary Schools to increase the number of boys and girls playing football is great. Linking up youth and senior set-ups in combined community football plans are great. However, we’ve all got to recognise that playing football on a rutted, sloping, uncut, badly marked, mudbath of a pitch in freezing wind/rain in February results in players simply booting the ball as far and as hard as they can. Stepovers? Yeah right! It’s all about FACILITIES. To borrow from Kevin Costner : “If you build them, they will come”. How about a 3G AstroTurf pitch for every Charter Standard Club, FA subsidies on pitch equipment, subsidies for Junior Clubs to employ groundsmen, long winter breaks to avoid the worst of the weather and the worst of the conditions. The better the playing conditions the better the standard of football. Seemple.

  8. Andy Knowles on October 15, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    “Football Needs You”,,,,,,as a former coach i was interested to see the FA’s new campaign to recruit anyone and everyone into football at grassroots level.
    “Football Whats Your Story”,,,,,when i used to coach football for kids aged between 11 and 15 i used to love it because with kids because of the enthusiasm they brought to the game. My problem was wanting to better myself i had a thirst for knowledge and wanted to read any book or watch any dvd i could get my hands on. I was even interested in further coaching qualifications. However the reality is this,,,,,,
    ‘The Future of The Game” 20 quid
    “Developing the Player” 10 quid
    “Coaching Players A New Approach” 15 quid
    “F A Intro to Coaching” 7 quid
    ,,,,,,and so on
    F A Level 2,,,,350 quid
    F A Level 3,,,,455 quid
    ,,,,,,,,,and so on.
    My time ,,,
    My effort ,,,
    My enthusiasm ,,,
    “Football Needs You”
    At what Cost ?

  9. tony watson on October 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Recruit everyone and anyone into football at a grassroots level, Then dump them at under 12 age group, yes thats what the F.A. do to girls in mixed teams, my sons team had a young girl who loved to play football, but just moved up to under 12 and the F.A. Hypocrites ban mixed football teams at this age, not a new thing always happened what a sexist view where are the people to defend what must be 100’s of kids(girls) from enjoying there our sport as they want, come on F.A. get a grip!!!!

  10. Nicola johns on October 17, 2010 at 7:47 am

    As a committee member and volunteer for a mini and junior football club based in Wales that has spent over a year fighting to get back into our local league after being moved to another league in a different district (lack on teams in that league) I’d like to ask why can’t there be more communication between leagues and thier clubs and why so much redtape when it’s all run by unpaid volunteers. We have had to dispand a number of our teams when mOved to the other league due to the travelling involved and the restrictions on players which meant that almost 60 kids were left with no team to play for all due to lack of communication

  11. John Hardie on October 17, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Why can we not allow 5 subs at Under 19 age group. In this day and age when we are trying to encourage participation what sport in their right mind stops participation. You have 5 players on the touchline and when the 3rd sub is made then the other two players can go home. In recreation football we need this changed to 5 subs from 5

  12. George Sweet on October 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Question for the English FA. Subject charter standard in primary school ages.
    “who polices the charter standard award?” I have been sticking religiously to what the FA tell us is best practice, only to see other supposedly charter standard clubs being run as though they are adult teams. I could fill a book with some of the ridiculous things I have seen and heard from adults involved in the game at this level. I think child psychology should be compulsory for the coaches at this level.

  13. cliff sturmey on October 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    How will the F.A. revamp the Respect programme.

    There are so many issues at grass-roots on the abuse and why the discipline county f.a.’s let offending players off.

    It is the facts that reports of abuse etc by officials is not backed up by ensuring the perportrators are duly punished.

  14. David Ian Rogers on October 18, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I am a qualified hypnotherapist and psychotherapist and want to know why most football coaches and managers choose to ignore my skills to motivate and programme players to maximise their potential?

  15. Brian Mc Cann on October 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    For the NI FA.
    Junior Football in NI are way underfunding by the NIFA, were as 1000’s of £,s are pumped into the Premier and Intermediate Teams year in year out, when will the NIFA develop a funding structure / programme to help support Junior Teams outside of these levels to help support the long term sustainment of the game in NI and not having to relying on applying to Sport NI and the Big Lottery for small funding and competing with other sports for the £?

    Brian McCann
    Riverdale FC Secretary

  16. Darren Mott on October 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Recently, RTB Junior AFC asked the football association of Wales to help with the redevelopment of the clubs changing rooms which in the last year as been vandalised on a number of occasions ending with the local authority condemning the changing rooms as unfit for use. The reply from the FAW was that they don’t recognise junior football below the second tier of the FAW league.
    My question to the FAW is what are they doing with all the money they get from FIFA to develop football throughout Wales? Instead of lining your own pockets with the money, if you invested the money in all the junior football clubs in Wales like the WRU does with the rugby, then we would have a better chance of making the final stages of a tournament.

    Darren Mott
    A very disgruntled parent
    RTB under 9’s

  17. andrew on November 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm


  18. Mel Thackeray on November 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Interesting to read so many negative comments regarding grass roots football and the english FA, i was beggining to think it was just me that had a negative approach. It looks like im not alone in my thoughts that the FA use all the glam posters and adverts and con every one into thinking that ‘yeah ‘the FA is a great organisation and do so much for grass roots footy and young children….what a load of bollocks. ive managed a team and im still coaching a u10 team and cant believe all the crap the FA preach on coaching courses and properganda, when out in the real world and you see children at young ages being subjected to all forms of bias decition making by refs and abuse from opposing teams and when you submit a report to the FA they always agree with the ref……whats that all about ? im a qualified child welfare officer and coach at level 1 but what does that mean…..ill tell you what… £125 for level 1, hey presto im a football coach…..£25 and 4 hrs in class room and hey presto im Esther Rantzen and a child welfare officer. The FA realised that as a country we have wone jack since 1966 and are now embarking on a crusade to recrute at grass roots coaches at social club level coaches to try and produce the next generation of football icons. not that i have anything against social club drinkers…but to throw level 1s at people and say give us the next Gazza or Robson is a load of crap. Your going about it the wrong way mr FA but hey……what do you care as long as the funding and grants keep rolling in and keeping you all in the life style your used too. The FA have a long way to go to catch up with other countrys and clubs on the continant and at the moment they are going the wrong way about it.. but you live and learn…..Shame the dont listen and learn, but they know best, DONT THEY.

  19. john jackson on July 6, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Are seikhs allowed to play football with turbans on ?

  20. msb03 on July 7, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    why do the FA make the courses so expensive and so inaccessible to the working population. Many of the coaches at our club are self employed. The FA locally only run level 2 courses over a week during the day and they cost a fortune. Clubs can’t afford to send coaches on the course due to cost and coaches can’t afford to take the time off work or use up holiday time to go on the courses. They are happy to give up their time at weekends or evenings but the FA won’t run courses to suit.

    The FA spend a lot of time and money in Girls football with 50+ centres of excellence across England, they then cut these down to about 20 and now in my part of the work, the south west they have cut this down to 1 based in Bristol, not run by the FA but Bristol academy. If you live south of Bristol there is nothing for girls other than Grassroots. Many of the girls in the centres who now don’t have that level of football to play in are not going back to grassroots because the they have played at a higher level and aren’t challenged enough at grassroots level where they are a very big fish in a very small pond.

    Help in approving facilities – The FA won’t help you unless you have the money, you can’t get the money unless you have the help from the FA. A viscous circle.

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