English FA look to the future with hope

In the December edition of The Club House – out last week – Club Website editor Dan Pope took a look at the English FA’s vision that is ‘The Future Game – Grassroots’.

Sir Trevor Brooking at the FA's launch of 'The Future Game - Grassroots'

English football looked to the future at Wembley Stadium last week [9 Dec] and, after a year to forget for the national team and FIFA’s decision on the 2018 World Cup still hurting, the timing could not have been better.

After two crushing World Cup defeats in just six months, in Bloemfontein and Zurich, English football needs something positive to focus on and, with the launch of The Future Game – Grassroots, Sir Trevor Brooking and his Football Development team hope they have provided just that.

Over 600 grassroots coaches from across the country gathered at Wembley for the launch of the FA’s new blueprint on the future of football coaching and the FA showed they meant business by rolling out the big guns.

England managers Fabio Capello, Hope Powell, Stuart Pearce, John Peacock (manager of the winning 2010 European Under 17 Championships) and Sir Trevor himself were all in attendance.

The message from the FA, and that underlined in the three-part technical document – which covers a playing and coaching philosophy, theory advice and over 200-age appropriate coaching drills – is clear.

If lasting improvements are to be made to the fortunes of the national side, the FA believe we have to start developing better players from the age of five upwards and, to do this, the involvement of the grassroots game is crucial.

The World Cup this summer put into sharp focus the technical superiority of countries such as Spain and Holland, who treat the ball like a treasured possession rather than a hot potato.

But if English teams – or Welsh, Scottish or Irish for that matter – are to develop a national team that is comfortable on the ball, kids need to be encouraged to keep the ball rather than “get rid” at the first sign of pressure.

Click here to read the full article in December’s edition of The Club House.

Have your say on ‘The Future Game’

Are you pleased to see the FA’s new vision of the future? Will you be purchasing a copy and using it to improve your coaching? Do you think £30 is a reasonable price? Have your say in the comments section below.

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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 Comment

  1. Steve Stennett on January 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

    It’s not just about long term investment in ‘developing better players’ with the grassroots game working more cloely with the FA – It’s about changing attitudes towards football at grassroots and that is more about educating the Parents – Although I now coach at the Nottingham Forest FC (Centre of Excellence) for Women & Girls’ football U16 / I coached at grassroots for 8 years, and the biggest issue I had was Parents “WIN” at all costs attitude – and ECHOING their opinion from the touchline by shouting at the players – Here I was coaching & developing young players to not only have FUN and Enjoy the game, but encouraging them to be confident on the ball, not to panic in possession, play through the thirds and let the ‘game be the teacher’ all the good things about the game to enable the young player to be proficient, but all the time I had Parents shouting “get rid” “Pass the ball” “go long” The arm chair Parent, shouting, being negative, and having a dig at the coach when a game is lost – The amount of time I have spent organising Parents meetings/evenings with a view to educating them & explaining how I and the club coaches want the game to be played, The FA & County FA startegy and our own club development programme/plan including how I have been advised & educated by FA Tutors to develop the environment, the practice & the player – How it is important that we allow the young player to make mistakes, because that is how he/she will learn and tell them it is ok to make mistakes, explaining the reasons why – Above all the game for young players must be FUN – VARIED – INTERESTING – CHALLENGING But above all played in the right way and the new “Futrue Game” does just that – I feel every Parent who has a Son or Daughter playing the beautiful game should purchase a copy and read – they may then start to understand that it is THE KIDS GAME – that they learn by making mistakes and rather than parents telling whats right & wrong on the pitch – developing the player is all about doing the right things at the right time and in the right place, mistakes wiill be made along the way but as they move forward and learn by their mistakes then we know they are making progress – Developing V Winning for me is no contest.

    The FA are moving in the right direction – but could go further, it is all well and good developing better players with the New FA Skills Teams developing players at the 5-11 age range – but what about the older younger player – what happens when the 11 year old becomes 12?
    We need to focus on the whole age range from 5-16 – is it any wander the biggest drop out in football is between the ages of 14-16, once the player enters Secondary School, unless the school has a PE teacher who enjoys the beautiful game, football will take a back seat – We need Coaches in the Secondary Schools to ensure we continue to develop better players, increase increasing participation in the game and ensure we continue to develop 11v11 football & small sided games.

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