The National Player Pathway – what do you think?

Scottish football heads on a new path this March with the introduction of the new National Player Pathway.

This month’s edition of The Club House features a summary of the new pathway and what it means for youth football in Scotland – click here to view.

We’re really keen to hear what you think about the pathway and the impact it will have on the grassroots game in Scotland.

Are you looking forward to the new summer season?  Will it make things easier for your club now that the weather won’t be wreaking havoc on the season? And what effect will it have on the children involved?

Are you pleased to see the clear pathway from the 4v4 game to 7v7 and onto 11v11? Do you think the age ranges fit the bill for player development?

We’d love to hear what you think, whether you are about to take your first steps on the pathway as a player or coach or if you’re just an interested observer.

Whatever you think of the pathway and the future of football development in Scotland, let us know in the comments section below.

Look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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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. Joe Gibson on February 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Playing soccer fours for 4years then progressing to 7s for another four years again is to long.Why
    can teams not play 2 years at 4s then 2 years at fives.then 2 years at 7s and finally 2 years at 9 a/side with intermediat goals for this age group.
    This would allow teams to progress in a manner that would allow them to develop players to a standard that would allow them to start playing 11 a/side with a better understanding of the game at all levels.Also rules do not encourage the basic rules like throw ins and encouraging players to play in goals untill 10s by this time these players will be taking up other sports and will be lost to the game of football.Yes we need to try something that will help players but again I feel that only SFA & SYFA have had any input on these issues.Yes they will say they asked leagues and coaches but only on the presentation not the way the content of these proposals and rules were made.When you talk to coaches that were involved when the rules changed from the basic 11 a/side game to sevens and had the same points that this would produce better players you wonder if the people involved in that process are still involved with these proposals. Only time will tell if these changes will produce players of the future.

  2. Rick Rosewarn on February 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    My concernes.
    1. having a season for 9-12 year olds during the summer … What about those kids that also play cricket? Teams will have a nightmare fulfilling fixtures during school holidays and you don’t want big squads so when no holidays you have too many players to keep happy regarding playing time.
    2. I run an u12 side and when we went to 7 a side to 11 a side the lads took to it so well and were so excited as they concidered 11 aside football as propper football. Kids aged 10 and 11 are smart kids and can’t wait to play 11 a-side games.
    3. How would you implement this … I don’t think 10, 11 and 12 year olds will want to play 7 a side until they are 13. I wouldn’t when I played and when I wasa kid you played 11 aside football from as young as I can remember….
    People do too much thinking … ASK THE KIDS WHAT THEY WANT. They are the ones you are effecting and going to dissapoint.

  3. William Simons on March 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Leaving playing 11 a side for another 2 years is an excellent idea. I had an u/11 team that broke up this year after the cildren could not cope with a bigger pitch, larger goals and a longer game. I had prepared the team as much as i could, trying to increase fitness and stamina prior to the season starting. However we usually had a good first half followed by a disasterous second half. Fitness and concentration has not fully developed and many children who are in their last few months of junior school are preparing for seniors. It was this time when many parents are looking for immediate success and i have seen it so many times recently , they take their children to the bigger more successful clubs to try to get success.
    I have always tried to focus on getting a child to be as best as they can with the skills they can acheive. Not every child can be the next David Beckham but they can enjoy football at all skill ranges. Trophies are not everything, personall developement is much better. The new proposals assist this aim.
    Bill Simons.

  4. norm Lothian on March 1, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Australian Rules football Have been Doing this Type Off Thing For years beleive me It Works Norm lothian 8 Bell ct Morley Perth Westsern Australia.

  5. sandy mathieson on March 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    i wellcome the new pathway, but i would like to see the year before going 11 a side, if we could go from seven to eight a side or even nine aside, this gets the lads used to more positions and less time for boys standing on the sidelines, some clubs run two teams to prepare for 11aside but when the time comes you have to tell about six boys they are not wanted, i would prefer one team where you can bring in extra boys to make up a 11aside squad, and being able to play 8 or nine aside would help me do this

  6. John murray on March 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

    The summer football is a good idea agreed, however the 11 a side game should progress a year earlier as it was previously. We presently have a school team that under your proposals i would have to reduce to a squad of 11 from 16 thus actually preventing 5 children from having the opportunity to play football competitively and winning cups. Why is it a bad thing for kids under 12 to want to win trophies and cups? I think this has been very poorly thought out and could actually prevent children with potential from taking up the game. I have 3 children at the moment whom i woul dnot have picked for a 7 a side team at the start of the season but due to the progres they have made (playing 11 a side) I would have no problems with now. They would however not have had this opportunity under your proposals so all in all I think this is a disgrace. Please note that players develope over the course of an 11 a side season and fit into the team in their best position. 7 aside only allows 1 striker 3 midfielders and 2 defenders? What about the holding mid fielders, right and left backs, wingers, sweepers, attacking midfielders 2nd strikers? The game is 11 a side so in who’s opinion does it improve things playing 7 aside at 10 and 11 years old. Also my kids all hate 7 a side for the above reasons they much prefer 11 aside and really enjoy the tactics, keeping formation, understanding of playing in a team and how what they do effects each other. I watch 7 a side every sunday and due to the size of the pitches and the requirement to win embedded on them by their coaches the long ball over the top to a speedy striker rules. Every time we play a 7 aside game this is what ensues, especially if one of the teams is loosing heavily. They stop passing the ball!

    Why can’t they have the option to play 11 aside at 11 years old. I think you have got the cut off age wrong.

  7. Ian Mcdonald on September 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Dont go with this one,scottish football is goosed because you never see kids playing in the street,(ok there may be a lot more traffic than in my day)you never see them playing for hours and hours on end at playing fields during weekends and holdays.Not knocking boys clubs because they are a good thing,but any natural talent gets curtailed by stupid 5 and 6 aside games.We used to play 20 aside and more,imagine telling george best or wee jinky johnstone how to play the game.Nope kids now sit and play computers or x box games,we will never see the likes of wee jinky jim baxter denis law or king Willie Bauld of the Hearts again.And when these coaches get a grip of them,the first thing they are told is how not to loose,i will tell you how not to loose just score more goals than the other team simple.This one man up front rubbish is boring and drivtng fans away,entertainment that what football should be all about.Nice to see a comment from Norm Lothian perth ex innerleithen man,he knows all about the old days of 20 on each side.

    Ian mcdonald HEARTS FC FAN walkerburn peeblesshire scotland

  8. Jon on December 21, 2011 at 2:43 am

    As a PE teacher and UEFA Licenced coach I would have like all players from Under 10 through to U13 playing 7 aside.

    The reason for this 95% of children in Great Britain cannot kick a ball with good technique. This obviously is including many players whom practice and play games on a weekly basis.

  9. George Dearnaley on January 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

    The fundamental difference in 4 v 4 is giving kids more touches with the ball. This improves individual technique and skill, and decision making, and will eventually create better players. But they need to practice more often, get off the sofa and out on the fields. No system or theory will develop players if they don’t spend the hours doing the practice! Come on Scotland!!!

    Cape Town, South Africa

  10. Alan Anderson on February 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    How can you expect kids that are or have already been playing 7 a sides for a team aged 6 to 9,Then be expected to go back to 4 x 4.???. This rule is simply holding there development back and is going to have the opposite effect as the kids that are good players for their age will lose all interest in the game as has happened in my home town of Arbroath.

  11. Ted Crancher on November 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Have been watching my 4 year old grandson playing diamond 4s at Greenwood Academy every 2nd Sunday. It gets them out playing football , meeting other kids and being part of a team even though most of them all tackle the ball at the same time. But I see progress being made,some stand out and some just want to kick the ball in any direction,but they are trying. Eventualy you can see them dribbling and passing, running into space and calling for the ball.With good coaching you can see progress.Its good to see 8 triers on a pitch with smiles on their faces. Keep up the good work.

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