FA changes to youth football – what's in store?

The structure of English youth football will be changing from the start of the 2013/14 season.

That is when the FA’s new youth development proposals will start to become reality. The changes have two main strands:

(i) a revised player pathway
(ii) a flexible, child-centred approach to competitive football

So what will the changes mean for your club, team or league?

Youth football change #1: Revised player pathway

Key features:

* New 5v5 format for U7s and U8s
* New 9v9 format for U11s and U12s
* New formats phased in for U7s & U11s only in 2013/14 season
* Mandatory for all age-groups from 2014/15 season
* U9s and U10s continue to play 7v7 and U13s upwards continue to play 11-a-side
* Age-appropriate pitch and goal sizes (see table below)

190Key benefits:

* More touches of the ball
* More goals and scoring attempts
* More one-v-one encounters and dribbling attempts
* Leads to increased enjoyment
* Helps develop technical skills
* Provides better preparation for 11-a-side football

Youth football change #2: Child-friendly approach to competition

Key features:
* Traditional league table season to be phased out for all kids up to U11s
* Phased introduction of flexible competition starting 2013/14 (see table below)
* Seasons will be split into thirds
* Each third to feature developmental matches and trophy events
* Trophy events will increase in duration as kids get older (see table below)
* Short-term burst of competition for even youngest kids (U7s & U8s)
* Parents and coaches encouraged to drop a win-at-all-costs approach

Key benefits:
* Puts emphasis on learning & development
* Puts kids at heart of football process
* Reduces adult-driven pressure on kids to win
* Winning & losing still at heart of game
* Makes more matches competitive for more kids
* Leagues will ensure trophy events are evenly matched
* Teams can be moved between mini-seasons to match ability
* Reduces likelihood of 18-0 drubbings – no good for anyone

June 2014 update – youth football progress report

If you have any questions regarding the new structure to youth football in England, please read our interview with the FA’s Nick Levett published in June 2014, which provides a progress report on the changes to youth football and answers a number of frequently-asked questions.

In particular, for all those people asking whether kids can ‘play up a year’ from the start of the 2014/15 season, all will be revealed in the article!

Youth football changes get “positive” feedback – Nick Levett (June 2014)

Dan Pope on LinkedinDan Pope on Twitter
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.

Take the hassle out of organising your sports team with Teamer. Organise, communicate and take payments.


  1. Daz on May 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Less kids will play at a early age because you won’t get people to run the extra teams.

    Kids in the Div 1s want league status if they didn’t then why would they leave lesser teams to play in beter ones.

    5v5 will need to be run with 20 lads split in 3 teams.

    7v7 will need to stay at A Team and B Team

    9v9 is going to make it hard to keep 16 for 11 aside.
    May be look at how many subs and increase match time so you can have 16 lads

  2. Daz on May 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    If you want to help development then keep it as it is and if a ie under 10s win div 1, let them progress to a age up and also if a team end up bottom of div 3 let them go down a age group. This way you won’t get 18-0

  3. MARK BURTON on May 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    this is the right way forward as all children can play and not compete all the time. this will put more enjoyment back into our game and providing all children benefit the parents will learn more respect for each other

  4. Phil on May 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    So clubs will have to buy even more equipment, nets and goalposts, and persuade councils to create more small pitches….
    There is nothing wrong with the present structure, and it wasn’t long ago that we changed to that. More change just to keep the FA boys in jobs.

  5. Derek Hartas on May 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    “this is the right way forward as all children can play and not compete all the time.”

    What is wrong with a bit of competition?

  6. Ashley Beecham on May 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I have been involved in youth football for 12 years and whilst I understand the bit about development will be encouraged by taking away the pressure of the win for a league position, I do not think the over complicated replacement of 5v5 and 9v9 will achieve the FA objective. Why not just remove the league system so that teams are playing friendlies instead of competition to encourage the development of all players not just the best and remove the ability of accademies to rape the teams of all their best players that are developing in an environment with their friends witout the pressure of having to compete against their fellow players at the age of 8 up wards.

    • Silv on December 1, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Totaly agree with Ashley grass roots FA should look closer in to it as to many top teams take advantage I.e taking the best players poaching etc.
      It’s not fair on the children development programme.
      Get rid of the leagues and create friendlys instead so if one team sime to get all the best players ges what no one will whant to play friendly with them any more so they will suffer for their grid.

  7. Daz on May 31, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    RE MARK BURTON says: ; parents will learn more respect for each other.

    No this will not change because the struture change.

    Are you saying you can’t compete and have fun????

    (I run a team and my teams parents are quiet and so am i but my lads like to compete and win.)

    I started a new team with lads new to football at under 10s. Gone from div3 to div1 next season and the lads want div1. I even kept them down in div2 last season despite being able to go up.

  8. Jo Jackson on May 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Personally I see this as a massive step backwards, I coach U8’s at present and regardless of what the FA believe the children are competitive regardless of a fluffy league and this needs to be recognised. What they should have done is set a minimum team number and a minimum amount of playing time for each player in a competitive environment. You will still have egotistical parents and clubs that well be win at all costs and will not make any difference to them.

  9. Peter Livingstone on May 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    There is a danger to the attempt to arrest the decline in eleven aside Adult Football with a lack of facilities and amenities for Parks Football .

    It is becoming more difficult for those running teams or starting up young Adult teams in areas of deprivation.

    When trying to encourage young individuals to participate particularly NEATS embarressed when unable to afford subs.

    In some cases groups of talented young players after leaving well organised junior Football are faced with economic reality of not being able to afford pay to play.

    Especially when they try to start a new team they are collectively faced with the apparent “Cartel hire prices” of most facilities developed through PFI’s and those schools with Governers who regard facilities developed by Sport England as theirs.

    There is a trend of schools putting restrictions in the way of community use despite them committing to local arrangements, claiming eg: caretaker unavailable to open up for community use during half term or school holidays with the excuse it would leave facilities vulnerable when used out of school hours. Local Education authoritees are unable to intervene.

    There are limited financial resources available for Local Authorities in the current economic climate thereby compounding decades of lack of investment to provide REAL GRASS ROOTS district league parks teams with affordable facilities.

    With less grant aid available social inclusion from junior to senior Football through sport is in danger of floundering due to lack of sponsorship and financial investment.

    FA gurus please when catering for the latest Junior Football pitch developments. Remember kids do grow up and if we don’t provide Adult Grass Roots upgraded parks facilities for them in the future.

    We may endanger the future life blood of the local district league grass roots 11 aside game.

  10. Darren on May 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    This is the right way to develop young footballers, the next is to stop sliding challenges so you can only win the ball on your feet. This will make sure the players are in the right position to win the ball no lunging challenges because they are out of position, also the player with the ball can become comfortable on the ball doing their skills without getting slid out by a recklous challenges.

  11. Dennis Johnson (kent on May 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Why do you not want children to be competitive at football? Any child wanting a future career in football in this country is already in a difficult position due to the industrys thirst and preference for foreign players. Silly non competitive rules and encouragement just reduces there chances further and is like fitting handcuffs on them. I agree some just want to play for fun and there needs to be a place for them, but isnt that why we have divisions. The best thing you can do to affect youth football in this country is look at how there role models act and behave and that isnt there parents. Its the pro players. If you want to add rules add them to the adult players and add rules on english clubs ignoring and not investing fully in youth football. Perhaps if there were more english pro players in this country we would have a better national team. Non football loving people watch the national team play and a good performance and enjoyment of this creates the fans of the future and fills the stadiums. It is simple business economics. Get more people intrested in watching the sport and spend more on creating good english players. Stop ignoring the obvious.

  12. Stephen Eblet on May 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I see some good comments and input here to what I consider to be more wooly, politically correct proposals for junior football. All the F.A’s tinkering with the formats and regulations have done over the past few years, is accelaerate a decline in jnuior football ( in my locality).

    Specifically, football is a competitive sport and provision must be there for those parents and children who want to compete. Aside from this, there are children out there, who despite however much training they receive, they will only ever play for fun. Nothing wrong with that either, but league table and competition are a must for most.

    I also agree that something must be done to stop academies not only ‘raping’ clubs of their best players, but making up numbers and giving false hope to the majority they take, only to build a squad around their few potential future stars. I regard this as a form of deprivation, when the majority who do not make it, realise they have missed out, by not ‘enjoying’ football with their own friends.

    Where has all this tinkering over the last 20 years got us? What have we won at national level? It’s high time the FA took of those rose tinted glasses and got real.

    As for the economics, I could fill an encyclopedia! The millions that are squandered in the Premiership, while kids can’t afford to play and clubs can’t afford decent equipment?

    I spent 15 years in junior football and our biggest obstacle was always the F.A.

  13. Mick Grant on May 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    This (in my humble opinion), is brilliant.

    I have been longing for the day when I can draw my teams’ names out of a hat on a Sunday morning allowing each to play in a multitude of positions, safe in the knowledge that should we lose the result will not be published and therefore the kids are playing for the reason they want and that is because it is fun.

    From my view point as a coach/manager/father I can concentrate on what I believe is important and that is that the kids learn to play in all positions, with both feet, and not that the big lads play at the back the “one footers” play on their respective wings etc.

    From a development point of view it will ensure that the England teams of the future will have a training that means they have the technical ability to play all over the park.

    Finally, the FA should publish the survey on “Why Children play Football” and issue it to evey club in the land to be read to the parents at the start of the season.

    Its time to reclaim the game we gave to the world and at last train our children to play it properly.

    Very Best Regards

    Mick Grant
    Sheffield 6’s
    Under 10’s

  14. John Scott on May 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I have read with interest both the FA proposals and the comments from coaches and parents alike.

    Being from Scotland we have been following the SYFA ‘player pathway’ for a couple of years now and having been involved in both trophy football and trophy free football I have observed many changes to our primary football.

    I can see the merits of trophy free football but in my opinion we will only see the real benefits when the kids (and coaches) that have been part of that era have moved on and the whole culture is that of plying football and not winning persay e.g our current U10’s have grown up desperate to follow in their brothers footsteps and win whatever cup their brother won whereas the current U7s have no such notion as the concept of winning is just there in game time and not trophies.

    It will take time here but what we were doing – and England by their tournament record – just wasn’t or isn’t good enough so something needed to change.

    I was all for the excitement of winnong but now looking back to my time in primary football I remember the pressure he was under to deliver. That same pressure just isn’t there any more with the emphasis on encouragement by the coaches – fortunately we have coaches who have bought into the idea and its game time rather than winning.

    We still know who the best players are but not who the best players are going to be.

    We have around 200 kids running about at various training nights and our Sunday league and we are giving it a chance.

    Time will tell but it’s hard for the age groups that are within this transitional period!

    John Scott – Oban – Scotland

  15. Philip, Byfield on May 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I do think that the FA are right with 9×9 for under 11s but i fill they are making a mistake with the u10s and the 9s. Boys and girls play to win even if is a Frendly , that is the way it is . With coaches where are you going to get them from , we are losing coaches every year due to parents and the Fa coming out with new rules etc . i think this is going to back fire , and you are going to lose out to private spots clubs that will bring in leagues for boys and girls who wont want to join a club . clubs will not be able to get teams and you will lose mini football .

  16. Nick B on May 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant news – ten years too late, but better late than never. May I suggest all of those who have posted negative comments, actually read the full document until you understand it – then make the effort to attend some of the really good courses available through your regional FA’s.

  17. marie holt on May 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Maybe some of the bad and i mean bad as in really bad refs will have to play fair. when the refs team is to embarrassed to celebrate their goals then this is not good for either team. Also the clubs that are adult and supposed to bring on lads to fill their teams later really need to get much more involved.

  18. Daz on June 1, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Re; Nick B says: Brilliant, absolutely brilliant news

    Just because people don’t have your view don’t mean they havn’t read the full doc or that they havn’t attended FA course’s.

    One point is that the FA want more England players so really those that will only play for Fun don’t really come into it. Good players will learn diff postions and do use both feet. The problem is they don’t get the chance to progress into the Big football clubs.

  19. Jo on June 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

    My sons team has been playing the 9v9 set up for the past year in the u11’s and it has proved worthwhile, there is more space on the pitch for the kids to play football in and enables the whole team to get involved, The team will normally finish around the mid of their table but this time they finished at the top winning to move up a level to the b league, we had a tournament recently where they played 11v11 and they struggled to get used to the pitch so i think its a good idea to introduce it to all leagues

  20. msb03 on June 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I though it was worth re posting what Nick Levett said about “non competative football” as so many people appear to to issues with the words non competative

    ‎19 OCTOBER, 2011

    Nick Levett
    FA National Development Manager for Youth and Mini-Soccer, P/T Academy Coach at Fulham FC

    It’s Not Non-Competitive. It’s Child-Centred Competition.

    I think it’s time to clarify, clear up, eradicate and move on from some of the nonsense I keep reading about some of The FA’s plans for youth football.

    Let’s get this very clear from the outset: The FA is not making youth football non-competitive. The game is a competition; the battle between two teams to see who wins over the period of time the game goes on for, whether you are 7 or 57, the game is still about seeing if my team can beat your team. End of story. Hope that’s now clear.

    Non-competitive implies everything is a friendly, like the game doesn’t matter. That’s simply not the case. All games matter to the kids, for some adults it matters too much and therein lies a lot of the problems.

    What the plans are looking at are about making flexible competition, where children can still experience the importance of winning and losing, still feel the highs, the lows, the exhilaration and depression that all get associated with the game we know and love. However, this is about making sure that they experience a children’s approach to competition, not an adult’s approach.

    We have taken the adult model, league tables, three points and goal difference, and imposed this on young people. What we have found from listening to young people is that it has increased pressure and is a reason they leave the game. I can’t find any academic research that says pushing children down an over-competitive route is good for enjoyment or development. None. All I can find is the opposite, such as the writings of Lynn Kidman.

    I have heard from managers about children being sick before the game because they are so nervous about losing a game in a relegation battle and children not turning up or wanting to go on because they were so scared at doing something silly and making a mistake and they didn’t want the repercussions. The repercussions from adults after a kid makes a mistake?! I heard one manager about Christmas time last year say to his U11 team that today was a “must-win game”! Nothing is must-win when you are 11. Please, give it a rest!

    However, children have also told us they like seeing their progress and they like to see themselves get better, something they like from leagues. We simply have to find the balance between the two that enables development and enjoyment from a young person’s perspective.

    So, the plans are this; Give leagues the flexibility to organise football for the children in the primary school age group which involves periods of development matches, time to learn the game, interspersed with periods of competitions, where they might play for a trophy or two.

    And this flexibility is open to the league. For example, one of the issues we have found from looking at youth football around the country is in most leagues there are only two maybe three teams that might win the league and they invariably know this before the season even starts! The teams that aren’t great know they are never going to win anything either, therefore might monitor development and progress in a different way – losing by less goals, sneaking a draw here and there, social and player outcomes etc.

    What we are saying to the leagues is this – can you find a better way that encourages and promotes more opportunity for more teams to be competitive? So, in a division of 12 teams, have 6-8 weeks playing development matches, putting into practice what you have been learning and then some form of competition, but be clever and smart with this. Organise a little competition for the top six teams to play for a trophy and the same for the bottom six, where the teams in the bottom six now have a realistic chance of winning something, of feeling good for this, or feeling down because you lost in the final. Something the kids might otherwise never have felt.

    And use the scores from the blocks of development matches to get teams in the right groups. No team wants to have games that are too easy or be beaten by loads every week so there is a crucial role still in the administrators making sure teams get pitted evenly against others.

    One guy from a league said he had 32 teams at the U10 age group, could he organise a World Cup format with 8 groups of four, little round robins and then go through to a knockout and a final? Absolutely! Do things that are going to capture the attention of the kids. Just don’t stick them in one league for 8 months a year!

    When this has been discussed and understood by people on my travels they have started to get it, to understand why. Not listening to hearsay, fourth-hand information or making up their own spin on something because it suits them. I met the KNVB (Dutch FA) Technical Director, a UEFA Grassroots Panel member, a month ago and discussed these with him – he was hugely impressed with this modern approach and asked if I would meet with his team to discuss further what we are planning. England leading something in football and the Dutch liking the ideas of!? There’s a first!

    This isn’t saying what we have doing has been wrong for years, we are saying this might be a great way of engaging more kids in the game we love, for longer, in a more modern way. We have to move away from the win-at-all-costs culture in this country, we quite simply have to. It is ruining the game for everyone, stifling development and hindering enjoyment. Winning is important, but somewhere down the list behind a number of other more important factors.

    Striving to win? Absolutely important.The score? Not as important.

    The game is evolving rapidly; new types of player and no longer just giant athletes, new types of football and no longer just 4-4-2, new formats of the game and no longer just 11v11.

    “The difficulty lies not in new ideas but in escaping the old ones” (John Maynard Keynes). And he was a smart man.

  21. Jason W on June 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

    These measures have been on the horizon for a while so it’s not really ‘shock news’. For the FA to bang the drum and officially declare, define and grow this strategy is excellent for the younger age groups. As a coach of mini soccor I am really pleased that managers, coaches and clubs are being encouraged to get the young players to play different positions, play two footed and so on and to downgrade the competetive nature of the game for a few years. With the non competitive approach already in effect at very youngest age groups, this strategy is already in place to some degree and to expand that to the U9, U10 and U11’s is terrific.

    Funnily enough I imagine this will encourage boys and girls aged 9,10 and 11 to start football should they not have started earlier. Perhaps the non competition will remove some of the fear factor for them.

    I think some parents and coaches of talented teams will object because it is often here where the real competeitive edge comes from. Fathers and mums pushing their kids to win, especially those with some talent. That will make life difficult for many coaches and clubs and will take some time to overcome.

    I do hope the acadamies and centres of excellence for the clubs in the higher divisions actively adopt this. Their recruitment of the younger players and treatment in my view does not always align itself to having ‘fun’. They are always looking for talent to take to higher levels (nothing wrong with that) but that by its very nature encourages competitive behaviour (and often selfish behaviour) and the boys, girls and parents in that environment are less inclined to go along purely for fun or to experiment greatly by playing in different positions. I would like to see more news about how such a strategy could be carried into that level of U9, U10 and U11. It is from here that the real stars of tomorow will come from afterall.


  22. Marie O'Grady-Hills on June 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I think its a great idea and it works well in other countries. My husband and I have ran a team for the past 6 years – our team are now U12s. We have an ethos of giving each child a game regardless of ability. They all pay the same fees and although we want to win and be competitive we are not a ‘win at all costs’ team. We have played teams in our competition that choose 15 kids from 150 trialed kids. It is very difficult to play against teams who work like this – their subs will be a strong as the players being replaced. Any monkey can manage a team and win a game if they have a hand picked squad of highly skilled players – however give this manager a team of mixed ability kids – thats where you can measure a managers ability. I also feel that managers should have some sort of qualification at least FA Level 1. This was you can encourage and develop each childs ability not just pick kids who already have the ability. We have seen some of our kids with weak ability at U7 really shine when they get to U10 and likeways I have seen kids with super ability at U7 on other teams that lose interest at U10s.

    Please let us know if we can help you in any way to make this a success,


  23. Peter Hucker on June 1, 2012 at 10:37 am

    how can leagues make sure u7 and u 8 are evenly matched most of them have never played before

  24. Phil on June 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Simple sit downs on the grass in front of your team and ask do you want to win today
    You will only get one answer I can guarantee you it will be some funny looks and the answer will be 100% YES
    The game is about winning score more goals between the stick than the other team sm

  25. Peter Hucker on June 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    All that will happen at 5-a-side is the big strong kid will dribble past everyone and smash it past the terrified keeper at least with 7 a side he has more chance of being tackled it will in fact increase the likelyhood of 18-0s or 18 alls, where have the people who devised this been watching their kids football for christs sake

  26. Mike on June 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Fantastic to see these plans confirmed! However the main problem is educating parents and coaches that really have no idea what they are doing, some negative comments on this page are laughable! Poor excuses if you ask me. These changes will bring about real change but only if they are embraced by all, my worry is the thick coaches will play 11 a side matches during the friendly u10 and u11 season like some do now during u9 and 10 seasons.

  27. Dave from Sedgley on June 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    It is good to see that an emphasis on skill development is paramount and, for certain age groups, is paramount to competition. I like the idea of short term competitions. I do have three comments:-

    1) All the desire and rule structure for skill development is wishful thinking unless the problem of poor playing surfaces is addressed. At grassroots level, we must have the worst playing surfaces in the developed world.

    2) Why should competition be denied to those who want it. is it not possible to set up a tier of competitive football for the skilled and talented players who desire it. It is probably for established Charter Standard clubs. This type of competition could be rigorously supervised.

    3) Academies! When are Academies going to be stopped from stripping young players from their clubs, thereby ruining that club, and then only for said players to be spat out later as unwanted.
    No Academy should be looking at players until, in my view, they are 14 years of age. How many of the thousands of optimistic young players end up with a Professional contract and how many just end up disillusioned and finished with the game before they have even left School.

    Football is a great game – it is a simple game often spoiled by experts. The skill development will come with a freer, more relaxed attitude to playing. Get the enjoyment in the game, let free expression reign, stand back and watch the improvement!!

  28. Daz on June 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Re msb03 says:I though it was worth re posting what Nick Levett

    Yes i get what you are saying but this is not what the leagues in my area are taking up. They are bring in 9v9 non competitive but still sept to Mar. not broken up into 3 stages.

    I agree with the chap who says 5v5 you will have the one lad hogging the ball. It happens in mini football (5 to 7years) which stop the others getting the ball and having the touches. Also having the better ones at the top gives the new ones a chance on the ball in the lower league. The problem lies with parents who try to start to high when there lads start football. Not many will go to he bottom team in div 3

  29. Joe Wallis on June 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    These proposals are likely to lead to fewer children actually playing. We have a successful U7 side at present with 10 boys, however most weeks due to illness or holiday we have 8 max 9. This means that with 7v7 all the boys get a good run out. If we were to have to go to 5 aside we would have to tell 2 or 3 boys that they would not be able to play for us. To try to put together 2 teams would mean trying to find more players and someone to run the 2nd side, which is hard enough as it is. Therefore less boys playing football, crazy idea. Also the smaller the pitch the less chance for boys to pass the ball around, it will just encourage the strongest players to run everywhere, not how we want to play football

  30. Ant on June 5, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Our league is one of the biggest and Proud recipients of the National Charter Standard League of the Year Award 2010.

    The first ever Charter Standard League in Lancashire!

    The League for 2011/12 will consist of around 520 teams playing either mini soccer from under 7s to under 10s, 9 v 9 football at u/11s to u/12s and 11 v 11 football at u/13s to u/18s. (Many of these teams were mixed with girls and boys), we also have girls sections at under 10’s to Under 16’s.

    In all we have around 7,000 children taking part in three formats of football each weekend.

    We have around 150 referees, with many moving onto the adult game and members of the referee academy. The problem with the new format were will we find new pitches for all these games? and were will we find more refs (which is tuff as it is)?

  31. Daz on June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Re Ant says:Our league is one of the biggest

    Totaly agree.

    Its going to be hard,

    find 2 5 aside teams for some

    find parents to ref and help

    find pitches

    May add cost

    find COACHES

    With 7 aside and 2 teams you can take in engough fees and find parents to help. (remember not all parents will or can)


    Fun went a long time ago and nows it is all about Money.

  32. A.Fellowes on June 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I dont understand while you are allegedly making it better for the boys you intend to make a 13 year old keeper play in a fullsiize goal

  33. Albert Fellowes on June 12, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Why are you going to make a 13 year old keeper play in a 24 x8ft goal instead of a 21x7ft. goal/

    Albert Fellowes

  34. Martin on June 13, 2012 at 12:07 am

    “Why are you going to make a 13 year old keeper play in a 24 x8ft goal instead of a 21x7ft. goal”
    Because they haven’t a clue what they are doing or what they were actually voting on. The FA painted a picture that ALL our under eleven year old teams were playing on full size pitches with 24′ x 8′ goals. They conveniently forgot to mention youth pitches and 21′ x 7′ goals, then bundled all the proposals together and people who have nothing to do with youth football and knew no different voted ‘enmass’.

  35. Eric Kershaw on June 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

    For all those that feel the FA’s proposals are wrong or impractical, there is an alternative.

    The National Conference of Youth Leagues (NYCL) is an organisation whose purpose is to allow the volunteers who actually run Youth/Junior Football Leagues and Clubs to meet, share ideas and make the decisions on how best to move the junior game forward.
    These latest FA proposals remove the rights of children, parents and volunteers to spend their own leisure time how they want.
    The children spend all week in school and, when the week-end arrives, they want to enjoy their leisure time – Not be given more lessons.
    The FA have employed professionals to make changes to the amateur game. Do you think they would allow amateurs to change the pro game ?
    The main thrust of this debate should be “Do we want the FA making decisions for us or, should the players, parents and volunteers be making the decisions ?”
    Not every League set up is the same and the FA’s ‘one size fits all’ policy, along with their ever increasing demands on volunteers time and money will only serve to reduce opportunities for young people to play the game.
    The FA have spent a lot of time and money publicising the negative aspects of the game.
    Parents need to be put behind barriers, Team Managers are manic, League Officials are not prepared to “embrace change”.
    Nowhere do they give any credit to the ‘dinosaurs’ who actually built the very leagues upon which they now proudly stand.
    The purpose of this negative publicity is simply to make the FA appear like the saviours of junior football.
    So far, the FA have failed to provide any evidence that their ideas will make any difference whatsover.
    Don’t forget, the FA sang exactly the same song when they launched mini-soccer 12/14 years ago. Where are the stars 12 years later ?
    Development – Isn’t that what we have training nights for ?
    If you want ‘Development’ games (or friendlies as they are otherwise known in the amateur game) that’s fine but why do you want to impose your ideas on everyone else.
    If the FA’s ideas are so good, why do they need to be Mandatory – Surely a good idea will sail all by itself.

  36. Eric Kershaw on June 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Any League interested in the work being done by the National Conference of Youth Leagues can take a look at the web site: ncyl.co.uk

  37. Graham Shaw on June 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    FA give your head a shake.
    Where do we place the children who cannot get a game because you have reduced the sizes of the teams.
    Don’t tell me they will join other clubs – We struggle to get coaches to run the number we already have.
    Are you going to fund the new changes re goals, pitches and other facilities?
    We’ll end up playing across adult pitches in the mud like we did in the 70’s.
    Not one size fits all, Why mandatory? Your’e tinkering for tinkering sake without answering our questions you promised to answer at your political broadcasts (you named them roadshows!)

  38. Julia on June 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm


    Just a quick question my son who is currently 7 plays up a year and has been with his team for 2 years now. At the start of the 2012/13 will he still be able to play as the team will then be u9’s?

    Thank you

  39. Kenneth Clark on June 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Why not let kids of all ages just play football.
    When I was a kid we play football round the local
    park with four coats has goal posts, some of my
    football mates became paid footballers for local
    clubs. if the skill is there it will always come
    to the top.Too much detail training can kill the
    skill in young lads.

  40. Adrian on June 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I hope the season 2012/13 will show an improvement in referee’s ability to protect the young boys and girls on the field of play during a match, as they have a duty of care during this time to ensure that the pitches are safe for the players to play on and that if a player is injured, that child is awarded the referee’s immediate attention, and if required medical assistance.
    It has been apparent in the 2011/12 season, specificaly in the under 12’s league, that certain referee’s have been negligent in this regard.
    Parents, and the players themselves are aware that there is a risk of injury playing football, but leaving injured children on a pitch without an assessment of the injury at the time, prior to continuing a match is one of negligence on the part of the referee in charge and could lead to a childs health being seriously compromised.
    Here’s for some common sense approach by certain referee’s next season, after all it is Law 17 of the handbook !!

  41. Gary Taylor on July 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    We as a club have two spare under 10’s players due to them going 9v9 at U11 level BUT those two players are apparently not allowed to step up an age group to my U12’s.
    Basically the League are saying no 11 a-side for U11’s at all – is this correct / allowed under FA rules as it means potentially putting kids out of the game ??

  42. Emma Hodges on August 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    What happened to the consultation on the age relative issue? I have an August baby in the new season Under 7’s he is still 5. Not picked to be signed as team over subscribed – have no issue with that in principle he needs to earn his place – but really for his confidence he’d be better being a good Under 6????

  43. Martin Cloake on August 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Nick Levett’s comments fill me with hope. Nuff said.

  44. steve on August 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    why would you want to take the competion out of the game every kid should have a competive streak other wise you are not goin to better yourself or have anything to aim for if you dont want any competion dont join a football team just go for a kick around with your mates up the local park this is goin to ruin are football and take all the enjoyment out of it for the kids they have nothing to aim for to me its a joke and i no i could get a petition from thousands of people who agree with me every one i have spoke to thinks the same

  45. Mark Meekings on September 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Our club had 20 players at under 6/7 training ready to start a new season.
    One problem! Two teams one coach??
    I was pushed into managing the B team because of lack of volunteers. 10 kids would of been let down if they couldn’t play in a team.
    The FA talk about 85% of the shareholders thinkng its a good idea.
    Do they have kids that they are training at U-7 LEVEL? Are they the ones to turn around at the end of the season and tell Billy your not picked for the team anymore?
    If this is happening then i am out! i will encourage my boys to take up another sport! I hear hockey is getting more popular.
    Clubs should stick together and vote against it.

  46. Martin on September 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Mark the question you should be asking is how many of the FA’s shareholding voters actually know anything about grasroots youth football. Take a look at the list of shareholders and you will see what I mean. The FA deliberately lumped all their proposals together and voted them in en-mass using the image of 10 year old kids playing on full size pitches in full size goals to sway the vote. They failed to mention all the teams playing on youth size pitches with youth goals and produced dubious stats showing that 97 % were in favour of all the proposals. No youth leagues were involved in the vote and any negativity to any of the proposals was simply ignored. Nobody in youth football wants to see kids playing on pitches that are not of a suitable size but just think how many suitable pitches with the correct size goals could have been provided with the money wasted by the FA on Nick Levetts needless roadshows, tv adverts and the SGP development. What this country needs is a massive improvement of facilities not people meddling with formats and leagues.

  47. Paul Miller on September 16, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Brilliant, let’s move youth football forward, but please , let’s be more flexible with kick off times, we have a great pitch available but only 2 teams can use it on a Sunday, if we could staggervkicknoff times , like 10am,12, 2, and 4, we could accommodate more teams and/or save on pitch hire

  48. Martin on September 16, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    We have a great pitch available but only 2 teams can use it on a Sunday, if we could staggervkicknoff times , like 10am,12, 2, and 4, we could accommodate more teams and/or save on pitch hire.
    And with that much use how long would your pitch be great for?

  49. Tony on October 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    The FA are a joke these new rules will take any enjoyment out of the game . You play football to win plus all these new rules will put more financial pressure on clubs. The club where my son plays has had 3 coaches leave this year because of the new rules the FA are bringing in This will kill the game as we know it……

  50. wayne on October 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Its clear that we see englands record in tournaments something is drastically wrong.In terms of skill level ball control passing we have always lagged behind many of the top footballing nations.The only way to recify this is to see how the other countrys achieve this and makr the chages to our game.the changes may feel difficult and uncomfortable at first but are the only way englands tournament record will improve

  51. Mikey Frazz on October 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Would be interesting to learn if the FA looked at the way the Dutch run football from grass roots to Academies?

    For example, Ajax encourage their kids to enjoy football, not concentrate on the result. They don’t even look at position specific training until Under 15’s!.

    For me its the Academy system that is flawed, not grassroots, with parents not knowing what signing a contract actually means.

    How many parents know that once a kid have reached under 13 and is given a 2 year contract, then they can’t be released until the contract has expired or it is by mutual consent? Not many and Academies exploit this lack of knowledge by dropping kids left right and centre, shattering dreams.

    The way that kids are treated at Academies is shocking. I know, as my son is at one and his treatment would be classed as child abuse if he were treated like this at school.

    Most Academy coaches are only interested in one thing – themselves – and what they can do to impress the Academy Manager to progress and make a name for themselves. Development goes out of the window and its the result that matters, especially when playing against an Academy like Man Utd or Everton.

    My son is on a 2 year contract, yet the coach blatantly dislikes him, doesn’t give him any 1 to 1 time or guidance, is constantly on his back and sometimes only gives him 12 mins of game time – despite him travelling on average 120 miles round trip for most games – yet the same coach almost hero worships players of lesser ability who he signed simply because they are “big and strong” or because he knows the family!

    The whole child welfare aspect doesn’t come into Academy coaching one little bit and that is reason that countries like Spain, Germany, France, Italy, etc, are always several steps ahead of England when it comes to Youth Development.

    Get the FA to sort out Academies first!

  52. Colin on October 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    The club I run has 28 under 7’s and 20 under 6’s – it is manageable at the moment playing friendlies v other local teams , we play 7 aside and we take a squad of 10. With these new rules of 5 v 5 I would need to find EIGHT team managers ! Impossible .

    Ten years ago Dads got involved taking teams etc but now the generation of Dads doing this has changed through work commitments and the amount of hours you have to put in before you can take a team puts dads off doing it.

    The majority of people involved in football with young teams are against this 5v5 so what is being done or what can we do to stop these changes going ahead ?

    No winners no losers ! They will want to ban certificates next as it upsets children that don’t receive one. GET A GRIP F A AND SORT THIS ,

  53. Martin on October 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Have a look at http://www.ncyl.co.uk. They are fighting for a ‘voice’ for grassroots youth football at the FA because it is blatantly obvious that at the moment nobody involved with the FA has a clue what is really required or what we really want.

  54. Nick Smith on October 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I have to say that I believe the FA and David CAMERON are obviously not singing from the same hymn sheet. Did he not say after the Olympics we should be encouraging the youth of today in sport.

    Clearly the FA are attempt to kill off Youth Football and making it harder for Clubs to instill the interest with the youth of today especially if they go to non competitive football to Under 12’s. You may as well not have goal posts and let them kick a ball about.

    I suggest we start a petition and send it to the House of Commons I think you need 100,000 to have it heard in the House of Commons. (only an Idea).

  55. Colin on October 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Has anyone asked 6/7/8 year olds what they want ? No – if you ask your young footballer they want competitive matches and want to see a league table with results – winners – runners up – relegation – this never harmed anyone in the past so why start with this zero tolerance on results now. The FA have been told too many children are playing football and not enough are playing other sports like hockey / rugby / etc so how can you put young kids off paying football – and what they have planned will put children off playing the game they love as it isn’t competitive untill under 12s.
    This petition – who wants to help me start the plan to vote against these changes. Need to act now-

  56. Craig on October 17, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Lets start one….I will speak to members in our league and i know we will get a big backing because i believe 99.9% are against these proposals

    My view is these new proposals are blaming grassroots for England’s senior men’s team not having won a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup and have failed to reach a semi-final since the 1996 European Championship.
    I think they should look closer to home on how the whole of the FA is run and leave us to coach the many thousands of kids that the pro clubs don’t think are good enough to progress.


  57. Nick Smith on October 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm


    I just created a petition: THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION: change the decisions about Youth Football from under 11’s and below, because I care deeply about this very important issue.

    I’m trying to collect 100 signatures, and I could really use your help.

    To read more about what I’m trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:

    It will just take a minute!

    Once you’re done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots campaigns succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!


  58. Nathan on October 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I am 18 and I coach junior football. I remember 10 years ago playing junior football , winning,losing watching the league tables and winning trophies. It was a great part of my life . I am shocked thou why they are changing things . Why didn’t the FA ask the teenagers that have played what worked – did they enjoy etc etc.
    Such a shame for our young footballers what is happening. What a mess – well done FA

  59. collette on October 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    My nice year old son played his first match yesterday.
    We live in France and l was surprised not only to see them play on only half the pitch. There was a total of six goals around one pitch, but also the ref was a 14 year old boy; Very good and not scary

  60. ron jamieson on October 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm


  61. Graham on November 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    There does seem to be ‘pain’ due to the move to the new format but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong direction. I am fed up of the pressure exerted on the players in teams to win, during the match. Coaches and parents shouting out instructions and lots of negative critisism. If you hear the FA research into how kids develop abroard, it’s all about just playing football with a ball and recognising that kids can also self learn during training without the need to constantly stop play to instruct. In the main I see the competition as the driving force for the coach, leading to the inreasonable pressure. The kids do want to win and enjoy the league, but that is all they have known so far.
    My son can spend many hours kicking about with mates on a field, but there isn’t a winner then. He probably learns more about dribble and control there then at his actually training, as he ‘tries stuff’ without anyone commenting. BTW the team he plays for are excellent and have won the league each year from 5 to 9 yrs, but that isn’t an excuse for coaches and parents living out their footballing dreams.

  62. Mark on November 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    The FA is spot on in my eyes. Our role as grass roots coaches is to provide a safe environment for as many kids to play football as possible and to have fun. We do not need leagues in order to make it competitive, play a 1v1, 2v2, 5v5 any Sat and stand back and watch. The only people in my view that need leagues are overl competitive coaches and parents. If that is you, then have a serious think why you are doing it, if it is because you don’t want to look like a rubbish coach if you lose then may be you shouldn’t be doing it. The FA approach will allow lots of kids to enjoy football and ultimately produce better players. Remember the really gifted players don’t actually need grass roots coaches for the coaching, they just need us to provide a safe place to show off their talent.

  63. Martin on November 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Mark the really gifted players are not involved in grassroots football, they are in the Pro Club academies. At present you and your team have many choices to make, whether to join a competitive league or not, what format to play, etc etc. All these choices are being removed by the FA with their ‘One Size Fits All’ mandatory proposals. Kids love to see their team in league tables, they love to see their names in match reports. Ask yourself how many of the new proposals would have been voted in had they been voted on individually instead of being voted enblock on the back of the 9 v 9 format. Ask why the FA dropped their Relative Age Effect recommendation despite claiming they had overwhelming support for it. The FA have lost control of senior football to the Premier League and now see Youth Football (something they previously had no interest in) as a good source of revenue, please don’t be fooled by their propaganda!

  64. Ralph on November 14, 2012 at 1:21 am

    My grandson who is 6 plays for Leam Rangers Greens in the Russel Forster Development Blue League.
    At this moment in time they are unbeaten and are enjoying their football having scored 100 and odd goals in 25 games.
    The following poser was put to me by two of the players;
    ”What kind of trophies will we be getting?”
    My reply;” You won’t be getting any trophies”.
    ”Why not?” they asked.
    ”Because they’ve stopped giving trophies” I said.
    Dejected one lad asked, ”well what’s the point of playing and winning then?”
    My reply, ”I DON’T KNOW!”
    The fact is these youngsters and a lot of youngsters like them are getting no reward or incentive to progress in a competitive game. Everyone likes to be rewarded if they’re good at something, it gives them confidence.
    Whilst I agree with a lot of what Sir Trevor Brooking and the F.A. are doing as regards parental interference, and better skill learning I fail to see how how healthy competition is detrimental to developing a youngsters skill.
    Surely we need more and better qualified coaches at grass roots level to teach the youngsters on a regular basis as opposed to one training session a week with their local club.
    Liverpool appointed Barcelona’s youth development manager and he stated that skill learning and healthy competition go hand in hand and and must be combined to nuture a winning mentality. His philosophy was to teach youngsters skills on the training ground regularly and encourage them to implement them in competitive matches.
    No way am I going to argue against Jose Segura’s philosophy.

  65. thomas on November 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

    can we not get our heads together and get a petition together to show the fa that the league system is great for kids cause they want to win and develope there skills while playing games and enjoying seeing there results on line taken away there leagues and results is not good and i think this will be a bad move for fa football we are not spain so why do we have to follow every other country

  66. Ian on November 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    What are they doing to kids football.Kids are competative they want to win.Parents and coaches want the kids to win.Are we becoming namby pamby.

  67. Ralph on November 19, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Hey Thomas!
    If you scroll down you’ll see that Nick Smith has organised a petition with a link.

  68. Richard on November 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    You guys need to read the new rules properly. Teams at u7 u8 u9 u10 will play more competetive games than they do now. Even u11 u12 etc will have 3 mini leagues as apposed to one season long league

  69. chris on December 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    What has frustrated me most about these changes is the propganda campagin that has been waged. If you watch any of the videos they show little kids stood in full size goals and say how unfair that is which would be true if it was correct, but in reality we moved to mini-soccer over 10 years ago and children usually play in age appropriate goals etc.
    If you watch any of the films of new tournaments with the new structure the questions are all “so why is this better than the old way of playing” which obvioulsy leads the kids to say “its better because….”.
    If you even look at the FA research they say how there is no research on competive football being good and then quote 1 piece of research against; no real change can be based on a single study. Surely the FA has enough cash to fund independent study.
    Some of the changes are good, such as the gradual build up to 11 v 11oy but the mandatory imposition of all the rules such as no leagues is wrong; my 8 year old son could not wait to be in a league this year and not because I had been going on about it but because he sees ‘proper footballers’ being in a league and all the media talk about where his favourite team is in the league.
    I am very frustrated about this as the view is you either ‘trying to benefit kids’ and support the change or you a ‘dinosaur’ and dont understand if you against. Where is the choice!!!
    Sorry for going on

  70. Timothy Coulter on December 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    After being told a player would “drop me” I tackled him. He then came other to me and attempted to strangle me before his manager intervened. The referee said “he couldn’t see the incident”. This is ridiculous and should be sorted out.
    Welton vs Spilsby 09/12/12 U15B

  71. Shaun on January 4, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I run a very large junior club with 32 teams, luckilly we have good cash flow and some funds set aside to pay for the increase in pitches needed and the capital purchases for new goals etc but the time is right now for the junior clubs to get together and form the Junior Football Federation to get a unified voice and to wrestle some control of OUR kids game back from the FA. Councils are looking to increase pitch fees, investment via the FF is falling, the FA are arbitrarilly imposing change, facilities are awful and in woefully short supply. We need a unified voice to lobby government, the FA, the councils and to give the kids a voice.

  72. Tom Quinn on January 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I believe this is a brilliant scheme and developing the youth of football is simply what we need. I believe I have a brilliant idea which could work alongside this, where could I pitch this to in the FA ?

  73. MARTIN WOOD on January 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Shaun do a search for the ncyl and get your league to sign up

  74. Steve Rayner on January 14, 2013 at 2:51 am

    This is a Joke & its going to ruin youth football, I can not believe its going ahead!!!! I run a big youth football club & i am gutted!! the interest is going to be gone!! our current U8 teams can not believe they cant play league football next season! The whole campaign to get this going is not based on factual research, The FA should be ashamed of this & they will see a massive decline in participation, My Club will be more than willing to sign up with a new or simular assosiation as will 90% of the clubs in our league if it means we can continue with the current format our local league SELKENT who already have an exellent approach to child friendly football that works fantastic so why change it!!!!!!!!!!!!! it is just rediculous!!! The FA need a reality check & they need to take advise from people who run the clubs & leagues voluntary in thier spare time as we are the ones who know how it works and what works they all get paid well we do it for nothing! I really hope this is vitoed before next season! for the sake of Youth Football! This is so so wrong!

  75. ian on February 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I’ve mentioned this before: any change from what you have now in the UK, can only be an improvement. I’ve lived in Germany for 21 years and every tiny poxy hamlet has a flood lit pitch, with changing room and shower facilities and club house. It’s great that you have your Youth Football over there, but your youth should be part of one big club, consisting of Youth structure U7’s-U18’s, 1st team, a reserve team and finally, your veterans. You have far too many pub teams over there, calling themselves CLUBS, well until you have an actual address, you can’t call yourself a club. Say for example, you have five pub teams and a football youth set up in one village; all these teams should amalgamate, get the youth set up involved and form one big club and get family members and local sponsorships to raise funds for kits and equipment, but first and foremost, you need council backing, you need council ground to call your own. With enough backing and funding, within a few years, you’ll be able to afford luxories such as changing rooms, showers and then comes the club house and so on and so on. Your facilities are really, really poor. You only need to look to places like Germany, France, Holland and Spain; this should give you the kick up the A you all need to start forming communities again. All the Best

  76. Nick Ward on February 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    From year to year it is getting more and more confusing to know exactly what we are all expected to be doing with Youth Football. When will THE FA realise that Managers, Coaches and Club Officials are ALL Volunteers. We don’t have a lovely office in Soho Square or in Wembley Stadium with flash cars and big wages. We do it BECAUSE we enjoy it HOWEVER the more you change it the more people will quit and give up. Dear Mr FA.Com either come and see what happens at grassroots yes the very bottom or leave it with the clubs and leagues to decide the next step. By the way the way the current England squad plays the game has nothing to do with us at the bottom end e.g those teams and clubs that you don’t give a moments thought about.

  77. Matt Ashdown on February 10, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Children only improve with game time: FACT
    If your child is playing every game, scoring endless goals, not passing but is considered the star player, this is not a reflection of your great parenting skills or coaching skills.
    A great coach is one that can accommodate all standards of players at a young age and improve them.
    It is a sad reflection of our x- factor society that first place is all that counts and that players as young as 8 are walking away from clubs because they aren’t getting game time.

  78. Matt Ashdown on February 10, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I also think that it is so sad that there has to be a point to children as young as 6 for them to play the greatest game ever invented. I defy anyone to know at the age of 6 whether a child is going to be any good at the game or what their best position might be. To decide these things at the detriment of giving every child fair game time is rediculous. What you normally see is these so called better players levelling off as they get to 9/10 as others catch them up in terms of growth and physicality but to not give these others ample game time when they are younger means teams are missing out on potentially good players. It’s not all about making it….it’s about young kids enjoying the game, commaraderie, banter, team building etc etc into adulthood and until their knees can no longer take it!!

  79. Clive Ludlow on February 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I currently manage an under 7 team with a squad of 11,all the players get equal amount of match time and all are enjoying there first session of matches. Under the new rules i would have to cut my squad and play five a side football for one session then back to seven aside. This to me in not progression but a step backwards, the team are starting to understand about positional play and playing into space. Anyone who has played football will know that five aside is a totally different game please can someone explain how this is getting the players used to or progreessing onto a full game. FA why dont you ask the people who matter?

  80. DJP on February 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Clive – read the article again. You won’t need to cut your squad at all. Next season’s Under 8s will still play 7-a-side, then move to 9v9 at U9s.

    Nick Levett & his team HAVE listened to people playing the game & they know it wouldn’t make sense for kids to revert to a smaller-sided game for one season only, hence why the changes are being phased in.

  81. dave,,, on February 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    mr fa u have got it all wrong, what as a load of kids at the ages of 7, 8 and 9 got to do with the national game, leave them alone and let them have something to look back on from their childhoods instead of playing a game what means nothing, sort it before you take the good old british spirt out of the game

  82. Nige Smith on February 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Reading these comments it’s clear that many people don’t even understand the proposals they are slagging off.
    I can’t see anything wrong with the proposals myself – they can only make things better for my boys.
    Check out this blog if you want to understand the proposals a bit better:

  83. Daz Connelly on March 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Non competitive football is a waste of time, how are kids supposed to get a winning mentality ? Kids look forward to playing in leagues, tournaments etc. kids need to learn to win and lose and do both graciously .
    Th F.A need to look long and hard before they put this into practice


  84. Tony Caswell on March 4, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Basically it’s our country trying to catch up with other teams around the world but its too late we are at least 5yrs behind!! Sounds like the FA are trying to make excuses for the England squads who have failed miserably to win anything over the years! And as for not being competitive from u7 onwards is a joke my kids battle to see who eats dinner first or who comes first when brushing their teeth it’s natural to want to win/ take the winning away from the game then the next step no doubt will be no tackling non contact etc etc the future looks bleak I’d say

  85. brian milburn on March 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    will someone tell these silly people at the top that, LIFE IS COMPETATIVE end of story.

  86. David Webster on March 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    My son is now 14 and made good progress in football only to be dropped from elite level due to an injury. He recovered quickly but then there was nowhere to go.
    We fortunately lived near the welsh border and so made the move into welsh Fa football. Much better system. All kids who want to play get a chance with coaching and money handed down to grass roots level from welsh Fa European money. English Fa . Have a look.! In England it’s all or nothing. And many kids fluctuate in progress dipping in and out of elite level.
    Plus taking so many boys out of school lessons at Age 14 is a national disgrace.

  87. Kev on March 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I applaud Clive & Matt’s comments.
    The FA need to address the issue of so many bad coaches being allowed in the youth game. Kids aren’t being given a fair amount of time by many of these coaches, there is no ‘development’ going on. Some coaches have never kicked a football themselves!
    Kids are being told to leave clubs as the coach doesn’t think they’re good enough, rather than supporting them to improve. They then bring in new players who have already been developed elsewhere.
    The FA need to filter out these poor coaches. Turn up at games unannounced and unrecognisable or introduce a workable procedure for parents to report their concerns.
    I know a coach who supports the kids/parents when they give the ref grief. When a ref reported them and the FA came to a game they stuck out like a sore thumb, the coach just told everyone to keep it down as FA were there!

  88. Martin on March 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Nige Smith the blog you linked to belongs to Nick Levett who came up with these new proposals for the FA. In this blog he states “One guy from a league said he had 32 teams at the U10 age group, could he organise a World Cup format with 8 groups of four, little round robins and then go through to a knockout and a final? Absolutely!” Now perhaps someone can explain to me how this is possible when his proposals state that such an event can only be held over four weeks?

  89. Conner baker on March 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Has anyone found any quotes from managers or coaches regarding their opinion on the future on English football with this plan in place? For example, will the english game improve in the next 10 year? will the standard of youth football increase technically. if you do have quotes or references for this, please email me asap.

    My email is [email protected]


  90. Andy on March 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This won’t work and if what your saying is true
    Why is it any 1 playing at club level from 9 can’t play
    For local team.. Calling the kettle black

  91. Matt Davies on March 18, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I think most of the people posting on here were protesting outside the FA when mini soccer was introduced because they thought it was better for kids to play 11v11 on full sized pitches.

  92. Jason Burdett on March 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

    9 v 9 is a step backwards.

    Kids have been playing 11 a side for the past 2 seasons, now I have to tell 2 more kids to sit bench, and the team play on a more junior field.

    In theory, yes a positive step to get the kids on the pitch more involved. In reality, less playing time per kid, so it more than offsets the benefit.

    Stupid move, I’m sorry to say.

  93. Paul on April 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I am a youth FC volunteer. I like the new format proposals. I find some of the responses here quite troubling especially from the volunteer coaches. I know they are amateur volunteers… but I shudder to think of how some of these coaches communicate to their kids… and parents. Moving to a mini-league in-season system of equally matched sides is a good thing… embrace it! Coaches: decide for yourselves how to motivate and inspire kids… but don’t rely on league tables as your only tool!

    My only concern I have with the FA, and in my dealings with them, is that it has only just recently published some guidelines on Club Ethos, Playing and Selection policies, and has not brought semi-professional clubs and coaches who ‘poach’ instead of ‘coach’ to book … there are some real megalomaniac youth coaches who need to have a tougher FA who can stand up to them… I even hear some youth coaches referring to how ‘successful’ they are… !! (they don’t realise that their main measure of success is whether the boys and girls are 18 and STILL wanting to play for a football team… keep them involved and loving it!!! (rant over… but yes, I believe the FA have to do a lot more on the ‘cultural’ and ‘ethical’ side of the game … and do more to help to get these messages across to Youth Football Club volunteers rather than filter it through websites and truculent League Committees!!! (they’ve had over 100 years to work on this after all!!!).

    But I urge all volunteers to embrace the child-centred approach of these proposals. They are a step in the right direction.

  94. Ben on April 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Just looking for soms veiws I have a u9 team in lancs and have an 8 yr old train with us as his friends play for us I have parental concent for him to play but league wont allow it he was looking forward to playing next year as we thought he was at a competative age but now this has changed I now have to tell him and parents he cant play as his birthday is 2wks to late for our age group I is there any exceptions to this rule as he is a big lad

  95. Wayne on April 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Been involved with Kids football now for a few years and the FA have completely missed the point here regards making any changes, for me:
    (1) The Pro Clubs need to be sorted out first and foremost, they’re the ones who scoop up all the talent from grass roots and despite all their full time resources don’t seem to be achieving much with the kids.
    (2) My U9s have played 7 games since Nov 23rd due to weather and water logged pitches (and when we have played its been awful playing conditions) – so don’t talk about tiki-taki Barcelona when our kids a clumping round cow fields in the pouring rain.
    (3) Adding to the above, We did try to get indoor or use of astro-pitches but as a club couldn’t afford them – so how sad they sit idle of weekend!
    (4) The Changes from 7-a-side to 5-a-side will decrease participation; At 7-a-side I had a squad of 10 or 11; Our new U7s going to 5-a-side we’ll carry a squad of 7 or 8 players; At 7-a-side it was easy to carry players who where somewhat behind the others we can’t do that at 5-a-side as 1 weak outfield player out of 4 will result in heavy defeats, heavy defeats leads to unhappy players and parents, which leads to the better players being poached or leaving to “better” performing teams, which leads to the Team Folding.
    (5) I don’t no the full costs yet but we as a club are also concerned if the referee, pitch and league registration fee’s stay the same as 7-a-side then this could become to costly to run for our Club and could become to costly for many players/parents.

  96. Martin Peters on April 16, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I wish people would actually take the time to read the proposals and understand what they mean before shouting down the FA. To all of you Under 7 managers complaining that you will have to cut your squad next season – you won’t! Changes to the Under 8 format (which your teams will be playing next season) don’t come in until the 2014-15 season. By this time your team will be playing at Under 9 level which will still be 7 a side. The only levels this will affect next season is Under 7 and Under 11.

    As a volunteer coach at Under 7 level myself I understand that this would be a problem to teams currently playing in terms of squad size, but as it only affects new teams who will only ever know playing 5 a side at Under 7 and Under 8 I can’t quite see why people are complaining.

    The reason the FA are bringing in these proposals is to try and help English football as a whole catch up with the rest of the world, not just the England team. They’ve looked at the coaching models in Spain, Italy and Germany, countries who have all been far more successful than us in recent times and can see that it’s the way to go. Yes it is a little late but at least they’re not just sitting back and doing nothing.

    I also have no problem with not playing in a league system. My team doesn’t play in a league system now but that hasn’t stopped them being competitive and wanting to win. And besides, it should be about the children enjoying their football at this age and not whether they win or lose. If you put too much pressure on them now they’re going to fall out of love with the game and won’t be playing when they’re 13 or 14 when it’s possible they could become footballers.

    I for one think this can only be good for our game. Having smaller sided games on smaller pitches is going to give the children more touches of the ball but less time meaning they will have to develop the skills to keep the ball and beat players. This will give smaller, more skilful children the chance to develop rather than just giving the ball to the biggest, fastest children and getting them to run from one end of the pitch to the other or have them hit a long ball from defence to the attackers bypassing midfield.

    It’s worked for teams like Spain (the current World and European champions) and Barcelona and has brought smaller players such as Messi, Iniesta and Xavi to world prominence. And let’s be honest, who among us wouldn’t like to see players of their quality pull on an England shirt a few years down the line?

  97. Nick on April 30, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I’m struggling to find a confirmation of whether or not children are allowed to play up a year. We have two boys that this season have played in the U8s side and they would very much like to stay with the group. Will they be allowed to do so from next season when the group goes up to U9s and they should really be playing with the U8s?

  98. Gary Bell on May 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I run an under 12 side and we have 1 player in our side and he is playing one year up. He has been with us for nearly 2 years now and he loves every minute with us. I can’t believe that he will no longer be able to play with us next year as you cant play up a year? We had to tell the parents and they are distraught. He lives and breaths football with us.

  99. Tony on May 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Yes life is competitive, however if we allow the kids to develop their skills and appreciation of the importance of tactics without pressure at such a critical time of their development. By doing so when they step up to more competitive leagues/ cups they will be better equipped to be competitive. Totally agree with the comment that you don’t need a league table to make players competitive. If you actually observe your little ones, even up to U11’s or older many of them have forgotten about a particular game/incident not long after as they enjoy something else. It seems as if it affects the parents more who often are still talking about it a week later. In my opinion, this is long overdue.

  100. Stephen Davies on May 25, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Fa have it wrong I can’t see what difference at all changing from 7 to 5 will make for a 6 year old in nearly 15 years time and it should just be about the kids enjoyment not the fa’s ridiculous tactics to do better in international football that’s irrelevant at this age and every team will struggle to maintain a squad and funds and keep parents happy with a team size that low. It should just be about parents taking their loved ones out to meet friends and play football not some big picture for international reasons as don’t forget only 11 players can play for England and your on about stopping 2 players per wk all across the country just so we might have a better 11 for our country in15 years ! So when I see the England team in 15 years I will think to my self I hope your good because we sacrificed 2 years of having kids on the bench for u lot to become what u are! 7 aside is fine and in our eyes its not broke so there is no need fix it going off enjoyment reasons for kids & parents

  101. Mike on June 6, 2013 at 2:39 am

    Can’t believe some of these comments, these changes are long overdue, too many ‘ coaches’ with wrong attitudes in junior football because 3 points are at stake ( not picking so called weaker players, cancelling matches as star striker or goalkeeper is unavailable )

    kids will lose competetive edge! Kids don’t need 3 points to try and win ( but adults do so they can brag at work) anyone remember playing as kids in park? Did we need a league, referee,full size goals – no we didn’t. Great move FA, always those who don’t like change I suppose

  102. Mike on June 6, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Suppose some will moan about pitch sizes as well, just put some cones out and let the kids get on with playing.

    As for squad sizes if you have 10 at 5 v 5 play two games, 9v9 recruit a few more players and run 2 teams?

  103. Edward Wyatt on June 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Hi,will the offside law be enforced for 9v9 games next season.Many thanks Ted Wyatt

  104. Dave Pain on June 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    i have 2 players that have palyed football last season for the club a year below ie under11’s playing for u12’s this year we mov eto u13’s obviously will these players still be able to play with the new changes ?

  105. sr on June 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    maybe the fa should start by weeding out all the idiots that seem to attach them selfs to kids football

  106. antony on June 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Can anyone dispel the rumour for me, that
    the F.A. were considering introducing, birth
    year squads at some stage?

  107. Steve H on June 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

    For 2013/14 our club has no under 10 team but our U11 team need players and we have two players who want to play for us, their local community club, who would normally be U10. Can they play up a year ?

  108. Steve H on June 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Since it might be useful for others, I have since found out that an U10 age player cannot play for the U11 team because of the different formats (7v7 at U10 & 9v9 at U11). I’m not sure of the rationale but that is apparently the rule. Next year it would be ok. Presumably a problem again when you get to changing from 9 to 11 players

  109. Kelly on June 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Our club only has a team for U9s for this season. Last season our son played with this team but won’t be able to this season due to the changes as he is a year younger. There are no other local options and he is really keen to play with a team – he doesn’t understand why he can’t play with the same team and friends this season. What are kids like him supposed to do in such small clubs? Other local clubs are also complaining that they will not have the numbers to make up teams if they can’t mix up the age groups. Seems a shame that common sense cannot prevail – if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

  110. Darren Shaw on June 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Hi i am Manager of Bredhurst Jnrs under 9s. I have a kid training with me who is 3 days to young so he would still be u8s. Can he play up a year into our team. He is big enough and good enough,.
    D shaw

  111. Darren Shaw on June 21, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I think once again it comes down to a clueless FA Filled with to many old people..

  112. Steve H on June 21, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    The thing is they must have a reason for saying that it’s the format that makes the difference not the fact that they’re a school year younger….based on outfield players and maximum pitch size, 7 a side averages out 200 square yards each compared to 9 a side at 250 and 11 a side at 300. That might be the rationale. Still a pain for small teams as Kelly says.

  113. dl on June 24, 2013 at 11:31 am

    i think smaller pitches is a good idea,my worry is that we are a small villiage club and from 2014/15 will have no team because we cant mix the u13s with the u12s due to the new pitch size rules i think the age limit should stay as it is so you can mix two ages together,we are going to lose a lot of our players because of this.

  114. Lyn McLintock on July 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    My grandson and two friends have just been left devastated as their’coach’ has just said that he is dropping them from the team next season as they are not good enough. He has been playing for 5 months and is 6 years old. All his friend play and he is really keen, can this be justified.

  115. Dawn I'Anson on July 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    So sad that those youngsters already playing up a year and who have done for many years cant continue to do so. Their confidence, development and how and with who they want to play football with are being totally disregarded. Please FA show these youngsters they are not being pushed aside and phase this age rule in from age 6 next season so as not to let them down so unecessarily. All other aspects of the new development are superb!

  116. lisa on July 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    My son’s team has folded, he should be under 14’s when league starts, can he play for the year above?

  117. Arnaud on July 10, 2013 at 9:29 am

    As a coach, I just found out that one of my best players can’t play with us (U8) next season because he is too young. His dad was a coach, so not only am I losing a player, but also a coach. All the preparation for next season I did earlier in the year has fallen to pieces because of those rules introduced at the last minute (the first I heard of it was yesterday). Signing on is next week so I have less than a week to find both a new player and a new coach…

    The difference in ability with kids of his own age group is huge, so I can’t see how this will benefit him as he won’t be able to develop any further next season. What a shame…

    Well done FA!!

  118. Michael on July 13, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Can I ask if there are restrictions on numbers for a under 12 team and if so how many are aloud to be signed up by one team

  119. Michael on July 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I mean under 13

  120. Gary Charman on July 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Why have we taken the competitive league structures for our children.My 8 yr old moves to the under nines this year.When I told him there will be no league ,he was gutted.He was looking forward to seeing how his team matched up with the others in our area. Losing this competitive edge I believe will have a negative effect on our young players.What is wrong with competition!!!!!

  121. Tracey on August 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    My son is the goalkeeper for the future under 11’s. Unfortunately this is the team above his age group. He is so upset that he cannot play for them next season. To add insult to injury we cannot find a team that needs a goalkeeper. His only option is to train but not play a match. He is considering this as he simply loves football.

  122. Jo on August 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    My son has played a year up for the same team for the past 2 years. Now because he can’t play with under 11s he has no team (he might play some friendlies with the under 9s). Living in a rural community he has no choice. Surely at this age it should be a kick about with mates and having fun with the game. I emailed the FA about this but have had no response.

  123. no-goals-training on August 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I have followed youth football in Africa, Germany, Holland and here in the UK. My oldest kid who is 13 has been playing since the age of 6.

    In Africa, kids revel in skilling their opponents whether through exquisite passing or dribbling. It evokes more fun than scoring a goal.

    Three years back we were on vacation in Rotterdam, Holland and i took my kids for a kickabout in the local park. There were few dutch kids around who asked to join. I stayed in goal and told them to just play, each of them trying to score and also defending. While my boys were focussed on getting a goal, the other kids were more interested in skilling past them all over the pitch and not so bothered about scoring a goal.

    I got to say, I am unimpressed at the level of youth coaching in this part of the world. I don’t understand why drills take the greater part of a one-hour training time. Who could tell me why every training session should end with goal matches?

    Kids at such a young age should be taught to keep the ball, spread out play in all parts of the pitch and not just direct football to and from one goal to the other. More small-sided games without goals need to be played more often during training.

    Concerning the FA’s new proposed format, methink the FA has not factored in the demographic changes taking place among the primary school level kids. Many kids will be left struggling to find a club because of their sheer numbers and the new changes.

    I was also thinking limiting the number of touches a player can make before making a pass could help the pass-and-move game of the kids.

  124. Maria O'Neill on September 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

    My grandson is 14 and a Year 10 student – he plays football for a professional team and they have asked for him to be released 1 day per week to train with the club as well as his other training sessions – his school is saying that he cannot be released is that correct?

  125. Kelly on September 7, 2013 at 12:08 am

    My son turns 8 next Friday. He was playing for the u8’s last season an is supposed to be moving up to u9’s this weekend. Can he move up or not. Need a speedy reply please as I have to give in his signing on form 2mo.

  126. Kasia on September 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    The rule about kids not being able to play a year above their age is the most ridiculous! Locally my son misses on opportunity to play in u8 and also next season there will be no team for him. So there seems to be that he will never be able to play in a proper team!!! Shame on you [email protected]

  127. Ken Whittall on September 16, 2013 at 12:45 am

    My 7 year old son has been involved in his developmental squad of 10 since its inception last year. Indeed he has been involved for a couple of years. Our coaches tried to enter 2 teams in the East Kent u8 league, all registration monies were collected at £10 each. We were then informed that the request for 2 teams to be entered had been refused.
    Therefore we had probably 11 or 12 players of which my son was an original member. As it was going to be 5 a side, they decided to rotate the players so everyone got the same game time but the team would be based on the developmental squad. Fair enough. Then we were told the following week that they could only register 10 due to FA rules, and that my son was being left out of the 10 altogether as they thought he needed to work on his strength so should only play friendly matches.
    To say my son is distraught is an understatement after 2 years working towards this and then being chucked out only to be replaced by someone who has been part of the group for 2 months!! What’s fair in that? Surely everyone deserves an equal opportunity, and those who have been attending every week over that length of time should be part of it. We are very annoyed to say the least and are seriously thinking of pulling my son out altogether due to all the little clicks in the group which is shocking. For example one friendly had all the ‘special’ players who happened to all be attackers and won 7-0. And along side it all the ‘not so special’ players, with all of them defenders scared to cross the half way line, who got thrashed. How is this good for their confidence?
    One question before I go. We paid £10 for Ryans registration and £5 for his passport photos as requested. As he isn’t one of the 10 players registered, I would like to know where that money has gone and also for the other ones who have missed out.
    Please advise because someone somewhere is holding onto money that’s not theres.

  128. jackie on September 16, 2013 at 9:47 am

    i am just enquiring whether it is legal for a year 10 child who is 15 to play in league games for u13s team. Also can you tell me how to go about a transfer from one team to another and if payment is already made will i be refunded. especially as i not convinced all players are fully registered making a full team?

    kind regards

  129. Edward Wyatt on September 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Can you please confirm the age rules for youth football from u7’s upwards,I have tried to find the rules on the FA website to no avail.For example can an under 10 player play for under 11 team.It seems that some county FA’s are allowing this to happen.Many thanks TED WYATT.

  130. Helen Munroe on September 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    My son was born at 2.20am on September 1st. He has been training with the boys who r a year older for a year now, he is just turned 6 and cant understand why he has to leave and go back with boys who haven’t ever played football before when he had been in tournaments in the summer. Considering he missed out by two hours I think it is so unfair.

  131. glyn on September 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    My son has just started playing for under 14s he is 12, it as taken me a ling time to get into sports and fare play he turns up every week, my point is he turned up to a game to day and was put on the bench time went on and the game ended and he or 5 others never got a game, what are the rules on this.

  132. Jonathan on September 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Are they allowed to publish U10 leagues or not?

    We have moved and our now in East Berkshire which does not publish and yet his old team in Epsom and Ewell does publish – my 9yo is very confused to say the least…

    #1 is to encourage goal scoring
    #2 Bins league structure

    Surely you shouldn’t have one without the other?

    I will certainly not prevent my son being competitive – he could probably tell you the results from most English, Spanish, German and Japanese leagues and the impact on the resulting league position!

  133. Sarah Hawkes on September 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    In mini league soccer, should squads be divided into teams based on ability? Thoughts very much welcomed.

  134. Paul on September 25, 2013 at 6:46 am

    My son of 7 is coming home after games upset due to not getting played much in matches. I’ve mentioned this to the coaches an one said if he tried harder in training he would get more time on a match day. I don’t think this is correct as he will only get better through game experience. The coaches kids also play for the team an get more time on the pitch than anyone else. At this age shouldn’t they be concentrating on developing all players an not just winning.

  135. gary lovell on September 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Its not going to be long before we see breakaway leagues that are not FA affiliated starting up to give boys the competitive edge back. Regardless of what anyone says when boys or girls go out to play a football match they want to win regardless of there age. With the new rules all you are going to do is find out a player is not of suitable ability to have a chance of being a decent player until they are 14 or 15 years old instead of earlier. All these new rules are going to do is hinder development not improve it.

  136. Andy Watson on October 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    My son is playing Under 10’s although he is 8 (9 in December). He has played for this team for 3 years made good friends and now must leave at the end of the season.
    I took him, at the start of last season to a tournament in his age group and he just ran past most of players and scored a lot of goals. It wasn’t a challenge and also when he plays up a year he realizes that you have to play as a team to score.
    It would hurt his development to drop back a year, leave his friends and join a new team.
    I think that the decision on playing 9V9 at the age of an under 10 should be looked at on a case by case basis.
    Well done FA you are stopping the boy develop.

  137. Colin on October 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I coach a team in Division 4 . There are clubs playing players from their Premier team in their Division 4 team , this being in another league . I feel this is unfair on all the teams in our division that they have to play against players that obviously play to a much higher standard.
    I feel players should only be able to play for another team one Division up or down and this to happen accross the leagues. Fair Play?

  138. Martin Goble on October 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    To Helen Munroe, if your son was born at the time you say he was, he would be one of the oldest, and would not have to play with the boys in the year below. If he was born in August i could understand your point.

  139. Helen Chalk on October 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    My son is 7. He has been involved with our local football club since he was 5. His coach of the second team unfortunately left at the end of last season, and the father of one of the team members stepped up. My son was then re-registered 2 months ago with the 2nd team along with the other 9 boys that turned up for training each week. It would seem that since then, the new coach has actively been encouraging other boys to attend the training sessions over the last few weeks looking for better players. Without warning he has dropped my son because he is not good enough for the team and is being replaced by a new better player. My question is; If you have registered your team of 10, surely their places should be secured for the whole season? My son’s self confidence has really taken a knock, as exactly the same thing happened with the first team. Surely with kids of this age, the clubs should be more interested in developing the boys skills and enjoying themselves, rather than this win at all costs attitude?

  140. Wire on October 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Some interesting comments about kids not getting game time, being cut from squads etc.

    Would be interested to know if others have been in the opposite position where their kids have been very strong players in a team.

    Differences in ability are clear from an early age and by the age of under 9 they are very obvious. Professional clubs clearly think so as they are signing players up by then (and earlier).

    What about those who aren’t quite there but are clearly close to the standard of academy players?
    It is really sad to see players not getting game time and being nervous when they do get a chance. It is also sad to see when they are clearly out of their depth, both for them and their team mates, not just because of results but the way it can affect how the team plays.

    If my son moves on to a club in a stronger league, it won’t be welcomed and seen as a positive thing. I will be seen as a pushy parent whose son is “too good for the team” There is no District Team in our area so what alternative does he have if he is to stay on the fringes of a chance with an academy or perhaps join the Youth team at a Rymans club in a couple of years time?

    The game should be open to all who want to play. However, to pretend that it should all be equal and open to everyone outside the academy system is unfair to everyone.

    County FAs need to take a much bigger role in matching young players with teams at their own level. This should apply to talented players and less experienced players. The first step would be to stop the fragmentation where teams in the same town play in a variety of different leagues.

    This seems to have been almost completely ignored in all of this discussion about grass roots football.

  141. Simon Nicholson on October 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Hi there can someone please e mail me and tell me in great detail why I can not publish my sons football results he’s under 8s. I was doing it all last season why can’t I now. Thanks ppl

    [email protected]

  142. Dawn Sanders on October 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    My Son plays for an under 14s team. Could someone please tell me, should there be a qualified first aider attached to each team? Also, does anyone know where I could find out what exactly should be included in the medical bag? Thank you in advance.

  143. Marcus on November 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    My son plays u10 and I am one of the coaches.
    We have a range of abilities but we try and make sure everyone gets about the same on the pitch.
    This season we had mini leagues we play in the D-league ( from A-d). We played teams of similar abilities and we had good close games that we enjoyed and the kids enjoyed. ( won 2 lost 2 ). The mini leagues we thought were a great idea.
    However, for some reason the FA have decided that they needed to take 2 teams from the A-league and 2 teams from the D-league and put them together.
    With no notice or consultation, we suddenly discovered that we are in a league with 4 teams that are much better than us.
    We played some of these teams at the end of last year in a tournament consisting of 10 minute matches. We were beaten by 5 or 6 nil in some of these, in a 10- minute match.
    We are now faced with the prospect of sending the kids out in miserable december weather to be beaten by probably 10 to 20 goals for 4 weeks out of 5.
    How is that good for either team, and it certainly isn’t good for the kids. We are seriously considering not playing our matches and trying to arrange friendlies.
    Why was this decision made, what the reasons for this and how come there was no notice or consultation. I cant find anything on the websites about it. We see no sense it this at all.

  144. Marcus on November 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    further more.
    This is on the website.
    Key benefits:

    * Puts kids at heart of football process

    * Makes more matches competitive for more kids
    The opposite is happening

    * Teams can be moved between mini-seasons to match ability.
    The opposite is happening.

    * Reduces likelihood of 18-0 drubbings – no good for anyone
    Dont make me laugh!

  145. Dave on November 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    My son plays under 9s and has played since mini kickers until he entered a team at under 7s. I have no experience in grass roots football but as a parent I have watched nearly every training session and every match he has played in. The first yr we used to get beat nearly every match. Expectations were low so who cared?? It was just fun and the kids didn’t mind. At least at first. The kids tasted victory a bit more and so did the parents and coach/manager. We have been playing better football and the children have been getting stronger naturally . In two and a half seasons it has completely changed. Shouting parents ( although more like encouragement but to tense) . Shouting manager. It seems its all more about winning now than fun. Shouting at kids that don’t have the ability that you ask from them is wrong I think. The pressure the kids have can be seen on there faces. Every time the kids make a mistake the manager shouts and I don’t think it’s right. Luckily my son has a lot of ability and tends to play defence very well indeed. I don’t care if he makes a mistake as he is learning the game but the pressure he puts himself under is sometimes to much. On top of that he has been shouted at for wearing his heart on his sleeve and when a goal is scored by the other team he can be very upset at times. He plays defence week in and week out. I think inexperienced coaches and managers are as bad as parents in a lot of ways. I can see how kids football gets out of hand and its certainly what I have been witness to. Not just our manager and parents but lots of them at tournaments that we have started to enter. Some coaches go nuts on the side lines.

  146. robert on November 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

    the changes seem to be ok but. I still think that the age groups should be split i.e if you have under 12 players that are born on 1st of feb on to 31st of august .they should be able to play under 11s still as many of these players are playing catch up all the time . there is no point in having a player as a late developer at 16 to 18 which then have no real chance of academy football and better coaching. these players need to be given a chance to show what they can do when they are the oldest players on the pitch. how many players has this country missed because of this fact.

  147. Ian on November 28, 2013 at 1:23 am

    I help coach an Under10’s side.

    We have a squad of 10 outfield players.

    5 are naturally stronger – They play 45mins
    5 are weaker – They play 30 mins

    If and when we play weaker sides we reverse the playing time model and its hope all players will get equal playing time over the season.

    It means we are giving every player at least half a game whilst staying competitive in the League. We won’t finish top or bottom meaning the Boys are learning to win and lose in equal measure.

    It balances the needs of the stronger players and the weaker ones and seems to have the approval of all involved.

    Not perfect but seems to work for us.

  148. wickers on November 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Can anyone please tell me the maximum time per day a youth player can train for. We currently train for 2 hours once a week. However it has been said its to much. our boys are under 8s . we feel 2 hours a week is reasonable.

  149. leanne on December 2, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Our coach keeps dropping our son at drop of a hat. Only a few weeks ago we turned up for a match that was highlighted to which we though he was playing to be told after traveling to game highlighted means not playing.so get the new fixture sheet first game not highlighted so this means hes playing so turn up to game to get told if the game isnt highlighted your not playing is this coach for real seems to me that coach doent know thereself so my question is my son is only 9can we just go and play for another team as this is a joke and not fair on my son who just wants to play

  150. wickers on December 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Leanne. The way your son has been treated is Disgraceful . I would complain to the FA as your coach is breaking the laws and regulations. My Advice is to pull your son out and look for another team. Hope this Helps

  151. Mark Phillips on December 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I think the one area that needs addressing is when the age group jumps fom u14s to u16s. My son who is August born will next season have to play against boys who are nearly 2 years older than him, if you also throw in the puberty aspect it literally becomes boy against man overnight. This is not only dangerous in my opinion its also going to be extremely demoralising. Why not allow boys who are born between 1st Feb and 31st Aug be allowed to play in the younger age group if there is no u15 league in their area.

  152. Mahmood Raza on December 6, 2013 at 6:27 am

    after the see this page i have improve my football knowledge.its very good information for youth coaches.I am a school football coach and i organize a football tournament for U-12 and U-17 boys in coming January 2013. I want to more information for youth coaching.


  153. J delaney on December 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    We can see the changes technically could mean more children can now enjoy the game of football. However in practice this has not been the case.
    The 50% minimum play time on the pitch for all players [our are in the U10] is being viewed, by our club, as a maximum play time for the less able players. The less able sit on the side lines whether they are playing a team below them in the league and even if their own team is winning hands down.
    The rules state 50% ‘where possible’. We as parents and having read all the FA documents on fare play and equality assumed that ‘where possible ‘ meant if a player is injured, turns up late etc, this is not the case. The ‘ where possible’ loop hole is used as an excuse not to play some players as much as their more adept team mates. We have twins one more able than the other. The more able plays all or 75% of every match, the less able 50% of every match.
    We have been told this is fare according to FA rules.
    Other managers adapt the rules to their players, allowing all team players an equal time on the pitch over a period of games so that no-one is demoralised. This , however, is down to the good will of a fare manager not because this is part of the rules.
    Our team are still playing with a ‘win at all costs’ mentality, something we understand the FA are trying to stamp out.

  154. P. head on December 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Perhaps you should join a club that suits your needs better. There are loads out there, good luck with finding one that suits u

  155. Chris Skinner on January 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm


    I manage a team that plays u-12 9v9 football in Camden, North London.

    Could anyone please confirm / deny a recent FA rule change that goal difference does not apply when deciding positions in a league table for this age group – U-12’s.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Chris Skinner,
    Queen’s Park Sharks U-12’s,
    Camden & Regents Park Youth League.

  156. D needs on January 31, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    My son currently plays up a year in the under 8 , can he still play there next season or does he have to comeback to his right age ?

  157. dave brocklehurst on February 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    my boy plays in an under 9 team and wears glasses his he allowed to wear them

  158. g rushton on February 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    My son has just been told that he and 2other players are to only be used as substitutes as and when the manager sees fit. The manager said he might only play one game in 4 and only has a substitute but we have also been told he has to pay the same money as everybody else .i just want to know if the manager has the right to do this

  159. David Bishop on February 14, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Is it true that under the new format the mini-soccer season will be 26 weeks instead of the Adult 9 months

  160. Andrew Hooper on March 11, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I manage hoddesdon u12 Reds and we play mid herts friendly league, all teams lay in different color GROuPs as I prefer to discribe it but I keep hearing the word divisions which for one I feel there shouldn’t be divisions described between childred, My main point is it is none competative, we played blue group won many close games and move to yellow where by other managers who keep talking divisions congratulated me for being promoted which would then make it competative and could change my way of thinking which they obviously haven’t and still want to view it as a competative league which it is not, I responded that we have been moved to another group and will be playing new teams which is good for the Boys. Hope this all makes sence
    Andrew Hooper
    Hoddesdon u12 Reds

  161. Andy Rivers on March 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Good evening please could you clarify the following:
    I am currently managing an under 11 football team playing 9 x 9.
    Last season I had a player that played up a year and following the changes he was no longer eligible to play for us due to his age and the fact that we went to play 9 x 9 and he was not old enough.
    This obviously caused a lot of upset for the young boy being told that he could no longer play for the side that he had been an important part of previously.
    My question is that he is now of the age where he will be playing 9 x 9 next season the same format as my team is now and I want him to rejoin the team and play for us again.
    will he now be allowed to play up a year and rejoin our team playing 9 x 9.
    We will be a team made up of under 12’s and he will be under 11.

    Thank you


  162. Chris carr on March 16, 2014 at 11:51 am

    For season 2014/15,canan under12player, play up a year at under13s?


  163. Emma Smith on March 20, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Please can you clarify if a player has been offered a 6 week trial by a professional club, can the player still play in any games for his sunday club
    thank you

  164. Craig Stamford on March 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    In relation to 2014/2015 season just looking for clarification regarding can a under 11 player play for a under 12 team at match level.

  165. peter knights on March 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    My son currently plays up a year in the under 8 , can he still play there next season or does he have to comeback to his right age ?

  166. Stephen king on March 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Could you answer a question for me please. I currently manage an u11 side. I’ve been approached about a younger player signing for me next season. He’s currently u10 this season but will be moving up to the same format next season with him moving to 9v9. Obviously I will move up to u12, he will be u11s. With him playing 9 aside would it be possible for me to sign him next season?

  167. Darren on March 31, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Are players allowed to play a year up next season. For example a u9 playing for an under 10 team. Many thanks

  168. james Rees on April 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    My son currently plays for under 10’s but he is under 9’s. Once the rest of the team goes to first year of comp and he will be in last year of juniors will he still be able to play for the age above or will he have to play for his age group.

  169. Sam powell on April 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Surely encouraging children to be competitive TO AN EXTENT is good as it helps the wins boost their confidence all the more
    Thank you

  170. steve on April 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Great that we are doing this but I have to say 40 x 30 yds for even 5 v 5 takes away one thing not mentioned – space. If you look at wanting to give players time on the ball to a) control b) make accurate passes and get their heads up to look first to see what options are available – we really need to think about simplifying even more. It’s amazing when you give younger players more time how their confidence soon increases along with their techniques. As a level 3 coach – I applaud the new guidelines but think we should go further in allowing players to develop techniques for the long term from an earlier age – or we will be seeing the typical ‘Hot Potato’ syndrome that leaves us nothing but chaos on the pitch when players are new to the game. My opinion anyway! Steve

  171. Brad smith on April 6, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Hi – my son is currently playing for U10, however is correct age group is U9. Next season can he move to U11 or does he have to drop back to is correct age group???

  172. Brad smith on April 6, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    My son currently plays for under 10′s but he is under 9′s. Once the rest of the team goes to first year of comp and he will be in last year of juniors will he still be able to play for the age above or will he have to play for his age group.

  173. Jamie Polak on April 7, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Please can you confirm the maximum number of coaches permitted at a u10’s girls match, in the Nottinghamshire FA? Would you please clarify, that all coaches are required to visibly show there FA card to spectators? Finally, would you please confirm coaches should remain in the technical area at the half way line and not walk the full length of the sidelines, to the corners?
    Kind regards,


  174. Michelle White on April 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

    My son is currently playing in an under 9 team but has been told he will have to move down next season. We have been told it goes by the year he is in school, is there any way he can stay with the team he trains and plays with.

  175. Donna Yeo on April 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Can an u12 player play for an u 13 team next season 2014/15?

  176. Steve on April 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Can an under 12 player play for the under 13s team for the 2014/2015 team. Cheers

  177. Sophie on April 21, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I believe from what i have been hearing at league meetings in Northampton are that you are no longer allowed to have the 2 year age gap. So you now all players will have to be in the same year group at school.

    so yes i think that your son may have to drop down to a under 9 team if he is not 9 untill after 31/08/2014

    hope this helps

  178. Edward Wyatt on April 23, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Can under 6 year old players play friendly matches prior to moving up to under 7’s next season.

  179. leon on May 1, 2014 at 8:55 am

    can a under 13 play for a under 12 team

  180. Ms Walker on May 4, 2014 at 8:38 am

    My son is 12 years old and has paid for a local team for 6 months- the coach is hell bent on winning and says to my son (permanent sub) that if things are tight during an important match he may not get played at all! I find this sport to very exclusive due to the lack of appreciation of the physical and emotional development of children. The consequence of above is my child considers he is rubbish at football- should more women be involved?
    I think new guideline are Definitely the way forward!

  181. Steve Tanner on May 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    can a 15 year old play in the allied counties youth leagues unde18’s.

  182. Claire on May 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Can someone please confirm the maximum amount of players you can sign to an under 7 team please.

  183. Phil Alexander on May 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    My son wants to continue playing for the same team next season, this is one year above his own, currently at u11’s. Can he play for the U12’s next season?

  184. vanessa on May 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    My daughter plays for our local team shes 11 shes mostly sub and has only played 4 full matches they went to the plate cup snd she never played is it in the rules that if a child turns up the coach has to play them

  185. Fen962 on May 26, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Can you please advise what rule for U15 – can 2 games be played on consecutive days?

  186. dave Brinson on June 4, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Can under 6’s play up a year

  187. Anthony Morris on June 9, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Can a u7 play with an u8team this season 2014/15

  188. marcus butler on June 10, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Hi, Can uder12s play up a year, in to an under 13s team for the 2014/2015 season? Thanks

  189. Jon B on June 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    A question you must hear every day! – what are the ranges of DOBs that must be adhered to for under 13 11v11 for the 2014/15 season?
    We have players of varying ages and want to ensure we only use those players that comply with the age restrictions. Thanks.

  190. Leanne on June 16, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Can you clarify the age issue for me. We have a 7 year old currently training with under 9 s , same height ,ability of some of team. He will be 8 in jan 2015 . Can he play up a year as wants to stay with current team

  191. Jay on June 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Can an under 12 player play for the under 13s team for the 2014/2015 team. Cheers

  192. Lynn on June 21, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Hi can you let me know can how many players a mini soccor team u10s can sign and can a player / players be let go because some other players are better than and can this be done via a text message ?

  193. David Bracewell on June 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    is it right that and under 9 team coach can allow his only girl player to be on the pitch for just 10seconds during the whole tournament, this was the case on saturday 21st june at maidstone stadium. she was humiliated and left the ground in tears because this was all the time the coach allowed her to play. when she joined the club, we were told that the said district in kent was having a push to attract more femail players. she has now decided not to play football again.

  194. Club Website on June 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm


    For all those of you asking about players ‘playing up’ a next season, please see our June 2014 interview with Nick Levett via the link below. All will be revealed in there!


    Many thanks, The CW Team

  195. Caroline on June 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Hi, my son currently plays for an under 9 team. He is 7, and will not be 8 until 30/05/15, can he still play for the team in the 2014/15 season?

  196. Clare Dussroth on July 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    What does the FA have to offer player’s that have be released from Football Acadamy’s after being there for a number years and finds it hard to fit in with the local teams? My sons currently U11’s can he play for the current under U12’s on the DERBY League next season 2014/15.

  197. A on July 9, 2014 at 8:08 am

    The new rules on pitch size, play time is great and will improve the game for our children. I see many comments above about the fairness, play to win at all costs which I cannot see being addressed. Is there an education of coaches planned? I have now seen two teams implode from this behaviour from coaches that are really lovely people that give up their valuable time to coach, but when on the pitch have been conditioned to act differently. Please could I ask the club website how they are tackling this?

  198. Jason John on July 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    The table in the article above implies you can use 9v9 goal size in u13/11v11. Can anyone clarify this as I don’t see this anywhere on the FA website.

  199. Darren on July 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    the F.A should be ashamed of themselves regarding the ludicrous changes to the youth game. The half way line rule from goal kicks just encourages a huge charge forward and the defending team then panic into a big boot forward. Also very confusing for young boys who watch football on tv etc. Non competitive football being drummed into clubs and players by the F.A. When are they going to realise that not all managers are idiots and kids just want to enjoy football, they enjoy looking at league tables and looking out for the scores but all this is taken away from them due to no scores or league tables published. At under 9’s level we aren’t even allowed to play in a cup competition but under 10’s are and enjoy finals days etc. The F.A are taking the fun out of football. Its supposed to sport…sport is competitive. Many professional players in the game agree its the wrong approach by the F.A and from my experience the people who back it are the people new to the game and the people who don’t understand the game. Which says a lot for the F.A!! But we have always known they haven’t got a clue, Graham Taylor, Sven, Capello etc etc. No wonder we haven’t won anything since 1966 with these non football minded clowns in charge of the F.A. I really feel for our kids as they are the ones suffering. No wonder many are being lost to other sports. I suggest the F.A look up the meaning of the word sport and I can assure you that ‘non- competitive’ is not a word thats associated with sport. Get your act together F.A and stop making youth football a scapegoat for your incompetance! Its not the fault of youth football that we haven’t won anything sice 1966, its simply because you lot wouldn’t know a good manager if he fell out the sky and landed in your lap!

  200. Tim on July 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Can you please confirm if from 2015/16 season U13 HAVE to play 9v9 or will they be able to play 11v11 ? Is it just a matter of local league decision or is it a FA ruling?? Please answer ASAP
    Guildford City

  201. D Langley on July 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

    David Bracewell, Vanessa, Ms Walker, G Rushton and others. No, it’s not right that your children should be treated like that, I dare say by such coaches who are whinging here about the positive changes in the guise of poorly set out streams of consciousness.

    Ultimately, the power is in the hands of the parents and players – if your child is treated badly, do what I did, vote with your feet and make sure that everyone – including the coach – knows why you’ve left – word will get around!

    There are many coaches out there who do treat *all* their players well and will give everyone a fair crack of the whip and equal playing time.

    Unfortunately there are some coaches who think winning meaningless tournaments with pound shop trophies and medals constitutes success. Any fool can get 7 really good players together and do that. Success is keeping a group of 9/10 kids together for a number of years and seeing them all develop, learn to value each other and depend on each other.

    Players progress at different rates and the so called stars at age 7/8/9 can easily fade and be outshone a few years later – likewise the players who struggle early on, if kept involved and engaged with the game, can suddenly spark and become really good players.

  202. Lewis Evans on July 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Quoting D Langley . . . .

    “Unfortunately there are some coaches who think winning meaningless tournaments with pound shop trophies and medals constitutes success. Success is keeping a group of 9/10 kids together for a number of years and seeing them all develop, learn to value each other and depend on each other.”

    Playing a 10 minute tournament game teaches the kids what and helps the coaches with even less.

    Arrange two or three friendly matches where you can move boys around in different positions, learn how they react to situations and look to develop your coaching sessions to help them with those situations.

  203. D Langley on July 28, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Thanks Lewis and well said. I think the worst thing for me was that the coach made all the right noises about developing the players without pressure but then come tournament day, his actions contradicted with his words. My lad is a good player, not the strongest but willing, with a good touch and pace. He spent his first season in goal but then wanted to play out so he is a little naive positionally (he’s 8 years old so funnily enough he would be!).

    He never let the team down, even when he played as a defender. Defending and tackling was not his strongest suit but he would bring the ball out from the back coolly and I think the coaches were far more nervous than he ever was.

    The team got to a final which was drawn 0-0 and my lad and the other sub didn’t even get a minute, despite the lads being out on their feet towards the end of the game and in need of fresh legs. So the jubilant coaches celebrated their penalty shoot out win and my lad cried all the way home because the coach had lied to him and said he would get on. No one gets a second chance to do that to my son.

  204. Tyler on July 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Hi can you tell me my son is age 9 yrs and he’s been asked to play for a team that is a year older someone told me he can only pay one season is that true x

  205. Jon Lear on August 4, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I wonder if you could help me. I have been coaching a group of boys who will be playing u7s football in the upcoming season. One of the players is my son and I have just been made aware that he is not allowed to play as he is not 6 before 31st August.
    He has trained with these boys for nearly a year and has made some close friends. He does not stand out as being younger and ability wise he is far ahead of many of the other players. He has been training once a week with Everton.
    I really need to know if he can play as if not I will have to decide whether or not to run the team next year if he is unable to play.
    Many thanks

  206. Andy on August 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Hi, I wonder if you could help. I have a 6 year old and 8 year old boys who have just expressed an interest in playing football and training regularly each week, they are not particularly good but want to train regularly to aquire the skills. Our local junior football teams are not interested in them training with their squads as even at this young age they seem to have written them off already as not being good enough. So now I am stuck with two boys wanting to play, but the junior football system not supporting them where we live. I thought football was supposed to be accessible and fun for kids at this age particularly as kids develop at different speeds. But it all seems to be about winning already. Any advice will be most welcome but the football system may already have turned off my children.

  207. D Langley on August 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Hi Andy – hope you don’t mind me chipping in. Getting involved in organised junior football isn’t the be all and end all for your lads at this stage. If you can’t find a club which will nurture them, give them equal playing time and doesn’t care about winning a few plastic trophies, they’re better off honing their skills away from that environment. I don’t know where you live but if possible I would recommend looking at regular soccer camps. We’re lucky where I live in the West Midlands in that we have Wolves and WBA offering such camps and regular sessions in term time. In my view the kids are better off being taught by professional coaches who do it for a living rather than taking pot luck with some of the “coaches” out there.

  208. azzu victor on August 18, 2014 at 9:20 am

    my lad 12 yrs want to Change from a Team to another Team but his Manager would nt allow him.. but talking about other potical issues like ..not allowed….
    Pls telling me if there is any law of seasons when he can Play for a Team before leaving and not indulging any palnelties or bills from old Team?Remember ,he is only 12 yrs but not a professional

  209. Daniel on August 19, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Hi my son is 7 years old but wants to play with his brother team that is under 9s is this allowed

  210. Eddie on August 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Hi I have a lad who wants to sign for my team but plays on a sunday already for another team from another league i ust wanted to clarify is this possible?.

  211. Katie on August 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

    My daughter is 9 on the 8th September she has been playing with her team for 6 months and the rules have now changed and they are saying she can’t play with them as it’s now and under 11 s team there us nt another team she can play in only the minions team which ate 4.5 and 6 is there anyway she can play with them this o ming season

  212. Phil on August 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Hi, my son is nearly 9 years old and has been playing for his football team for nearly 3 years. All of a sudden the coach has taken on 2 new players and dropped my son. He is distraught and heart broken. Is this allowed?

    Any feedback is appreciated

  213. Wendy Robinson on August 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Please can you advise I have a son who is 7 yrs
    Old and signed on for a local team.
    What are the rules regarding switching to another team are there any penalties/monies

  214. Rob on September 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Hi my daughter played for a U 12 girls team last season and went to sign on for the u13this season but has been rejected for being 18 days too young is there anything I can do.

  215. Edwin on September 8, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Hi my son is 9 years old he’s played for his team for the last 5 years(he was one of the first players to in the team) . The coach has got some new payers in from a different club that’s folded and dropped my son down into a new team he has formed with kids that have never played football before. My son is now hartbroken and thinking of giving up the game…. Is this acceptable behaviour from the coach and is he aloud to do this to the children??? Many thanks Edwin

  216. c.atherton on September 11, 2014 at 9:32 am

    “my son plays for a local under 14 football team every single week he never starts for the team but usually comes on after about 20 minutes this is starting to demoralize him, is this fair and is this allowed . THANKYOU

  217. Rob Eaton on September 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    No child will learn anything standing on the line. Any decent coach will try to improve any
    player whatever their ability.Any coach that drops a child of 9 especially when its non competitive cant be much of a coach otherwise they would try to improve the kids that need help not just get rid of them,that’s the whole point of coaching kids not to win things just to make yourself look good.
    All that is wrong with youth football in this country.As i have found as coach when you try to do things properly and have successes the win at all cost coaches do everything they can to ruin you and your team then try to take all your players.

  218. Steve on September 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Hello, I am a coach (one of four) at my sons club. I am told by the manager that the rules state that you can only have 2 coaches on the opposite sides to the parents in a game. Is this correct?

  219. Stuart Grindle on September 22, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I wonder if you could help me. My son is playing u7s football but he is not 6 before 31st August.
    He has trained with these boys for nearly a year and has made some close friends. He does not stand out as being younger. The team that he trains with has started to play in local league matches and a photo of the team was posted on a social media website following their last game. I noticed in the line up at least two players that are not 7 and one of them, I know, has his birthday after my sons. I am now confused as to the rules regarding eligibility and/or if the team can bend the rules if they are short for a match.
    I really need to know if he can play as if not I will have to decide whether or not he will continue with this team.

  220. Joe soldinger on September 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    JOE IS A VERY GOOD GOALKEPER BUT CAN ALSO PLAY ON THE Atacking midfield Role also strike and center midfield but is best in goal

  221. john on September 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

    As a coach, is there any specific protocol for dropping a child from football team even after that child has played for 5 years. Do i need to give Reasons for dropping, and is there any comeback if FA or parents are not happy?.

  222. j johnson on September 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    My son has played for a team for 5 years and now finds he’s started as a sub each week and ends as a sub, he was very confidant but now has lost belief in himself, this week the manager lost his card, which we were notified only 14 hrs before the match. Which meant he couldn’t play. The manager apoligisied.

    The culture has changed because they’ve gone up a league, and one coach told me if they want a player to leave they start them as sub each week. This contradicts the Respect code, which says football should be played for the enjoyment of the children, not a win at all costs. The Mangers and coachs want to win at all costs, even at the risk of damaging a childs conifidance.

  223. Anthony Milnes on October 9, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    My 11 yrs old son plays for an FA chartered club if he trials for a professional club (6 weeks) can he still train and play for his club and school during that 6 week period, the profession club are saying no?

  224. em on October 13, 2014 at 8:57 am


    my son plays for an under 11 club, yesterday he turned out for a match and him and another boy didn’t get on the pitch at all. Can they do this?


  225. D Langley on October 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    To those who are unhappy that their children aren’t being treated fairly, being left on the side lines and not being given enough game time – find the strength to leave the club and tell the coach why you are leaving. As parents the power is in our hands. They’ll soon need those “not good enough” kids when there are injuries, illnesses and holidays. Give the “win-at-all-costs” coaches the response they deserve – a lack of resources. They’ll get the message.

    I would also record your decision with the club, the league you’re playing in and the affiliated Football Association. Let the weight of evidence gather.

    Being involved in junior football is not the be-all and end. If you can’t find a club that will treat kids fairly, give them equal game time and develop the weaker players you’re better off not “making up the numbers.” Rob Eaton is right on the money with his comments.

    It makes me laugh when they marginalise players who have development yet to come and then start whinging about academies taking their better players.

  226. Ted on October 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Come on all you wishy washy liberals – wake up! Junior football is not a creche. Kids actually want to win the bloody game – its not a social event. Kids love to win and if all their hard work during a match is undermined by other kids standing around chatting to each other about Minecraft or staring at the sky, the best players will find another club.
    All you parents that turn up with little Jimmy and start whingeing when he doesnt get a full game should do something about it yourself and take him down the park and help him play the game before you start screwing it up for all the other kids.

  227. D Langley on October 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Yes, Ted, of course kids like to win. But it’s not all about winning. It’s about them having fun and keeping them involved in the game so that they become the best they can be. Perhaps you know better than them but that’s what the FA is trying to achieve with this structure, but it’s up to coaches and parents to see the philosophy through. I can’t see anyone here talking about their kids talking and staring at the sky?

  228. Ted on October 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Final word on this Mr Langley. It appears I do no more than you having managed 3 junior teams in the last 5yrs.
    1. You state that winning is secondary to having fun- perhaps you can tell me what fun there is in getting humiliated 8-0 or perhaps your kids are brought up with no pride.
    2. As regards having kids in the squad who are totally not interested and spe

  229. Ted on October 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Continued – Got cut off in my prime.
    We have 3 kids in our squad who are not only useless, they are unwilling to learn and are disruptive to the kids who try so hard every weekend. They spend all the game chatting to each other and last week two of them stood pointing to a seagull while the other team scored making it 9-1 to the opposition.
    I would welcome the benefit of yourprofound wisdom in how you would resolve this problem?

  230. D Langley on October 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Hello Ted.

    Firstly I suggest you re-read my post. I didn’t say that *I* “know” more than you. I stated that perhaps you claim to know more than the FA who have made these changes. Do you know more than the FA who have made these changes?

    Secondly, part of the changes were aimed at avoiding mismatches such as the ones you mention. Perhaps you should have a word with your league. My experience was that a group of U8s, having lost a final, are disappointed for about 5 minutes and then are back to normal. Perhaps they are setting an example to us.

    Thirdly part of your responsibility as a coach is to get those children engaged and involved. If they are unwilling to learn and disruptive then you need to work with their parents/guardians and even teachers if necessary. I would have thought having such vast experience, you would be adept at dealing with this. Why not find yourself a coaching mentor who will help you with these issues?

    As you know nothing about my son – but have chosen to project your views of three children you know on to him and some of the other children here – I’ll tell you that he is a good player, fast, intelligent with good touch. He attends regular soccer camps, has been invited to two Player Development Centres and gets good reports. Unfortunately I didn’t schmooze enough with his coach and his wife and made the mistake of raising my concerns about how the team was being run in a constructive way. My son was the fourth to leave in less than a year – and this from a team that was very good as well.

    I have to say that you describing a child as “useless” says a more about you than it says about the children.

  231. Ted on October 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I really promised myself I would not engage myself again but you have confirmed what a sad sap you are by sarcastically trying to highlight my ‘ spilling mistake. Anyway he-ho here we go again.
    You state that in your experience the 8year olds your son played with were only dissapointed for 5 minutes after being humiliated 8-0 and that after 5 minutes they were doing ‘high fives’ and whistling Dixie all the way home.
    I can guarantee that your son will never achieve any real success at football because he has probably inherited your lack of passion and competitiveness which is essential in todays game and is often a result of the pathetic policies adopted by the last government in creating no winners or losers at school sports days.
    You even have the front to suggest that I become a part time social worker or psychoanalyst and take all useless ,disinterested boys in the squad and laise with all their teachers in an effort to find out why they stare at seagulls while the other team scores. You must work in the public sector to have stupid views like this.
    On a final note, I notice that you seem to spend most evenings on this forum knocking anyone who dissagrees with your leftie rantings – you must have a season ticket and lacking excitement in your life.
    Lets call it a day and let some other people express their views.

  232. D Langley on October 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Hello Ted

    My, you are an angry man aren’t you? I think the FA made a video about coaches and parents like you some years ago. Have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezZ2ZRfSsLY

    I didn’t say my son’s team lost 8-0 and were high fiving etc. They lost 2-0 to a very good team with whom they had had some fantastic games with over the previous 2 years, winning some, losing some and drawing a couple. They came off the pitch sad, but we as parents reminded them of the positives they’d achieved in getting past 30+ other teams to the final. What do you think we should have done?

    I ought to put you out of your misery by letting you know that my son and daughter have indeed achieved success at football, cricket and gymnastics.

    In terms of the small amount of time I spend here, all I’ve tried to do is offer a bit of support to people who’ve had similar experiences. Perhaps we should count ourselves fortunate that we’ve not been so unlucky as to encounter a coach like yourself who, if some of the foaming-at-the-mouth rants you’ve posted here are a reflection of the way you interact with people, shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near developing children.

  233. D Langley on October 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Hello Ted

    My, you are an angry man aren’t you? I think the FA made a video about coaches and parents like you some years ago. Google Ray Winstone FA Respect Video.

    I didn’t say my son’s team lost 8-0 and were high fiving etc. They lost 2-0 to a very good team with whom they had had some fantastic games with over the previous 2 years, winning some, losing some and drawing a couple. They came off the pitch sad, but we as parents reminded them of the positives they’d achieved in getting past 30+ other teams to the final. What do you think we should have done?

    I ought to put you out of your misery by letting you know that my son and daughter have indeed achieved success at football, cricket and gymnastics.

    In terms of the small amount of time I spend here, all I’ve tried to do is offer a bit of support to people who’ve had similar experiences. Perhaps we should count ourselves fortunate that we’ve not been so unlucky as to encounter a coach like yourself who, if some of the foaming-at-the-mouth rants you’ve posted here are a reflection of the way you interact with people, shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near developing children.

  234. Darren on December 8, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Its a good job we still have passionate people who care for the game like Ted. D.Langley is typical of the sad lefties who are doing their best to destroy the game. I suggest Langley and others who lefties to actually look up the meaning of the word ‘sport’. If they get their own way then we will have to teach our teams to start passing to the opposition. Its football so look up the meaning of the word sport!!

  235. Ant on December 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Ted and Darren – I honestly believe that you are the type of people that are ruining football. Whilst I agree that winning is very important – it is a major motivating factor for children playing football – it is not the only thing that is important.

    Ted, you say that Langley’s son will not experience any success within football (having never seen him play, which is a bit odd). I say, So What?! He may never play at an elite level, have trials, win any trophies or become a professional. However, there are so many other successes that he will experience – scoring a goal, performing a skill he’s spent ages practicing or even winning a single game. If he’s enjoying himself then that surely is a good thing, right?

    I work full time in football and have coached at elite and grassroots levels and in my experience the majority of people will not make it to the professional game. However, if you can teach them decent values then they can transfer them into everyday life and whatever they do their footballing career will hopefully benefit them. We teach the value of hard work, supporting your teammates (even if they’re the weaker players!), how to win gracefully and how to deal with setbacks in a positive way – this could be losing a game, a striker on a goal draught, coping with an injury, dealing with being dropped (more for older players). These values and the way they deal with things will go with them in the workplace, they’ll be values they’ll pass on to their kids etc.

    All you guys are teaching is that if you’re not good enough, you shouldn’t bother. I like kids that try things they’re not good at – I encourage them and support them. You’re teaching them that if they lose then it’s a bad thing. Losing is a part of life that they can learn from. That if you don’t win the game/tournament etc then you haven’t experienced success. There is more to life and more to football than that and success comes in many forms.

    You should never say that winning isn’t important, of course it is, but try to see past the result too.

    Also, if you read the posts from Langley and the rest, they’re not talking about disinterested players. They’re talking about young players not experiencing as many opportunities as other players because they are perceived (rightly perhaps, I don’t know) as weaker players. Players develop at different rates and by not allowing them to play as much you are holding them back and turning players away from football. I’ve just had a GK sign a 2 + 1 year contract with a professional club and he has trials with England U16’s. When he first played he was our third choice keeper (at u11) and was a bit on the short side. We gave him the same opportunities to play and develop even though we sometimes lost games we may have won had we kept our taller keepers playing. By the time of his growth spurt he was by far our best keeper, but had we concentrated solely on winning we would have discarded this player and he may not be where he is now. There’s still a chance that he won’t make it to the 1st team but hopefully you can see the benefit of looking past the result and seeing the bigger picture.

    Obviously you’ve got a different problem with disinterested players. I would suggest that either you work harder to engage them or if they aren’t interested at all then speak to their parents and clarify your position – if it’s not beneficial to the kids to continue or it’s detrimental to others then suggest alternative arrangements (training only, other clubs, other sports). As you say, you’re not running a crèche which is fair enough. However, as an adult and as a coach you should not be branding children as useless. Your job is to nurture and support EVERY player as well as you can; not just the talented kids that are easy to work with. If it’s too difficult for you then maybe coaching isn’t for you.

  236. D Langley on December 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks Ant. You must be a wishy washy liberal lefty like me!

  237. Dave lea on December 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Is there a rule in under 7s football where players must come off for a period a local club only takes off the less talented players and keeps the better 1s on. Sometimes just taking certain players off twice in a game.

  238. Mark Oliver on December 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Having read some of the comments above, what appears to be lacking is sufficient coaches at grassroots level running A, B and C teams at each age group (with Youth Award Level 3 and Level 2 awards) and who are not parents coaching their child’s team…. I have no problem with competition, the trick is matching players and teams fairly so everyone feels able to contribute during the game and thereby allowing players to be given equal playing time. We have less coaches qualified that most European nations. I would automatically offer all juniors from 16 free coaching quals to improve the general understanding and foundation of coaching up to YA L3 and UEFA B. Only then will you see real change.

  239. Change teams on February 19, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Hi my son is currently signed for Denbigh hall youth football cub under 14 but no longer plays can he sign for another club this late in the season.

  240. Mark Adshead on March 7, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Hi,i manage an under 12 boys team for this season (14-15),my coaches son currently plays for a different club at under 10,he turns 11 on 21st September 2015,could he play for my under 13 team next season (15-16)?

  241. Kelly Hume on March 22, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Hi my son is playing for an under 8 team but at the end of the season his team Will be going 7×7 a side and because he plays a year up already his team mangers saying he won’t be able to play as his not old enough is this true ???

  242. lisa on March 27, 2015 at 7:13 am

    My 13 year old daughter plays in u14 but is signing on for a different team who play in a different league next season can she sign for them now and play for both teams.

  243. wahdatullah on April 5, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Hi,i manage an under 12 boys team for this season (14-15),my coaches son currently plays for a different club at under 10,he turns 11 on 21st September 2015,could he play for my under 13 team next season (15-16)?

  244. Donnell on April 20, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    This looks AWESOME ! think I can play in this.

  245. John Ainley on April 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I won’t explaining to me please, why A and B teams are so important in junior football, e.g U8, U9, U10’s etc, I personally know why they are so Important, but I would appreciate some impartial feedback from anybody with grassroots junior football knowledge, to state why think they are so necessary so I don’t feel like I am banging a my head against a brick wall with my other 2 Ex colleague coaches. Please try to keep the explanation simple, because my 2 Ex colleagues point blank refused to have an A and B teams, and players are leaving left,right, and centre, and it’s all very sad.

  246. Alyson Tait on May 14, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I was just after any advice. My son who is 13 on the 28th August and in year 7 was kept behind a year at school as he was not ready at 4 after having hearing problems and his development being behind. He desperately wants to play with his peers but for the sake of 3 days is unable to. He has tried playing for teams in the older year group but never settles as none of these children live in our area or go to his school. We hoped with the new rules of children playing in the year they were born that the FA would be sympathetic but as he is not severely disabled they dismissed our case. This has left my son unable to play football which is against all the FA’s ideals of why children play football and he is extremely unhappy. He continues to train but cannot play matches. The coaches are totally supportive him. Would it be worth an appeal?

  247. B Bladen on May 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Hi my son has been picked to be in a pro club shadow squad, can he still play at grass roots level?

  248. John W Young on May 19, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Does goal difference determine the champions in 9×9 u/11s league ? Thank you

  249. mel on May 23, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    My son played in a tournament last weekend, he plays in the under 8s. the tournament was a 6v6 team, he got into the finals and his team had 3 subs the rolling sub was used throughout the tournament. at half time in the final the other team bought on 6 new players! a whole new team! is this allowed ? when I queried the tournament organisers he said it was allowed and they are FA officiated and follow the rules! I am unsure though!! please help!

  250. Rob on June 5, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Saw the earlier note from Alyson Tait and sympathise wholeheartedly, having had exactly the same argument with the FA right up to the top level a few years ago over a boy I coached who had been seriously ill and repeated an infant school year, consequently coming through his entire schooling an academic “year” later. In his case, his birthday was 31st August – ONE DAY!!!
    We all know rules are rules etc but the inflexibility that the FA shows in cases like this reflects so badly on it. They show no understanding of exactly the point that you make, Alyson – boys just want to play football with their friends.

    The most laughable thing was that the lad was still the smallest boy in our team, even being a “year” older.

    In cases where a child repeats a school year for identifiable reasons and ends up coming through a substantial amount of school alongside a particular cohort of friends, they should, on presentation of supporting documentation, be able to play alongside them. Simple.

  251. richard-bromley on June 6, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Today I witnessed something at grassroots which is totally unacceptable. My son plays for a club and there are 2 teams u8 going into U9s. End of year gala for the club and we turn up to find that there is now a 3rd ‘elite’ team put together with the best of both teams. No surprise this team goes on to win the gala trophy if their in club. In my eyes this is very unsporting and is not what grassroots football is about. Forgotten is the development of every player, the enjoyment and most of all working as a team. Shame on the coaches who had a win at all costs mentality hope you enjoy the trophy at the cost of other dedicated players who commit to you week in week out.

  252. Lisa on June 7, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    My little boy has only been playing football for a month (give or Take) and already been placed in the squd for the U7’s team… Thing is, he is only 5 – not 6 until October. The team are already registered to play in a tournament at the end of August but through my understanding he will be too young to play… Am I correct?

  253. john on June 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    yes fun and development is core of every youth team , but there also has to be emphasis on all abilities been allowed to progress at the speed they can , everyone always worries about the lesser ability children , but wat about the boys with a good standard who should be allowed to push on , its not just about the children who are less experienced

  254. Jennifer on June 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    My sons team have just won their under 13’s league and now move up to a higher division in the new season, which my son is really excited about, but I have just received a phone call from the manager telling me he is releasing my son from the team because he isn’t consistent enough and that he has better players joining the team for next season has he wants to win that league. I’m really distraught about this and not sure how to tell my son. Can youth football clubs really do this? If not what should I do?

  255. Debbie on June 13, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    What age do you have to be to play 11 aside football?

  256. stuart driver on June 16, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    does anyone know if there is an age restriction on open age football { ie to young to play}

  257. Ronnie on June 17, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    My son moved to a local club with his friends. He is 9 years old. There are two teams and we were told at the beginning of this month that they might either keep the teams the same, ,is up or create an a or b team. I found out on Sunday that they are dropping my son and 3 other boys and taking 5 boys from the other team and also some new players. I was told that we could play for the other team. I’ve contacted the other team and was told that my son and the 3 other boys have to do trials as they are bringing in other players. My son is devastated and I feel really cross as we were not told that there was a possibility that we wouldn’t have a space and now it’s too late to find another team to play for. My son loves football and the thought of not playing in a match all year is very upsetting. He’s losing his confidence at the age of 9!Is there anything I can do?

  258. Allan Walton on June 19, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Hi my son has just finished under 9s season he has been at the same team since he was 5 . I can not remember the last time he has played more than 50% , and in a tournament last week we got to the final and won it . My son and another boy never got on. When I asked the coach why they never got on he said we needed to win and said my son and other lad are the weakest in the team . Is right to do .

  259. Eric on June 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm


    Cindy Academy football club men’s Located in London, We are looking to add to our squads teams for 2015/16 season playing in the Dorset Football League divisions 2 and 4. We require players in all positions. We are very keen to add more senior player who have maybe played at a higher level like DPL or higher and would be interested in a player or coach role to support the forward progression of our Club. If interested contact Andy on (+44)07899856422. Email: [email protected]

  260. Lee Bates on June 23, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    can anybody tell me if its ok for my son ,who will be playing u12s 2015/16 ,is able to play for 2 different teams in different leagues? I know of a few lads that did last season but just heard a few roumers about this coming season, thanks

  261. Caroline merrick on June 28, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Dear Sir
    i wasnt sure who to contact about this but my Grandson has played football since he was 5 years old. He loves his football and has played for M D F C for the past 3 years. Under 10s I received a TXT message saying my Grandson was no longer wanted on the team for reasons that are ridiculous. The ” manager ” and i use that word loosely told me that Corie wasnt taking his training seriously and he has missed matches. I take my Grandson to training and the games i can count on one hand how many times he has missed training and as for matches i have gone to every one with him in the wind rain and snow after i rang him to explain this he said the reasons were irrelevant he said he has the final say and HE doesn’t want Corie on the team. Im a bsolutely livid. Cories mum has been in hospital for past 6 years in a coma srare due to an accident football has helped him deal with this and this make shift bully has pulled the riug ffrom underneath him all because he doesn’t want him playing. He makes the other children cry with his bully boy tacticshe even called my Grandson fat once which he isntHe shouldnt be allowed to get away with this. Football has been Cories life all these years is there anything that can be done?

  262. Paul on June 29, 2015 at 10:52 am

    My son plays in an under 8’s team who have had a very successful season, (him and 3 others in the team are attached to a professional club too) but yesterday at a tournament they were left totally devastated. They were told at the start that there would be winners medals and trophies and after winning all their games and not conceding a goal all day were then told before their last game that because one of the coaches from one of the other teams didn’t agree with the tournament being competitive and didn’t think it was right that the kids should be labelled as winners and losers the organisers had no choice but to scrape the results of the matches and make the day non-competitive. So no trophy!

    It always seems to be about the lesser players developing and having game time, but what about the better players and teams, do they not have a right to develop, push on to the next level and experience winning and lifting a trophy at an end of season tournament. What percentage of these better players will drop out of the game at an early age because of this attitude compared to other lesser players who drop out I wonder?
    In affect we are telling kids from a young age that winning or losing doesn’t matter and labelling them all up the same, an attitude they then take on in the future, be it in school or life in general.

  263. jesus on July 13, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    my son played last year for a team but he wants to go to another team. can the old team deny my son to go?

  264. Alex on July 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    My boy has been training with the same
    Club for the last year, he didn’t get picked for the team which had really disappointed him and he has vowed to train harder next season so he does so, but today I received a print out of an email which was sent to another parent to give to me saying that they no longer want him or the others that didn’t make the team training with them anymore, as they want to concentrate on the squad!! I find it very unprofessional that no one could approach me whilst at football training to inform me of this and had to find out through another parent on and email that wasn’t even sent to me. Shouldn’t all children that love and enjoy playing football get to do so even if it is just training? My son is totally gutted and doesn’t want to play anymore which I find such a shame.

  265. William on July 23, 2015 at 9:05 am

    My son played last season for his local side in goal. He was their only goalie at the start of the season. So I agreed to sponsor the team. They had a full squad but halfway through preseason another lad turn up said he wanted to play and could only play in goal because he had an injury which means he could only play in goal. The manager said he couldn’t signed him as a full squad but he could still could train.
    My lad played every minute of every game even games when he wasn’t well behind a team where others could be bothered
    He turned up for everything the team did,we supplied man of the match trophy,drinks bottles, and training bibs for the team
    We supplied teas and coffees for the parents at the matches.
    With four games left at the end of a bad season the manager signed this player but still said my lad was his first choice but for the first game he was available he dropped my lad and play him in goal with the score at 10 nil down at half time He then put our lad back in goal for second half even low we had discussed this before he signed the other lad and he said he wouldn’t do that. We went on to lose game 18 nil but my lad got the stick of the other players and parents that it was his fault for the bad season we were having.
    For the next three games the manager said he was going to do it one game on and one game off for the keepers. We weren’t happy but my lad said he wanted to carry on. We continue to come to every training session. The last training session before our last game in which my lad wasn’t due to play in goal the other lad didn’t turn up. So the manager said he would have to play outfield if he wanted to play and my lad would play in goal. The day of the match the other lad didn’t turn up because his mum had told our manager he wasn’t going to play outfield.
    We thought the manager would have decided then this wasn’t working and sort something out fair but every time we asked what was going to happen next season. He wouldn’t give us a straight answer.
    It all came to head at a tournament my son was playing in and now my son has left but I don’t think it was handled very well and my son is going through a hell of time feeling so depressed because he doesn’t know what went so wrong
    If someone could please contact me and I will tell the full story at what has gone on
    And see if anything can be done as I don’t think this was right
    Thank you

  266. Ian Yeomans on July 30, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    I have read the messages on the website,
    Most of them seem to have the same problem,
    All the coaches want to win at all cost.
    This is the biggest problem with grassroots football, yes we do have some pushy parents,
    Yes we do have noisy parents but if the coaches coach properly, everyone is happy.

  267. Wayne on August 14, 2015 at 4:47 am

    I have just discovered that as of the 2015/2016 season under 11’s will be non competitive as well, My thoughts are where will it end. I hear all the time the good things the FA put out about “its not about winning or the parents are awful etc” “rightfully so” and the many parents comments etc. Naturally the ones against the ideas are not shown or are viewed on with disdain, Its about the fun. . However in society today we only seem to print what we deem is good. With football its getting stupid now. The FA have forgotten one small detail in their crusade against competitive football. “the players” They all play FIFA,Pro evolution etc. they know league football and they mainly know the difference in winninig and losing. For me its all about losing with dignity and trying your best. If you still lose then so be it. But to take away the edge at the age they are reaching has become a joke. No where in spain germany etc are children not encouraged to Win. My son who is 10 wants to know where they are in the league, how many points they have etc. The list goes on. Thats because he knows that football is a winning and losing game. Where will it end?, maybe when they are under 16 just going into adult football with no concept of winning or losing or the need to inject a passion into their play. You will lose many players to other arenas by this. And before it is added about the parents or the shouting of abuse. I have none of that within my team. I will not stand for it and I deal with it. For all the peole complaining about it otu there, deal with it and it stops

  268. Wayne on August 14, 2015 at 4:58 am

    And to add to my earlier post. I have read a few below and one that the really hits the spot is one mentioning development. We do seem to be concentrating on developing so called weaker players (meant respectfully) but are totally forgetting the developing well ones. There progression will be held up. Yet at acedemy level they can play competively at all ages and even in schools when they get to year 5 they can play in a school league. Yet for min soccer the goals are constantly changing. And my experinces are that for coaches its not about winning at all costs, but at the end of the day football is about who can put the ball in the net more than the opposition. WE can NEVER forget that

  269. Wayne on August 14, 2015 at 5:13 am

    And with all these changes. What happens when the COACHES have had enough of them and they all quit. No coaches no football. And they will. I know of 3 in my area that have had enough. NO voice for us.

  270. steve jones on September 6, 2015 at 9:24 am

    how many subs allowed at u14 youth level

  271. D Langley on September 7, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Quite frankly, the more “win at all costs coaches” who bow out, the better.

    In young age groups, the qualities which will win you games (size, strength, pace) will overpower finesse, skill and technique. For decades, english coaches and scouts thought those were the qualities needed as players grew up. You can see the results of that in

    a) England’s performances in major tournaments in recent years

    b) the ratio of English to Overseas players in the Premier League.

    I’d respectfully refer posters to “Ant” who posted the following:

    “Ted and Darren – I honestly believe that you are the type of people that are ruining football. Whilst I agree that winning is very important – it is a major motivating factor for children playing football – it is not the only thing that is important.

    Ted, you say that Langley’s son will not experience any success within football (having never seen him play, which is a bit odd). I say, So What?! He may never play at an elite level, have trials, win any trophies or become a professional. However, there are so many other successes that he will experience – scoring a goal, performing a skill he’s spent ages practicing or even winning a single game. If he’s enjoying himself then that surely is a good thing, right?

    I work full time in football and have coached at elite and grassroots levels and in my experience the majority of people will not make it to the professional game. However, if you can teach them decent values then they can transfer them into everyday life and whatever they do their footballing career will hopefully benefit them. We teach the value of hard work, supporting your teammates (even if they’re the weaker players!), how to win gracefully and how to deal with setbacks in a positive way – this could be losing a game, a striker on a goal draught, coping with an injury, dealing with being dropped (more for older players). These values and the way they deal with things will go with them in the workplace, they’ll be values they’ll pass on to their kids etc.

    All you guys are teaching is that if you’re not good enough, you shouldn’t bother. I like kids that try things they’re not good at – I encourage them and support them. You’re teaching them that if they lose then it’s a bad thing. Losing is a part of life that they can learn from. That if you don’t win the game/tournament etc then you haven’t experienced success. There is more to life and more to football than that and success comes in many forms.

    You should never say that winning isn’t important, of course it is, but try to see past the result too.

    Also, if you read the posts from Langley and the rest, they’re not talking about disinterested players. They’re talking about young players not experiencing as many opportunities as other players because they are perceived (rightly perhaps, I don’t know) as weaker players. Players develop at different rates and by not allowing them to play as much you are holding them back and turning players away from football. I’ve just had a GK sign a 2 + 1 year contract with a professional club and he has trials with England U16’s. When he first played he was our third choice keeper (at u11) and was a bit on the short side. We gave him the same opportunities to play and develop even though we sometimes lost games we may have won had we kept our taller keepers playing. By the time of his growth spurt he was by far our best keeper, but had we concentrated solely on winning we would have discarded this player and he may not be where he is now. There’s still a chance that he won’t make it to the 1st team but hopefully you can see the benefit of looking past the result and seeing the bigger picture.

    Obviously you’ve got a different problem with disinterested players. I would suggest that either you work harder to engage them or if they aren’t interested at all then speak to their parents and clarify your position – if it’s not beneficial to the kids to continue or it’s detrimental to others then suggest alternative arrangements (training only, other clubs, other sports). As you say, you’re not running a crèche which is fair enough. However, as an adult and as a coach you should not be branding children as useless. Your job is to nurture and support EVERY player as well as you can; not just the talented kids that are easy to work with. If it’s too difficult for you then maybe coaching isn’t for you.”

  272. N martin on September 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Hi my sons signed for a under 13s team but wants to mobve to another in the same leuqe is it possible. Thanks

  273. Eon on September 25, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Currently help an u6 team some parents weren’t happy with game time for there kids so took the out of team. A few weeks later a meeting is called to get there kids back involved. Some want rota system of players. Will this develop them. I always thought u have a coach/manager not parental control and running team on collective basis. Thankless task being coach u can’t win. As for competing see it should be as long as kids enjoy it and the football is played in right manner. Pass and move. I here what is said about developing players and grading tables but ultimately, my opinion, the good players should be allowed to develop further and ultimately for national level is it better to have lots of fairly good young footballers or having maybe slightly fewer but who have that littl bit extra. Then kids are not being disappointed later down the line by being released from academies etc. there seems to be a big push in having lots involved in footy but elite is only a minority and surely these elite should push on and not be held back?

  274. Russell Willett on September 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    My granddaughter plays for a local club under 13 and have had the team split into two teams, however a pair of twins want to move over to my granddaughters team but have been told they cannot unless a transfer fee is paid is this right?

  275. Tracey on October 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Not sure if you can help, but I have a question regarding girls football.
    My daughter is currently playing U14’s but is unhappy with the team. One thought would be for her to play up a year, however the club does not run an U15’s, but does run U16’s. Is she too young to play at that age assuming she is good enough?

  276. D Langley on October 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Eon – have a look on this site, search on “Meet the coach.”

    Daren Bavister’s views are well worth a read.

  277. zantima on October 2, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    hi, my son have 18 old and i am looking for new team i
    or manege r.

  278. Harris on October 3, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I took my eight year old son to are local football club today because he has just expressed an interest in learning the game. However I was told he would not be allowed to train with them because they have their full team and don’t like training anyone else??? Why is this? My son doesn’t mind if he plays matches or not he just wants to learn to play football!!!

  279. Scott on October 4, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I have 2 sons. One plays for our under 9’s, the other plays for the U10’s and the experience of each son could not be more different. While my older son’s coach has developed a two tier team where the 3 ‘better’ players get full game time(strangely this includes his own son) and can do no wrong, the ‘lesser’ players are substituted in rotation, damaging their confidence. and self-belief. They don’t play as a team and cannot win a game. The ‘top 3’ now have the idea that it is up to them to win every game and blame the others when possession is lost and goals conceded because of selfish play.
    On the other hand, my younger son’s coach will not have prima dona’s on the pitch. He ensures that they win and lose as a team. They have fun and develop as one unit. It is a mixed team of mixed ability who have grown to trust each other and help each other on the pitch. They’re ALL having fun, they all get the same game time, regardless of whether they are winning or losing. No-one is taken off if they make a mistake, score an own goal or miss a tackle. Guess what, my older son’s team are bottom of the league, confidence of the majority is at rock bottom and players feel worthless. My younger son’s team can’t stop winning and are second in the league. Every single one of them plays their heart out, girls and boys. We win and lose as one.
    These are children, you have the power too crush self-esteem and confidence or be the ones who give children belief no matter what their skill level. Please be careful, remember the effect your actions will have on them now and for the rest of their sporting lives. So what if they don’t win, let everyone have the same chance to play, encourage team spirit and have fun. You might just start winning every game just like my son’s team

  280. Paul Tregale on October 7, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Please can you confirm something for me? I am a coach of an Under 7 team in Somerset, first season of playing friendly matches against teams across Somerset. My question relates to the ruling of players that are aged 6 can they play any friendly matches for my under 7 team? I have two players who have trained with me from U6 ag last season and are now training with my under 7 squad this season, however I have been advised that they cannot play in matches is this correct?

  281. Jo Dixon on October 12, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Hi. My 6 year old wants to play for 2 teams in different leagues. Can you advise if this is allowed please. He would play matches on both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks

  282. k withers on October 13, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Is it correct to show a red card for a foul in under 13 football or should the ref ask the manager to remove the player from the game ,thus not having to show any cards .Plus should the team be reduced to 10 players as they are also being punished,

  283. Layla on October 15, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    How much training is required/allowed for under 7s? My sons team have training on a Tuesday Saturday then a match on a Sunday which I think is too much at such a young age?
    Please could anyone confirm how many hours a team of that age should train for? Thanks

  284. kirsty on October 21, 2015 at 10:17 am

    my son playes for a disability team. his 14 is well built and his football ability is very good. can we as parents give consent for him to play with the adult disability team in tournaments?

  285. Reece on October 26, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Hi I am just wondering if there is a limit to how many players a coach should be coaching at once at times at my current job i find myself coaching 25 players at once by myself and i find this very hard.

  286. Mark on October 28, 2015 at 1:54 am

    My son plays in an under 12 team. Currently there are 12 players 3 of which play in a Saturday team already. This means they are unable to train with my sons team and only turn up on a Sunday to play. This means my son and two other lads get much less game time as they are considered to be not as good!! Is this ethical or fair?

  287. Farhana on November 5, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Can my 6 year old play for 2 teams. They are oin different leagues. He would have matches on a Saturday and Sunday.

  288. keĺly rogers on November 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Please can someone advise me
    Can under 13’s play more than 1 x 1 hour 10 min match in one day

  289. Jeanette on November 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    My Husband has recently taken over managing an U10’s football team no one else wanted to take on. He did it because our son plays for the team. Since taking the team on he has heard a lot of moans and groans from parents, mainly about play time. What parents seem to forget is that they are not on the side line where the managers and players are so they can’t hear what is going on.
    Some kids turn up and are not bothered about playing and are only there because their Mum or Dad have made them come. Some kids don’t want to play because they are scared of the bigger players in the opposing team but don’t want to admit it in front of their team mates or their parents. Some kids are playing just to please Mum and Dad. I think a lot of the time it’s parents that spoil team spirit no one else.
    If you are not happy in a team for whatever reason take your child to another team before he/she gets rejected there are plenty around.
    In the 10 years I’ve been around Sunday football I have noticed the only parents that kick up a fuss are the pushy parents that want to keep their child in a the winning team whether the child is happy or not.

  290. Jeanette on November 21, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I have just read Wayne’s comment. It’s absolutely outrageous the age has gone up for non competitive football. My oldest son loved coming home on a Sunday jumping on the computer to see where they were in the league of a match. My youngest son who is 10 has never experienced that and was looking forward to next season to finally start competing against other teams. This country has gone mad!! I know when he finds out about this his love of football will dwindle away just like many of his friends have. who is making these decisions????

  291. nadia on November 22, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Hi my son is 7 years old, he plays for the under 8’s…. he’s very skilled and faster than many players on his team but get no more than 5 minutes in a entire game, while the coach plays his son and favorites for most of the game. Is this allowed and what can I do? Thanks

  292. Add Ajibola on December 13, 2015 at 3:40 am

    I have an 8 year old that plays under 9s he was in a great under 8s last year. They won played well as a team. The team was a mixed wining team.I started to take him to Spurs development team for his age group it was great. Season 15 -16 the great team that didn’t have a permanent manager last season was broken up. The club decided that it now want 3 teams. My son was suddenly dropped to the third team this is despite him developing with spurs and becoming an amazing dribbler. The club takes the biggest and strongest in team 1 and 2. My son’s team has only won 1 game all season and have lost every other by a cricket score. This is not fun and I now have a boy contemplating wether to quit and play basketball.

    The club had said that they will move kids up or down according to performance and development. My son is captain of the team he is constantly putting in a good performance to his detriment he cannot move up as no one wants to move down. The other teams win by keeping a good strong square with players playing in the correct position. My frustration is that we could have 3 great sides

    So to summarise I think that these changes will force potential good footballers to walk away. There is too much politics and enthasis placed on fun. This is allowing coaches to pick favourite over picking kids because they are good. I have a good belief that my son will be a professional sports man. And when he does I will say that it will be inspite of these changes. As it has been detrimental to my son.

  293. Mrs Egginton on January 6, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    My son currently plays for U14’s. He has been asked to play for a local charity senior team. Is there an age limit for him to play with senior team. Thanks

  294. Tony O on January 11, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Can my son play for 2 different U13 leagues at the same time. Both teams play on Sundays. One in the morning and the other in the afternoon, so no time clashes

  295. Daniel on January 23, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Hello my 9 year old daughter loves playing football, and often find that her games are called off or there are not many teams of her age group. What is the ruling on her playing for an older team, namely an under 11 side. She is the same size and I’m genuinely not being biased, of better ability of those. Is there any such thing as insurance reasons as to why she can not play? As far as I am aware from any injuries that I have sustained throughout football I have never approached the FA requesting payouts etc. Im not trying to be awkward or funny but would like the correct answer. Thank you

  296. Mark on January 28, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I would like to know what the FA are going to do about summer babies. I have an amazing six year old but the rest of the A team are ten months older than him and funny enough most of our weaker ones are the youngest. How about promoting clubs with two teams field a young team and an old team or do as was suggested change to 1st Jan so that it is different to the schools . This is backed up with stats but is also backed up in reality, we have selected a team to go to an academy trial. Little ones will just be muscled out in our experience. Come on FA 7% of summer babies make it as a professional versus nearly 50% Sep -Dec. It is common sense Messi was a summer baby its at these early years they need some help and before any one asks we make it FUN FUN FUN however its more fun when these boys can compete, or create leagues with Sep-Mar boys and Mar-Aug .

  297. Michelle on February 17, 2016 at 8:54 am

    My grandson has just turned 8 yrs old so i assume he is playing in the under 8s. He has has now been having friendly matches on a bigger match,i have been told it is getting him use for next season which of course is good for both him and his team mates, but my question is when will he start playing league games, they have been into a few tournaments but that is it, when can they start playing every week as they want to?
    Also do you know if scouts go around and watch the young boys play as there are some players that are outstanding, i am not just saying that as it is my grandson team i am going by dealing with football teams ( all admin for 2 teams at a time including all financial duties basically everything but train them but still went training and gave advice and input ), so I do know what I am talking about but it was the older boys
    with regards

  298. Aaron Rodger on February 18, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    My son plays for an under 11’s team. He plays at right back most of the time and it’s his favourite position. The last game he played was a cup match which his side were winning 4-0. The coach of the opposing side kicked the ball at my sons face in anger. My sons tooth was stuck in the ball and we asked for the tooth back, the ref said we had to wait until the match was finished as it was the only ball they had.
    At the end of the game we studied the ball but couldn’t find my sons tooth. When we complained the linesman said we should search the grass but we had better hurry as it was getting dark.
    We were left on our hands and knees whilst everyone else was leaving, no help at all.
    Is this fair?

  299. Kenneth Thorpe on February 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Can you please tell me if it is an offence for the goalkeeper to pick up a back pass at under 9/10s level
    Thank You

  300. janice barnes on March 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    hi, i have 2 son interested in playing for football clubs as a team, to progress more in there career, to become football players. they are only 11 and 12yrs old. i dont what to i need some help, i live in the sandwell area of the west midlands, please help.

  301. Mo on March 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Can you please tell me if my sons is allowed to be signed to one team and train with another. We are hearing conflicting stories .

  302. John on April 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    For the season 2016/2017 do the u12s play for league points

  303. Diane Cooper on April 8, 2016 at 11:29 am

    A friends son plays for a u10s team 2 years up & always has.
    He is also involved in some of youth football for a Championship team.
    With the rule change saying you can only play 1 year up will there be any exceptions made.
    My friend isn’t getting any answers from the team manager. If he needs to move down in age they would like to know sooner rather than later.
    Thank you

  304. Reedy on April 26, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    My son is really developing into a talented little player , he plays currently with his under 9 team . However for extra practise he joins his older brother in a weekend with their team …… Under 12. He really holds his own, and if anything is one if the best in their group …….. Why aren’t my son play up a couple of age groups ????

  305. phil on April 28, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I am gutted !! my youngest son is a talented keeper and has spent time with MUFC,MCFC, Liverpool in a training capacity whilst playing for his grass roots team. Around 14 months ago he signed for a league 1 academy and has been training 3 times a week and playing on sundays. He now informs me he no longer finds it fun and does not enjoy it. telling me that he likes the training although 3 times a week is to much and finds the games boring as he is playing behind good defenders. H e now wants to go bak to grass roots football where the coaching is not a patch on the academy. He has been offered another 2yr contract but refuses to sign it. I am frustrated with him as he has a talent but is not making the most of it !

  306. Lesley on May 9, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Can you please let me know what age does youth go up to.

  307. mark edwards on May 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Could you tell me please what the situation is for making children play a 9 a side match on a 7 a side pitch , surely there must be a safety issue with excess children on a small pitch. Could you please clarify the FA view on this .

  308. Simon smith on May 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Hi I run an under 11s football team but most of my players are under 10s there isn’t the option to split them up but as most are developing players they struggle at the moment I was wondering if the 3 older kids that I have playing for the correct age group would be aloud to play in the age group below this would probably be better for my team please help

  309. giovanni on May 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    can a boy age 10 play for 2 differents team ????Giovanni???

  310. Karen on June 10, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Hi please can you tell me it is permitted for a child U12’s 9v9 to play for 2 teams in different leagues in the same day if the times don’t clash

  311. Betty on June 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Hi,can my 15 year old son who is a goalkeeper (under 16’s) play for two different teams in different leagues? Match days are the same but one in the morning,one in the afternoon. Thanks.

  312. Val on June 15, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Looking for a club for my son aged 11 any where in chester

  313. Dean on June 16, 2016 at 6:03 am

    i coach a team and have a player who is playing 2 years up. He is a very talented player and is playing at the right level for his ability. The league didn’t have a problem last season but our club treasurer has told me that he now can’t play. For the last two seasons he has also been playing 2 years up for an academy side and they have no problem with this.

  314. Calvin lowrie on June 27, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Can my 6 year old play for 2 different under 7 sides they play in different leagues on different days and both teams train on different days?

  315. Mick on June 29, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Hi I manage a under 11’s football team season 2016-17 and I have 2 players that are almost 10 can they play.

  316. Hannah on June 29, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Hi, my 9 year old son has just been dropped from his team that he has played for, for 2 years along with 7 others because the coach took on so many new players they have ended up with 20 children and he chose 12 to play next season. Can he do that?

  317. Lesley on June 30, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    My daughter currently plays for an under 7s boys team and would like to stay with this team next season but would also like to play for a girls team. As they train and lay the matches on different days this wouldn’t be a problem but we are not sure if she is allowed. Also what age girls team can she play upto as she is 8 in October ? Thanks

  318. Cameron hodnett on July 9, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I’m going up to U13 in September and I also train with Peterborough. If with some luck I get into the academy will I still be able to play for my grass roots club and will Peterborough have to pay my grass roots club.
    I would be thankful if I got a response

  319. Lisa Ward on July 11, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    My daughter plays in a under 10s team but has been training with a under 12s team on a different night .The other team has asked her to play in a tournament this weekend can she play with them even though she’s already on a team

  320. yvonne on July 24, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    my child plays in the pin point league, can you advise me of the length of time the kids should have for a break between the football seasons!!!

  321. luke mills on August 5, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    my son is thinking of playing in another league for one season so does he have to unregister from the league he is in at the moment or is it ok to be registered in both. thanks

  322. Rob on August 9, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Is their a maximum number of minutes / games an u7s player can play in a week?

  323. Glen on August 11, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Can a player cross sign in different leagues

  324. Jamie parsons on August 13, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I’m just wondering if a 8 year old can sign for a under 10s team as he wants to be in the same team as his brother and he doesn’t want to play football with kids his own age

  325. Simon on August 14, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Hi my boy turns 7 in october they say he can’t sign on for the under 8s team because hes to young but he wants to stay with the team and play why is this a problem hes only 2 months two young I can’t c the proplem

  326. Stuart hide on August 17, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Hi I manage an u12s side and my club has informed me that In accordance with a new fa rule that on top of the normal signing on form the club also require parents dob and email address could you confirm that this is standard practice please

  327. Michelle on August 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Hi my 9 yr old daughter has been asked to lay for girls local girls team they have asked me for copy of birth certificate and actual passport photos, I’m confused as she signed to boys team and they only required photos? Why would there be a different rule for girls team signing?

  328. debbie battisson on September 2, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    we have a child whos registered, but he has been approached by 2 other clubs and asked to play in a tournament this weekend as they havnt got enough players, our manager does not want him to play but we need guidance on whether its legal for him toplay

  329. Gemma Webley on September 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    My son has signed on for a team. Can he changed team? He’s played in one friendly.

  330. lisa uren on September 10, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    How many minutes a week can a u10 team make the children train?

  331. Jo on September 10, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Can you play in two different leagues and two different teams?

  332. Jane on September 11, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    my son plays for an under 7’s mini soccer team, and recently the new season started and the coach signed him (he’s not the strongest player) then placed him in his ‘C’ or reserve team without any of his friends, he was really upset about this. when i asked for him to be moved the coach said it was an FA rule that he could not be moved to another mini team within the club? is this true?

  333. Mr r De sousa on September 12, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    My 10 year old son is registered to play for a club. Can he change club after he has already played twice.

  334. doreen on September 14, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Hi my son plays football for a u10 league on a sunday can he sign for u11 league witch also play on a sunday

  335. David Morris on September 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    U12’s team has 4 players who play at a pro club, 2 players are at development level and play in the midland premier league the other 2 players play at the next level in the junior premier league.
    My question is are these 4 players allowed to play for both pro development teams and their club side?

  336. Simon on September 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Hi. Can my son be registered with 2 teams. He’s wanted by two different league team and the both want to register him with the FA. Is that possible. Thanks

  337. John raines on September 30, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    My daughter is eleven and is playing in the under thirteen team , but now has been told that she might not be allowed to play with them . Even though girls in her school year play in the same league she was born in March she is really upset about this and I don’t won’t her to get teased by her classmates

  338. Oonagh on October 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Is there any way my daughter can get out of her football contract? She plays for a ladies under 14s and her manager and coach have both just quit today,she is devastated but the other girls don’t care!!! Please help.

  339. Rhys Kinsella on October 7, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Hi, my son is 15 on October 11 would he be in the U15s

  340. Donna poole on October 12, 2016 at 9:38 am

    If my child plays for under 12s can r change to another football club if he has just signed a few weeks ago

  341. D Colpitts on October 31, 2016 at 12:22 am

    I was wondering if they is any rules with regards signing on/registering players.
    The season is two months old and a new player has joined the team and looks certain to be playing.
    I was lead to believe that only players registered before the season can play, is this true?

  342. A. LYSANDRIDES on November 5, 2016 at 10:47 am


    • Lorna Guinn on February 25, 2018 at 6:48 am

      Coaches coach, parents support. Only positive comments. Like well done, good try. If you think you can do a better job than the coach, go get the course done and run a team. I wouldn’t presume to tell a ballet teacher how to take their class, why , if you aren’t qualified, should you presume to coach from the parents sidelines. Too many instructions from parents distract. The coaches should be trained up enough to do the job. If you don’t like this, then you need to understand Respect, read into the reasons, watch the video, do a parents course, hope that helps.

  343. Joanne McArthur on November 5, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Hi can you tell me if my son can play for a Saturday league team and also play for another team on a Sunday there 2 different leagues and he’s playing under 14’s

  344. Joanne McArthur on November 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Hi can my son who plays for under 14’s play for 2x teams?? As he interested in joining a Saturday team?? They are play in 2 different leagues

  345. Sarah Clements on November 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

    My son is 11 years old and signed for an academy 3 years ago. However, we have moved house and he would have to use public transport which would take him nearly 2 hours. We are not in a position to take him due to not being able to pick him up in time when we finish work and we do not want him to use public transport as he is too young. We would like the club to release him. Do the club have to release him due to the travelling time being too far? Thank you

  346. Aaron on November 13, 2016 at 6:27 pm


    I have a issue regarding something that happened today, my son was playing a game u15 and the ref was the managers son surely that’s not right?!!

    And not only that there was so many bad calls the whole game , a lot of parents thought the ref was biased, there was 2 footed challenges the lot and no free kicks , I’m feeling disgusted what can be done?

    Surely your not alloud to ref your own dads team?

  347. Leanne Fielder on November 17, 2016 at 10:40 am

    My son plays in a local under 11’s team and has always played as a number 11. Yesterday…mid season they were given a new kit and he has now been assigned a number 4. His manager has assured me that squad numbers do not represent any position…which obviously they do! Is it allowed that he can change squad numbers randomly mid season?

  348. Jamie Hawkes's on November 27, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    My son plays for an under 9’s team,he is one of the lesser players in the squad but is fully committed and loves playing with all of his friends,the manager picks 3 players that seem to get full games all the time(and also his son that is one of the lesser players) but the rest of the boys are used as subs or get 5 minutes and pulled straight off. I thought the idea was for all boys to get even game time?
    I see this affecting their confidence and will eventually affect their friendships and enjoyment of the game.

  349. p james on November 29, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    can a child play for his own team in a cup competition and also play for the year up at the same club in a cup competition ?

  350. Aurelio on December 7, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    My son plays in a under eights team, 5 aside 20 minutes each half, the managers are just obsessed with winning each, my son does not play more that ten minutes a match when other players play nearly 30 minutes, how can I talk to me managers and try to explain that the focus of grassroot football is not to win but learn how to became a winner, my son is loosing his confidence and I am very frustrated about this, any tips that can help, are there any regulations that state that the under eights have the play the fair amount of football

  351. David Haines on April 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Should an FA affiliated coach play a 13 year old for 10mins in a league deciding game, a game in which alot of other players played a full game. Had we not won the game we would have lost the league to a team who are our rivals?

Join the discussion