9v9 goalpost funding now available

Youth football teams wanting to play 9v9 football in England this season can now apply for funding for new goalposts from the Football Foundation.

A ringfenced funding pot of £1.5m – made available by the Foundation in association with the FA – will support clubs and leagues taking up the new 9-a-side format of the game – a key part of the FA’s new approach to youth football, announced in May as part of their Youth Development Review.

FA Head of Elite Development Gareth Southgate said the changes are “vitally important for the development of young players and the future of football in this country.”

The new 9v9 format – played on a smaller pitch and with smaller goals than 11-a-side – will be mandatory for under 11s from the 2013/14 season, with under 12s following suit from 2014/15 onwards.

But rather than wait for its mandatory introduction, many leagues and clubs have opted to start playing 9v9 straight away. So much so that Nick Levett, the FA’s national development manager for youth football, believes that 9v9 will prove more popular than 11v11 at under 11s level at the start of the 2012/13 season.

Providing goalposts for the new format of the game is a key part of the new structure.

To meet the demand, the FA and Football Foundation have moved quickly to introduce the 9 v 9 Goalpost Funding Scheme, which will help clubs cover their costs.

Grants of 50% towards the total cost of the goals will be available from the Foundation, who are working closely with County FAs to identify the needs and sites that will benefit.

Clubs and leagues must apply via their County FA in one of series of pre-defined funding windows, the first of which opened this week and will close on 30 September.

The Foundation has compiled a set of guidance notes with details on the application process and a list of goalpost suppliers. Click the links below for more information.

9 v 9 Goalpost Funding Scheme:

* Guidance Notes (pdf)
* Terms and Conditions (pdf)
* The FA Guide to Pitch and Goalpost Dimensions (pdf)
To find out more, please contact your County FA or visit footballfoundation.org.uk.

Tell us what you think!

Is your club or league moving to the 9v9 this season? Perhaps you were ahead of the game and have been playing it already? Or are you not looking forward to the introduction of the new format?

Whatever your opinion, we’d love to hear it so please leave a comment below.

Image courtesy of Manchester FA.

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

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  1. Gary Taylor on July 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Councils still need to provide pitches though – ours are centralized – not good enough in my opinion.

  2. Joseph bell on July 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Sorry but I don’t agree to the new changes It will not benifit our game just come back from trip to holland were they play 11v11 the Dutch teams were better passing team used space better if we reduced the size of pitches what will that bring to our game shots from half way line I agree to reducing size of goals to give keepers a fair chance but we should keep 11v11 they have already taking tackling out of the it will not be long before football is like basket ball none contact sport don’t let them change our game

  3. Mark Davis on July 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    9v9 will improve our kids game I believe. Not only from the kids point of view which is the most important thing which the adult coaches seem to be forgetting is the main thing, also for the clubs / teams who have just about two 7v7 sides who then go on to struggle to find a trusted reliable squad of 13 or more. this means the so called weaker players in those teams are going to be left out, probably resent the game, become less fit and look after themselves because of the rejection. I agree on the pitch available issue. If we spent less money in this country on projects like St Georges near Burton upon Trent and distributed the money to more local projects, better than currently done in my opinion of our area of the country. We talk about improving Grass roots in this country, but that is all we do – TALK about it. Bring on 9v9. Bring on 5v5. Do not agree with talking the points and divisions element away from the game. Futsal is also the future and the sooner the ‘old guard’ realise the better and quicker we can move forward – just like Spain did and have done.

  4. Mark Tennison on July 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    This change is long overdue and should ultimately help us compete on an international level where our players have been regularly shown up as technically inferior for the last 50 or 60 years.

    The practice of 10- and 11 year-old players competing 11 v 11 on a full size pitch should have been outlawed long ago.

    I believe the FA should go further, however, in not allowing the keepers to kick the ball from their hands. They should also amend the ball specifications so they play with something similar to a Futsal ball which will further encourage close ball control and shorter passing tactics.

  5. Gavin Lock on July 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I totally agree with Joseph Bell which is not to agree with this decision to make changes to the game. I do not believe anyone has taken much thought into the problems this could cause. At the end of the day i thought the whole idea is to get kids playing the beautiful game. I ask how are they going to do this when the playing pitches will not be available… Take Guildford for instance which is where my club is located.It doesn’t take too much working out that the number of clubs out weighs the number of playing facilities available, And with the local councils not having enough facilities to offer clubs even if they did the astronomical prices they charge per game would certainly reflect the amount of money a non profit making club would have to find. Where I’m going with this is that we as a club would have to charge extra per player to afford the astronomical priced pitches that are not available for the amount of clubs/teams in the Guildford area alone. Players would start to leave as their parents would not be able to afford this… At the moment we will be starting our new season the second week of September with at least 3 teams supposedely going 9v9. With no hope of getting a pitch does anyone know how we are supposed to achieve this ? I think the F.A should go back to the drawing board on this one and start thinking about the smaller clubs.

  6. john tate on July 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    stop being elitist, st georges is too dear, we need astros and floodlights locally to train in winter. It needs to be cheap or we exclude many, no changing rooms needed as they come ready and bath at home, just w.c. and 1st aid and supervision. how about a half size astro pitch and energy efficient floodlights at all primary schools (where practical) for the local community? this cuts out mum/dad taxi where possible. if we get the numbers the talent will come through. we should aim for lowest cost to achieve this, not elitist central facilities like the olympics are providing. f’ball is a great outlet for kids at all levels and keeps them out of trouble as well as getting fit / healthy. keepup the great work at grass roots, just more!!!!

  7. charlie haynes on July 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    john tate – have you any idea of the cost involved to install an astro turf pitch with lighting etc? i run a privately owned centre with a full size pitch and 5 and 7 a side training pitches and it is a health and safety requirement to provide changing facilities for male and female and disabled use and also toilet facilities for the same – the words cheap and artificial grass facilities unfortunately cannot be put in the same sentence – you have to appreciate that the costs to build run and maintain such venues are not cheap and in the current climate, not many councils are going to be able to fund this sort of thing!!

  8. billy nglis on July 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    my team lenze yc 96 played 9s a few seasons ago and then 11s& they are oe of the top 10 teams at their age in scotlad,,up here 4/5s then 7s then 9 v 9 before 11s, pefect,,,,,,but then theres the s f a

  9. Bob on August 1, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Hi guys , I am Running u11 team in 2012/13 , this is first time for us, desperately need Samba goals 16x7f for trainings, any help how to get sponsor for goals from fa,thanks

  10. Simon Kebble on August 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I agree fully with the progression of mini soccer to 9v9 to standard football with defined pitch and goal sizes. What I have difficulty with is this is not mandatory yet, but clubs are being pushed into 9v9 by leagues and there own clubs without the resources available. There seems a sudden rush to get things started, The team I coach have only just found out we cannot play 7v7 and no other league is available in the area. Luckily I have been able to move to a 9v9 league, a year before I wanted to.

    Simon Kebble
    Maulden Magpies FC

  11. graham fleming on August 24, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I agree with the 9v9 format in the game , but until we learn our kids to pass the ball to another player under pressure, and get rid of the safety first mentality. We need them to take risks, thats the only way there will express themselves.

  12. tim Allerston on August 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Hi can you tell me why the pitch dimensions on this site are in Yards?.
    We have been metric about 40 years.

  13. Club Website on August 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Hi Tim

    We’ve just posted links to the official FA documents so we guess it’s a question for them.

    It’s a good question, but it’s probably because football has always stuck with imperial measurements (6 & 18 yard boxes, penalty spot = 12 yards from goal-line) rather than metric.

    The CW Team

  14. D Greenwood on August 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Back in the early Nineties at Ajax training facility there was a ten foot tall sign simply saying Silence,This is what the kids need;to be able to make their own decisions and mistakes without adults all offering their perception.The players who last won the World Cup for England were left to develop their own skills and having little else to do played alot with tennis balls and the like.There was little distraction.Todays world is entirely different.I live close to two large,flat well drained Football fields;one a school,the other a junior Football club.They have been empty all Summer.One hours practice a week is not enough.The ideal may be a mix of coaching by someone who has trained for the age group and offers appropriate sessions,followed by quite a few hours of experimentation when the result doesn’t matter.Over the years I have watched bloated ,unfit adults berating young kids for their mistakes,lecturing them at length in poor English,encouraging maximum effort which becomes physical,aggressive and sometimes clumsy as a result of fatigue.Few know how and when and why to introduce fitness improvement.The same can be said for skill development.When I have travelled abroad to watch continental tournaments the atmosphere has often seemed entirely different;calmer,less aggressive ,more thoughtful.
    Finally having watched the Olympics what can we learn from it? Firstly that Football has descended into a terrible example to anyone who wants to see decent behaviour.During the Long Jump Final the home favourite was in Gold position yet the American with one jump left had generous support from the crowd for his last jump.Bolt et al were not booed because our sprinters were not good enough,everyone stayed to applaud his performance as a top class athlete.He trains on a dirt track by the way.On the final day of the Olympics City fans at the Charity shield booed Chelsea and the Chelsea fans left early as they hadn’t won.At which stadium were there no lines of policemen separating supporters;it happens only in Football.Yes we want to win but if we descend to this form of behaviour when things go wrong we fail to recover because we have got so used to losing control when things are not going right.
    The other point is that timing is critical.The Olympics occur every four years and it is quite difficult to peak to coincide with that tournament cycle.In his heyday Seb was beaten early season by inferior opposition,yet he peaked for the biggest championships.In Football this has not been learned,apart from in Germany where they usually peak for a major Championships.Bolt was beaten at the Jamaica trials but it didn’t matter.Football fans throw their toys out of the pram when their team get beaten.I have long since stopped going to games where even the middle aged get so tribal that its common to see obscene gestures from middle aged women , never mind younger immature individuals.Watch the crowd at a corner kick and see what I mean.I believe this does have an effect on the mentality of those who grow up observing this.
    David Rodisha showed what a humble man he is with a terrific work ethic and plentiful talent.In Kenya they have dirt tracks to train on with the inside track marked by large stones.It is not the facility we need it is the mentality to alter.The facilities will not make champions or the USA would already have won the World Cup.We cannot expect to lavish praise and huge salaries on our young Footballers then expect them to have a similar work ethic.How we balance business (with all the pressure of agents and sponsors) and the development of serious athletes (Footballers) is going to be pivotal to success.
    I’m afraid Football needs to clean up its act and it may have to start with you and I re thinking a few things which have become entrenched in the game.

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