Sky Sports focus on youth football

Grassroots football will be in the spotlight on Sky Sports News tonight (Monday 15 October).

A Sky Sports News Special Report on youth football will include a panel debate on key issues in the game, a focus on 9v9 football at two English youth clubs and a live link-up from a grassroots event in Scotland.

Joining the debate will be the FA’s Head of Grassroots Coaching Les Howie, Southampton’s Head of Development Les Reed and grassroots coach Liam Dart, recently named FA’s Coach of the Year.

Up for discussion will the FA’s upcoming changes to the structure of youth football in England, including smaller-sided formats of the game and a child centered approach to competition.

The role of St George’s Park – the FA’s new coaching centre which opened last week – will also be in focus, with the panel discussing how the centre can help improve coaching and playing standards for the next generation of English football.

The programme will be aired on Sky Sports News at 7.30pm tonight (Monday 15 October). Tune in and tell us what you think.

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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. Garry ford on October 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    So the new fa headquarters open up trumpeted
    As a revelation for all of football from grassroots up !
    And I receive an invite for a 2day conference nearly
    £200 for a nights accommodation inclusive .
    How many grassroots coaches do they hope to attract
    And £695 for level 3 coaching course.
    Stop breaking the bank for the likes of Ericsson and
    Capello and help us to bring thru the next generation
    What does fa stand for fleece all

  2. Martin on October 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Why was there nobody invited from any youth football leagues then. Just another FA publicity stunt where they hand pick the guests and screen all questions.

  3. Antonio on October 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I agree with the last comment, you need to get more grass roots coaches involved…especially the ones thay do not get it…which is most of them. The culture in England is about winning the game and we need coaches and parents to be educated about learning and children first…then you can work on what sessions to have etc…..

    We need people to go out and from the local FA’s to observe how coaches act on match days and use this feedback to educate these coaches in how to deal with children. In my experience at grass roots most coaches and many parents to not get it and have good courses delivered by people with out the real life experience at grass roots will not cut it….

    Get out there and speak to many grass roots coaches, watch them, speak to them and help them when they are doing the coaching….in my eyes this is a culture change that needs people on the ground to change…..

  4. Martin on October 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Yep I was right. The FA produce some coach from Scotland saying how great the mini games are, then says its great because they are turning kids away due to lack of coaches and facilities. The grass pitches shown in the videos were all in very poor condition and to top it all Les Reed tells us they have been doing small sided games with no league tables in the academies for years and its all great. So why then are there only 30% English players in the premiership where have all his elite academy players gone? Typical FA cock up they haven’t got a clue.

  5. antony galligan on October 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    The fact the fa are starting to see are acadameys are fundamently flawed is a good thing,2 many youth coaches dont have top flight experience,there is definately an over emphasis on height and build rather than technique skill ,speed of thought, awreness ,movement creativity balance,agility all the things that make a truely great player,but that said we have to start somewhere,the new acadamey structure looks good,also the changes to under 9,s 10,s etc has to be a good thing 5v5 7v7 an ex youth coach nobody wants to see dads and mums screaming at kids the win at all costs mentality its not on,and hampers a kids progress and experience of the game,the fa havent allways got things right and i agree they need to show up at grassroots games to acess the club and coaches,and officials etc,you cant govern correctly if you are so far removed from the players you govern,but lets at least give credit where credit is due and appreciate that the changes made are definatley for the better,lets not stand still and admire,but move with it and ensure its sucess.

  6. Mark on October 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    The FA must have their heads buried in the sand if they think “non-competitive, no published results & league tables” football stops coaches & parents screaming at their kids.

  7. Michael on October 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    In Scotland we have Fun Fours.Super fives and Sevens which is non-competative. This to me is a total waste of time and effort. When I was growing up it was 11-a-side from age of 10 on full size pitches referees the lot and it gave the players lots of time on the ball. Skill was honed at an early age on a full size pitch and Scotland would reach Major Finals on a regular basis. Now we have too many foreign players in our top league who wouldnt cut it in the N-Power league 1….. Maybe its time for Scotland to revert back to the 3 foreigner rule and we can produce players like Jimmy Johnstone, Kenny Dalglish and the like again… England is being sold short in the same way there isnt any Superstars like in the 70s and 80s

  8. Steve tucker on October 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    How the hell are we meant to coach at a grass roots level with the lack of facilities we have.Pitches are not suitable enough.How can we teach technique when balls are hitting you in the shins.Speed no chance because we might role an ankle.
    The funding is being cut
    Great idea not

  9. Martin on October 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    So were any of you people or the clubs you are involved with given a chance by Nick Levett and the FA to have any input input into their new proposals for grassroots youth football?

  10. stevie luck on November 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I coach u10,s and they enjoy the competetive side of the game however i also encourage them to express themselves in football regardless of results and to play football out from the back etc and win or lose they love it! The problems i see every week is that coaches will do everything to win for themselves at the expense of the kids development and to me this is a huge downfall of alot of grass roots coaches. The answer to me does not lie with taking the competetive edge away from the game, the kids enjoy this and make no mistake parents and the bad coaches will still shout and scream to win at all costs regardless of no league tables. The answer lies in educating the bad coaches and parents with either an overseeing governing body or a higher level of education within every club either through achieving awards etc for the correct way to coach kids football. This is what the FA need to address more than anything a structure put in place within every club to police bad coaching and stop the old school mentality. Finally in spain there are more than 30,000 uefa b qualified coaches whereas in England i think there are roughly 4000. I would like to do my uefa b but the way the system is set up i would have to take weeks off work and weekends away from family and coaching due to the way this qualification requires too many different times and locations to be attended in order to achieve it. The FA is hardly encouraging me to go for it and probably thousands of others. Too many foreigners in the game at all levels even academies these are what the FA need to be addressing and speaking to people like myself to find out whats wrong

  11. Dave Hyde on October 14, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Being involed in grassroots football for the last 20 years,founding a local grassroots football league which now boast in excess of 170 teams
    and holding a UEFA B coaching licence i have over the past few years seen a lot of new ideas from the FA.The problem that needs to be addressed are numerous,pitches ,facilities,cost of coaching courses for grassroots coaches IE closed shop from the top thats stops them progessing to the next level,we need the more qualified coaches to be working with the six/seven year olds that have natural ability so they can progress !!! and at the same time be able to provide football for those that may not reach that level but will still enjoy football for years to come.The FA needs to comunicate with us at the sharp end that give up loads of time to provide football for children at all ability level’s

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