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The English Football Set up.

Kenny

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Disappointed the discussion in the WC thread went down the WC but hoping to try and get what should be a good debate going.

We clearly have a differing opinion on this forum on what is right/wrong with the set up in England, from the FA, PL to the grassroots.

So lets see if we can discuss this shizzle without the need for CV's and the like and of course without getting all personal.

I will kick off by basically repeating what I originally said - Although I have no involvement in football anymore, those that I know that do seem to be massively unhappy with the direction of football in this country at the grass roots level and the funding (more how it is used). A lot of grumbling about coaches that will still go "we must win at all costs" and pick players because of their physical stature rather than trying to make enjoyable and inclusive for all sizes/ability. Is that others experience?

Frank did originally start to talk about the set up and funding, so would really like him to expand on that more as he is the only one brave enough to admit being close to that side of the game.

A thread being born out of hope for something decent to talk about.......
 
There is so much wrong it's difficult to know where to start but grass roots is probably the best place as that's where pretty much all footballers start.

Facilities are poor, whether that be changing rooms or pitches in a lot of areas. Then training facilities are also poor or cost so much money if you want to train on decent ground. I think a lot of managers are there because they have a son who wanted to play football and while they have passed a coaching course (level 1 or 2 most likely) they don't actually think about anything other than winning and this means getting the biggest, fastest and best players and playing a style to win games. Quite often better footballers are not being given game time because they aren't as strong and aren't as quick but this still happens at professional clubs and clubs who have a record of bringing through young talent.

I think i mentioned it a few weeks ago and YW definitely did in that World Cup thread that Sport England have pulled some of their funding because the FA aren't using the funding properly on grass roots football or in truth aren't using it at all on grass roots. I think grass roots football will always be hard to get it to where people want it but facilities would be a start and then maybe we could go on from there. I'm not sure how you sort out the coaching, you can't stop people passing so i think you just have to hope they take what they should from the courses and try to implement it into the kids. In all honesty it doesn't get much better at higher levels sometimes.
 
Getting pitches. Getting places to train. Even at the under 10s level it can be a right struggle.

Shouty coaches with kids. Shoutier parents. Kids wilting under pressure of being called (at its kindest) idiot if a pass is misplaced or a routine save isn't made. Near fights on the sidelines between parents while the poor kids there to be supported look on in bemusement. Encouragement to kick skillful players out of the game rather than make a tackle and try and play skillfully yourself. Inane coaching drills that are ultra-repetitive and bore kids to tears, but are persevered with because they are "in the FA manual". Harder, faster, stronger is better than more skillful or more innovative.

All these things piss me off even at Micro's level (just going into under 10s)
 
I'd agree that parents are a problem Paddy and it's not just shouty parents, it's parents who might keep having that quiet word rather than letting their child play. I've seen a fair few instances of that recently both in sessions i've been coaching and as recently as Monday in a session i was half observing half helping out.
 
With regard to playing to win, I cant imagine me turning up on a Sunday as a kid and playing a game where the goal wasn't to win?
 
With regard to playing to win, I cant imagine me turning up on a Sunday as a kid and playing a game where the goal wasn't to win?

Obviously the goal is to win but the fact that it's win at all costs is a massive problem. Surely it's got to be about developing the kids and making them better players and not just what way can we play to make sure we definitely win.
 
There's so much wrong it's hard to know where to start really.

Coaching wise - there just isn't enough quality coaches or even enough who want to coach for the right reasons. My Dad runs a club (called Walthamstow Wolves :) ) and we've oly ever had two coaches who weren't me, him or my brother. And I don't think we've ever turned anyone down, and all we want is someone who will make sure the kids enjoy their football and get fair gametime! At the other club I work for, coaches are paid (based on level of qualification), easier to attract coaches but still hard to find quality ones! Finding a replacement for my u9s has been a nightmare. Level 1's need to be made free, as does the youth module 1. I was lucky enough to get the Modules 1+2 for free through my club being a standard chartered one with the FA, McDonald's funded I believe! But I was extemely lucky and have been told so!

Facilities. Just shocking really. As I said in the other thread, a company came in, raised the prices and then the council took it back over. Same happened with our league, pitch fees had to go up because the London Fields people came in and doubled prices to book the bitches. During the Olympics, the place where both my clubs trained was used as a campsite. It's a big round field (a mile to run round apparently) with two astros next to it. We were promised money would be put back into the pitches being restored to what they were like previously, if not better. Come the end of the olympics when we finally got back there it was a state and fuck all had been done to sort the pitches out. There is so much more like this but I'd just be boring you all.

One thing that I think is a step in the right direcion is the new formats. u7s + u8s play 5-a-side. u9s + 10 7-a-side. u11s and u12s 9-a-side and then from then on it's 11-a-side. I think they should make it up until u14 9-a-side but still as I said a step in the right direction. There are some good coach educators and mentors within the FA but it doesn't filter through to the top. I think they are doing the best they can in spite of them in fact. I've been lucky enough to have Matthew Joseph (ex-Orient) as a tutor on a couple of courses now, and the effort he puts in to create better, more obervational coaches is great but I have idea if this is the case elsewhere.

One thing I've always thought about is regional centres. I think they do it in Germany, where they select the best players to train together in that region. I wonder if this would work here. It's an additional days training a week, from what should be better quality coaches. Something else I think that seriously needs to be looked at is more playing time. Kids just don't get to play enough football IMO.
 
Getting more teachers in schools with some kind of coaching qualification has got to be a good thing. The school competitions are generally not run so much in a win at all costs mentality and through school clubs, as well as a section of the PE lessons, the teachers/coaches can have plenty of time to work on technique. And of course, being in a school environment, it can be incorporated into an all round education. If some of our brilliant youngsters weren't such dickheads and actually used their brains, they would probably achieve a lot more.... Ravel Morrison for example.

I get that the problems run far deeper than your average fan, such as me, can truly understand. But the basics have got to be, that we need to get as many of our child footballers access to qualified coaches as possible. Dishing out free or heavily subsidised coaching courses to schools could be a good starting point.
 
My experience round here is not lack of facilities but lack of coaches. Two teams my lad played for folded as there was no-one to coach them. To take an example from cricket, about ten years ago Tesco funded ECB coaches to coach youngsters at clubs. This resulted in a huge influx at my club, without which the first team would now be struggling for players. Once the funding had gone, meaning we relied on volunteers with lower qualifications, we struggled to get kids interested.

The other thread also asked where the county FAs spent their money. All I know about this is that Cambridgeshire FA have got a brand spanking new HQ building.
 
I think Ashford makes a good point. Schools could be utilised much more and better than they are. Even if it's just use of their land. Most schools have at least one decent football pitch (if not more) and there are usually very cheap to hire out. Incorporating some some of the official FA coaching standards into the teacher training (HA!!) or even allowing PE teaching staff to achieve the accreditations for free would be brilliant for developing kids right through school in the form of after school clubs - or Applied Learning, as it's known now.
 
Not all schools have the facilities available to rent out, my secondary school didn't have any 11 a side pitches we just had to go over the park at the back of the school, they did used to rent out the sports hall once upon a time but i imagine the cost implications put an end to that, having to pay someone to work evenings and look after the place.
 
Coaching qualifications for teachers will be useful in the after school environment but won't count for anything in class times. They will be as focused on managing the group rather than specific coaching for individuals.

For me we have to look at the Dutch model for player development. In the Tamworth area there are probably 15/20 junior clubs with some that will be gone as soon as their sons stop playing. In my brothers town in the Netherlands which is a similar size there are just two who go right the way through from early childhood to the adult semi professional teams. It doesn't matter what your ability is as the teams are graded and re-assessed each season so that players, whether that be adults or children, playing in a standard that suits there ability. The clubs have huge grounds with the main stadium for first team matches then a numberand of other pitches alongside for all of the other teams. The pitches are all good and maintained and the coaching is structured throughout the club to suit.
 
Not all schools have the facilities available to rent out, my secondary school didn't have any 11 a side pitches we just had to go over the park at the back of the school, they did used to rent out the sports hall once upon a time but i imagine the cost implications put an end to that, having to pay someone to work evenings and look after the place.

Not all do, but a hell of a lot do. If not, they often have the land on which to build one if necessary.

Anyway, my secondary school had 4 pitches, so that redresses the balance between our two schools at least :icon_wink:
 
Not all do, but a hell of a lot do. If not, they often have the land on which to build one if necessary.

Anyway, my secondary school had 4 pitches, so that redresses the balance between our two schools at least :icon_wink:

They might have the space to make one but i'd bet there aren't many who've got the money to do it, not unless they're content with painting some lines on whatever uneven/overgrown bit of land they've got going spare.
 
They might have the space to make one but i'd bet there aren't many who've got the money to do it, not unless they're content with painting some lines on whatever uneven/overgrown bit of land they've got going spare.

I was thinking that if the FA wanted to utilise the land then it would be them that paid for the groundwork to be done.
 
I was thinking that if the FA wanted to utilise the land then it would be them that paid for the groundwork to be done.

You'd like the think they could make something happen but i wouldn't be holding my breath.

We're looking at rebuilding a load of schools at work at the moment, only small primary schools for the most part, and most of them have asked if there's any chance they can get any extra sports stuff thrown in, usually starting with an artificial pitch and then clutching at straws for a grass pitch instead but there just isn't the budget to make it happen, even as part of a big EFA scheme to rebuild a lot of schools that involves Sport England too. Majority of these schools haven't even been able to move their playgrounds to suit the position of the new school building on site, they're all going to be a right mess when they're finished.
 
Doesn't surprise me at all.
 
I think England produces quite a high standard of player, certainly in the top ten nations within World football consistently. As Wolves fans saw in division one the depth of talent is as high and usually better than many nations that England supporters wish they would copy.
Those levels/standards mainly self taught, but the numbers and quality could recede as pitches are sold off and resources are reduced under every government.
I think in the Netherlands they put back about 60% into grass roots development while England struggle to get as high as 5%.
On the continent many of the better coaches work at schoolboy levels as well as with adults, something England maybe has to consider.
The 4 corners plan within the English FA looks to me to be very good, its just three times more expensive than you could find in Germany.

http://www.thefa.com/my-football/fo...volunteering/get into coaching/become a coach
 
The whole situation with regards to youth football is one that needs addressing. The one thing is that in every county in the country, there are plenty of youth leagues, starting at aged 7 I believe, and these are giving thousands of youngsters the chance to play football, and for most children that is just all they want to do. Now I cannot comment on other areas, but in Leicester there is a club called Ayleastone Park Old Boys, and they have had a thriving youth set up for years. Their President is Gary Linekar, who still pops down occasionally to help with training sessions. Also a few years back Neil Lennon, Matty Elliott and Steve Walsh were regular visitors to Hinckley United Youth FC, and they did a fantastic job with the youngsters, so I would ask that while we need more coaches, and at a reasonable cost, should we not be looking at fast tracking former professionals so they can get their qualifications.

One other point regarding coaches. Who instructs the coaches? If the coaching is boring and monotonous should the FA be looking at how the courses are run? And should we bringing in coaching instructors from Germany, France and others to pass on their knowledge?

I have plenty to say about the County Associations, but that will have to wait as I am off now to the Leicestershire and Rutland County FA, for a meeting, and yes I have got a tie on.....
 
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