With the close season now very close, it is perhaps appropriate to give guidance again around contacting players aged under 18 and open up a discussion about why players move to new clubs.

June 1st marks the start of the one month in the year when organised football matches need approval from the County FA. From this date onwards, players start looking ahead to next season and who they will play for.

Players move for one or more of the following reasons: –

– friendship base is stronger elsewhere
– the elements of having fun and enjoyment is greater elsewhere (the main reasons why players play football!)
– the quality of the coaching and the continuous development of the coach is better elsewhere
– the style of football is felt to be better
– the professionalism of the manager and new team is thought to be better e.g. organisation, communication, website etc (interestingly, we have 2 managers of teams at Cresswell & RPS who are members of our website)
– the reputation of the new club and manager within their leagues, County Association and peers is better
– other opportunities within the new team/club – e.g. tournaments, free physio etc
– facilities are better
– existing coaches criticise performance unfairly and lose players as a result
– some players (or perhaps parents) want to move to a winning team

If you are reading this does it ring any bells with you – is that why players leave your team? Can you change how you develop yourself; how you motivate your team and how you communicate? The key thing for me is to ensure the players have fun and enjoy the few hours they are involved with the team.

I still hear stories of Managers contacting players of other teams on social networking sites such as Facebook. We have guidelines already – within the Safeguarding Children tab on this website – stating that minors should not be contacted or become ‘friends’ without the express approval of their parents.
I also hear stories of parents of a player in another team being contacted and asked ‘over a pint’, ‘what do I need to offer you for your child to come to play for me?’.
Certainly the above should not be carried out.

As mentioned above, we are now entering the close season when parents can be contacted to invite players along for training to ‘see if their child likes what they see’ BUT it must be done professionally AND outside of the current season, when players are still signed on.

I’d be interested in others’ views.

2 comments for this article:
  1. avatar
    The Stig

    We need to remember that there are kids who have never been in a team for many of these reasons. It’s all well looking at other teams, but there’s plenty of unsigned talent outside.

    Personally, it’s fun first – the football will follow as a result!

  2. avatar

    Totally agree with The Stig and Keith – running a kids football team is about fun, having a good time, giving the kids an interest, and you don’t have to win every week to have fun.

    We’d be gutted if our team didn’t enjoy their football, team spirit, and the events we do throughout the year.

    Winning is an added bonus, not the main aim. Fun all the way for Wyrley Lions U12s ……

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