FA Youth Development Proposals – Final Recommendations


The FA have recently released their final recommendations for young player development and I think the general consensus is that the proposals are positive and that’s certainly how I view them. I’m still to fully digest the proposals from the FA (there’s quite a bit of detail in there) but from what I’ve seen I think it clearly demonstrates that the FA have done their homework and for this they should take great credit.

My experience of youth football has mainly been limited to what I’ve seen & done so far which is U7 & U8 football but the proposals for these age groups make good sense.

Changing from 7v7 to 5v5 will ensure players are getting slightly more time on the ball, more touches and therefore this will hopefully improve decision making from our players and give them more time with the ball at their feet.

Having a retreat mark is also positive – my first impression when our U7s played their first match last season was that “a large percentage of goals are being scored direct from goal kicks”. The moves to allow a side to play out, even if it means you limit the number of opposition players allowed in an area will breed the right skills & mindset and will avoid some of the embarrassing and un-productive goals which are currently scored in football at this age-group.

To conclude this short post regarding the proposals, I also think it’s great to see the FA directing that football for young players is about development and fun and it allows clubs to get this over to parents and for them to hear it from an authority and from the experts, rather than via a club, local FA or coach.

There’s a lot to digest so I’m sure I’m not alone in needing more time to go over the proposals and the committee at our club will also be discussing during tomorrow’s meeting so I’m sure the proposals will ignite some passionate discussion in there!

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About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

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