A club development philosophy


How many of your grassroots football clubs have a development philosophy when it comes to young player development? If you have one in place, what does it look like? If you don’t have one, have you tried to implement or is it something you haven’t considered?

It strikes me that many clubs have good organisation, setup & qualified coaches but no unified approach to developing young players. The aspect is, quite rightly, on ensuring the kids have fun but should we link in development to give our players the best chance of success whilst we have an opportunity to do so?

An Introduction to Futsal


On Wednesday night I attended a course run by the Oxfordshire FA on An Introduction to Futsal. I’m the first to admit that, despite my obsession with football, I only found out about Futsal a relatively short time ago and I’ve been quite interested in finding out more about the game.

The OFA run a number of evening sessions during the year for members of their coaching association which I presume is the same as other county FA’s, and this seemed a great way to spend a couple of hours on a Wednesday night (although it did result in me missing the Barca game!).

As far as 2 hour introductions go this was pretty good. We spent the initial part of the session looking at some Futsal-specific warm ups we could do, we then looked at practices which focused on ball manipulation and then moved on to attacking in 2v1 and 3v2s before finish with a game of Futsal.

The game was interesting because we started with a normal size 5 football before moving to a size 4 Futsal ball. The difference was we saw far less of the ball bouncing around and players appeared to find it a bit easier to control the ball and keep it close whilst dribbling. It’s the first time I’ve played with a futsal ball and it’s heavier / denser design certainly makes it easier to try tricks with and keep close to your body.

I’m very keen to use our local sports hall to do Futsal in the winter across all age groups in our club but most of all I’d like to use it with the younger age groups to improve their ball skills. Futsal excites me and I want to send more time learning about its benefits as I think it can be a real compliment to players and to me as a coach.