News & Updates

FA changes to youth football – what’s in store?

The structure of English youth football will be changing from the start of the 2013/14 season.

That is when the FA’s new youth development proposals will start to become reality. The changes have two main strands:

(i) a revised player pathway
(ii) a flexible, child-centred approach to competitive football

So what will the changes mean for your club, team or league?

Youth football change #1: Revised player pathway

Key features:

* New 5v5 format for U7s and U8s
* New 9v9 format for U11s and U12s
* New formats phased in for U7s & U11s only in 2013/14 season
* Mandatory for all age-groups from 2014/15 season
* U9s and U10s continue to play 7v7 and U13s upwards continue to play 11-a-side
* Age-appropriate pitch and goal sizes (see table below)

190Key benefits:

* More touches of the ball
* More goals and scoring attempts
* More one-v-one encounters and dribbling attempts
* Leads to increased enjoyment
* Helps develop technical skills
* Provides better preparation for 11-a-side football

Youth football change #2: Child-friendly approach to competition

Key features:
* Traditional league table season to be phased out for all kids up to U11s
* Phased introduction of flexible competition starting 2013/14 (see table below)
* Seasons will be split into thirds
* Each third to feature developmental matches and trophy events
* Trophy events will increase in duration as kids get older (see table below)
* Short-term burst of competition for even youngest kids (U7s & U8s)
* Parents and coaches encouraged to drop a win-at-all-costs approach

Key benefits:
* Puts emphasis on learning & development
* Puts kids at heart of football process
* Reduces adult-driven pressure on kids to win
* Winning & losing still at heart of game
* Makes more matches competitive for more kids
* Leagues will ensure trophy events are evenly matched
* Teams can be moved between mini-seasons to match ability
* Reduces likelihood of 18-0 drubbings – no good for anyone

June 2014 update – youth football progress report

If you have any questions regarding the new structure to youth football in England, please read our interview with the FA’s Nick Levett published in June 2014, which provides a progress report on the changes to youth football and answers a number of frequently-asked questions.

In particular, for all those people asking whether kids can ‘play up a year’ from the start of the 2014/15 season, all will be revealed in the article!

Youth football changes get “positive” feedback – Nick Levett (June 2014)


Stephen Davies says:

Fa have it wrong I can’t see what difference at all changing from 7 to 5 will make for a 6 year old in nearly 15 years time and it should just be about the kids enjoyment not the fa’s ridiculous tactics to do better in international football that’s irrelevant at this age and every team will struggle to maintain a squad and funds and keep parents happy with a team size that low. It should just be about parents taking their loved ones out to meet friends and play football not some big picture for international reasons as don’t forget only 11 players can play for England and your on about stopping 2 players per wk all across the country just so we might have a better 11 for our country in15 years ! So when I see the England team in 15 years I will think to my self I hope your good because we sacrificed 2 years of having kids on the bench for u lot to become what u are! 7 aside is fine and in our eyes its not broke so there is no need fix it going off enjoyment reasons for kids & parents

May 25, 2013 at 00:29

Tony says:

Yes life is competitive, however if we allow the kids to develop their skills and appreciation of the importance of tactics without pressure at such a critical time of their development. By doing so when they step up to more competitive leagues/ cups they will be better equipped to be competitive. Totally agree with the comment that you don’t need a league table to make players competitive. If you actually observe your little ones, even up to U11’s or older many of them have forgotten about a particular game/incident not long after as they enjoy something else. It seems as if it affects the parents more who often are still talking about it a week later. In my opinion, this is long overdue.

May 21, 2013 at 15:18

Gary Bell says:

I run an under 12 side and we have 1 player in our side and he is playing one year up. He has been with us for nearly 2 years now and he loves every minute with us. I can’t believe that he will no longer be able to play with us next year as you cant play up a year? We had to tell the parents and they are distraught. He lives and breaths football with us.

May 20, 2013 at 13:39

Nick says:

I’m struggling to find a confirmation of whether or not children are allowed to play up a year. We have two boys that this season have played in the U8s side and they would very much like to stay with the group. Will they be allowed to do so from next season when the group goes up to U9s and they should really be playing with the U8s?

April 30, 2013 at 22:34

Martin Peters says:

I wish people would actually take the time to read the proposals and understand what they mean before shouting down the FA. To all of you Under 7 managers complaining that you will have to cut your squad next season – you won’t! Changes to the Under 8 format (which your teams will be playing next season) don’t come in until the 2014-15 season. By this time your team will be playing at Under 9 level which will still be 7 a side. The only levels this will affect next season is Under 7 and Under 11.

As a volunteer coach at Under 7 level myself I understand that this would be a problem to teams currently playing in terms of squad size, but as it only affects new teams who will only ever know playing 5 a side at Under 7 and Under 8 I can’t quite see why people are complaining.

The reason the FA are bringing in these proposals is to try and help English football as a whole catch up with the rest of the world, not just the England team. They’ve looked at the coaching models in Spain, Italy and Germany, countries who have all been far more successful than us in recent times and can see that it’s the way to go. Yes it is a little late but at least they’re not just sitting back and doing nothing.

I also have no problem with not playing in a league system. My team doesn’t play in a league system now but that hasn’t stopped them being competitive and wanting to win. And besides, it should be about the children enjoying their football at this age and not whether they win or lose. If you put too much pressure on them now they’re going to fall out of love with the game and won’t be playing when they’re 13 or 14 when it’s possible they could become footballers.

I for one think this can only be good for our game. Having smaller sided games on smaller pitches is going to give the children more touches of the ball but less time meaning they will have to develop the skills to keep the ball and beat players. This will give smaller, more skilful children the chance to develop rather than just giving the ball to the biggest, fastest children and getting them to run from one end of the pitch to the other or have them hit a long ball from defence to the attackers bypassing midfield.

It’s worked for teams like Spain (the current World and European champions) and Barcelona and has brought smaller players such as Messi, Iniesta and Xavi to world prominence. And let’s be honest, who among us wouldn’t like to see players of their quality pull on an England shirt a few years down the line?

April 16, 2013 at 10:03

Wayne says:

Been involved with Kids football now for a few years and the FA have completely missed the point here regards making any changes, for me:
(1) The Pro Clubs need to be sorted out first and foremost, they’re the ones who scoop up all the talent from grass roots and despite all their full time resources don’t seem to be achieving much with the kids.
(2) My U9s have played 7 games since Nov 23rd due to weather and water logged pitches (and when we have played its been awful playing conditions) – so don’t talk about tiki-taki Barcelona when our kids a clumping round cow fields in the pouring rain.
(3) Adding to the above, We did try to get indoor or use of astro-pitches but as a club couldn’t afford them – so how sad they sit idle of weekend!
(4) The Changes from 7-a-side to 5-a-side will decrease participation; At 7-a-side I had a squad of 10 or 11; Our new U7s going to 5-a-side we’ll carry a squad of 7 or 8 players; At 7-a-side it was easy to carry players who where somewhat behind the others we can’t do that at 5-a-side as 1 weak outfield player out of 4 will result in heavy defeats, heavy defeats leads to unhappy players and parents, which leads to the better players being poached or leaving to “better” performing teams, which leads to the Team Folding.
(5) I don’t no the full costs yet but we as a club are also concerned if the referee, pitch and league registration fee’s stay the same as 7-a-side then this could become to costly to run for our Club and could become to costly for many players/parents.

April 15, 2013 at 17:44

Ben says:

Just looking for soms veiws I have a u9 team in lancs and have an 8 yr old train with us as his friends play for us I have parental concent for him to play but league wont allow it he was looking forward to playing next year as we thought he was at a competative age but now this has changed I now have to tell him and parents he cant play as his birthday is 2wks to late for our age group I is there any exceptions to this rule as he is a big lad

April 14, 2013 at 13:23

Paul says:

I am a youth FC volunteer. I like the new format proposals. I find some of the responses here quite troubling especially from the volunteer coaches. I know they are amateur volunteers… but I shudder to think of how some of these coaches communicate to their kids… and parents. Moving to a mini-league in-season system of equally matched sides is a good thing… embrace it! Coaches: decide for yourselves how to motivate and inspire kids… but don’t rely on league tables as your only tool!

My only concern I have with the FA, and in my dealings with them, is that it has only just recently published some guidelines on Club Ethos, Playing and Selection policies, and has not brought semi-professional clubs and coaches who ‘poach’ instead of ‘coach’ to book … there are some real megalomaniac youth coaches who need to have a tougher FA who can stand up to them… I even hear some youth coaches referring to how ‘successful’ they are… !! (they don’t realise that their main measure of success is whether the boys and girls are 18 and STILL wanting to play for a football team… keep them involved and loving it!!! (rant over… but yes, I believe the FA have to do a lot more on the ‘cultural’ and ‘ethical’ side of the game … and do more to help to get these messages across to Youth Football Club volunteers rather than filter it through websites and truculent League Committees!!! (they’ve had over 100 years to work on this after all!!!).

But I urge all volunteers to embrace the child-centred approach of these proposals. They are a step in the right direction.

April 2, 2013 at 11:53

Jason Burdett says:

9 v 9 is a step backwards.

Kids have been playing 11 a side for the past 2 seasons, now I have to tell 2 more kids to sit bench, and the team play on a more junior field.

In theory, yes a positive step to get the kids on the pitch more involved. In reality, less playing time per kid, so it more than offsets the benefit.

Stupid move, I’m sorry to say.

March 25, 2013 at 11:08

Matt Davies says:

I think most of the people posting on here were protesting outside the FA when mini soccer was introduced because they thought it was better for kids to play 11v11 on full sized pitches.

March 18, 2013 at 00:07

Andy says:

This won’t work and if what your saying is true
Why is it any 1 playing at club level from 9 can’t play
For local team.. Calling the kettle black

March 14, 2013 at 18:18

Conner baker says:

Has anyone found any quotes from managers or coaches regarding their opinion on the future on English football with this plan in place? For example, will the english game improve in the next 10 year? will the standard of youth football increase technically. if you do have quotes or references for this, please email me asap.

My email is


March 11, 2013 at 12:41

Martin says:

Nige Smith the blog you linked to belongs to Nick Levett who came up with these new proposals for the FA. In this blog he states “One guy from a league said he had 32 teams at the U10 age group, could he organise a World Cup format with 8 groups of four, little round robins and then go through to a knockout and a final? Absolutely!” Now perhaps someone can explain to me how this is possible when his proposals state that such an event can only be held over four weeks?

March 10, 2013 at 14:32

Kev says:

I applaud Clive & Matt’s comments.
The FA need to address the issue of so many bad coaches being allowed in the youth game. Kids aren’t being given a fair amount of time by many of these coaches, there is no ‘development’ going on. Some coaches have never kicked a football themselves!
Kids are being told to leave clubs as the coach doesn’t think they’re good enough, rather than supporting them to improve. They then bring in new players who have already been developed elsewhere.
The FA need to filter out these poor coaches. Turn up at games unannounced and unrecognisable or introduce a workable procedure for parents to report their concerns.
I know a coach who supports the kids/parents when they give the ref grief. When a ref reported them and the FA came to a game they stuck out like a sore thumb, the coach just told everyone to keep it down as FA were there!

March 10, 2013 at 09:52

David Webster says:

My son is now 14 and made good progress in football only to be dropped from elite level due to an injury. He recovered quickly but then there was nowhere to go.
We fortunately lived near the welsh border and so made the move into welsh Fa football. Much better system. All kids who want to play get a chance with coaching and money handed down to grass roots level from welsh Fa European money. English Fa . Have a look.! In England it’s all or nothing. And many kids fluctuate in progress dipping in and out of elite level.
Plus taking so many boys out of school lessons at Age 14 is a national disgrace.

March 5, 2013 at 13:13

brian milburn says:

will someone tell these silly people at the top that, LIFE IS COMPETATIVE end of story.

March 4, 2013 at 16:34

Tony Caswell says:

Basically it’s our country trying to catch up with other teams around the world but its too late we are at least 5yrs behind!! Sounds like the FA are trying to make excuses for the England squads who have failed miserably to win anything over the years! And as for not being competitive from u7 onwards is a joke my kids battle to see who eats dinner first or who comes first when brushing their teeth it’s natural to want to win/ take the winning away from the game then the next step no doubt will be no tackling non contact etc etc the future looks bleak I’d say

March 4, 2013 at 01:23

Daz Connelly says:

Non competitive football is a waste of time, how are kids supposed to get a winning mentality ? Kids look forward to playing in leagues, tournaments etc. kids need to learn to win and lose and do both graciously .
Th F.A need to look long and hard before they put this into practice


March 3, 2013 at 20:13

Nige Smith says:

Reading these comments it’s clear that many people don’t even understand the proposals they are slagging off.
I can’t see anything wrong with the proposals myself – they can only make things better for my boys.
Check out this blog if you want to understand the proposals a bit better:

February 25, 2013 at 22:47

dave,,, says:

mr fa u have got it all wrong, what as a load of kids at the ages of 7, 8 and 9 got to do with the national game, leave them alone and let them have something to look back on from their childhoods instead of playing a game what means nothing, sort it before you take the good old british spirt out of the game

February 19, 2013 at 19:50

DJP says:

Clive – read the article again. You won’t need to cut your squad at all. Next season’s Under 8s will still play 7-a-side, then move to 9v9 at U9s.

Nick Levett & his team HAVE listened to people playing the game & they know it wouldn’t make sense for kids to revert to a smaller-sided game for one season only, hence why the changes are being phased in.

February 13, 2013 at 14:43

Clive Ludlow says:

I currently manage an under 7 team with a squad of 11,all the players get equal amount of match time and all are enjoying there first session of matches. Under the new rules i would have to cut my squad and play five a side football for one session then back to seven aside. This to me in not progression but a step backwards, the team are starting to understand about positional play and playing into space. Anyone who has played football will know that five aside is a totally different game please can someone explain how this is getting the players used to or progreessing onto a full game. FA why dont you ask the people who matter?

February 13, 2013 at 14:33

Matt Ashdown says:

I also think that it is so sad that there has to be a point to children as young as 6 for them to play the greatest game ever invented. I defy anyone to know at the age of 6 whether a child is going to be any good at the game or what their best position might be. To decide these things at the detriment of giving every child fair game time is rediculous. What you normally see is these so called better players levelling off as they get to 9/10 as others catch them up in terms of growth and physicality but to not give these others ample game time when they are younger means teams are missing out on potentially good players. It’s not all about making it….it’s about young kids enjoying the game, commaraderie, banter, team building etc etc into adulthood and until their knees can no longer take it!!

February 10, 2013 at 10:49

Matt Ashdown says:

Children only improve with game time: FACT
If your child is playing every game, scoring endless goals, not passing but is considered the star player, this is not a reflection of your great parenting skills or coaching skills.
A great coach is one that can accommodate all standards of players at a young age and improve them.
It is a sad reflection of our x- factor society that first place is all that counts and that players as young as 8 are walking away from clubs because they aren’t getting game time.

February 10, 2013 at 09:54

Nick Ward says:

From year to year it is getting more and more confusing to know exactly what we are all expected to be doing with Youth Football. When will THE FA realise that Managers, Coaches and Club Officials are ALL Volunteers. We don’t have a lovely office in Soho Square or in Wembley Stadium with flash cars and big wages. We do it BECAUSE we enjoy it HOWEVER the more you change it the more people will quit and give up. Dear Mr FA.Com either come and see what happens at grassroots yes the very bottom or leave it with the clubs and leagues to decide the next step. By the way the way the current England squad plays the game has nothing to do with us at the bottom end e.g those teams and clubs that you don’t give a moments thought about.

February 6, 2013 at 23:23

ian says:

I’ve mentioned this before: any change from what you have now in the UK, can only be an improvement. I’ve lived in Germany for 21 years and every tiny poxy hamlet has a flood lit pitch, with changing room and shower facilities and club house. It’s great that you have your Youth Football over there, but your youth should be part of one big club, consisting of Youth structure U7’s-U18’s, 1st team, a reserve team and finally, your veterans. You have far too many pub teams over there, calling themselves CLUBS, well until you have an actual address, you can’t call yourself a club. Say for example, you have five pub teams and a football youth set up in one village; all these teams should amalgamate, get the youth set up involved and form one big club and get family members and local sponsorships to raise funds for kits and equipment, but first and foremost, you need council backing, you need council ground to call your own. With enough backing and funding, within a few years, you’ll be able to afford luxories such as changing rooms, showers and then comes the club house and so on and so on. Your facilities are really, really poor. You only need to look to places like Germany, France, Holland and Spain; this should give you the kick up the A you all need to start forming communities again. All the Best

February 2, 2013 at 16:43

Steve Rayner says:

This is a Joke & its going to ruin youth football, I can not believe its going ahead!!!! I run a big youth football club & i am gutted!! the interest is going to be gone!! our current U8 teams can not believe they cant play league football next season! The whole campaign to get this going is not based on factual research, The FA should be ashamed of this & they will see a massive decline in participation, My Club will be more than willing to sign up with a new or simular assosiation as will 90% of the clubs in our league if it means we can continue with the current format our local league SELKENT who already have an exellent approach to child friendly football that works fantastic so why change it!!!!!!!!!!!!! it is just rediculous!!! The FA need a reality check & they need to take advise from people who run the clubs & leagues voluntary in thier spare time as we are the ones who know how it works and what works they all get paid well we do it for nothing! I really hope this is vitoed before next season! for the sake of Youth Football! This is so so wrong!

January 14, 2013 at 02:51


Shaun do a search for the ncyl and get your league to sign up

January 8, 2013 at 19:11

Tom Quinn says:

I believe this is a brilliant scheme and developing the youth of football is simply what we need. I believe I have a brilliant idea which could work alongside this, where could I pitch this to in the FA ?

January 7, 2013 at 11:07

Shaun says:

I run a very large junior club with 32 teams, luckilly we have good cash flow and some funds set aside to pay for the increase in pitches needed and the capital purchases for new goals etc but the time is right now for the junior clubs to get together and form the Junior Football Federation to get a unified voice and to wrestle some control of OUR kids game back from the FA. Councils are looking to increase pitch fees, investment via the FF is falling, the FA are arbitrarilly imposing change, facilities are awful and in woefully short supply. We need a unified voice to lobby government, the FA, the councils and to give the kids a voice.

January 4, 2013 at 00:04

Timothy Coulter says:

After being told a player would “drop me” I tackled him. He then came other to me and attempted to strangle me before his manager intervened. The referee said “he couldn’t see the incident”. This is ridiculous and should be sorted out.
Welton vs Spilsby 09/12/12 U15B

December 9, 2012 at 14:18

chris says:

What has frustrated me most about these changes is the propganda campagin that has been waged. If you watch any of the videos they show little kids stood in full size goals and say how unfair that is which would be true if it was correct, but in reality we moved to mini-soccer over 10 years ago and children usually play in age appropriate goals etc.
If you watch any of the films of new tournaments with the new structure the questions are all “so why is this better than the old way of playing” which obvioulsy leads the kids to say “its better because….”.
If you even look at the FA research they say how there is no research on competive football being good and then quote 1 piece of research against; no real change can be based on a single study. Surely the FA has enough cash to fund independent study.
Some of the changes are good, such as the gradual build up to 11 v 11oy but the mandatory imposition of all the rules such as no leagues is wrong; my 8 year old son could not wait to be in a league this year and not because I had been going on about it but because he sees ‘proper footballers’ being in a league and all the media talk about where his favourite team is in the league.
I am very frustrated about this as the view is you either ‘trying to benefit kids’ and support the change or you a ‘dinosaur’ and dont understand if you against. Where is the choice!!!
Sorry for going on

December 2, 2012 at 09:57

Richard says:

You guys need to read the new rules properly. Teams at u7 u8 u9 u10 will play more competetive games than they do now. Even u11 u12 etc will have 3 mini leagues as apposed to one season long league

November 30, 2012 at 23:42

Ralph says:

Hey Thomas!
If you scroll down you’ll see that Nick Smith has organised a petition with a link.

November 19, 2012 at 00:48

Ian says:

What are they doing to kids football.Kids are competative they want to win.Parents and coaches want the kids to win.Are we becoming namby pamby.

November 18, 2012 at 19:13

thomas says:

can we not get our heads together and get a petition together to show the fa that the league system is great for kids cause they want to win and develope there skills while playing games and enjoying seeing there results on line taken away there leagues and results is not good and i think this will be a bad move for fa football we are not spain so why do we have to follow every other country

November 17, 2012 at 10:17

Ralph says:

My grandson who is 6 plays for Leam Rangers Greens in the Russel Forster Development Blue League.
At this moment in time they are unbeaten and are enjoying their football having scored 100 and odd goals in 25 games.
The following poser was put to me by two of the players;
”What kind of trophies will we be getting?”
My reply;” You won’t be getting any trophies”.
”Why not?” they asked.
”Because they’ve stopped giving trophies” I said.
Dejected one lad asked, ”well what’s the point of playing and winning then?”
My reply, ”I DON’T KNOW!”
The fact is these youngsters and a lot of youngsters like them are getting no reward or incentive to progress in a competitive game. Everyone likes to be rewarded if they’re good at something, it gives them confidence.
Whilst I agree with a lot of what Sir Trevor Brooking and the F.A. are doing as regards parental interference, and better skill learning I fail to see how how healthy competition is detrimental to developing a youngsters skill.
Surely we need more and better qualified coaches at grass roots level to teach the youngsters on a regular basis as opposed to one training session a week with their local club.
Liverpool appointed Barcelona’s youth development manager and he stated that skill learning and healthy competition go hand in hand and and must be combined to nuture a winning mentality. His philosophy was to teach youngsters skills on the training ground regularly and encourage them to implement them in competitive matches.
No way am I going to argue against Jose Segura’s philosophy.

November 14, 2012 at 01:21

Martin says:

Mark the really gifted players are not involved in grassroots football, they are in the Pro Club academies. At present you and your team have many choices to make, whether to join a competitive league or not, what format to play, etc etc. All these choices are being removed by the FA with their ‘One Size Fits All’ mandatory proposals. Kids love to see their team in league tables, they love to see their names in match reports. Ask yourself how many of the new proposals would have been voted in had they been voted on individually instead of being voted enblock on the back of the 9 v 9 format. Ask why the FA dropped their Relative Age Effect recommendation despite claiming they had overwhelming support for it. The FA have lost control of senior football to the Premier League and now see Youth Football (something they previously had no interest in) as a good source of revenue, please don’t be fooled by their propaganda!

November 13, 2012 at 17:57

Mark says:

The FA is spot on in my eyes. Our role as grass roots coaches is to provide a safe environment for as many kids to play football as possible and to have fun. We do not need leagues in order to make it competitive, play a 1v1, 2v2, 5v5 any Sat and stand back and watch. The only people in my view that need leagues are overl competitive coaches and parents. If that is you, then have a serious think why you are doing it, if it is because you don’t want to look like a rubbish coach if you lose then may be you shouldn’t be doing it. The FA approach will allow lots of kids to enjoy football and ultimately produce better players. Remember the really gifted players don’t actually need grass roots coaches for the coaching, they just need us to provide a safe place to show off their talent.

November 9, 2012 at 22:01

Graham says:

There does seem to be ‘pain’ due to the move to the new format but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong direction. I am fed up of the pressure exerted on the players in teams to win, during the match. Coaches and parents shouting out instructions and lots of negative critisism. If you hear the FA research into how kids develop abroard, it’s all about just playing football with a ball and recognising that kids can also self learn during training without the need to constantly stop play to instruct. In the main I see the competition as the driving force for the coach, leading to the inreasonable pressure. The kids do want to win and enjoy the league, but that is all they have known so far.
My son can spend many hours kicking about with mates on a field, but there isn’t a winner then. He probably learns more about dribble and control there then at his actually training, as he ‘tries stuff’ without anyone commenting. BTW the team he plays for are excellent and have won the league each year from 5 to 9 yrs, but that isn’t an excuse for coaches and parents living out their footballing dreams.

November 4, 2012 at 16:45

ron jamieson says:


October 21, 2012 at 21:22

collette says:

My nice year old son played his first match yesterday.
We live in France and l was surprised not only to see them play on only half the pitch. There was a total of six goals around one pitch, but also the ref was a 14 year old boy; Very good and not scary

October 21, 2012 at 15:44

Nathan says:

I am 18 and I coach junior football. I remember 10 years ago playing junior football , winning,losing watching the league tables and winning trophies. It was a great part of my life . I am shocked thou why they are changing things . Why didn’t the FA ask the teenagers that have played what worked – did they enjoy etc etc.
Such a shame for our young footballers what is happening. What a mess – well done FA

October 19, 2012 at 19:41

Nick Smith says:


I just created a petition: THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION: change the decisions about Youth Football from under 11’s and below, because I care deeply about this very important issue.

I’m trying to collect 100 signatures, and I could really use your help.

To read more about what I’m trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:

It will just take a minute!

Once you’re done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots campaigns succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!


October 18, 2012 at 18:09

Craig says:

Lets start one….I will speak to members in our league and i know we will get a big backing because i believe 99.9% are against these proposals

My view is these new proposals are blaming grassroots for England’s senior men’s team not having won a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup and have failed to reach a semi-final since the 1996 European Championship.
I think they should look closer to home on how the whole of the FA is run and leave us to coach the many thousands of kids that the pro clubs don’t think are good enough to progress.


October 17, 2012 at 10:04

Colin says:

Has anyone asked 6/7/8 year olds what they want ? No – if you ask your young footballer they want competitive matches and want to see a league table with results – winners – runners up – relegation – this never harmed anyone in the past so why start with this zero tolerance on results now. The FA have been told too many children are playing football and not enough are playing other sports like hockey / rugby / etc so how can you put young kids off paying football – and what they have planned will put children off playing the game they love as it isn’t competitive untill under 12s.
This petition – who wants to help me start the plan to vote against these changes. Need to act now-

October 16, 2012 at 21:56

Nick Smith says:

I have to say that I believe the FA and David CAMERON are obviously not singing from the same hymn sheet. Did he not say after the Olympics we should be encouraging the youth of today in sport.

Clearly the FA are attempt to kill off Youth Football and making it harder for Clubs to instill the interest with the youth of today especially if they go to non competitive football to Under 12’s. You may as well not have goal posts and let them kick a ball about.

I suggest we start a petition and send it to the House of Commons I think you need 100,000 to have it heard in the House of Commons. (only an Idea).

October 15, 2012 at 19:31

Martin says:

Have a look at They are fighting for a ‘voice’ for grassroots youth football at the FA because it is blatantly obvious that at the moment nobody involved with the FA has a clue what is really required or what we really want.

October 14, 2012 at 22:36

Colin says:

The club I run has 28 under 7’s and 20 under 6’s – it is manageable at the moment playing friendlies v other local teams , we play 7 aside and we take a squad of 10. With these new rules of 5 v 5 I would need to find EIGHT team managers ! Impossible .

Ten years ago Dads got involved taking teams etc but now the generation of Dads doing this has changed through work commitments and the amount of hours you have to put in before you can take a team puts dads off doing it.

The majority of people involved in football with young teams are against this 5v5 so what is being done or what can we do to stop these changes going ahead ?

No winners no losers ! They will want to ban certificates next as it upsets children that don’t receive one. GET A GRIP F A AND SORT THIS ,

October 14, 2012 at 17:41

Mikey Frazz says:

Would be interesting to learn if the FA looked at the way the Dutch run football from grass roots to Academies?

For example, Ajax encourage their kids to enjoy football, not concentrate on the result. They don’t even look at position specific training until Under 15’s!.

For me its the Academy system that is flawed, not grassroots, with parents not knowing what signing a contract actually means.

How many parents know that once a kid have reached under 13 and is given a 2 year contract, then they can’t be released until the contract has expired or it is by mutual consent? Not many and Academies exploit this lack of knowledge by dropping kids left right and centre, shattering dreams.

The way that kids are treated at Academies is shocking. I know, as my son is at one and his treatment would be classed as child abuse if he were treated like this at school.

Most Academy coaches are only interested in one thing – themselves – and what they can do to impress the Academy Manager to progress and make a name for themselves. Development goes out of the window and its the result that matters, especially when playing against an Academy like Man Utd or Everton.

My son is on a 2 year contract, yet the coach blatantly dislikes him, doesn’t give him any 1 to 1 time or guidance, is constantly on his back and sometimes only gives him 12 mins of game time – despite him travelling on average 120 miles round trip for most games – yet the same coach almost hero worships players of lesser ability who he signed simply because they are “big and strong” or because he knows the family!

The whole child welfare aspect doesn’t come into Academy coaching one little bit and that is reason that countries like Spain, Germany, France, Italy, etc, are always several steps ahead of England when it comes to Youth Development.

Get the FA to sort out Academies first!

October 13, 2012 at 17:31

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