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Give Us Back Our Game Campaign Needs YOUR Help


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Guest Knightrider

Give Us Back Our Game Campaign Needs YOUR Help

 

Are you a parent whose kids play football? Are you a coach who coaches kids? Do you run a youth club? Are you a football fan concerned with youth development in this country? Then you should learn more about the Give Us Back Our Game campaign.

 

Set up, maintained and supported by like minded football coaches, teachers, parents, sport development officers, children's welfare officers, academics and a growing list of  professional football clubs who are all disturbed by the systematic destruction of street football in the UK and the overbearing involvement of adults where youth football is concerned, Give Us Back Our Game is self explanatory.

 

It aims to give children back their game by promoting fun & development before winning, that the game is the best teacher and not an adult, plenty of free play, no coaching or shouting from the sidelines, to let children find their own solutions, to encourage expression & creativity, playing in different positions, freedom to fail and to give every kid the equal opportunity to freely play football regardless of ability, physical condition or sex.

 

Football for kids today is very different from the football you or I may have played out on the streets where there were no adults involved, where WE officiated games and where EVERYONE got a chance to play and in a position YOU wanted to play in.

 

Back then football was fun, but today thousands of kids are leaving the sport due to:

 

Football no longer being the children's game – but controlled by adults

The same children always on the bench or omitted every game

Coaches and parents screaming from the touchline

Winning coming before fun and development

Not enough free play where they can solve their own problems

Not being encouraged to express themselves

No longer being allowed to learn about the spirit of the game for themselves

 

Due to safety issues and political correctness kids have fewer places to play football these days with streets a “no ball games” zone due to oncoming traffic, the threat to peoples' windows, nonces and other 'dangers' where as more and more open space once preserved for headers and volleys and 20-a-side free for all matches is being targeted as “prime development land” as the country tries to deal with the demand for new housing.

 

The upshot of this is kids are being coerced into looking for youth clubs to play their football, often fully booked up 5-a-side centres or expensive soccer camps – things that are all dominated by adults. And where there are adults there is officialdom and for kids that means NO FUN.

 

Quite simply more and more kids are turning their back on the game because of the  overbearing involvement of adults.

 

Give Us Back Our Game can't do anything about the destruction of street football, the cost of soccer camps or the lack of available open space but it does aim to make coaches, parents, schools and the game in general from grassroots level all the way to the Premiership more aware of the needs of kids and that we as adults are having a damaging effect on the very future of our game by having a major influence on it now.

 

The decline in youngsters taking up the game is being felt here in Newcastle especially as more and more youth teams struggle to fulfill their fixtures or have to advertise for new players due to dropouts and in years to come that will be felt at St. James' Park too - both on and off the stands.

 

You can help by pledging your support to this worthy cause and by helping to promote the Give Us Back Our Game campaign to local schools, youth clubs, fellow parents and football clubs. Visit the website today to find out more information.

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God,what world are we living in when kids  don't want to play Football.

 

Kids these days are more then happy sitting at home playing with their PS3,PC,or watever the hell they have..instead of playing some actuall sport..

 

Hope this campaign does something to fix it..

 

but something i found intresting is

 

 

Quite simply more and more kids are turning their back on the game because of the  overbearing involvement of adults

 

 

why?? :D

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Guest Knightrider

God,what world are we living in when kids  don't want to play Football.

 

Kids these days are more then happy sitting at home playing with their PS3,PC,or watever the hell they have..instead of playing some actuall sport..

 

Hope this campaign does something to fix it..

 

but something i found intresting is

 

 

Quite simply more and more kids are turning their back on the game because of the  overbearing involvement of adults

 

 

why?? :D

 

I used to think that kids just had more choices and less time for football as a result but that's not the case it would seem, I also used to think because we as people were more well off, we had better things to do than play football 7 days a weeek but again that doesn't seem to be the case. Football has never been more popular amongst kids, they love the game, i.e. watching it, anything to do with it such as FIFA 2007 and going to the match. More kids attend football today than they ever have done.

 

But actually playing it is another matter. My nephew is thinking about dropping out of his school team because he's being played in a  position he doesn't want to play in and the big danger is, he just stops playing it altogether. He won't be the first.

 

As for the bit you quoted, read the article again or in full and you'll understand why.

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Knightrider

 

tbh,i don't see anything wrong with "Adults" getting into kids games (sure those people will have to get their own lifes instead of ruining the game for their kids) but i really don't think thats the main reason kids are not playing football

 

in my childhood,we had very little to play with,so most of my family played in the football clubs in my country,some of them even made it it to the national team,but our same family now have just 1 youngster playing club football .and the number of kids not playing any football at all is increaseing,its not because adults ruined the game for them,its just because they would rather play Fifa 2007 then the real thing,most kids these days are born with all kinds of (entertainment devices),so they would rather sit at home and watch a movie or play video games then go outside and play football,and as the times go by the number of kids playing sports will decrease more and more,mainly because they will find more joy and fun in playing video games and watching T.V at home then playing sports

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Guest Knightrider

Knightrider

 

tbh,i don't see anything wrong with "Adults" getting into kids games (sure those people will have to get their own lifes instead of ruining the game for their kids) but i really don't think thats the main reason kids are not playing football

 

in my childhood,we had very little to play with,so most of my family played in the football clubs in my country,some of them even made it it to the national team,but our same family now have just 1 youngster playing club football .and the number of kids not playing any football at all is increaseing,its not because adults ruined the game for them,its just because they would rather play Fifa 2007 then the real thing,most kids these days are born with all kinds of (entertainment devices),so they would rather sit at home and watch a movie or play video games then go outside and play football,and as the times go by the number of kids playing sports will decrease more and more,mainly because they will find more joy and fun in playing video games and watching T.V at home then playing sports

 

It isn't adults per se, it is their methods of coaching, officiating and parents screaming from the touchline at their kid and the whole regementation of the game that is putting kids off playing. I've been reading some pretty depressing FA statistics lately and something like 70% of kids playing youth football feel their parents are too push and their coach too concerned with winning than development and fun.

 

Imagine you're a kid of 5 being coached by someone who says "don't dribble, you'll lose the ball", kids don't need that.

 

I read an article the other day about academies in the UK and how they stifle talent, conditioning them to be athletes and not footballers. Kids are saying stuff that.

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Agreed with training methods,the whole concept of "Screaming on the child will make him better" is stupid,its just putting more pressure on him

 

Also,some parents raise their kids to be  pro footballers/sports player,and the kid might not want that,so he will simply run away from the sport as soon as he grows

 

kids need their space,but at the same time you can't leave them play football the way the like to play it (even when its clearly wrong),because then you will just be devolping shitty players, so the methods need to change,kids will still be coached by older,more experinced adults,but the method of coaching will change

 

 

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Guest Knightrider
Football's pushy parents shown the red card

 

By Ben Fenton Telegraph

Last Updated: 2:06am GMT 08/01/2007

 

A grassroots campaign to reclaim children's football from the tyranny of pushy parents and overbearing coaches is launched today.

 

The campaign, Give Us Back Our Game, which has already taken off by word of mouth, aims to revive the spirit of playing on the streets, now regarded as too dangerous, but which lay at the heart of football for earlier generations.

 

GUBOG began informally on the internet two months ago, but is now thought to have the support of at least 300 clubs across the country, a figure that grows every week.

 

The basic aim of the organisers, Paul Cooper, a coach based in Gloucestershire, and Rick Fenoglio, a sports scientist from Manchester, is to rid children's football of its rigid format of seven-against-seven games in smart kit, hectored by foul-mouthed parents and overseen by obsessive coaches and punctilious referees.

 

Instead they want children in the six- to 10-year-old age groups to play four against four, referee themselves and play almost entirely without the interference of adults.

 

"Football for children is now very different from earlier generations when the only adult involvement was a call from your mum that your tea was ready," Mr Cooper said yesterday. "Football is no longer beautiful for our kids: it's ugly."

 

The GUBOG campaigners have organised a mass day of protest for football clubs on June 4, when hundreds will play 4v4 unrefereed tournaments instead of the 7v7 or 8v8 favoured by the Football Association.

 

They hope it will force the FA to take action against the trends that more and more youth club organisers say are ruining the experience of the sport for children under 11.

 

Mr Fenoglio, a researcher at the Department of Exercise and Sports Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: "In a world where children can no longer play outside without supervision, parents and coaches have taken over. And the competitive drive adults bring to the game means youngsters no longer have time to fall in love with football, to play for fun and truly develop their skills."

 

He said studies had clearly shown that children who play in smaller, unsupervised games had so much more exposure to possession and to different roles on the pitch that they not only enjoyed it more, but their skills increased more quickly.

 

"Manchester United have been doing 4v4 for several years and their under-12 side, the first generation to have done the smaller scale matches, are regarded as the best in their age group," Mr Fenoglio added.

 

Children taking part in the Give Us Back Our Game programme, which emphasises the fun side of football rather than winning at all costs

 

But not all English clubs have followed this example and recently the Premier League gave its member clubs permission to play 11v11 games for children as young as eight.

 

Tom Statham, a coach at Manchester United, said changes in society had put children's football into the hands of adults.

 

"They stop kids from playing, tell them what to do, shout, scream and criticise their mistakes," Mr Statham said. "What our kids need is for us to create environments, games and challenges that inspire them and nurture their love of football."

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I was actually talking to someone at work about this the other day. They said they hated the fact their kid wanted to play football for a sunday league team and were glad they were going into playing cricket more. The reason was simply because of the way it was run, coaches would always concentrate on the same kids all of the time and like it says in the first section the same kids were on the bench every game. They said they didn't mind the school team as everyone seemed to be given a chance and seemed to be run better but they couldn't believe what they had to pay money for, for the Sunday league.

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The other thing of course is when they get picked up by academies. The kids at many are then not allowed to play for Sunday league teams and in some cases school teams. Then if they end up not making it they are just dropped from the academy having missed out on all of this. In most countries they encourage the kids to play as much football as possible even if they are in a academy, and they are encouraged to learn there own game and try things. Grass roots football in this country has gone downhill so fast.

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What's the problem with the shit kids being on the bench like?

 

They are kids surely they should be allowed to get better by actually playing so matches especially when they are paying good money for the pleasure. Also surely the game at that age should be more about fun ?

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I agree that adults ruin the game, those who forget about the fun and want to take the club all the way up the league.

 

I helped my team get promoted.  We were a good close (friendly wise), local club.  As we got better, all the original players are forced out the club as better players from elsewhere are drafted in.

 

There's also a lot of favoritism goes on, with the manager's kid and his friends, or the manager's friend's kids.  I was dropped regularly for an unarguably inferior player in terms of attitude, effort, ability and fitness (he was very overweight, i was a cross country runner.  Yet they actually said once, we took you off first cos you re not as fit once - which still bewilders me to this day).  They clearly knew this as when both of us would play e.g. me right mid, him right back - the manager would actually have a word with me and tell me to mark his man as well as mine!

 

Rant over. :lol:

 

My school team i accepted was a different attitude.  It wasn't an extra club which we actually paid to be in.  Though for a long time i was getting a game in the vastly superior school team (with better competition for my place) but not in my club, displaying how ridiculous this favoritism was.

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Guest FlapjackJoe

Ffs, I saw that and read

"Give Us Back Our Graeme Campaign Needs YOUR Help"

 

Thought finally Souey got some supporters.    blueeek.gif

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Guest toon tone rudeboy

In the states, football (soccer) is growing in popularity but it still has a way to go.  I coach the high school team where I teach and I have players that are playing above their age group for the High School but also playing for local club teams (club teams probably being something different than what you may be thinking). 

 

The parents are an issue though.  You may be familiar with the phrase "Soccer Mom" here in the US.  The mother that has the mini-van and follows her kids around to their different games and tournaments.  I have found in my experience in coaching that one of the first things that you do with any new team or players is lay down the ground rules; not with just the players but with the parents as well.

 

 

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Strange thing to read from a foreigner's perspective. Here in Jormany it has been fully organised by the German association(s) for as long as I can remember. I started playing 11 vs. 11 when I was about 10. Street football was just for the days in between training and matches. Although a lot of people are lamenting the fact that there are far fewer public places where kids just can play on their own.

 

In fact Mathias Sammer, who is now something like a director of football for the German FA, got a lot of stick for suggesting more kids should play 7-a-side until a certain age to develop their technical skills.

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Guest Skjære

 

If it wasn't for enthusiastic adults running local clubs and training sessions in local parks/sports centres then even less kids would be able to play football. The fact that children don't 'play out' anymore and are transported by their parents to their friends houses to play video games is not football's problem.

 

The problem is not adults interfering in a 'kids game' it is the fact, correctly pointed out on here, that there are less opportunities for kids to play informal kickabout games. This is compounded by the explosion in other types of entertainment vying with football for the hearts and minds of our children.

 

In my youth, robw.gif, you couldn't find a spare patch of grass for a game of football. Impromptu games lasted until it was dark, 25 a side, jumpers for goalposts......

 

PS. The shit kids have always been on the bench and pushy parents existed before Sky Sports and  Adidas Predators. The fact is, more parents are standing on the sidelines waiting to ferry their little David Beckams home after the match.

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Guest Knightrider

Strange thing to read from a foreigner's perspective. Here in Jormany it has been fully organised by the German association(s) for as long as I can remember. I started playing 11 vs. 11 when I was about 10. Street football was just for the days in between training and matches. Although a lot of people are lamenting the fact that there are far fewer public places where kids just can play on their own.

 

In fact Mathias Sammer, who is now something like a director of football for the German FA, got a lot of stick for suggesting more kids should play 7-a-side until a certain age to develop their technical skills.

 

The FA have recently giving clubs permission to play kids as young as 8 in 11-a-side games which is wrong  because that will limit players to touches of the ball. No wonder technically English players look average in comparison to our European counterparts.

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Guest Knightrider

 

If it wasn't for enthusiastic adults running local clubs and training sessions in local parks/sports centres then even less kids would be able to play football. The fact that children don't 'play out' anymore and are transported by their parents to their friends houses to play video games is not football's problem.

 

True, but therein lies the problem. Because street football isn't an option for many these days, they turn to youth clubs and such where they are being coached wrong or conditioned with bad habits. Give Us Back Our Game wants academies, youth clubs, soccer camps and youth teams to adopt the philosophy of street football, to try and replicate street football for the kids they take in or manage - instead of the winning at all costs, pace, strengh and stamina over basic ball skills, rules, tactics and all that crap designed for the adult game that exists in many of these set-ups.

 

The problem is not adults interfering in a 'kids game' it is the fact, correctly pointed out on here, that there are less opportunities for kids to play informal kickabout games. This is compounded by the explosion in other types of entertainment vying with football for the hearts and minds of our children.

 

The problem IS adults interfering. Kids still want to play football and will still look for ways to play football, they have time to play on Playstations and have a kick-about, that isn't the problem. Having less opportunities to play informal kick-about games has seen an explosion in the number of youth clubs, youth teams and coaching applications going through the roof who are targeting these kids and once through the doors - having an overbearing negative effect with their pushyness, win at all costs mentality, rules, emphasis on strength, pace and stamina etc.

 

PS. The shit kids have always been on the bench and pushy parents existed before Sky Sports and  Adidas Predators. The fact is, more parents are standing on the sidelines waiting to ferry their little David Beckams home after the match.

 

Agreed, but its even more widespread these days and more serious because it isn't just youth teams that are doing it but academies and self titled centers of excellence.

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Guest toon tone rudeboy

Strange thing to read from a foreigner's perspective. Here in Jormany it has been fully organised by the German association(s) for as long as I can remember. I started playing 11 vs. 11 when I was about 10. Street football was just for the days in between training and matches. Although a lot of people are lamenting the fact that there are far fewer public places where kids just can play on their own.

 

In fact Mathias Sammer, who is now something like a director of football for the German FA, got a lot of stick for suggesting more kids should play 7-a-side until a certain age to develop their technical skills.

 

I would agree with Sammer on that.  In the states, a child can play on an organised team as early as 5 years old (http://www.bocasoccer.com/clientuploads/age_chart.pdf is an age chart or the local soccer league)  and if memory serves (it's been a long time since I was that age) it was 11 v 11.  All this does is have a game consist of one large mass of kids kicking at a ball until the ball pops out and then as a whole the mass moves to wherever it stops.  Entertaining in it's own way.

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Guest Knightrider

Gaining momentum....

 

Kick-and-hope' kids sold short

 

By Trevor Brooking

 

Telegraph

 

Last Updated: 9:45am GMT 10/01/2007

 

As the governing body of the English game, the FA has a responsibility to ensure that football is safe, enjoyable and accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

 

 

The long-term health of the game relies on getting children involved in football and providing them with coaching that maximises their ability and keeps them motivated. When it comes to skill levels, we are lagging behind the other major European countries, and this can only be addressed by getting things right at the youngest age bracket.

 

Parents and coaches have a huge role to play in providing positive encouragement to children. Anyone taking a weekend tour around the parks and playing fields of England will witness parents and other spectators haranguing the referee, the opposing team and their own sons and daughters.

 

As well as creating a climate of abuse, this negative pressure can severely hamper a child's development. Rather than encouraging young players to be patient in possession of the ball, it encourages a "minimum risk", kick-and-hope approach. Unless this culture is changed, we will continue to slip behind.

 

The FA's Soccer Parent course aims to give parents a better understanding of refereeing and the laws of the game, and a more acute insight into the part they can play in maximising their child's enjoyment and talent. To date, over 150,000 adults have taken this course. Spectator abuse is also a problem at the grassroots in terms of referee retention.

 

The FA currently recruits around 7,000 new referees per season, but the game loses almost as many over the same period.

 

Although age and fitness remain the primary reasons for referees dropping out, a significant number do still hang up their whistle because of threatening and aggressive behaviour by players and spectators. As a result, thousands of matches go unofficiated every weekend, which inevitably has a dampening effect on players' motivation, both adults and children alike.

 

The influence of coaches can also not be underestimated. The FA's coaching philosophy is built around the implementation of age-appropriate coaching, with the focus on developing and practising skills and techniques in the 5-11 age group rather than a "win-at-all-costs" mentality.

 

An important element of this approach is the promotion of small-sided football at younger age levels (Mini Soccer), encouraging players to get as many touches of the ball as possible. It is vital that mistakes are handled with technical advice and instruction rather than derision and aggression. We are also looking to train as many qualified coaches as possible to raise standards at the grassroots. Over 100,000 people have completed the FA Level 1 course, the most popular sports course in the country. Proper coaching is essential, particularly at the youngest levels, when players are most vulnerable and likely to abandon the game if not given the right encouragement. That is why all of the FA's courses include a child protection module.

 

Campaigns such as Give Us Back Our Game, highlighted in Monday's Daily Telegraph, mirror the FA's ethos in putting enjoyment at the heart of the football experience. We welcome such initiatives and have been in contact with the campaign in recent weeks. However, the FA does not advocate one particular format: the Mini Soccer structure allows flexibility for local leagues to play 4v4, 5v5, 6v6 or 7v7. To keep the focus on participation and development over competitiveness, leagues and cups are not allowed at Under-7 level for example. In addition, the FA Premier League rules prevent 11v11 matches until the Under-11 age group.

 

The Charter Standard system, the FA's quality kitemark for clubs and schools, gives parents a point of reference when looking for somewhere for their child to play. There are currently over 3,500 clubs and over 4,500 schools in England with Charter Standard status, and more are achieving this designation every month.

 

A key criterion for Charter Standard status is a code of conduct which includes respect for match officials, the positive role that parents can play and the promotion of fair play by players, coaches, officials and spectators.

 

Each Charter Standard club has a designated child welfare officer to ensure that youngsters are provided with the right environment to enjoy the game, and many clubs also provide opportunities for disabled children. With the variety of distractions available to children today, it is essential that football does all it can to keep them active and playing.

 

With an obesity crisis looming, football has an unparalleled ability to address health and fitness issues, simultaneously providing vital lessons in teamwork, social skills, discipline and respect for authority.

 

But it can only achieve this by ensuring that young players are properly encouraged. We need investment in specialist staff, course content and learning resources in the key age groups of 5-16, which have been neglected for too long. We cannot take our place as the nation's No 1 sport for granted.

 

And

 

Kids in danger of falling out of love with the game

 

By Graham Taylor

 

Telegraph

 

Last Updated: 1:38am GMT 09/01/2007

 

I'm in my early sixties and belong to the generation who played street football as youngsters. Our pitch was the width of the road between our house and the one where Mr and Mrs Moss lived. Actually, to this day I still call them Uncle Ken and Auntie Dot. The goals were the front garden fences and the pavements were the goal areas where only the goalkeepers were allowed.

 

Way it was: street football has been replaced by organised games

 

We didn't have to worry about cars as no one possessed one in our street and we all knew the time that the bus came. In fact sometimes the passing of the bus signalled half-time, so we changed pavements.

 

If the ball hit the window of either house we knew we were in trouble and either my mum or Auntie Dot would call the game off.

 

We all knew the rules of our street football and abided by them. No need for any match official. We played one against one, two against two and three against three. Four versus four was too many!

 

As we got that bit older we moved to the end of the street where there was an area of grass no bigger than 40 yards square. In the winter that was our Wembley and in the summer it was Lord's.

 

It was also where some of our dads joined us and I well remember a number of dads-versus-lads games, where laughter and fun seemed to be more important than as to which team actually won.

 

My childhood days flooded back when I read the article in yesterday's Daily Telegraph about the campaign, Give Us Back Our Game. I could not agree more with my colleague, Jim White, regarding the general behaviour of parents on the touchline, along with the approach and attitude of many "coaches" to their young teams. The ego of some of these adults is unbelievable.

 

Is this all the fault of the professional game? Some of it is, but not all.

 

We live in different times now. Find me a street without a car in it. I will find you plenty without a bus. Today, is it safe to let your children go outside your house, never mind to the end of the street? We rarely challenged the "rules" of anything in the Fifties as the country recovered from the War. Now, it seems, that, coupled with political correctness, we challenge anything and everything that does not suit us.

 

Football reflects society, and we are all responsible for that, so it is unfair to lay the blame for the malaise of the game simply at the behaviour of the professional.

 

There are 2,500 full-time professional footballers in this country. There are more than 43,000 clubs registered with the Football Association. Some of those clubs run teams in double figures. That is why football is the national game. That is why it matters. That is why we owe it to our children and grandchildren to show and teach them the enjoyment of the game. Only a minute number become professionals, where winning is so important. For the rest, enjoyment and love of the game is paramount.

 

The more touches you have of the ball, the longer the ball is in play, the less you are forced to play in one position only, the better you will become and the more you will enjoy yourself.

 

Structured, rigid formations, allowing little or no flexibility of movement and little contact with the ball, produces amateur players who fall out of love with the game and professional players who will never win the World Cup for this country. Grassroots football is where it starts for all of us.

 

If we do not allow the kids to play their own game – mistakes and all – we are guilty of compounding the lack of sporting activities and time that is available to them in their schools. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. The only time a 10-year-old should be "told off" is when he is playing without a smile on his face.

 

Why do we need to play 11 versus 11 with eight-year-olds? Is it because they see so much football on their televisions that they feel they have to play the same game as the professionals? It is possible they listen to all the analysis and want to play in one position only and in a team that plays the "proper" formation, be that 4-3-3, 4-5-1, or the nation's favourite 4-4-2.

 

Why do we position the kids so early? I have witnessed young lads being forced to play as a defender by their "coach" and not allowed to cross the half-way line. The result? At the most 10 touches of the ball in a 40-minute game. At most academy games at the professional clubs there is a roped-off area to keep parents a suitable distance from the game. You can still hear them, though. The pressure on some of those boys is immense, and that is without bringing agents into the equation.

 

Yes, it has become a hobby horse of mine. The standard of the national game at grassroots level is in danger of freefall, brought about in the main by ranting adults, be they spectators or coaches. The saving grace is that there are still enough of those who care who want to pass on their love of the game. And one way of doing this is to give the game back to the kids.

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