Age group: Year 5
Training details: Saturdays , 09.00am - 10.00am
Where: Wetherby Sports Association
Matches: Saturdays or Sundays
Coaching team: John Darroch, James Wilson, Linden Kitson
U10 football is fun. We play in the Harrogate and Wharfedale District Junior 7v7 football league. We train on the pitches down on the Ings, opposite Wetherby Sports Association. We practise ball skills, team work and play small sided games.
During the year we will arrange additional friendly fixtures and gala events. These new fixtures will be announced nearer the time.
We insist that a parent/guardian is present for the duration of the practise and all players wear shin pads and suitable clothing.
If you would like to try out a training session please call John for more information.
Wetherby Athletic U10 Football Team
Our players are predominantly in year 5 at school, and are from Wetherby and surrounding areas. We currently have a squad of 18 players and play in the Harrogate U10 League.
The coach John Darroach is a volunteer who has an upto date CRB check, and is FA Level 1 Qualified.
Our responsibility to look after the welfare of the children is paramount. We will focus on creating a safe environment that is also lots of fun and develops football skills by using the FA 4 Corner Model which is explained later on. We know that children don’t try to make mistakes and so we will focus on positive encouragement, reward effort rather than ability, give constructive feedback and display appropriate behaviour as we recognise children may copy the way their coaches behave.
FA Research identified the following characteristics of Under 9 players:
Excitable – lots of energy
Enthusiastic – build on it, don’t destroy it
Talkative – encourage questions and ideas
Short attention span – lots of short games
Selfish – don’t expect many passes
Don’t understand space – will chase the ball
Sensitive – don’t focus on mistakes/negatives
Limited decision making – limit their choices
No surprises there then! It also went on to say that what children want from football is fun, enjoyment and being with their friends, so we will aim to give them as much of that as possible, whilst doing our best to ensure we develop their skills and love of football. We will avoid imposing unrealistic expectations or using methods more suited to older children.
The FA use the 4 Corner Model for coaching at all levels, and that is what we will try do:
We are aware that U10 boys are getting stronger and more physical but they haven’t yet got full control over their timing and co-ordination, which can sometimes result in bumps, heavy tackles and arguments. Fortunately these are usually forgotten as quickly as they happen, but we will emphasise that intentionally foul or rough play is not acceptable and may lead to boys being told to leave the field for a timeout.
FA RESPECT Agenda
RESPECT is the FA’s response to demands that standards of behaviour in football must improve, both on and off the pitch. Nowhere in the world do adults shout at children playing football more than in the UK. We must give them space to try things out and to make mistakes. We are fortunate in Wetherby that we don’t have a problem with behaviour but we ask that everyone keeps it that way by respecting players of both teams, fellow parents, coaches, refs and the rules of the junior game.
The key features of this in junior football are: try hard, play fair, respect the referee or coach, support positively and don’t tolerate offensive language. Spectators must remain in their designated area and behind the touchlines.
Matches and Laws of the Game
We play in the Harrogate League against teams from Pannal, Pannal Ash, Killinghall, Kirk Deighton, Wigton Moor, Ripon, Clifford, Beckwithshaw, and Knaresborough.
You may not know but there are only 17 laws of the game, with these being age adjusted for junior football. The laws for U9 football are included in full in appendix 1, but in summary a match usually consists of 2 x 15 minute halves, with a maximum of 7 players a side, using a size 3 ball and goals no bigger than 12ft by 6ft. Unlimited rolling subs are allowed, there is no offside, all free kicks are direct and attackers must retreat to halfway line for goal kicks.
Nothing can happen without the support of the parents, we all appreciate that having a child in the team is a big parental commitment and thank you for that. It is important that children play for fun and parents have a big role to play in ensuring that.
Wetherby parents are the best we’ve seen for supporting and encouraging without interfering or confusing the boys by coaching from the touchline. The most important thing at this age is taking part, enjoying football with friends and learning new skills rather than trying to win every match at all costs. The boys usually forget the scores after 5 minutes so the adults should too.
Help with setting up goals, etc for matches and training is much appreciated as it allows us to get on with the football as quickly as possible. It would also be much appreciated if we had volunteers to wash the kit after matches, we only play about 20 matches a year so it’s not too onerous.
Kit and Equipment
It is very important that children are appropriately dressed for matches and training. Football boots and shin-pads are essential for safety and boys will not be allowed to play without them. If we are on the MUGA then trainers and shin pads are needed. Mornings can be very cold so base layers are recommended in winter, as well as hats gloves and hoodies, and if a match is on it is a good idea to keep these on under the team jersey. Hopefully it’ll warm up a bit again by summer, so please make sure boys have sun cream on if needed, especially if it’s a football festival that involves being outside for several hours.
Drinks are important as the weather starts warming up, so please make sure one is available at every session. Regular drinks breaks are included in matches and training sessions. Snacks and drinks need to be available for a football festival.
Weather and Cancellations
Unfortunately there will be times when the weather or pitch conditions mean we can’t play or train. We will aim to give as much notice as possible, but as our prime concern is the safety of the players it may be that cancellations are at short notice.
Health, Medication and Injuries
Please tell the coaches before any match or session if your child has any injury or illness that could affect their safety or ability to take part, or if there they need medication. For instance it is important that we know whether anyone is asthmatic and where their inhaler is. We have an Emergency Action Plan available at training sessions and matches.
Our normal training area is on The Ings near the footbridge. We train from 9.00-10.00 on Saturday unless we are playing a match at home, usual match kick-off is 10am. Teams are not allowed to train on the match pitches to protect them from overuse, particularly when it is wet and muddy.
We will aim to follow training themes with specific session plans for each week’s activities. Every session works best if planned and organised in advance, and a normal session should consist of a dynamic warm up (such as running with the ball under guidance from coaches) before leading into a series of activities that progress in degree of difficulty or teamwork. We will always aim to include a number of mini matches in every session, as well as fun sessions such as beat the coach shooting practice.
The training sessions should encourage player development across all elements of the 4 Corners Model and will often pick up on learning and development points identified in previous matches or sessions, or suggestions from other coaches, players and our FA mentors.
We will make the training realistic and clearly linked to match play by using similar sized pitches, goals and timing, so that when the boys play a match it feels familiar and they can directly relate their training to the match.
As coaches we aim to guide whilst allowing as much free play as possible so players learn by trial and error rather than direct instruction. We will encourage rather than criticise and give the players opportunities to take responsibility, such as choosing their positions and organising themselves during a match.
As the season progresses we will also look to set players individual targets and challenges to further help their development and engagement.
Summer football festivals
A number of festivals take place between Easter and school summer holidays. We will aim to take part in as many as possible, including hosting one at Wetherby in June. The club pay for entry to one festival, others must be paid for by parents (cost is approximately £5 per player) and details of events will be made available soon.
We will have the Annual Wetherby Junior Football Club Award Day in May. More details will be available nearer the time but all players will receive a medal for their efforts during the year, with a number of trophies to be awarded including “Player’s Player of the Year”.
The Junior CLUB try to organise social activities for the parents, including a Spring Ball and golf days in the summer. Any other suggestions on social activities for children and parents very welcome.
Like everything the club needs money, it can’t run on goodwill alone. Annual subscriptions (£110 this year) are payable at the start of each season, which covers approx. 30+ training sessions and matches during the year (with the exception of some football festivals), use of pitches and equipment and membership of Wetherby Sports Association. The players are also insured in case of accidents if they have paid their subs.
We would like to get players signed up for next year before the start of the summer holidays if possible so we have funds available to buy any new equipment we need before the start of the season.
We also welcome any ideas or volunteers for additional fund raising such as fun runs, raffles or bag packs at Morrisons (which the club is looking at doing later in the year).
We have an arrangement with the Sports Association to provide food such as a hot dog for each player after matches if we request it in advance, at the cost of £10 for both home and away teams. Again we may ask for a touchline whip round or small raffle to cover these costs if we decide to go ahead with it, as I know the players often enjoy gathering for a snack in the clubhouse after a game.
Sponsorship is vital for expensive items such as football shirts or new goals. We are currently looking for a sponsorship of a new kit in readiness for the 17/18 season. So if anyone has any offers or suggestions please let me or the club know.
Football is a great game and being involved with the U9 team is very rewarding for us all. If you have any questions please ask any of us, otherwise thanks for your continued support and enjoyment of our fantastic Wetherby football team.