12/05/2005, 7:40 PM
At a recent Schoolboy league meeting, a letter from the FAI Technical Department has now indicated full implementation of the Technical Plan in terms of Team Sizes and pitch areas. There may be legal implications for clubs, such as my own, continue to operate on bigger pitches to facilitate more players. 5 a side up to the age of 8, 7 a side up to and including the age of 10, pitch size vary, I will look at the technical plan and let all know.
Fair enough. This progression is all over europe, and it works well. However, it also means that, with 10 minutes a side maximum, you can only pick, being honest to any player, about 9 of a squad for a game. That 9 will have to be rostered in such a way that they only appear at a ground for 30 min, so supervision and control is vital. In a club catering for 40 kids at under 10, it effectivley means a tripling of my time. It also means that kids will be victims of win at all costs football, as only the top squad will compete at inter cliub tournaments :mad: Who will bring squad number four? Who will they play?
Food :ball: for thought
16/05/2005, 9:27 PM
As a follow up on this issue, which seems to be a Sligo/Leitrim problem, the following is what I have circulated tonight to those clubs with mini teams. Is this a country wide method of football for kids? Comment most welcome! :o
This email is aimed at those of us who do not take the Summer off! Instead, the smaller kids get a chance, and, in my experience, it can be more rewarding than the formal league structure. Please print off and circulate among those martyrs among us dealing with the Mini Football!
The FAI Technical Plan established a pathway idea for developing kids soccer , to ensure that they are looked after in a structured way at the embryonic stage of their participation. I, as a person who believes wholeheartedly in this concept, hope, through this email, to ensure that we are singing from the same Hymn Sheet this summer, when it comes to organising blitzes etc.
The League will be circulating a handout from Niall Harrison regarding pitch sizes. Is straightforward stuff, using 2 half pitches minus the penalty boxes, and using the intersection of the boxes as a penalty area, and with my limited area at Merville, is virtually what I was doing anyway, at least in recent times! However, I wish to throw out the following observations for others to comment on. These are my personal views, and through consensus, I hope they may be adopted.
Age Groups: There has been a perception that the age groupings are based on last seasons SLYSL criteria, i.e. under age on 1st January 2004! This means that the age groups are 18 months out of date! League rules state that the season concludes on 1st June anyway, but obviously it should be based on the year of birth only. Under 10 (Born 1995 or later) or Under 9 (1996 or later), Under 8s (Born 1997 or later), I personally feel that players at this age should remain in their year of birth grouping where possible (No gap between Under 10 and Under 8, include Under 9 as separate participation grouping). This is more work, but is more fair, as a child just turned 8 could feasibly be playing a 10 and a half year old is not on.
Under 12 'B' Teams: The directive is now no Under 10 year olds can play 11 a side soccer. As a coach who won this league with 3 nine year olds(!) on the starting eleven, this will limit my scope next season. However, there is a massive need for soccer for this group, and I for one will be pushing for a sub-committee to be set up immediately to start something in this area. If you feel able to help on this matter, please get in touch.
Clubs with limited numbers: Simply, 7 a side for Under 10/9 has to happen now. 5 a side is great for Under 8, but we can all agree that if a club has only 5 U10/9 players, 5 a side is better than nothing, and is within the directive. Merger in this situation with neighbouring parishes is the way to go, but the insurance situation would need to be clarified.
Ball Sizes: Where possible U8 must play with a size 3, and Size 4 for the rest. No doubt Niall will tell me if this is wrong!
Fun Participation: The directive clearly states that no medals or reward for winning should feature at Mini Age Groups. That is going to be tough, considering some of the competitive spirit I have seen over recent years! So get the printer going with the certification of participation for every player!
If anyone wants to comment on this, or indeed add to it, please do not hesitate to contact me on 087-6249863. Same number applies if you want to organise games across the summer.
Yours in sport
Merville United AFC
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