At the end of the 2015/6 season the U11s still had four of the original players from when they were U8’s.
It is great to have that hard core of long term players that understand what they need to do. But also we have seen a lot of new players joining. Each of them has brought something new to the team and we make a big effort to make them feel welcome.
Likewise we have a great roster of dads (including myself) who help out with training and coaching. The boys really benefit from having four coaches in a training session and can get some one to one help if they need it.
It has been amazing to see the boys develop and become better players over that time. One of the best part of being a coach is getting to work with the boys. There is nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction of seeing the team take on board one of the training exercises and play better in the game. There are of course lots of moments where you wonder if they are listening at all, but it makes those moments where you see them learning even more special.
“We train very much in a supportive and fun way. I want the boys to enjoy playing football rather than feeling pressure about the result or making mistakes. We try and foster ‘a mistakes are ok’ culture where the boys feel confident to be creative and take risks on the pitch. We want to win, but emphasise playing good football rather than just hoofing it. We get them to talk about the good and bad points from games in an open and non-judgemental way – they can see for themselves where we can get better.”
Tom, Team Manager