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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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Furness coaches back changes for youth football

BARROW kids football stalwart Dennis Boyd has hailed the Football Association’s decision to overhaul the junior game as “terrific news”.


Under new rules passed by the FA, youth football will have fewer players on each side and a greater emphasis on skill.

Some 87 per cent of the 778 votes cast were in favour of the plans, which will see youngsters playing in smaller-sided games, with smaller pitches and goals, and more emphasis on learning skills, rather than winning.

The aim is to bring English football more into line with countries such as Spain, where a greater emphasis is placed on technique.

“I’m totally in support of these changes,” said Boyd.

“I think it is terrific news and an excellent move by the FA.

“Smaller pitches make it essential for a child to learn how to control and pass a ball, whereas on a bigger field the faster players are able to kick it 15 yards ahead and run past an opponent.” The changes will be phased in time for the 2014/15 season and see under-seven and eight-year-olds playing five-a-side and under-11 and 12-year-olds playing nine versus nine.

Young players will therefore not play full 11-a-side football until they are aged 13.

Competitions will become more child-friendly – breaking up the eight-month long adult-based season into smaller periods of competition.

Last season (2011/12) in the Barrow and District Junior Football League all under-sevens, eights, nines and 10s played seven-a-side on smaller pitches and is smaller goals. Children in the under-11 age group and older played 11-a-side.

Next season it is proposed to keep the status quo in the Barrow JFL but with two major changes which would see under-sevens playing five-a-side and under-11s playing nine-a-side on a smaller pitch.

These proposals will be put before the league’s AGM on Thursday June 28. If passed, this would see the JFL making some changes in line with those that will be made compulsory by the FA in 2014/15.

Tony Callister, football development officer for the Lancashire Football Association, said: “I think it is fantastic that the local junior league is looking ahead and pleased that the likes of Dennis Boyd are promoting these changes before they are mandatory. It will be a massive leap forward for junior football in this area. Some leagues in central Lancashire have already gone to nine-a-side at under-11 level and it is proving beneficial, by improving the skill set of children and also aiding player retention.”

Nick Levett, national development manager for the FA, said the changes were part of a long-term plan that should lead to benefits all the way up to England level.

He said: “This is about grassroots football but also a 15 to 20-year programme for long-term player development, ultimately to help produce players to support the professional game and England team.”

Have your say

Sean says 'do you realistically think children learn anything from shooting into full size goals', i would say Yes

Posted by J Henderson on 1 June 2012 at 11:02

I have been actively involved in the new 9v9 change and agree it is for the good of the game. I will endeavour to answer some of the points. However most of this has been raised previously and has been in my opinion been answered clearly on the FA web site.
The change is mandatory. it is therefore a legal requirement as such and pretending it is not going to happen is kidding ourselves. Barrow and District in my opinion have chosen the correct route. Let's run with it and get these problems resolved now.
The current pitch size of 11 a side can be easily accomodated for a 9v9 by playing goal mouth to goal mouth. It is hoped to mark at least 2 pitches on Cavendish Park, Ormsgill already has a pitch marked for the new size, Crooklands, Furness Cavaliers and Barrow Celtic are making provision. It might not be immediate but it is planned. There is I believe a plan for two pitches on Tummerhill. Therefore allocation of pitches has been recognised. Cones can be used in the interim. This has never detracted from a childs enjoyment to my knowledge so there are options.
Children currently playing U10 for the most part play 8 or 9 a side dependent on numbers. I am baffled where the 16 has come from. If they are playing in the current U10 there should be very little change to the amount of children playing. Currently some clubs do have two teams. In the past this would have gone to 1 side at U11 as they were 11 a side. Therefore less children playing unless I am missing something. This is no longer the case and I fail to see a valid point in this argument. Moving on.
The concept of the goals. Personally a phased in approach will have to be tolerated if a club cannot afford the goals. As long as thay are the same size for both teams then a tolerance will have to be observed. Suggest you contact the local league as there is a likelihood of a Barrow and District request for funding and potential for some additional funds.
9v9 is a good thing, do you realistically think children learn anything from shooting into full size goals? Up high no matter the quality it is a goal. I would say there are more positives than negatives so let's embrace the change and move forward.


Posted by Sean Cush on 1 June 2012 at 07:51

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