Concern over kids playing up a football age group

IN TERMS of coach education, my bosses are Kelly Cross, who is the national education manager at the FFA, and Han Berger, who is the national technical director at the FFA.

Their program sets standards and ensures that the coach education program is delivering the same message to coaches throughout Australia.

This is a strategy which I am a firm believer of because I see no point in having different expectations in terms of ability for those in the city and those in the country.

The biggest concern I have here in Central Queensland is the amount of parents who constantly call me to get their kid playing up in age group because in their opinion their child is too good for the team they are in.

Clubs, through their coaches, also make efforts to have me assess players with the aim of playing players up in age groups.

Should children be allowed to play up an age grade?

This poll ended on 07 March 2015.

Current Results

Yes

76%

No

23%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The fact is that in many cases the only reason that clubs want to play players up is because they have over registered players and rather than let excess players go to other clubs they want to retain them and balance their numbers.

It should be noted that when I conduct an assessment of a player I am bound by national standards so if a player does not meet those standards I will not be permitting any kid to play above their age group.

In Gladstone over many years clubs and parents have combined in allowing players to play up age groups and all too often I hear parents saying "oh by my kid has been playing up since he/she was six."

That is just unacceptable.

I can tell you that any club that contravenes the rules of competition will be found out.

I will be personally attending matches in all age groups and I will make it my business as required in my job description to identify players and as such I will find out if players are not complying with the rules pertaining to age groups.

The discovery phase is how we at the FFA describe the phase of football that is undertaken by coaches coaching five to seven year olds.

This phase is a critical phase and hence the reason why we run what we call grass roots coaching courses for first time coaches and parents who take up coaching because their kids are involved.

If we do the right thing by these very important people who take up coaching by providing them with the tools then we will produce technically better players and the development of players will be steady and gradual.

This will stop people wanting to play players up in age groups.

I know that we are making steady progress in Gladstone and surrounds in terms of coach education and club administration and I am very confident that Gladstone will be a football force on a State level in the very near future.

Let's all make sure that we always put the kids and the game first and foremost when making any plans for the future.

Club rivalry on the field of play is very , but off the park we must all pull together in the same direction.


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