"How are you going to create the next Christiano Ronaldo or the next Messi if you don’t give them the freedom to run at people, take risks and be creative. If you can’t do it at nine and ten when can you?" Tom Statham, Manchester United Academy Coach
Who we are
Salisbury Rovers FC Committee
Club Secretary, Welfare Officer, FA Licensed Coach: Debbie Sayers Club Treasurer: Sarah Hopper Club Chair: Eamonn Doherty Committee member and FA Licensed Coach: Dan Croxall Committee member: Sarah Hickman Committee member: James Bulpitt Committee member: Iain Parsons
Outside the committee, we have the following volunteers supporting our work:
FA Licensed Coach; Joe Jobbings Coaching volunteer: Ed O'Brien Coaching volunteer: James Bulpitt Coaching volunteer: James Kirby Coaching volunteer: Steve Neville Coaching volunteer and referee: RyanStanley Coaching volunteer: Tom Neaves Registration coordinator : Suzanne Johnson
We are an FA Charter Standard youth football club in the heart of Salisbury with a very specific identity and purpose. Our club wants to put the joy of football at the heart of everything it does. Joy and competition are not mutually exclusive. Kids are competitive the moment you give them a ball. But kids need to play for themselves not for adults.
Football loses too many young players and we want to work to change this. First, we want to ensure that no child is ever 'priced out' of football at our club. Second, we believe putting kids first helps individual player development and increases participation and enjoyment. In the end, developing players is what leads to wins. Short-cuts like directing play from the sidelines might bring easy wins in the short-term, or calm adult fears of losing, but it does not produce thinking footballers and it can lead to drop-out from the game. We believe there is ample evidence to support this.
We are firm about our philosophy so if this approach does not fit your view of football, we are very happy to make recommendations for other clubs. At Salisbury Rovers FC, we pledge to:
1. Provide the best quality coaching
Quality coaching in a safe environment for all, whatever the level of experience.
Coaching will focus on individual skill development in age-appropriate club coaching sessions.
Independent decision-making will be prioritised and free play encouraged.
Volunteers managing teams will be funded to obtain FA coaching qualifications.
People with a passion for football, including young coaches, are encouraged to become involved in the management of the club and to pursue coaching badges.
2. Allow kids to play with freedom
"Young players need freedom of expression to develop as creative players ..... they should be encouraged to try skills without fear of failure." Arsene Wenger
Top coaches agree that the greatest players in the world have developed their skills through being allowed to play with freedom. It is essential for creativity.
Sadly, too often kids'' play is overmanaged by adults. We aim to encourage kids' natural creativity.
Young footballers are kids first and foremost. All kids, whatever their ability, learn best when they are not afraid of making mistakes. The FA calls youth football the ‘golden age of learning’. To accelerate player development, we will let players make their own decisions in matches as they do in Academies. Individual development comes before team wins and produces more confident players.
Appreciation of all players is welcome but kids don't want to be yelled at. We don't want parents or coaches 'remote controlling' play: pacing the touchline, mentally kicking every ball and making most or all of the decisions for their players: "down the line", "clear it", "shoot now", "Bill's on for you", "stay on your line" etc etc.
We will not adopt rigid position play. Everyone will get an equal chance to play and to develop their skills in every area of the pitch. The evidence supporting this approach is very clear.
Football is a dynamic sport not a computer game. We want to develop thinking footballers.
3. Develop the whole child
Kids who feel happy and confident play better and keep playing. Kids come first!
Kids will be given opportunities to share their views and to get involved in the development of the club. We will establish a Players' Council for this purpose.
We will also encourage player to player mentoring across age groups.
Football is about values too. Our core values are community, RESPECT and fun. We aim to develop the whole child and create opportunities for players at the club to become involved in community activities and to socialise together.
We have set out some links on our further information page which support our approach. We are also aware of the excellent work going on around the country for example with the award winning Manchester Respect League. We will continue to engage with those leading the way in the progressive development of our national game and we will continue to seek advice from the FA. We are working towards FA Charter Standard and we are committed to the highest possible standards of child safety and football development. We aim to work openly and collaboratively with parents.
Please read our codes for players, parents and coaches. If you agree with what we are trying to achieve, join us today by contacting our club secretary, Debbie Sayers, at Salisburyroversfc@outlook.com or completing the form on our 'Join Us' page. We aim to make our club accessible and affordable for all kids.