"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: Lee White Committee member: Suzanne Johnson Associate Committee member: Iain Parsons Co-founder and associate Committee member:Sarah Hickman
Our Head Coach is David Podger. David has a UEFA B licence and is an FA Youth Award holder. David has a wealth of football experience. He is Head Coach for the U16 girls at the FA's Advanced Coaching Centre, identifying and nurturing talent for progression in the England Pathway. He also coaches the Bishop Wordsworth’s U18 and U16 teams.
Coaches and volunteers
FA Licensed Coach:Joe Jobbings FA Level 1 Coach:Julian Stahler Coaching Volunteer: Lee White Coaching Volunteer: Chloé Podger Registration coordinator : Suzanne Johnson Catering and refreshment coordinator: Louise Wilkinson
We are an award-winning FA Charter Standardyouth 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.
Children’s soccer is not about short-term wins, it’s about love of the game and long-term player development. Because of our approach, we don't hold trials and there's no selection. Every child gets equal time on the pitch. Kids get better by playing, not by watching!
With mixed teams and equal playing time, the game is much more competitive with more chances to learn and to lead. We believe this way all players can become good players and good players can become great players! We believe there is ample evidence to support our philosophy.
Additionally, we don't direct play from the touch line. Short-cuts like directing play 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.
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.
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.