Tips for Recruiting Young Players for Adult Football
With some adult teams already starting to think about next season, we've produced a new guidance sheet for clubs looking to attract and recruit the next generation of 11v11 adult players for their teams.
It has long been acknowledged that moving young people from a youth environment to an adult competition is a challenge in all sports, not just football. Assisting young people and providing transitional support to those moving up from youth to open age football is a vital function of adult football teams and clubs.
To help out, Herefordshire FA have created a list of tips and pointers to ensure open aged football teams and clubs in Herefordshire are sustainable in the long run, and are able to attract and retain young players. By following the information and advice contained in the guidance document, clubs can provide an attractive offer to young players and make their club appealing to new players.
Every season players drop out of the game when they reach the age of 15-17 and whilst some of this is unavoidable, we want to help keep as many people continue playing football and extending their lifelong enjoyment of the sport. Whether your club has a junior section or not, there are a number of ways you can make your club more attractive to young players and help increase the number of 16-21 year olds joining your club to play Saturday or Sunday football.
The FA has 3 key tactics to supporting adult grassroots football:
1. Retain - Support and engage existing players, volunteers, coaches and referees
2. Support Transition - Assist young people in moving from youth to adult football, and work towards reducing the amount of players dropping out of football at this age
3. Promote Flexibility in Provision - Encourage an increasing range of opportunities to play via different formats including veterans, U18, central venues, walking football etc.
We are always looking to support our adult clubs in Herefordshire with all 3 of these and this document will primarily assist with supporting transition. The FA and Football Foundation will also be launching a retention-focused scheme called Retain the Game, which will offer £1m to successful applicants and launch in April. It will allow open-age male teams to apply for financial support to aid their continued participation in the game. This will also clearly be beneficial in supporting your teams in recruiting and retaining players.
If you would like any advice on retaining and recruiting players or have any suggestions for provision within in the county please let us know by contacting:
Joe Mathias Football Development Officer
phone: 01432 342179