Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

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Laces thru the ball
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Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Laces thru the ball »

I chased that round ball around for many years and loved every second of it.
This game has been a massive part of my life and has enabled me with general life skills and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Football is much more than a sport and therefore it is very important that our kids experience the same benefits this game can provide.
For this reason I feel it is important to keep kids playing as long as possible so choosing the right club is the most important step.

Although most of you reading this are experienced and already know what to look out for there are many out there who are not.

Below are some criteria that I believe (based on my experience) are important and should be taken into consideration prior to committing to a Club.

1. Beware the "30 man squad" system
This is the latest system being introduced by clubs in an effort to retain quality players as depth for their JPL team.
This topic has been discussed at length in another thread. Please refer to it for more detail.
In summary, the "30 man squad" is when 30 players are selected at the end of trials but the actual JPL and JSL teams are not announced and split until a few weeks before the season starts. Effectively, locking in some JPL quality players into the JSL team who may have easily walked into a JPL team at another club.
This should not concern you if your child is happy to play at JSL level however if your child is self driven and wants to play at JPL level and is placed in the JSL team just before season starts then the "30 man squad" system will be directly impacting.
The club will promise player transitions between the two teams but this will rarely happen and even if it does, how will your child cope with changing between teams a few times per season?

2. The Coach is important!
In my opinion if you are coaching U13's and above then I believe the coach should have played this game at a relatively high level.
Basically, you cannot learn the real "tricks of the trade" from reading text books or by getting up in the middle of the night to watch Barcelona play live.
It is also difficult if you have not lived through it to identify future potential and the characteristic traits that are really required to make it.

3. Bigger is not always better.
Bigger clubs with lots of junior teams may seem to be the right club to gravitate to but you really must assess the available ground space they currently have.
Logically, lots of teams usually means less training space.
One club I experienced was placing 4x teams (U12's and higher) to train on the one full size pitch. I.e. a quarter pitch for each team to train on during the week and then expect the kids to perform miracles on a full size pitch on Sunday game day.
Training on a quarter of a pitch prevents learning how to use the width of the pitch for defensive offside and attacking plays. Long passing and long overlapping play is also impossible.
A more fitting name for this club would be "The Sardines".
ALSO VERY IMPORTANT, when there are many junior teams the probability of mid-week catch up matches increases. Therefore, from about half way through the season the training pitch that you were sharing with 3x other teams is now being used to host a catch up match and in turn leaving your team high and dry without notice and no place to train.

4. Beware clubs that run a 7-a-Side summer competition.
7-a-Side summer competitions generate a huge cash injection for clubs. Probably greater than $50K!! You do the math.
As a result, clubs take their summer competition very seriously and in turn take every effort to keep the pitches in good condition in readiness.
Unfortunately for the kids this may mean that the goal mouths are flagged off during winter training sessions and shots on goal during training sessions is prohibited in order to reduce the amount of wear in the goal mouth.
Portable goals may be supplied to overcome this issue however these will be few and heavy so therefore will be very rarely used.
Even if portable goals are used they will be placed on the side line or elsewhere with no reference to 18 yard line or semicircle. Having the 18 yard line in your peripheral vision when shooting is very important as it gives you a reference.
Shooting practice is a very important part of development and is the most fun part of training too.

5. Beware Empire building Club’s with plans for big, new club rooms.
Big club rooms require big money and can take 3+ years to complete.
Estimated costs can be around $2M+ and assuming the Council will contribute 50% ($1M) the club still needs to pay the rest ($1M).
Sponsors can only give so much. The rest is coming from your fees.
Ask yourself is your child going to still be there in three years to use the new clubrooms or would you prefer to see your fees go towards training equipment and other immediate things that will benefit your Childs development?

6. How many players in the seniors first team have come through the junior program?
Is there a legitimate pathway from juniors through to seniors or is the club buying in most of the players at senior level?
The more money the club spends on senior players the less money they have to put towards your Childs development.

The best way to get honest answers to the above questions is at the trials get friendly and talk to other parents that were at the club from the previous year.

Naturally, all the above is advice only. Take it or leave it.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by fball12 »

Excellent summary of critical factors to consider.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Nova »

Far out :shock:

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by magnet »

And there was me thinking it’s about kids wanting to play the game for fun. This consiparacy drivel is just that, DRIVEL

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by fball12 »

Having experienced more than a couple of NPL clubs, the above points are accurate and worth paying attention to.

Not all clubs are the same and I'm sure certain clubs are a lot better than others. The problem is some clubs are too far away for some to access easily.

The above factors do affect whether a child enjoys their football - that's my personal experience, no conspiracy.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Nova »

How about these factors
Where do your kids friends play? - Take them there and they will probably "enjoy their football", not "your football"

Take them to your local club (it's probably where all their friends are) :wink: and it's closer

If that "local" club wants to build a new club room and or run a 7 a side comp, get off your ass and help!! - It's rewarding :D

Ask your child where "he or she" want's to play, preferably before you corrupt them :idea:

I've watched a lot of junior football over the years and I can't name one club that doesn't put any effort into their juniors, both FFSA or E&D

They all do a great job!

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by magnet »

fball12 wrote:Having experienced more than a couple of NPL clubs, the above points are accurate and worth paying attention to.

Not all clubs are the same and I'm sure certain clubs are a lot better than others. The problem is some clubs are too far away for some to access easily.

The above factors do affect whether a child enjoys their football - that's my personal experience, no conspiracy.
Yes but what you are asking for is unrealistic. You want a full sized pitch to train on in perfect condition! How the hell is that possible with Seniors, U18's, 10+ miniroos teams, 10+ junior teams, advanced squads etc. Unless you have five or six full sized pitches it is impossible.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Laces thru the ball »

magnet wrote:
fball12 wrote:Having experienced more than a couple of NPL clubs, the above points are accurate and worth paying attention to.

Not all clubs are the same and I'm sure certain clubs are a lot better than others. The problem is some clubs are too far away for some to access easily.

The above factors do affect whether a child enjoys their football - that's my personal experience, no conspiracy.
Yes but what you are asking for is unrealistic. You want a full sized pitch to train on in perfect condition! How the hell is that possible with Seniors, U18's, 10+ miniroos teams, 10+ junior teams, advanced squads etc. Unless you have five or six full sized pitches it is impossible.
No conspiracy here just sharing some real life experiences. Refer to last sentence in my post "Take it or Leave it".
If the factors I've listed above do not concern you or you think them as normal then good luck to you. Choose any club and you'll be happy.

By the way, no one in their right mind expects juniors to have a full pitch for training however if you are playing on a full pitch on Sundays then you should be training on at least half a pitch during the week no matter what age group it is. I'm not going to go into reasons why because they are painfully obvious.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

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Laces thru the ball wrote:4. Beware clubs that run a 7-a-Side summer competition.
7-a-Side summer competitions generate a huge cash injection for clubs. Probably greater than $50K!! You do the math.
As a result, clubs take their summer competition very seriously and in turn take every effort to keep the pitches in good condition in readiness.
Unfortunately for the kids this may mean that the goal mouths are flagged off during winter training sessions and shots on goal during training sessions is prohibited in order to reduce the amount of wear in the goal mouth.
Portable goals may be supplied to overcome this issue however these will be few and heavy so therefore will be very rarely used.
Even if portable goals are used they will be placed on the side line or elsewhere with no reference to 18 yard line or semicircle. Having the 18 yard line in your peripheral vision when shooting is very important as it gives you a reference.
Shooting practice is a very important part of development and is the most fun part of training too.

.........

Naturally, all the above is advice only. Take it or leave it.
How many Fed clubs actually run a 7 a side summer competition?

The issues you list above arise more from general wear and tear on pitches during the season and the the weather.

Most clubs have pressure on space available space for practice it's got nothing to do with summer competitions.

It's not about taking it or leaving it, it's about calling out bollocks for what it is.
Time for some righteous indignation

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Laces thru the ball »

Stitch This wrote:
Laces thru the ball wrote:4. Beware clubs that run a 7-a-Side summer competition.
7-a-Side summer competitions generate a huge cash injection for clubs. Probably greater than $50K!! You do the math.
As a result, clubs take their summer competition very seriously and in turn take every effort to keep the pitches in good condition in readiness.
Unfortunately for the kids this may mean that the goal mouths are flagged off during winter training sessions and shots on goal during training sessions is prohibited in order to reduce the amount of wear in the goal mouth.
Portable goals may be supplied to overcome this issue however these will be few and heavy so therefore will be very rarely used.
Even if portable goals are used they will be placed on the side line or elsewhere with no reference to 18 yard line or semicircle. Having the 18 yard line in your peripheral vision when shooting is very important as it gives you a reference.
Shooting practice is a very important part of development and is the most fun part of training too.

.........

Naturally, all the above is advice only. Take it or leave it.
How many Fed clubs actually run a 7 a side summer competition?

The issues you list above arise more from general wear and tear on pitches during the season and the the weather.

Most clubs have pressure on space available space for practice it's got nothing to do with summer competitions.

It's not about taking it or leaving it, it's about calling out bollocks for what it is.
I'm not sure if you understand what I wrote.
I don't have a clue how many clubs run a 7-a-side summer completion. What's that got to do with it anyway?
The point is this. If a club is running a 7-a-side completion then they MAY (repeat....MAY) flag off the goals at junior training sessions through the Winter in an effort to minimise the damage to the goal mouth so the pitch is ready for the summer 7-a-side competition.
This means the juniors can not practice shooting at goals. A very important part of the game and not to mention the most fun activity at training also.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Stitch This »

Laces thru the ball wrote:I'm not sure if you understand what I wrote.
I don't have a clue how many clubs run a 7-a-side summer completion. What's that got to do with it anyway?
Well if you have no idea and it turned out that no Fed clubs run a summer comp then what's the point of posting No.4 in the first place?

That one caught my eye, but if you've applied the same sloppy standards to the remainder of your post then you've wasted everybody's time.
Time for some righteous indignation

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Laces thru the ball »

Stitch This wrote:
Laces thru the ball wrote:I'm not sure if you understand what I wrote.
I don't have a clue how many clubs run a 7-a-side summer completion. What's that got to do with it anyway?
Well if you have no idea and it turned out that no Fed clubs run a summer comp then what's the point of posting No.4 in the first place?

That one caught my eye, but if you've applied the same sloppy standards to the remainder of your post then you've wasted everybody's time.
Unsure why you are trying to de-rail this.
No sloppy standards here mate, just a life time of real, true experiences I am trying to share.
You still haven't answered my question. "What's that got to do with it anyway?" &

Question #2: What has Fed clubs got to do with this point?

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Stitch This »

Laces thru the ball wrote:
Stitch This wrote:
Laces thru the ball wrote:I'm not sure if you understand what I wrote.
I don't have a clue how many clubs run a 7-a-side summer completion. What's that got to do with it anyway?
Well if you have no idea and it turned out that no Fed clubs run a summer comp then what's the point of posting No.4 in the first place?

That one caught my eye, but if you've applied the same sloppy standards to the remainder of your post then you've wasted everybody's time.
Unsure why you are trying to de-rail this.
No sloppy standards here mate, just a life time of real, true experiences I am trying to share.
You still haven't answered my question. "What's that got to do with it anyway?" &

Question #2: What has Fed clubs got to do with this point?
#2 first - 98% of the discussion on here would be about Fed juniors

#1 You said.....
4. Beware clubs that run a 7-a-Side summer competition.
7-a-Side summer competitions generate a huge cash injection for clubs. Probably greater than $50K!! You do the math.
As a result, clubs take their summer competition very seriously and in turn take every effort to keep the pitches in good condition in readiness.
Unfortunately for the kids this may mean that the goal mouths are flagged off during winter training sessions and shots on goal during training sessions is prohibited in order to reduce the amount of wear in the goal mouth.
Not derailing anything just calling bollocks on a point you've made which you seem incapable of backing up.
Time for some righteous indignation

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by grumbly »

Yeah, I don't see any issue with summer comps for juniors. At least it keeps them involved in the game. Most I've seen over the years aren't taken that seriously anyway, with some fun rules added to spice things up. So what if they get extra cash, might help keep fees down.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by Sunny Vanilla »

I'll be looking for a club soon.

Has anyone run the OP algorithm and come up with the number one club I should take my kid to?
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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by themessenger »

El Paso del Norte wrote:I'll be looking for a club soon.

Has anyone run the OP algorithm and come up with the number one club I should take my kid to?
Just take your kid to your local FFSA club where he or she can just enjoy playing football with their mates.

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by geoff9559 »

El paso must be from the western suburbs (like us) where there are so many clubs to choose from..... its like cola and marketing.....but not ......so i get that they are seeking information from varying sources so that they can make a rational and educated decision based on the responses. So what age group?? As currently some clubs seem a lot better sorted for specific ages

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

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El Paso del Norte wrote:I'll be looking for a club soon.

Has anyone run the OP algorithm and come up with the number one club I should take my kid to?
:lol:
Time for some righteous indignation

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Re: Factors to consider when selecting a club for your child

Post by fball12 »

Amazing that people think paying 100% more in fees in the Eastern suburbs versus West, North or South is acceptable for no quality difference.

If you were paying 100% more for petrol people would be on the steps of parliament protesting.

Using the argument you should pay 100% more because you're at an established or well heeled club is just nonsense.

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