The new FA youth team development plan introduces 5v5 for Under-7s and Under-8s, with progression to 7v7 and then 9v9 football for Under-11s and Under-12s. The smaller pitch and number of players allows greater number of touches of the ball and involvement in the game, helping develop greater technical skills at a lower age, all on appropriate size pitches with appropriate size goals. The move will also bring a more child friendly approach to competition, breaking up the eight-month long adult based season into smaller periods of competition which encourage increased learning.
We are awaiting news of any new 9v9 goalpost grant scheme to support those clubs and leagues to use 16’ x 7’ 9v9 goalposts in advance of it being mandatory in season 2013-14.
Along with the above changes, The FA has produced the most comprehensive coaching pack to date.
It outlines everything a coach needs to know for age groups from Under-5 through to Under-21 . It provides detail on the physical and psychological make-up at different ages and a framework for your coaching plans. There's wealth of practical coaching examples too so you can implement the Future Game Coaching Philosophy with your team of players straight away. The accompanying DVD has filmed coaching sessions with players at all levels and interviews with top coaches. The pack is £29.99.