New FA Changes to Kids Football Promises to Deliver English ‘Messi’s’
The trend of children as young as 10 years old playing football on full-size pitches in the UK is being phased out after 87% of FA share holders voted for smaller-sided games, using smaller pitches and smaller goals.
The philosophy for the move is simple – the smaller the pitch and the fewer players, the greater number of touches of the ball for each player. This is designed to help children develop greater skill and vision at a younger age.
The aim for the new system is that no children under the age of 13 years will play full size games, placing an emphasis on emulating the techniques and skills shown by the Spanish, where children only play on adult pitches from the age of 14 years.
Passing the ball under pressure is something that has been notably missing from the English national team in recent tournaments and the ability to protect the ball and retain possession is something that the Spanish European and World champions have become renown for. The system is also in place in Germany and Holland, nations who have been embracing the small sided game system for a number of years.
The move has been backed by Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who Tweeted “One thing our kids coaches don’t do that foreign coaches do is teach them to pass the ball to a player under pressure…then coach one-two. How to protect the ball under pressure..foreign players do that much better than us…one reason why they keep possession better. FA coaching courses need a right old shake up in my humble opinion if we are to move forward…some real good bits but some ancient bits too.”
S4K encourages the use of small sided games in our football coaching for our S4K Strikers, S4K Academy and also in our S4K Tournament so that children of all abilities can enjoy a greater number of touches of the ball and an increase in confidence on the pitch.