Juniors – First Kicks & Fun Football

Registration

The season will start on 6 May 2017 (the first Saturday of Term 2). However, we recommend you register your child to play before the end of March so we have time to organise our resources and the Junior programme for the season. Register to play »

First Kicks – 4-7 yrs old

This is the first introduction to football. Children are placed into ‘PODS’ according to their age and learn football skills and physical attributes through fun game play. First Kicks takes place on Saturday mornings at the A&P Showgrounds, where a rotation of skill sessions is followed by small-sided games.

Fun Football – 8-9 yrs old

Children are placed into school-based teams (approx. 8 players per team) and play in a 5-a-side competition every Saturday at the A&P Showgrounds. They learn specific technical skills in a fun, motivational environment.

Fun Football 8th/9th Grade (little footballers who turn 8 & 9 years old this year) will follow a rotation of skill sessions before their Saturday morning game.

The sports research behind the programme has identified the key principles that underpin the Junior Player Development. The Framework ensures the training provided is correct in the following,

  • Accumulation of hours and number of touches
  • Early engagement
  • Recognition of development age
  • Training time allocation
  • Four corner approach – Technical & Tactical, Physical, Mental, Social/Emotional
  • Age appropriate games

Organisation

First Kicks will run at the same time, 9.30am – 10.30am on Saturdays. Please arrive by 9.15am so that everyone is organised and ready to go when the hooter goes at 9.30am.

Players will be placed in a ‘POD’ in which they will play each week over the season. Players can be placed on a POD taking into account friends that they may like to play with.

Each POD will be identified by a different coloured POD shirt given to players for the season.  For example POD One may be blue, POD Two green and so on.

Players will have a bib will go over the top on the day. Each POD will have a name which the players will decide.

On arrival players go straight to their PODS and line up behind the main POD flag; they will then be given bibs. They will then head off to their field (station) with their game leader to begin their first activity.

Fun Football will run at the same time, 9.30am – 10.30am on Saturdays. Please arrive by 9.15am so that everyone is organised and ready to go when the hooter goes at 9.30am. These teams will play on a separate area to the PODs.  These children who will have already been placed into a School Based team will have skills/activity rotations and then small sided games every Saturday (5v5). There will also be a skills/training session which run on a week night to be attended by the child (night to be confirmed by the coach of the team.)

Note:  During the colder winter mornings – players are permitted to wear a dark coloured long sleeved thermal under their POD or Team t shirt.

Parent Game-Leaders

We have a group of Duke of Edinburgh Award students, Outdoor Education and Sports Leadership students to assist us, but we will still need parent Game Leaders and POD Coordinators for each POD.

If you are able to help please let us know. We will provide training and of course you will be placed on your child’s POD.

With sufficient numbers we will roster so that it is not the same people all the time.

PODS Playing & Training

A POD will consist of 4 playing fields (stations). Each field (station) will run an activity providing training that will meet the four corners of player development, technical and tactical, physical, mental and social/emotional.

The players rotate on a clockwise basis around the four fields. Each field (station) will have a different activity running for approximately 8-10 minutes. This will be general movement, football coordination, football technique or a small sided game. By rotation the players will experience different coaches and strengths in coaching.

Once each group has been to every field (station) they will play 2 games of continuous football. These games are intended to be free flowing with little or no stoppages ensuring speed of play, maximum involvement by the players with lots of touches on the ball. The players will then experience lots of success and above all have fun.

POD Coordinator

Each Saturday the POD coordinator (person in charge of the POD) will organise game leaders. They will also decide with the game leaders who also receive the player of the day certificates for the POD. Game leaders who have no children playing can be rotated to other PODS.

Identifying Clothes & Roles

POD Coordinator – wear yellow vests, are in charge of their POD and their Game Leaders, will give out Player of the Day certificates and mark attendance. Parents can go to them if a problem arises.

Game Leaders – wear orange vests and run the activity/rotation on the station.

POD Equipment

There will be a flag at each POD, with a collection of the following equipment:

  • Bibs
  • Game leader vests
  • The Pod Coordinator vest
  • All equipment needed for the four activities/rotations of the POD
  • A clipboard with the following attached:
  1. POD list with children’s names, these are to be marked off each Saturday
  2. The four activity/rotation cards
  3. A list of equipment required for each activity/rotation
  4. The focus list that has been emailed out to everyone
  5. Four player of the day certificates to be handed out

POD Player Numbers

At this stage it is envisaged that we will have 24 children in each POD, by having the POD unit system we can still mix the players into 3v3 (6th Grade) and 3v3 or 4v4 (7th Grade). This also allows us flexibility if children are away, we can run fewer fields on the POD at a time. For example, if only 18 children turn up then we run three fields of children, but still have the four rotations. We can also add children to PODS if necessary or if we have late registrations we can go to larger PODS of 4v4.

Each POD is responsible for the setting out the equipment for the four rotations/activities. POD coordinators and game leaders with the help of parents will set up their own POD. Remember everything you need for the POD – equipment, cards, instructions etc. will be at the flag for you. If everyone pitches in, it makes it easier for all!

When finished, all players and parents/caregivers will need to return the equipment to be stored away.

Please ask your children not to touch the equipment (especially the balls) at the flags as we will have counted out exactly what is need for the activity/rotation. We will try to have a few extra balls away from the pods for them to have a kick around while waiting.