The FA started in 2001 the FA Charter Standard. The programme, supported by England Team sponsor Nationwide, was launched in February 2001, with the aim of setting standards of coaching, administration and child protection for clubs working with young people. The programme is aimed at boys and girls under sixteen years old and will help children and parents find a club in their local area that meets F.A. standards.
They have yearly Regional Awards held at Soho Square. The awards are divided into four categories and were selected by The F.A. Charter Standard working party, chaired by F.A. Council Member and Dorset F.A. Secretary Peter Hough. The categories are: Charter Standard Club, Development Club, Coach and Administrator, and nominations were received via County Football Associations across the country.
F.A. Chief Executive Adam Crozier explained the importance of the programme: “The F.A. is committed to raising the standards of grassroots football in England to encourage more people to play, to develop their skills and to enjoy the game in the right environment. Clubs who become Charter Standard will be taking part in a genuine grassroots revolution.”
Steve Parkin, FA National Game Director said: “The aim of the programmeis to raise club standards across the country. The winners of these awards have strived to meet a high level of criteria set by The F.A., which promotes best practice within their club.
” Les Howie, F.A. National Club Development Manager commented:
“The selection of the Awards winners was very difficult, due to the high standard of work being carried out in clubs.” The winners of the regional awards will now be considered for the F.A. Charter Standard Clubs National Awards.
As well as having a chance to win a national award in front of 52,000 fervent England supporters, winners of the regional Club and Development Awards receive 10 mitre footballs for their club, whilst the Coaches and Administrators will each be presented with especially commissioned prize, along with their award by their County F.A.
Having achieved the FA Charter Standard, the clubs retain their status for the next three years, providing the qualification criteria is still met, and they will gain access to a range of benefits including kit and equipment grants, exclusive regional workshops and subsidies for F.A. Coaching courses.
Coaching is extremely important in any sport especially football. Any professional footballer could tell you what an important role their previous coaches at all levels have played in their rise to the top. That is why the FA have made sure there are many different routes to becoming a successful coach and improve the standard of the English football game by bringing better younger players to the national team.
A new range of Vocational Courses were introduced by The Football Association in 1996, after widespread consultation throughout the game, to assist in the development of a new generation of coaches, teachers and medical personnel. The Vocational Courses provided by The Football Association are widely recognised as evidence of competence for employment.
The first step to become a coach is to enrol on a F.A. Coaching Course. By getting on the coaching course individuals have the opportunity to progress up through the various F.A. Coaching qualifications and to enhance their skills and knowledge in coaching.
There are National Courses that are set up in the FA programme such as:
Advanced Licence UEFA
Goalkeeping Coaching Licence
Coach Educators Award
Youth Coaches Course
Fitness Trainers Award
International Coaching Licence
All these courses can benefit the game of football in England as it improves all levels of the game from youth to international level.
Promotional/grass root schemes
Football is enjoyed by millions of people every week, and The Football Association is committed to developing the game at all levels to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to play their part.
The majority of the millions of people that watch or play are involved in grass roots football, such as managers, players, coaches, officials and volunteers. The figures are also very impressive for how the FA is trying to raise the standards of the grassroots game.
* 3 million affiliated participants
* 40, 000 affiliated clubs
* 2200 leagues
* 11500 registered coaches
The Football Association has put in place a wide range of initiatives to develop the game at the grassroots level, through its National Game Division, which was established in 2000 to help increase the quantity, quality and enjoyment of participation in football.
To further the improvement of the grass roots game and to show how vital it is to the FA they are planning to invest more money in the future.
* ï¿½45 million to be invested in pitches and facilities in the next 3 years
* ï¿½6 million is being invested in sport in schools
* More than 80,000 women and girls are now involved in organised football
* ï¿½4.5 million is being invested over 3 years in Mini-Soccer, to provide children with the best introduction to the game
When these schemes come into action the football at lower levels should improve and hopefully make for a better team to challenge the schemes set up in rival countries such as Brazil or France.
Regional and National Competitions
There are many different competitions set up by the English FA. There is the FA County Youth Cup, which was launched in 1944-45 by The Football Association to provide representative football for the best young players who had not signed up with professional clubs. Players are under the age of 18 and are affiliated to County Football Associations.
There also is the FA Youth Challenge Club which ha been very successful for skilled school leavers who find it difficult to find a senior team to play for. In 1999, 312 clubs entered, with three qualifying rounds preceding six proper rounds and the semi-final and a two-legged final.
The players selected must be under the age of 18 as at midnight on the 31 August of the current season. A player who is 18 or over on this date is not eligible to participate in the competition. Paul Gascoigne, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt and George Best have all played in FA Youth Cup-winning sides.
In 1969 The Football Association introduced The FA Challenge Trophy, a knockout competition for non-League clubs with the incentive of an appearance at Wembley for the finalists. With amateur clubs still being afforded that opportunity in The FA Amateur Cup (until 1974 when the competition was last played), it was felt that clubs with professional players, who could only enter The FA Cup, should have a more realistic chance of making it to the famed Twin Towers. It is also becoming a lot more popular as over 34, 000 people have attended previous finals.
The FA Cup is the biggest cup competition in England is the oldest and most famous football competition in the world. The number of entries in the competition has risen steadily from the original 15 clubs in 1871. In the inter-war years over 600 clubs took part. Now there is a standard of ability and ground facilities, which must be reached before The F.A. Challenge Cup Committee accepts a club’s entry. 596 clubs entered the Cup in 2001/02.
No matter who the finalists are, the game is undoubtedly the biggest annual football match in the world. Success or failure depends on the form of the players on the day rather than form coming into the final.
Doping and Control Testing
The FA is to step up its Doping Control Programme for the coming season Alan Hodson, The FA’s Head of Medicine and Exercise Science has revealed.
At a time when our positive finds are decreasing, English football has decided to raise the stakes in the battle against drugs,” Hodson confirmed to TheFA.com
“This season we will conduct 1,200 tests, which constitutes a 20% increase from last season, including a higher percentage of post-match testing. We will cover all levels of the game from the Premier League to the FA Vase, from senior professionals to youth players in academies. We will test in the women’s game and each of our international squads will also be tested.”
“We work seven days a week and choose events (matches or training sessions) randomly. We make sure that we do not entirely concentrate on post-match testing because on match days you do not have access to the full squad, only those playing. Arguably, it is those players still recovering from injury who might be the more likely users of banned substances to return to playing quicker.”
He also says that it costs 370, 000 to carry out the tests and the clubs are supportive of what the FA are doing to make sure none of their players are not abiding by the rules.
“Our aim is to deter people from cheating or using recreational drugs. We want to ensure that this remains a sport in which people compete on a level playing field. Our strategy revolves around testing but even more importantly around education. We hammer the message home from a very young age that footballers must take responsibility for what they eat and drink, seek advice if necessary, and stay clear of drugs, be they recreational or performance enhancing”* During the entire 2000-2001 season only seven positive finds were recorded from 1,107 tests. Two of these were for were later sleeping tablets, which do not increase performance, and two were for high levels of testosterone, which were found to be naturally produced.
Of the 5,305 tests conducted since 1994 when the current drug testing structure was introduced, there have been only 49 positive tests, none of which were for anabolic steroids. These results prove that the drug testing has been very successful in England and should carry on being so.
Now I will assess my development on the performance pyramid of football.
Players at the Foundation level learn the basic movement skills, and have low levels of knowledge and understanding. They are developing positive attitudes to physical activity, and are becoming movement literate. The players normally play at Primary School where it is compulsory.
Players at Participation are doing the sport for recreational reasons, where they are considering and deciding their leisure options. The reasons can be for health, fitness, and socially with friends to enjoy football, where it is less competitive.
Players at Performance aim to improve their standards through coaching, competition and training. The levels at Performance are under a huge range. It can go from, House Level in Secondary School, to College Level, to County Level and Finally Regional Level. So players in performance ability levels are very varied to the standard of the players.
Then there is Excellence where players are reaching nationally and internationally recognised standards of performance for country or professional level. For example playing for any of the four professional divisions of football or for England.
I am at the performance level and I feel that is where I will stay I am currently playing at college level and I am not to far off county level, but I think I would have been in the county team by now if I was going to be. My goal when I was younger was to achieve excellence but now I have realised I am happy with my performance.
I have had help from coaches over my footballing career since when I started at around 6. Until now at college is where I have received some proper coaching, as before the coaches before haven’t had the right training or football knowledge. I feel that if I had sufficient coaching previously I may have progressed further up the pyramid; also there aren’t as many professional clubs in the area that means I would have had a greater chance of being scouted by some clubs.