Irish Grassroots Football

Another Season

The day before kickoff, managers and coaches a like are knocking heads selecting their starting 7, 8, 9 and 11. I plan to get into the action later today. Anyone involved with coaching knows that the game will take over your life, so he you are entering into your first season with a team, be prepared for this.

Can I also commend those leagues who took big steps this year and made the changes we (the kids) so desperately wanted. I hope others will follow and maybe one day we will all be singing from the same hymn sheet. One grip I do have it the fact that kids football those not have roll on roll off all the way to u19s. Many, kids will give up this year because they simply aren’t getting enough time on the pitch.

“Success in youth sports coaching should be measured by the number of kids returning next season. It is about sporting retention over attrition.” Dr Martin Toms

Every season I become a better coach, this summer I am a much better coach than last summer. I drank plenty of good books, I have listened to others opinions on coaching and researched more then ever before. If, at every training session I learnt even a tiny little thing, eventually I will know a lot, however I will never stop. What I love about coaching (and I truly do love coaching) is watching the players activate what they have learned that week and bring it into a game (the end product). Hence I look forward to tomorrow games with great anticipation.

Team Meeting

We held a team meeting last night with the parents and explained our goals along with our expectations. The focus of the meeting was to highlight our goals and what we expect in return.

  1. Our long-term objective is to be playing Premier football u15s. (5 year Plan). This season, our objective (management team) is to gain promotion, along with a few others (Private).
  2. Player’s number 1 commitment must be football. We are aware new schools could mean new sports and we want kids to enjoy all sports but priority must be given to club football.
  3. Parent/Player to sit down together and read the Core Values, maybe come up with some of your own.
  4. We are trying to nurture, good camaraderie amongst the players and create fun and relaxed atmosphere where the players can reach their true potential. (Refer to core values)
  5. Communication is key. Any issues must be addressed at the earliest opportunity. Don’t let things fester.

“Consistency is vital. Focus is vital. Repetition is vital.”

Time Keeping (Coaching and Parents)

  1. Be on time, start on time and finish on time.
  2. For away matches it is essential we depart together and on time, please be respectful and arrive at our rendezvous at the right time.

Training (Kids & Parents)

  1. Club training gear, boots, shin guards. (Players are responsible)
  2. Its imperative that your child is wearing the right size boots, by not wearing them, could cost you in the long run.
  3. Players are responsible for their uniform. (Players)
  4. Tuesday and Thursday and possible one extra day a month.
  5. Always acknowledge our presence with a handshake. (Players)
  6. (Injuries) If a player is injured, let us know. Don’t play with an injury it could have long-term consequences.

“Repeating the same things over and over again until the players themselves are the ones repeating it back to you.”

 Parent’s Support

  1. When we send out a text, if you can’t make training, then we expect a text to say so. Our training sessions are carefully prepared, based on the number of players we have in the squad.
  2. If you don’t train, you don’t play, unless there is a valid reason.
  3. Pay the subscription on time. The clubs policy has changed this season and if you don’t pay then your child does not train and/or play.
  4. Parents are always welcome on match days and we enjoy having you there, so please continue to support us and we hope to see some new faces this season.
  5. Please don’t give your child any instructions at any stage, during the game. Let the game, be the teacher.
  6. Always be positive and refer to the things they did well.
  7. Support, Encourage and Praise.

Match Day (Players)

  1. Always, Green socks and Green shorts. (Players are responsible for insuring they have the correct gear on)
  2. Greet management team.
  3. When the teams scores, everyone must congratulate the scorer and the person who assisted.
  4. Respect your parents; at no stage should a player throw their water bottle at your parent. This is highly disrespectful and will not be tolerated.
  5. Match huddle before every game.
  6. Cool down after every game. (Where possible)

“What you are as a person is far more important then what you are as a player.”

Match Day (Parents) 

  1. Home Games, nets to be erected by parents.
  2. Team is selected Friday night based on the weeks training.
  3. If you can’t make the match for any reason, Manager must know ASAP.
  4. PLEASE, no sleepovers Friday nights, leave them for Saturday.
  5. Go to bed early, minimum 10 hours sleep.
  6. Eat a good breakfast, high-energy foods. (Nutrition plan provided if required)
  7. Never ever criticise.

Three most important Rules (Players)

  1. No foul Language.
  2. Never criticise a teammate. Leave that to us!! ☺
  3. To be the best you can possible be, always try to improve yourself, you have control over that.

Individual Goals (Players)

  • Set 3 goals for the season and write them down on a piece of paper, bring them with you on Saturday.


Here are 5 mindset tips used by Dan Abrahams from his book Soccer Tough

  1. Visualise your best performances real or imagination. (Science says your mind cannot tell the difference between real and imagination).
  2. Mindset: When you train, train with intensity, with great body language, with confidence, show confidence, and pass the ball confidently. Receive the ball with focus and train with focus. Insist on mindset at every single training session. You create Blueprint in your mind for match day.
  3. Set some goals before the game, know what you want to do before you go into a game and make sure they are controllable. Winning, scoring or keeping a clean sheet is not controllable. Being vocal, dominating the box, being on the balls of my feet, making great passes, being 100% focused, great body shape, perfecting throw ins.
  4. Keep Great body language: Go a goal down – great body language, go a goal up – great body language, ten mins to go – great body language, go 2 goals down – great body language, ref makes a bad decision – great body language. From warm up to the final whistle, keep great body language. Keeping great body language drives our brain, our risk taking, keeps us switched on, it releases great performance hor