Irish Grassroots Football

u8s trials… The race to the bottom!

This weekend clubs are holding u8 trials for 2010 kids who are starting fixtures January 2018.

My question to all those clubs is, why are you holding “trials” if you already have kids in your academy who all believe they will be the make-up of the u8s team for 2018?

Why are we grading children at age 8, you cannot predict at age 8 if a child is going to be good enough to go to the UK at u16s because let’s be honest thats why we are grading in the first place.

Are you going to be telling the kids who have been with you for 2 years, that they are no longer welcome? Sorry,  but we have another u8s who is better. How ridiculous does that sound.

This is a quote taken from Rovers Website, which is just utter nonsense saying you have 220 ELITE players from 8 to 19. u8s and so on are not Elite players.

“The Shamrock Rovers Academy is the first professional youth academy in the history of Ireland with 220 elite players between the age of 8 and 19”

This is a great image taken from Footblogball.wordpress site by Mark O’Sullivan. He uses this Parent Education Workshops. He say, “Though, for me the real value is within the discussions that emerge as the material is absorbed”

“As many as possible, as long as possible in the best environment possible”

In his article he makes two points about the club, the children and the parents:

  • This is a club for children, young players and their parents. Without parent support and involvement there is simply no club. We understand the importance of parents engaging themselves in the club. Therefore, it is vital that the club provides the parents with a clear and transparent picture as to how the club operates.
  • If we only see children as players, then we will view the family separate from the club. By this we mean that the family is expected to do its job and leave the football education solely to the club. If the club sees the young players as children, then it is possible to see both family and club as partners in the child’s learning and development. 
  • The coach and the parent are often the same person in many grassroots clubs
You can read his article here, i'd highly recommend it for anyone involved with coaching children:

Finally with the season just over, I’ve heard from lots of coaches who are not happy about clubs now holding trials a week after the season has finished. We have just finished a long year of football and holding trials now is just extending it even longer.

As always would love to hear your views?


I always like to hear your opinions and views. If you feel you have something to say, please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. As always, thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary and @LetTheKidPlay