Monday, 22 June 2009

FFA: But how do our children benefit?

The FFA Technical Report, on the FFA website this week, it's a great start, but it's already taking us backwards..for the most important people...our children...particularly the 99% who will never play for Australia.

In Canberra we've been playing small-sided games for a number of years. In particular Under 10's play 7 v 7. Works well, really well. And in a few years you can see improved players moving into Under 11's with a heap more skill across the board than previous generations.

But the FFA are going to change this age group BACK to 9 v 9. They are joking.

And there is only one reason and one reason only why they could be doing it. They are clearly focussed on the elite, the top-end of our the one per cent.

Most of our players...maybe 97% of boys and girls are technically challenged and need the games, the very small sided games the FFA argued for, to be maintained.

Few if any boys teams, and I would maintain no current girls team in Australia will benefit from this change.


Well I've watched 9 v 9 last year, and 7 v 7 this year with Under 10's. The technical ability of our players will clearly improve if we continue in the smaller games.

If, and it's big if, if all players are playing from the age of 6 or 7 and doing the so-called 3 sessions per week PLUS a game when they are 8 or 9 then clearly they may be able to move to 9 v 9.

But no-one in Canberra, or I suspect Australia is doing this. And I'd dare to suggest no club will do this in coming years. Certainly not in numbers across a club, a city or region to enable the players to step-up to 9 v 9.

Aussie kids, the huge majority need skill improvement, they need small sided games maintained as long as possible.

Can anyone tell me how any child in Australia will benefit from switching to 9 v 9 games. Will any player become technically better?

So why are we doing it.

For the small elite pool of players that we need to tear each others guts out so they can trample over each other to get into the all new Aussie boys and girls under 13 side. A requirement of joining with Asia.

Clearly to play well at the 13 age group the FFA need players playing in bigger side games as early as possible so position and tactical awareness can begin to be entrenched.

But clearly the majority of our players will be dis-advantaged by this change.

Love to hear the logic for the change, and love to hear it while you're walking around my local club, some 1200 players, and look at the quality, some stars, some athletes, some beginners, and some challenged by that whole kicking thing.

Will they benefit from the change?


No comments: