Monday, November 05, 2007
The Plan, Part 4
3. Small-sided games
With this particular move (Initiatives, Section 1), one can only heartily agree.
The definitive experience for me in this regard came when watching what I later discovered to be an Under 9s game, at Coleman Park in Berala some five years ago.
The kids were playing on the full field, and the game was a miserable parody of football. Huge scrummages were followed by a belt into the far distance by one of the tykes, after which all 20 of the outfield players would run in synchronized fashion towards the ball. The scenario would then repeat itself.
It was, as a friend of mine recently described it, "round-ball rugby".
I'm not suggesting that such a game was necessarily typical, and in fact most of the more enlightened local associations, it seems, have introduced various small-sided initiatives of their own accord. But, as we read:
SSGs are currently played in some parts of Australia, but the format is not consistent and the particular form used is not always ideal for the age groups involved.
4. Women's National League
The success of the Matildas at the recent Women's World Cup certainly brought the women's game into the foreground, and the introduction of a national league (Initiatives, Section 4b) is a logical step.
The question of how such a league would be funded is another matter. Some of the expenses associated with the men's league (travel, accommodation etc.,) would be involved, without many of the usual revenue streams to offset them. Having said that, it would be a perfect opportunity for SBS to provide some of the local football content that they have been priced out of in recent years...and the TV revenue (meagre as it would be) might go some way towards making the league sustainable, in conjunction with sponsorship.
Next time: a look at the changes in the area of transfer fees and training compensation, an aspect of the NFDP which has gone somewhat unnoticed.
I managed to read the plan on the weekend, but your commentary is very helpful as I try to get my head around it.
I could be talking out of my arse with a lot of these comments, but that's never stopped me in the past...
Haven't had a chance to read them all just yet, but I'm a massive fan of SSGs, as I am of futsal as a development tool...Not that I'm much of an outfield player, but I reckon it was these two things (along with Sheva) in particular that improved my touch out of sight...the pity is they came between the ages of 16 and 26, when it was well too late...
Re SSGs, it wasn't till I got together with friends almost daily after school at a park not too far from Coleman (my local, Phillips Park Lidcombe) and we arranged our our SSGs (nothing official or organised about them, but what a grounding) that we finally started getting the touches on the ball that should have been getting aged 6...
Of course, the more touches you got, the more you enjoyed your football and the more i reckon you improved, so it was great to learn that some associations (manly i think?) have already started them for the kids...
How small and how many players at what ages will be thrashed out over the next few months I expect, but regardless of the outcome, it will be an improvement.
Watching 9 year olds play full field is an embarrassment and should be the shame of federations who whilst boasting about their superior youth pathways, refused to budge on this issuew for so long.
I still see the FFA struggling to implement this in some states.
Visit Perry Park in Lakemba once in while during the winter weekends. The opposite happens, too many players in a small field. You may not touch the ball as much as you would like but your touch becomes much surer when playing these types of games that force you to have close control.