DAVID FLITCROFT COLUMN: The FA need to help develop the skills of our coaches

The Bolton News: David Flitcroft David Flitcroft

DAVID Flitcroft joined up with The Bolton News a fortnight ago to share his vision of producing top class footballers.

In the latest instalment of his weekly column, Bolton’s FA-qualified level A licence coach speaks to reporter Robert Kelly about the development of the game and how generations of young starlets are being stifled as it is a win-at-all costs business.

He also explores how radical changes need to take place from the top level. THE grassroots manager that wins a lot of games playing direct football does so in order to tell all his pals that he won today.

In the short-term he is winning but long term he is losing and is responsible for the suppression in our game.

He is the one berating the players from the sidelines because a child does not kick it long, or take someone out in a tackle.

This is the coach or parent that I believe is not supporting our next generation of players.

He will be the same fan who has a pop at the next England manager for not beating the world’s best teams because of the football style.

They also might say that our players who are not technically as good as the opposition.

The FA have no quality of control in how our grass roots game is being played week in week out.

They do not have officers checking the style of play or the quality of football on show or the competence of coaching and what elements of possession based football are being taught A style of play is not taught on any of the coaching courses but while on my A licence course counter attacking football was being endorsed, which is completely opposite to the possession-based football that I believe has to be played to compete on the world stage I feel the FA should insist all coaches should have to play a possession-based style.

This should be taught on the level one and two courses and monitored.

If that coach does not commit to that style of play he is re-trained and then commited to that style.

Currently, the level one qualification has a 100 per cent pass rate. The most important part of the course is the child safety, and first aid course.

These are crucial to any parent stepping up to coach kids. I have total admiration for the parents who step up to coach a team, without them no kids would play organised football, and they are the life blood of grassroots football. Without them there would be no national game.

There is an ever increasing pressure on bringing in money to a household, so time is precious to parents.

Time to go on courses at level two is very difficult. So we need to get FA tutors to the parent coaches to get them to the level two qualification .

With modern technology, and distance learning modules on offer then the practical aspect could be condensed into two intense days of residential learning.

On the A licence I spent two weeks on a residential trip to learn how to become a coach. It is an incredible deep learning experience. You become the environment and become the people you surround yourself with on the course.

This could be modified into a streamlined version so that potential coaches could learn about a new vision of what a future England player could look like, playing a style of possession-based football with passion, precision, and pressing the opposition like we have never seen before. There are two resources that are crucial to helping a kid reach its potential.

1. Facility – our ever changing weather environment. We should see a change to an indoor product for six months of the year. 3G pitches support participation in grassroot numbers.

2. Coach – they must possess knowledge, desire, detail and creation. All these attributes will be fed down to the child to produce outstanding results.

We are currently a million miles behind all the leading European countries in both key resources. We as a country need to be ahead of the game we invented.


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