Annual Handbook 15/16

Longlevens Infants Football Club

Membership Handbook

2016/17 Season

We have enjoyed another fantastic season at Longlevens Infants Football Club, both in terms of on field success and with excellent player development throughout all of the age groups, which is the most important thing. This has been recognised by our Governing Body, The FA and I am VERY proud to report that we were judged as runners up in the FA Development Club of the year – a CLEAR recognition that we are trying to do the best for the children in our club!
In previous years we have used this page to tell you all about the numerous trophies we have won and about the successful victories that we have enjoyed, I am glad to say that this year we did indeed win many trophies but as youth football changes and we change with it we are starting to develop into a club that serves ALL of the children in it by giving fairer match times and judging successes not by trophies won but by individual victories which can range from playing a game without crying, getting more than ten touches of the ball in a game, scoring your first goal etc. etc.
This was the final year that we had teams which will play “competitive” football (where results are recorded). This change brought about by The FA Youth Development Review is starting to show its worth. In the past – many teams, including our own, have allowed “less able players” to spend far too much time on the side lines so that we can have a better chance of winning a match. It is becoming much clearer that football in this cohort should be a learning journey for the children, let’s not forget that the oldest child in our club will be ten years old!!! I will admit that adopting the guidelines as set out by The FA has seen us lose matches which previously we would have won, by giving longer match time to less able children, but when no league tables are published who cares? There will be plenty of time for our children to be competitive in their lives when they reach an age where they can control such pressures. We are trialling mixed ability teams this season in an effort to DEVELOP children rather than damage their self-esteem by leaving them on the side lines or allowing ridiculous score lines to happen. On occasions, where considered appropriate, we will look to move children into groups that will support their development, this may be a different team to their current one. It is important that parents understand that this move has ONE intention and that is to best suit the development needs of the child. We will not move children for ANY other reason and this action, supported by The FA, has proven positive results hence why we have this policy.
I am glad to say that we had very, very few touch line incidents this year and on the whole the behaviour of the adult stakeholders in our club has been exemplary. I hope that this in some way is as a result of the very strict codes of conduct that we as a club insist on and we will continue to utilise these in the coming season. Without wishing to sound too stroppy – if you want to spend your Saturday mornings shouting at children and in many cases youth referees, then please go to another club an do it – this type behaviour is not welcome at our club and will not be accepted.
Thank you to the army of parents and others that provide support and drive the children around the county to play their matches, we could not provide matches without you. Many thanks for your support and here’s to another season!
Darren Smart
Head Coach

Equipment Need
LIFC will provide equipment for training sessions and matches, players should bring training kit suitable for the conditions. Appropriate football boots/trainers, shin pads and a drink should be brought along to ALL matches and training sessions. Failure to have the correct equipment or drink may result in exclusion from the session on the grounds of safety and to ensure compliance with best practice. You will need to purchase a complete playing kit (under 8 onwards) from our approved supplier with whom we have negotiated discounted rates. Please speak to your coach who can give you more details. In the event that you or someone you know wishes to sponsor a kit then please speak to your coach.

Playing Locations
For children that are entered into leagues our home matches will be played at Longlevens Infant School in Paygrove Lane. Away games will be in a variety of locations across Gloucestershire. It is IMPERATIVE that you check the club website (www.LIFC.CO.UK) every week on a Friday evening to get the latest update on your team arrangements. In the event of bad weather the website will be updated in real time so check before you leave as coaches cannot and will not ring every player to advise of cancellations.

The membership fee is £0 per person. Training and match day fees will be £3.00 per session paid for by direct debit ONLY through our DD collection agent Eazycollect Ltd . This has proven to be the best way to collect subs and is now COMPULSORY for match playing aged children.

DN Sports Coaching
The origin of the business: Some years ago the head teacher of the infant school asked if it was feasible to run an out of school football “skills” club to give the local children an opportunity to try a sport and to help them with their fitness levels and their social skills. We started this initiative and very quickly the service that was provided by DN Sports Coaching became very popular and several sessions per week were needed to accommodate all of the children. As the business grew it became apparent that the children wanted to play matches so we started to arrange friendly games against other local teams. As the hunger for games grew we decided that we would set up a football club, Longlevens Infant FC (LIFC).We then affiliated the club with the FA and subsequently entered into local leagues. Today we are present in three leagues – Mid Glos Mini Soccer, Cheltenham Youth and Gloucester Youth Football Leagues. We have been awarded the prestigious Charter Standard Development Club status by the FA, this award recognises that we apply and conform to the rules set out by our governing body the FA.
Longlevens Infant FC (LIFC) is an entirely finance free operation, no money goes into or out of the club. Your subs go to DN Sports Coaching who manage LIFC, your subs then get used to pay for all of the clubs extremely high running costs such as, affiliations, insurance, CRB checks, coach training and CPD, equipment (vast amounts) contributions to the school in the form of rent and supplied sports coaching sessions, coaches kit, coaches wages, the list is exhaustive. All of this has been verified and approved by the FA, the Gloucestershire FA and where appropriate with the guidance of the HMRC. Where sponsorship is supplied the FULL amount is allocated to the project that it is intended for e.g. a new kit etc. By signing the parental consent form you are stating that you FULLY understand this.

Longlevens Infants Football Club believes that every child and young person that plays football should be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in football.
Longlevens Infants Football Club recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying.
The aims of this policy are:
• To develop a positive and pro-active position in order to best protect all children and young people who play football.
• To demonstrate best practice in the area of child protection.
• To promote ethics and high standards throughout football.
The key principles underpinning this Policy are that:
• The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.
• All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity.
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
Our Child Protection Designated Person is as follows: Darren Smart 07954 444284

From time to time we would like to include images of our players and teams on the club website, newsletters and other promotional material. Photographs may also be forwarded to the local press. Through the use of players images we hope to promote the club, however we recognise the need to ensure the safety and welfare of all young people. We will not allow photographs, videos or other images of young people to be taken without the consent of parents/carers and the individual.
Longlevens Infants FC will take all possible steps to ensure the images are used solely for the promotion and celebration of the club and no other use.
The club will follow the Football Associations Child protection guidelines:
• All children will be appropriately dressed
• Images should focus on the activity and on small groups rather than the individual.
• Images of a child under a court order will not be used
• Personal details will not be revealed
• The consent form must be returned before any images are used
• Any concerns over the inappropriate use of images should be reported to the clubs Child protection officer

24 Hour “Cooling Off Period”
The 24 hour cooling off period rule basically means that should you have a query on a match day, perhaps the amount of match time that a child has played (or not) or a general issue with your coach or team then you should request that your coach calls you as you wish to discuss an issue with him. Your coach will then make every attempt to contact you within 24 hours of your request. This has worked very well as it allows the person with the complaint to “cool off” and the subsequent discussion is a lot more relaxed. Heated discussions on the side lines, often in front of children and opposition teams are not acceptable.
To clarify, should you wish to discuss, for example, the fact that you think that your child did not get a fair amount of match time, inform your coach that you would like him to contact you to discuss the amount of match time that your child is getting. Your coach may wish to discuss this with you at the time but he is not bound to do so. If your coach decides that he would like to discuss the issue at a later stage then it is his right to do so and he may very well refuse to discuss the issue when it is initially raised. This is a rule which you agree to by signing the club code of conduct as suggested by the FA, failure to follow the club code of conduct may result in your club membership being cancelled.

Our Coaching Philosophy

The coaching staff and officials of Longlevens Infant FC understand that children participate in football to have fun. If children don’t have fun playing football, they’ll soon pack it in. We never forget that the game of football is just that - a game. It’s not about how many wins and losses are accumulated. And, it is surely not about how many trophies are collected. It’s not about how many goals we score or concede. It’s all about enjoying the game and, at the same time, learning and developing football and life skills. Proper football development requires that children play age appropriate activities so they are able to experience, comprehend, and execute the game as it relates to where they are at their own stage of physical and mental development. It is maybe about playing in different positions so the player learns all the skills necessary to develop in the game. It’s about receiving a fair amount of playing time, so the players are all given equal opportunity to learn. It’s about learning the techniques of the game through a variety of fun games where players have as much contact with a ball as possible and learn at their own rates.

LIFC Codes of Conduct
Respect Code of Conduct for Young Players

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game. As a player, you have a big part to play. That’s why The FA is asking every player to follow a Respect Code of Conduct.

When playing football, I will:
• Always play to the best of my ability
• Play fairly – I won’t cheat, complain or waste time.
• Respect my team-mates, the other team, the referee or my coach/manager.
• Play by the rules, as directed by the referee
• Shake hands with the other team and referee at the end of the game
• Listen and respond to what my coach/team manager tells me
• Talk to someone I trust or the club welfare officer if I’m unhappy about anything at my club.

I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any or all of the following actions may be taken by my
club, the League, County FA or The FA:
I may:
• Be required to apologise to my team-mates, the other team, referee or team manager
• Receive a formal warning from the coach or the Club or League Committee
• Be dropped or substituted
• Be suspended from training
• Be required to leave the Club or League
In addition:
• My Club, the League, County FA or The FA may make my parent or carer aware of any
infringements of the Code of Conduct
• The FA or County FA could impose a fine and suspension against my Club

Respect Code of Conduct for Spectators and Parents/Carers

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game. Longlevens Infants Football Club is supporting The FA’s Respect programme to ensure football can be enjoyed in a safe, positive environment. Remember children’s football is a time for them to develop their technical, physical, tactical and social skills. Winning isn’t everything.
Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect Code of Conduct for spectators and parents/carers at all times:

I will:
• Remember that children play for FUN.
• Applaud effort and good play as well as success.
• Always respect the match officials’ decisions
• Remain outside the field of play and behind the Respect Barriers (where provided)
• Let the coach do their job and not confuse the players by telling them what to do
• Encourage the players to respect the opposition, referee and match officials
• Avoid criticising a player for making a mistake – mistakes are part of learning
• Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting, or abusive language or behaviour
• I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any or all of the following actions may be taken by my club, the League, County FA or The FA:
I may be:
• Issued with a verbal warning from a Club or League official
• Required to meet with the Club, League or CFA Welfare Officer
• Required to meet with the Club or League Committee
• Obliged to undertake an FA education course
• Obliged to leave the match venue by the Club or League
• Requested by the Club or League not to attend future games
• Suspended or have my Club membership removed
• Required to leave the Club along with any dependents
In addition:
• The FA or County FA could impose a fine and/or suspension on the club in such case the fine will be your responsibility in FULL.
Respect Code of Conduct for Coaches, Team Managers and Club Officials

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game.
In the FA’s survey of 37,000 grassroots participants, behaviour was the biggest concern in the game.
This included the abuse of match officials and the unacceptable behaviour of over competitive
parents, spectators and coaches on the sideline. Play your part and observe the Football Association’s Respect Code of Conduct in everything you do on and off the field,
I will:
• Show respect to others involved in the game including match officials, opposition players,
coaches, managers, officials and spectators
• Adhere to the laws and spirit of the game
• Promote Fair Play and high standards of behaviour
• Always respect the match official’s decision
• Never enter the field of play without the referee’s permission
• Never engage in public criticism of the match officials
• Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
When working with players, I will:
• Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment of each player above everything
• Explain exactly what I expect of players and what they can expect from me
• Ensure all parents/carers of all players under the age of 18 understand these expectations
• Never engage in or tolerate any form of bullying
• Develop mutual trust and respect with every player to build their self-esteem
• Encourage each player to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance
• Ensure all activities I organise are appropriate for the players’ ability level, age and maturity
• Not take part in training or practice matches with the children

Minimum Match Time Initiative
At LIFC we as coaches understand that nobody will develop or learn to play the game whilst spending the majority of matches watching from the side lines as a substitute.
It is very hard to guarantee “equal” match time during a football match without disrupting the flow of the team but our commitment to the development of children playing football with our club means that we will ensure that each child will play at least 20 minutes of each match (tournament football with very short time periods may not count) and our INTENTION is to give each player, where possible, half of the total match time.
Football is a competitive sport and children are very competitive, we set out to win each match that we play but not at all costs so you can be assured that you will receive at least 20 minutes playing time.
It is imperative that your child makes every effort to develop and try their very best when their opportunity arises. In the past we have given some children match time and found that the child doesn’t really try very hard or may not listen carefully to the instructions given by the coach, in this event the child may be re-substituted to enable the coach to reinforce the original instruction. This may well mean that the minimum match time is not achieved but this will be outside of our control and will need to be understood. A child may also be asked to play in a position that they may not want to, again if the child refuses to play where he is asked to then he will not get his minimum amount of playing time.
All LIFC coaches have been asked to complete a Players Match Time sheet which records the exact playing time that each child has had during each match. This will allow us to keep a record for a whole season.
We think that this is the fairest way of getting players minimum match time. We appreciate your understanding in this, sometimes contentious issue!

Staff Contact Numbers:

Head Coach: Darren Smart 07954 444284
The Academy: Darren Smart 07954 444284
Under 8’s:
Lions: Tony Curtis 07810 307753
Tigers: James Painting 07976 984472

Under 9’s:
Lions: Nick Perkins 07767 232323
Tigers: Danny Herridge 07940 580330
Panthers: Rob Page 07753 798053

Under 10’s:
Lions: Ian Quinnell 07767 425495
Tigers: Haydn Hughes 07771 868847 Mark Danvers 07968 317488

Under 11’s:
Lions: Darren Smart 07954 444284

Please check website every Friday and Saturday Morning BEFORE you set off