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stevieb

Future of Football in Cornwall

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Where do we see the future of our game in Cornwall?  I ask this question as each week there seems to be a shortage of players and teams pulling out or folding completely  ,  a shortage of refs , committee members stepping down and no one coming in to take up these posts ,  I know we all have busy lives now and work / further education has changed  . Could it be to many teams in certain areas , lack of pitches  , funding ? Or a general lack of interest  , this is not meant to be a negative post  but I am interested in the future of our local football be it junior , senior or the woman's league as that seems to have lost a lot of teams over recent seasons . 

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It's going to be all downhill for a few years yet I'm afraid.

A lot more teams/clubs to fold yet, a general lack of interest, to much organised kids football, other things to do, to much televised football - the mysteries gone for the latest generation. 

No-one willing to put time into their clubs anymore, they want it all for no input.

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As a keen follower of this forum although I live 400 miles away may I quote some figures from my league in North Norfolk to back up your post , albeit in a different county .

In 2002/3 season we had 42 teams in the league and the total of registered players was in excess of 1500 .  In 2014/5  we had 26 teams   In 2015/16 season we had 22 teams and 706 players  this season we have 20 teams , I can't quote the number of players this year because the FA have taken over the registrations .

During the past few seasons I've done a breakdown of age groups of the players but to save boring you to tears I'll quote the figures from 2015/16  . 30%  were over 30 years old , 30% were 25 to 30 , 29% were 18 to 25 and 11% were 16 to 18 years old  ( this was 4% down on the previous season )

From these figures we can see where the shortage lies . This decline is mirrored throughout the county , several leagues have folded in the last 10 years but many more have gone in the past 40 years .In fact I think that more leagues have gone than there are active now .

We have to take into account that many young men now work in the retail industry which operates almost all day every day . In the past it was very rare for young men to work in shops and if they did many shops closed at midday . Also many organisations such as the fire brigade , police , military , post office and factories all ran teams . This is very rare now for various reasons . All these combined have led to the loss of teams .

Last year on one of my many trips per year down to Mawgan Porth I listened to a very interesting discussion on 5 live . It was about Sky's decision to broadcast live football on Friday nights . A man from Chesterfield said that Sky had ruined lower level football .Nicky Cambell asked why and he come back with an interesting comment , certainly one I hadn't thought about . The man had been the league secretary of a league in the Derbyshire area  it had 32 teams . Since the advent of Sky showing live matches on Saturday  the number of teams dropped to such an extent that the league had to fold . He said that young players would rather watch live football with their mates in a pub or club than travel to a game and run around in the cold and wet and pay for the pleasure . It sounds suprising to someone from a largely rural area but I suppose that part of the country has many large towns with pubs and clubs who show live football compared to this county for instance .

As I have babbled on enough , one final suprising comment on the subject  our county FA are so concerned about the decline of football at grassroots level that they held a live forum to be broadcast on the local BBC radio , 7 people turned up ( although there is some question as to whether it was 17 and we misheard the figure ) .

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18 hours ago, stevieb said:

Thanks Fenman for your Input a very good post as usual , and I think Older could be right it will get worse until it settles down . Any stattoes out there with figures for Cornish leagues , Willow ,ctb ? 

Yes thank you fenman. Makes sad reading doesn't it. I would like to think that the same is not true for the South West. We live near the Devon/Cornwall border now and I watch football in both Counties. On Saturday and Sunday mornings there are loads of matches being played and in Devon particularly, there are many kids teams both playing matches or being schooled - and it's great to see. The enthusiasm of the youngsters is palpable. Exeter City FC run a number of kids schools county wide and there is much support from parents at these events. 

What I'm trying to say is, that it's not all bad news. However it does take the time and selfless dedication by all concerned and of course, a love of this our national game.

Rugby Union is very popular in the South West and a recent match between Okehampton Chiefs and Western-Super-Mare, saw a sell out crowd. The visitors, currently top of the table, brought two coaches of supporters with them. There was standing room only, the bar in the club house worked flat out and the sunshine added to a great day. I went with my youngest grandson who has recently taken up rugby with Oakhampton Chiefs juniors. What I'm saying again is, that yes, Sky TV has many live matches, but there is no substitute for live sport. It's better and healthier than sitting indoors any day and if all clubs do their best to make it a good day out for supporters, the supporters will come. We have to keep at it folks - if we all say ''the game is all but finished now'' - it will die. Don't let it !

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2 hours ago, Postman Pat said:

Classic example this weekend. Man utd v Arsenal 12.30pm kick off. That is why you struggle to get players in local football.next week it could be any of the other top teams a few beers with your mates

A good point postman pat 

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15 hours ago, stevieb said:

A good point postman pat 

If you're that easily swayed by a live Premier League match on TV - in my book you're not really a footballer at heart. Any player who genuinely loves the game will be playing for his team, no matter what's on TV.

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This is the problem Keith . We know live in an entirely different world than we older people grew up in ( or in my case nearly grew up in ) . I accept that the previous generation said the same about us as did the generation before them . As you said in a previous post youth football is thriving. But the interest seems to drop off after 16 . A friend of mine ran a youth team which was very successful for a few years . Over that time probably more than 50 or 60 players went through his club . Today he can't name more than 5 or 6 who carried on playing after they were 10 or 17 . He thinks that they reached a saturation point where they'd played so much football from 7 years old that it became boring . Another thing that the FA are coming to think is that too many coaches and parents are living their game through their children . The children feel pressurised and as soon as they reach 16 they pack up believing that all football is like that . Another strange thing which is beginning to creep in is young people believing that they should be paid to play !!!!!  .This isn't widespread yet but I know many clubs have commented on this trend . This sounds a ridiculous statement to make but you have to realise that we are talking about impressionable young people . With all the modern technology available to them many are locked in an immature world of fantasy video and computer games and have little interest or knowledge of  the real world . I'm not condemning young people it's just that this is their time and it's different to our time .

I appear to have offended someone by mentioning mother on another post so I have deliberately avoided the word . 

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Keith B just trying to point out the reason why . if they have no allegiance to an adult team what chance have you got.we would love to have a youth set up at Redruth United in fact we had u 16s last season but for reasons beyond our control could not bring them all into mens football.We have a goodset up for youth teams at clijah but! The age old problem of who would run it. The volunteers we have can only do so much before divorce ?

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I totally agree Pat , but I should have clarified that in  my friends situation they are all part of a larger club that runs youth and adult football . This is why he's noticed the dropping out of players at adult stage . In other words they don't carry on from under 18's to the adult team , as a result the adult team is in danger of folding one of it's teams through lack of players . They haven't even gone to other teams they've just stopped playing and as some of them are now in their late 20's it's unlikely that they'll restart . Your second point is another worrying factor future who will run club's ? it's not just football teams , many other sports are in the same boat for various reasons . Everything goes in cycles so perhaps in 20 years everything will swing back , but I think a young man who I asked if he and his  mates played football  said that it wasn't compulsory ( he didn't say it in a sarcastic way ) and I suppose he's right , we just assume that because it's the national sport everybody wants to play it .

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2 hours ago, fenman said:

I totally agree Pat , but I should have clarified that in  my friends situation they are all part of a larger club that runs youth and adult football . This is why he's noticed the dropping out of players at adult stage . In other words they don't carry on from under 18's to the adult team , as a result the adult team is in danger of folding one of it's teams through lack of players . They haven't even gone to other teams they've just stopped playing and as some of them are now in their late 20's it's unlikely that they'll restart . Your second point is another worrying factor future who will run club's ? it's not just football teams , many other sports are in the same boat for various reasons . Everything goes in cycles so perhaps in 20 years everything will swing back , but I think a young man who I asked if he and his  mates played football  said that it wasn't compulsory ( he didn't say it in a sarcastic way ) and I suppose he's right , we just assume that because it's the national sport everybody wants to play it .

You're right fenman. Both of your last two posts contain a lot of truth about the situation the game is in today. It's so sad that youngsters feel ''burnt out'' by too much football. Different days as you say. When I played, we never wanted to stop playing. Much to mother's angst - probably why I didn't achieve much at school. My last school report finished with a short para saying - ''if he put into his lessons, the amount of enthusiasm he does into his football, he could have done much better''. 

I played football at playtime, football for the school, played club football and pub football on Sundays. Streuth I must have missed my true vocation ! :)

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KeithB that was all you could do in your spare time , no mobile phones satellite TV , internet , live Football , only cup final , not a lot of cash left  end of the week so you had to make do , as older quote jumper's for goal posts,  new sports/ hobbies have come in skateboarding , surfing  , gyms. these you don't need others to enjoy you can please yourself when you take part  and don't have to turn up for a game on a Saturday ,  Going back to a previous post about youth football how many progress to play for their clubs teams ?   Some make use of say club A as their home town doesn't have a youth set up but when they reach 16 they leave club A  and join their hometown club it happens , some have played 10 years football from a young age and are bored with the game , and from some other posts they have everything done for them so all they do is turn up or some parents use the coaches as child minders ,. at my hometown club recently a lot of the 16 year Olds  have stayed with the club  and are playing for three adult teams  which is a big bonus  and credit to the youth set up ,  I don't think it is all bad in Cornwall but perhaps we have to get used to the changes with less teams and maybe smaller leagues ,?   Or maybe it might implode altogether ? Thanks so far  for your posts  would be nice to get some more  . Cheers Stevie B 

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Sometimes too much emphasis is on winning at a young age instead of enjoying just playing. By the time winning acually matters some of the players have had enough of the pressure and find something else to do. Nobody will remember the best U-14 player in the county, people only remember the best adults playing for the top teams/clubs. Let the kids enjoy the game and let them play without pressure and the fear of losing and you might get better players and a chance to keep them in the adult game.

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"A friend of mine ran a youth team which was very successful for a few years . Over that time probably more than 50 or 60 players went through his club . Today he can't name more than 5 or 6 who carried on playing after they were 10 or 17 . He thinks that they reached a saturation point where they'd played so much football from 7 years old that it became boring"

Always my biggest concern!

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29 minutes ago, Tommy Matthews said:

Sometimes too much emphasis is on winning at a young age instead of enjoying just playing. By the time winning acually matters some of the players have had enough of the pressure and find something else to do. Nobody will remember the best U-14 player in the county, people only remember the best adults playing for the top teams/clubs. Let the kids enjoy the game and let them play without pressure and the fear of losing and you might get better players and a chance to keep them in the adult game.

I know what you're saying Tommy but - surely 'presure' (?). It shouldn't be pressure - it's the thrill of playing, and, isn't winning what it's all about ? 

I won't apologise for saying this - if a player doesn't go out onto a football field and want to win every game and give his all to try and do so - I wouldn't want him in the team.

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I agree but you only have to look at the behaviour of some parents and spectators to know that winning becomes more important than enjoyment. I'd have to ask the question "Are you wanting to win for them, or yourselves?"

The development model across every sport builds in winning as being the most important thing at 18 years old. 

Of course I want young teams to win but as a coach of young players some years ago I was happy to sacrifice results for performance and enjoyment. If I managed to get those two aspects right I knew we'd get results, and we did. It just took time. 

Nobody wanted to win more than me as a player and rightly so when I was an adult, but it can't be the most important when you're a kid. Why do so many players drop out from professional football when they're told they're not good enough? Too much pressure/stale/had enough. Take your pick. 

I completely understand what you're saying though. 

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I know a few young players that are being paid to play. Young players who are unproven. Young players that have only just left school. Some of these guys have never kicked a ball in the junior leagues, or have only done so for a month or even maybe one season.

One problem I can see is these players are thrown straight into the deep end and have a point to prove in order to show their worth. Now, if that's with a SWPL side and they aren't good enough, are they going to want to "drop" down to the Trelawny League where they don't get paid to play, where they have to put nets up, help with pitch maintenance etc and then have the pleasure of forking out £5 a week for the privilege? 

Even back when I started playing 14 years ago, you'd had to be a good player to play senior football; combination, SWPL etc. Now we have players who literally just have to say "Yeah, I fancy playing Combo"... then they're in!

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My apologies , my post should read 16 or 17 and not 10 .

 I do believe , although  modern coaches tell me I'm wrong , that when young boys spent hours and hours playing with either a cricket ball , rugby ball or football either as a  team of mates or simply kicking or catching a ball on their own that their brain developed co ordination  and balance etc , more than simply playing an organised game once a week . My experience training with the military taught me this , spending hours doing repetition honed many skills that you didn't realise you were getting .This was when I was in my thirties so for a child of 6 upwards this would have been greater I would have thought .  I suppose you could call it unconscious learning . Also in the 50's and 60's league  club scouts would scour the local leagues looking for someone with talent and offer them time with their club to see how they shaped up . This no longer happens so how many potentially good players are missed by the lack of scouting  ? My local club Norwich City have a much trumped up academy which has been in existence for 20 years or more , but the only players of any note that they have produced were the Fashanu brothers . On the other side of the coin there are many of their pupils who have been discarded and no longer play through being disillusioned and disappointed . It's not the clubs fault its just that the youngster believes that he has a future and the disappointment is too much .Perhaps this is due to the American ideal of  only compete if you win and  second place is first loser mentality . My idea is play to win but lose gracefully because without second places there are no winners  .

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2 hours ago, Tommy Matthews said:

I agree but you only have to look at the behaviour of some parents and spectators to know that winning becomes more important than enjoyment. I'd have to ask the question "Are you wanting to win for them, or yourselves?"

The development model across every sport builds in winning as being the most important thing at 18 years old. 

Of course I want young teams to win but as a coach of young players some years ago I was happy to sacrifice results for performance and enjoyment. If I managed to get those two aspects right I knew we'd get results, and we did. It just took time. 

Nobody wanted to win more than me as a player and rightly so when I was an adult, but it can't be the most important when you're a kid. Why do so many players drop out from professional football when they're told they're not good enough? Too much pressure/stale/had enough. Take your pick. 

I completely understand what you're saying though. 

Tommy good post , I know what you mean about parents living through their kids some can get over the top with their support  and surprise a lot don't know some of the basic laws ,.  Have reffed some kids games in the past and I know from my own experience what can happen with should I say over enthusiastic parents . 

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9 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

To much organised football to young.

To much pressure to win to young.

To much televised football.

No new volunteers anymore.

Everything given to them.

To much petticoat power.

And a million other things to do.

 

Older you are correct to many other things to do , us older guys probably had the better times in past , you would know who was playing for what team as players very rarely moved around  , you either begged borrowed or stole kit ( before any confusion , figure of speech )  clubs would help each other out I F a team turned up short if you had to many you Lent them a player to make it even , players didn't go out to get opponent's booked or sent of ,  todays pitches are better facilities as well but it all has to be paid for.  by the small band of clubman who makes it all tick  .

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1 hour ago, stevieb said:

Older you are correct to many other things to do , us older guys probably had the better times in past , you would know who was playing for what team as players very rarely moved around  , you either begged borrowed or stole kit ( before any confusion , figure of speech )  clubs would help each other out I F a team turned up short if you had to many you Lent them a player to make it even , players didn't go out to get opponent's booked or sent of ,  todays pitches are better facilities as well but it all has to be paid for.  by the small band of clubman who makes it all tick  .

We definitely had the best of it, great day out with your mates, game of football, in the bar until kicking out time, home for a bollocking from your missus - LOL

Where you been all night(?) up the club - no - you can't join me on a Saturday night until gone 12:00 - lol

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10 hours ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

To much organised football to young.

To much pressure to win to young.

To much televised football.

No new volunteers anymore.

Everything given to them.

To much petticoat power.

And a million other things to do.

 

Mmm - well, that's that then older.

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Is there any clubs on the up ?  Not talking about winning trophies  , see Helston have increased their members ,  any others ?  Or are there other teams that have been successful in the past but are now struggling for players , committee members ?.  Is there any clubs doing something different to attract people . , Income source  ect ? 

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Guys - there's a few commentators on here who are usually balanced, however I do wonder how many have actually been involved in youth coaching and not taking a view from The Mail or similar tabloids. The youth set in Cornwall is excellent, with proper coaching and development. 

Comments about young players going straight into senior football show a lack of understanding - if you look at the County U18 squad - 18 of them. This year at least 9 play SWPL Prem and the others play SWPL West and Combo / ECPL Prem. The same was true last year as well. These players are highly regarded by their clubs and not just 'yeah I fancy playing combo'. Most have had coaching since they were 8/9 and are technically better than most of their team mates (they lack experience / strength and other attributes but have a far higher starting point). Many have played Academy level with professional clubs and all show far more commitment to their football than many of their team mates.

If you look at Truro College team - they are now in the last 16 of the National Youth Football League Cup and are winning the National Football Youth League South West League. Three were selected for the national southern England Colleges trials and three for the national southern England Schools. These lads travelled to beat Brighton last week and beat Fulham FC yesterday ( having beaten Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Exeter, Argyle etc)  travelling, stopping overnight, playing, getting back at midnight and then catching up on A level studies - where is that commitment matched.

Most younger players coming through know about loyalty, know about team ethos, know about commitment. At the other end those coming to the end of their playing days know the same attributes - it's those in the middle ground where I see the current problem.

In short the future of  Cornish football is looking very promising as far as young talent is concerned. The problem lies with player retention and instilling loyalty in players - at this time, those in their late / mid twenties who chop / change or give up when it suits them. You also have to question why the CCFA concentrate on team numbers rather than player numbers / retention - and despite the great work of the Respect Work Group there is still a massive amount of work to be done around player behaviour - starting with the SWPL.

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You''re talking about the top of the tree, those below have had enough of organised football by the time they are old enough to play men's football.

That is only one factor, the others have all been mentioned by many on here, the culmination of all of those factors show as a loss of interest in playing the game generally.

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Another important factor is the much higher percentage of youngsters from Cornwall who move away for a University Education and never come back! 70% never had the chance in the days of Grammar Schools and of the 30% who did, less than half went on to higher education. It seems the minority has become the majority today!

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15 hours ago, Bobjfh said:

Guys - there's a few commentators on here who are usually balanced, however I do wonder how many have actually been involved in youth coaching and not taking a view from The Mail or similar tabloids. The youth set in Cornwall is excellent, with proper coaching and development. 

Comments about young players going straight into senior football show a lack of understanding - if you look at the County U18 squad - 18 of them. This year at least 9 play SWPL Prem and the others play SWPL West and Combo / ECPL Prem. The same was true last year as well. These players are highly regarded by their clubs and not just 'yeah I fancy playing combo'. Most have had coaching since they were 8/9 and are technically better than most of their team mates (they lack experience / strength and other attributes but have a far higher starting point). Many have played Academy level with professional clubs and all show far more commitment to their football than many of their team mates.

If you look at Truro College team - they are now in the last 16 of the National Youth Football League Cup and are winning the National Football Youth League South West League. Three were selected for the national southern England Colleges trials and three for the national southern England Schools. These lads travelled to beat Brighton last week and beat Fulham FC yesterday ( having beaten Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Exeter, Argyle etc)  travelling, stopping overnight, playing, getting back at midnight and then catching up on A level studies - where is that commitment matched.

Most younger players coming through know about loyalty, know about team ethos, know about commitment. At the other end those coming to the end of their playing days know the same attributes - it's those in the middle ground where I see the current problem.

In short the future of  Cornish football is looking very promising as far as young talent is concerned. The problem lies with player retention and instilling loyalty in players - at this time, those in their late / mid twenties who chop / change or give up when it suits them. You also have to question why the CCFA concentrate on team numbers rather than player numbers / retention - and despite the great work of the Respect Work Group there is still a massive amount of work to be done around player behaviour - starting with the SWPL.

I think most supporters of local football would say if they are good enough they are old enough , personally I have all ways supported youngsters progressing to play the highest level they can as should all players ,  older has a valid point about the players that are not going to play at these levels , but could get as much enjoyment playing for say Junior teams , but good post again .

1 hour ago, John Mead said:

Another important factor is the much higher percentage of youngsters from Cornwall who move away for a University Education and never come back! 70% never had the chance in the days of Grammar Schools and of the 30% who did, less than half went on to higher education. It seems the minority has become the majority today!

John very good point , many moons ago when I left school none of my friends went to university, ,  it is good that there is an opportunity for Cornish youngsters to get this chance  but as you mentioned when they get their qualifications they have to move away to make a career as opportunity down here is limited ,  my daughter being one and she used to play football , several she played with went to university as well ,  and have got careers away from home .

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On 16/11/2016 at 18:08, Dange'rous said:

I know a few young players that are being paid to play. Young players who are unproven. Young players that have only just left school. Some of these guys have never kicked a ball in the junior leagues, or have only done so for a month or even maybe one season.

One problem I can see is these players are thrown straight into the deep end and have a point to prove in order to show their worth. Now, if that's with a SWPL side and they aren't good enough, are they going to want to "drop" down to the Trelawny League where they don't get paid to play, where they have to put nets up, help with pitch maintenance etc and then have the pleasure of forking out £5 a week for the privilege? 

Even back when I started playing 14 years ago, you'd had to be a good player to play senior football; combination, SWPL etc. Now we have players who literally just have to say "Yeah, I fancy playing Combo"... then they're in!

Dangerous you have a point about money I have also come across young players not wanting to drop down to play 90 minutes of football or pick up money for sitting on the bench ,  and probably others have as well ?  But a few seasons back when I was involved in managing a senior player turned out for our junior team after the game he was asked for subs he replied I don't pay to play I have always been paid , funny I have never had any time for him after that , this was  rare as everyone else we asked when we were short  were delighted to help you and gave us good feedback on some of the players we had .

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On 16/11/2016 at 23:37, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

We definitely had the best of it, great day out with your mates, game of football, in the bar until kicking out time, home for a bollocking from your missus - LOL

Where you been all night(?) up the club - no - you can't join me on a Saturday night until gone 12:00 - lol

Older many years ago when I was coming to the end of my football playing days I went into goal ,  one Saturday afternoon my wife came to watch ,  while I was playing she came over to behind the goal and starting talking to me about something , me being me was trying to concentrate on the game so after a couple of requests for her to stop  I  told her to go forth and fornicate , off she went in a strop and I did get an earful after the game  , been Married 30 years this week so it turned out okay ,. Mind you she used to be my unofficial secretary when I ran a side .?

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All good points, just raises my heckles a bit when many woes are placed at the feet of young players coming through.

By example there are loads of comments about all the young players at Newquay SWPL and Combo - 'too many', 'some not good enough' etc. (Which I agree with).  They have also folded teams because young players wanted to stay and play junior football but were needed by the senior teams - but it is those youngsters that turn up every week, being thrashed and showing loyalty to the club - the older players are no where to be seen. 

Older - I know you love your football, try going to Newquay or Helston or one of the many other clubs with big youth setups on a Sunday and seeing the future of the game - not just at the top of the tree but all standards / abilities and gender - you may be pleasantly surprised as to how young players are coached - clubs that handle mini / youth football have a better chance (in my view) of a sustainable future - Newquay would of folded by now had it not been for the young players  

There are many problems, across the board and most have been touched on, but I actually see youth football as a strength - tackle some of the other issues and the youth through to adult will also improve. 

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Bob  you have some valid points , I worked in Helston for twelve years and from where the club was it has changed beyond recognition , when I went last season I was impressed with the whole set up the support was great the bar was full lots of good snacks available a  success story , plenty of young players available .  I have a great deal of time for Newquay when my daughter played there they made us as a family feel welcome  brought the best out of my daughter game ,  there was some great people behind the scenes  good crowd for women's football , a great bar with live football and a very good tea but (  bit familiar with snack/ tea hut  ) very friendly club , such a shame to see a club this size struggling for players . Look at Mousehole another club on the up after many seasons  just treading water played there in the 80s for the west Penwith and Amor shield for a couple of seasons  ,  Penzance had a season there playing for the third team in the West Penwith league when John Mead came out of retirement to play in goal ,  great crowds for games under lights  , after a few seasons struggling to put out one team they now have a reserve team which is good would be great to see this team back in the combo  always looked forward to going to Penlee park can remember seeing Celtic bringing loads of fans for a preseason game and they were really funny especially one guy who danced around the goal mouth at half time  .  As I have previously posted was involved with a team Longrock which folded 14 years ago due to lack of support we had money in the bank but three of us couldn't keep it going at one stage we had three teams in mining , west Penwith and Amor shield  teams that were also in the area at that time at a junior level Gulval , Penwith social club porthcurnoe , Heamoor. Sennen  now all gone  , not a new problem for clubs folding but disappointing for those that run these clubs , I hope your clubs  for what ever reason  don't go down this route because once it's gone there is very rarely a comeback . But also good to see some clubs making a comeback .  Thanks to all posters on the Future  of Cornish football  there seems to be a core of die hards who want to keep the Cornish football flag flying  . Keep up the good work .

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It looks like the biggest problem for several clubs,in the future, is the cost of putting a compeditive side on the field. Is it really worth paying out thousands for small prize money if you are successful.

One club mentioned here has done a lot of improvements to their facilities etc, but two of their home bred players are playing some 30 miles away from home.

What future have they got if they keep losing their best players?

 

 

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I've not been involved with youth coaching for quite a few years so I'm not really in the know; I do however officiate a large number of youth games, including Truro's development squad (who are now affiliated with Chelsea FC). Very good side, as are the Plymouth Argyle scholarship teams. Culdrose are another club who are doing all they can with youth development; recently affiliating with Real Madrid! These are fantastic achievements for these clubs.

It is easy for me to single out youth players for rising too soon; if they are good enough then hell, they should go for it. The thing that isn't so great is these youngsters that are chucked into senior sides as the clubs are struggling to field an experienced side. The defeats that some of the teams have suffered this season can't help these guys, but I absolutely commend their actions in stepping up for their club when needed.

Youth football is huge down here, the you just have to officiate on the Kernow Youth League to see that. Often when I go to these venues to officiate, I'm taking aback by the amount of kids at the ground learning their trade.

It is no secret that the game is struggling for numbers nationally; particularly in Cornwall we are struggling with youth retention. The CCFA are trying though, introducing the U18's and U21's league respectively. 

What can we do to improve the retention? 

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Dangerous very true about retaining youth for teams , but another point what happens to the many p!ayers when they retire from football ?  How many take up coaching , become committee members ?  Or  just support the club  .  Are they made welcome at their club ?  Some is apathy can't be bothered , some have found other hobbies , some have just had enough of being tied up on a Saturday , with work patterns changing  family life , many excuses/ reasons  ,   so where are are next  generation of club stalwarts coming from ?   This is going to be a problem , if we look around our own teams ,clubs  a lot are not getting any younger , so who will be left to keep the clubs together ?.

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It's a valid point that many people have raised lately , where are the committees of the future coming from . I was involved with a village team for 40 odd years as a player , club secretary for most of that time and for the latter time the sole committee member ( a dictator ) .Like thousands of others I marked the pitch out , made the team , hung the nets , made the tea again , paid players fines , made up the referees fees because some players forgot their match fees , transported players about , ran the line etc. etc . All the time particularly the latter time I would be harangued by the wife about wasting my time , no one appreciates you doing it , you even have to buy your own drinks at the bar afterwards and so on . I reached my 70's and decided I'd had enough I felt that I'd repaid the debt I owed to football for all the pleasure it had given me since the age of 14 .. Since then I watch the occasional village game and catch up with the many people I've known over the years . Recently I've bumped into half or dozen ( I don't do metric ) old boys who ran clubs and have also handed over the reins to someone else , or in some cases the clubs have folded  through lack of helpers . During the conversations one common theme ran through it , one of the final nails in the coffin was dealing with the arrogance of ex youth team players . I thought it was just my team but I was wrong it seems that several have experienced it . The players play for a youth team in the larger towns and when they play for a village team dictate where they want to play and when . My team for example were a lovely bunch of lads  and good players but they wouldn't be told anything . They refused  to swap positions for tactical reasons , refused to mark particular players in a game and so on and so on .  Plus many of them were continually being booked for dissent  , 2 or 3 , 9 or 10 times a season every season , which used to see the club fined for exceeding disciplinary points .  All of the other ex. managers had experienced the same problems . Now I accept that not all youth players are like this  and I also accept that very few on this forum will agree , particularly those involved in youth football , but I would say before you condemn me take a step back and look at your players .

Also the other point , where do all the ex. players go . In the 40 odd years I've played with and managed  and played against , I suppose a hundred or two players and I can think of only a handful who stayed in the game and as for spectating , of all the players I played with or managed in the club only 2 ever come near nor bye and some of them played for 15 to 20 years for the club . Sad really !!!!

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24 minutes ago, fenman said:

...........where do all the ex. players go . In the 40 odd years I've played with and managed  and played against , I suppose a hundred or two players and I can think of only a handful who stayed in the game and as for spectating , of all the players I played with or managed in the club only 2 ever come near nor bye and some of them played for 15 to 20 years for the club . Sad really !!!!

I often ask myself the same question! After years of playing every Saturday, they suddenly disappear off the face of the earth!

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3 hours ago, fenman said:

 

It's a valid point that many people have raised lately , where are the committees of the future coming from . I was involved with a village team for 40 odd years as a player , club secretary for most of that time and for the latter time the sole committee member ( a dictator ) .Like thousands of others I marked the pitch out , made the team , hung the nets , made the tea again , paid players fines , made up the referees fees because some players forgot their match fees , transported players about , ran the line etc. etc . All the time particularly the latter time I would be harangued by the wife about wasting my time , no one appreciates you doing it , you even have to buy your own drinks at the bar afterwards and so on . I reached my 70's and decided I'd had enough I felt that I'd repaid the debt I owed to football for all the pleasure it had given me since the age of 14 .. Since then I watch the occasional village game and catch up with the many people I've known over the years . Recently I've bumped into half or dozen ( I don't do metric ) old boys who ran clubs and have also handed over the reins to someone else , or in some cases the clubs have folded  through lack of helpers . During the conversations one common theme ran through it , one of the final nails in the coffin was dealing with the arrogance of ex youth team players . I thought it was just my team but I was wrong it seems that several have experienced it . The players play for a youth team in the larger towns and when they play for a village team dictate where they want to play and when . My team for example were a lovely bunch of lads  and good players but they wouldn't be told anything . They refused  to swap positions for tactical reasons , refused to mark particular players in a game and so on and so on .  Plus many of them were continually being booked for dissent  , 2 or 3 , 9 or 10 times a season every season , which used to see the club fined for exceeding disciplinary points .  All of the other ex. managers had experienced the same problems . Now I accept that not all youth players are like this  and I also accept that very few on this forum will agree , particularly those involved in youth football , but I would say before you condemn me take a step back and look at your players .

Also the other point , where do all the ex. players go . In the 40 odd years I've played with and managed  and played against , I suppose a hundred or two players and I can think of only a handful who stayed in the game and as for spectating , of all the players I played with or managed in the club only 2 ever come near nor bye and some of them played for 15 to 20 years for the club . Sad really !!!!

Re your last para fenman, yes sad and quite unbelievable really. Most of my old friends and team mates have retained an interest in the game, beyond just reading the football results. In the main I suppose they have retained an interest in so far as watching it on TV. One or two have season tickets for local professional teams, and only one besides myself, watches and supports local amateur football. Many ex players, whilst good players are poor watchers of the game, and I've met many who fall into that category. Personally I've never understood why. I loved playing the game and watching as a young man, and you will still find me watching a game somewhere on a Saturday (I have to admit though, that I go if it's not too cold these days) in my 74th year. :).

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