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fenman

reasons for decline in lower level football

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Can anyone give a reason why football at lower levels has declined so dramatically in the last 5 years or so ? . I know many will say that young people are more interested in x box and other modern marvels than playing the game and I know that work patterns have changed  with many young men working in the retail industry ( used to be called shops when I was young ! ). But there must be other reasons  . Is it playing youth football from the age of 6 diluting the desire to carry on and represent your town or village when you are older ? . Is the all weekend coverage of Premiership and Championship games taking the magic out of playing the game by it's saturation effect ?. The standard s and abilities of players have dropped as well , here in East Anglia     the semi pro teams are having to sign players  from the North Essex and London area  because of the lack of players with the ability to play at their level . The financial result of this is crippling  some of these clubs . At the lower levels here   in Norfolk teams are folding  at the rate of one a fortnight  and sadly some clubs have indicated that  they will fold at the end of this season due to lack of players . In the equivalent of  your  Duchy or Trelawney leagues  divisions 2 down to 6  some teams are losing by almost cricket scores  for example . one division 2 team has conceded  146 goals in 19 games , another in division 4  , 146 in 17  . games are  called of every week through shortage of players . Things are so bad that most leagues now award the points to the other team rather than try to re arrange games in an already crowded schedule . In my own league  one team has conceded 250 goal in 14 games , you have to admire them for carrying on , but its not good .

The FA  recently  carried out a grassroots survey nationally to determine why clubs are folding , its easy to be critical  , but they asked the wrong questions , for example has having a prayer room at the ground really got relevance to the decline ? it might be for a few in inner cities I suppose .For a few seasons now all registered players are registered on the FA database , why can't they contact a few of those that are on there but no longer play , why they no longer play ? . Why have the standards and skills of players dropped so alarmingly ? We a re led to believe that modern coaching of youth players leads to better players in adulthood . I've yet to see it in the many grassroots games that I watch  . Players can no longer dribble past opponents , pass a ball with any accuracy or header a ball ( moot point at the moment ) and their communication skills on the pitch is almost non existent , except when abusing officials . Many ex professionals  such as Chris Waddle and Chris Sutton  think that modern coaching  has prevented young players from the freedom of expression with the ball . They  haven't spent the hours of playing  with friends on waste ground  for hours on end  or playing  with just 2 or 3  doing keepy ups and that sort of thing . In short that don't   develop ball skills . I think this is reflected in British  professional players . How many  have the ability to dribble past defenders and put accurate crosses in ? The seem to start with great promise and stagnate   . There are many examples of this Walcott being one , great promise to start with but has never progressed to being a great player . There are many others .

Hopefully a few young players will respond to my question as to why their friends either no longer play football or don't play at all .

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Fenman very good post  again , i think all the above reasons you stated . Also in Cornwall a big surfing community , lots   going to the gym  , cycling , and general lack of interest in sport .

 

 

 

 

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Bit of a disappointing response . I was hoping that some young contributors would post some reasons why they or their friends no longer play football . There must be  reasons other than x box and work . Surely  we can't have lost complete leagues of 40 plus teams in the last 10 years  because of those two reasons alone !!!!! . This is a good forum ( in my opinion )  as I've said before .Unlike  anti social media , sorry social media , and other forums people are able to give opinions and discuss topics in a sensible way without fear of abusive replies , so take advantage of this and give us older has been's the reasons why the game is collapsing .

The reason I'm particularly interested is that I'm involved with a league  here in Norfolk and we are lucky enough to have evening discussions with the FA  . This subject is often coming up in these meetings because the situation up here is dire as regards clubs folding  but nobody knows why. We cannot seem to grasp the mindset of young people .Unfortunately we don't have a forum to use in order to reach out to young people  Our forums have all been closed due to abuse so take advantage of yours .

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1 hour ago, fenman said:

Bit of a disappointing response . I was hoping that some young contributors would post some reasons why they or their friends no longer play football . There must be  reasons other than x box and work . Surely  we can't have lost complete leagues of 40 plus teams in the last 10 years  because of those two reasons alone !!!!! . This is a good forum ( in my opinion )  as I've said before .Unlike  anti social media , sorry social media , and other forums people are able to give opinions and discuss topics in a sensible way without fear of abusive replies , so take advantage of this and give us older has been's the reasons why the game is collapsing .

Like I said, laziness, can't even respond on a forum.

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23 hours ago, fenman said:

Can anyone give a reason why football at lower levels has declined so dramatically in the last 5 years or so ? . I know many will say that young people are more interested in x box and other modern marvels than playing the game and I know that work patterns have changed  with many young men working in the retail industry ( used to be called shops when I was young ! ). But there must be other reasons  . Is it playing youth football from the age of 6 diluting the desire to carry on and represent your town or village when you are older ? . Is the all weekend coverage of Premiership and Championship games taking the magic out of playing the game by it's saturation effect ?. The standard s and abilities of players have dropped as well , here in East Anglia     the semi pro teams are having to sign players  from the North Essex and London area  because of the lack of players with the ability to play at their level . The financial result of this is crippling  some of these clubs . At the lower levels here   in Norfolk teams are folding  at the rate of one a fortnight  and sadly some clubs have indicated that  they will fold at the end of this season due to lack of players . In the equivalent of  your  Duchy or Trelawney leagues  divisions 2 down to 6  some teams are losing by almost cricket scores  for example . one division 2 team has conceded  146 goals in 19 games , another in division 4  , 146 in 17  . games are  called of every week through shortage of players . Things are so bad that most leagues now award the points to the other team rather than try to re arrange games in an already crowded schedule . In my own league  one team has conceded 250 goal in 14 games , you have to admire them for carrying on , but its not good .

The FA  recently  carried out a grassroots survey nationally to determine why clubs are folding , its easy to be critical  , but they asked the wrong questions , for example has having a prayer room at the ground really got relevance to the decline ? it might be for a few in inner cities I suppose .For a few seasons now all registered players are registered on the FA database , why can't they contact a few of those that are on there but no longer play , why they no longer play ? . Why have the standards and skills of players dropped so alarmingly ? We a re led to believe that modern coaching of youth players leads to better players in adulthood . I've yet to see it in the many grassroots games that I watch  . Players can no longer dribble past opponents , pass a ball with any accuracy or header a ball ( moot point at the moment ) and their communication skills on the pitch is almost non existent , except when abusing officials . Many ex professionals  such as Chris Waddle and Chris Sutton  think that modern coaching  has prevented young players from the freedom of expression with the ball . They  haven't spent the hours of playing  with friends on waste ground  for hours on end  or playing  with just 2 or 3  doing keepy ups and that sort of thing . In short that don't   develop ball skills . I think this is reflected in British  professional players . How many  have the ability to dribble past defenders and put accurate crosses in ? The seem to start with great promise and stagnate   . There are many examples of this Walcott being one , great promise to start with but has never progressed to being a great player . There are many others .

Hopefully a few young players will respond to my question as to why their friends either no longer play football or don't play at all .

Good post fenman and a most worrying subject too. Rule changes have not helped the game. Players these days so often funk the tackle, instead of trying to dribble around an opponent. Passing instead of trying to dribble around an opponent is ok if your only intent is keeping possession, rather than run the risk of losing it. However this constant passing back, often across your own penalty area is madness, and so boring to watch. But rule changes have brought this about too. The FA seen to have forgotten it's a contact sport. These days players diving has brought about a fear of too much contact as well, which in turn has changed the whole scenario of how the game is played. 

Another factor that may be driving away interest from youngsters, is that many schools don't encourage the game now. Some schools won't have team games '''because you cant have losers''' and competition brings losers ! Blimey if that philosophy is continued, once they leave school the teenagers will have a massive shock when they realise life outside of school is one big competition, and only the best or fittest survive and or, progress.

Yes it would be good to hear from some younger players on this subject.

21 hours ago, cornishteddyboy said:

Laziness and a snowflake generation who can't face the fact you get hurt sometimes and lose games.

That's another reason too CTB.

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I really believe that the impact of two of the last three winters being a complete washout will have a longer term effect on the grassroots game in Cornwall. It's bad enough trying to find a game that's still on to watch on a Saturday. If I was a young player who hadn't managed to get a game since Christmas because of the weather I'd be demoralised. Knowing that I'd then be expected to play three games a week come April/May, on top of work or study, and I'd wonder what the point was. 

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5 hours ago, rougvie said:

I really believe that the impact of two of the last three winters being a complete washout will have a longer term effect on the grassroots game in Cornwall. It's bad enough trying to find a game that's still on to watch on a Saturday. If I was a young player who hadn't managed to get a game since Christmas because of the weather I'd be demoralised. Knowing that I'd then be expected to play three games a week come April/May, on top of work or study, and I'd wonder what the point was. 

Yup, we have some who have not played for 9 weeks ....forgot what they look like now.

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On 11/02/2018 at 11:59, fenman said:

Can anyone give a reason why football at lower levels has declined so dramatically in the last 5 years or so ? . I know many will say that young people are more interested in x box and other modern marvels than playing the game and I know that work patterns have changed  with many young men working in the retail industry ( used to be called shops when I was young ! ). But there must be other reasons  . Is it playing youth football from the age of 6 diluting the desire to carry on and represent your town or village when you are older ? . Is the all weekend coverage of Premiership and Championship games taking the magic out of playing the game by it's saturation effect ?. The standard s and abilities of players have dropped as well , here in East Anglia     the semi pro teams are having to sign players  from the North Essex and London area  because of the lack of players with the ability to play at their level . The financial result of this is crippling  some of these clubs . At the lower levels here   in Norfolk teams are folding  at the rate of one a fortnight  and sadly some clubs have indicated that  they will fold at the end of this season due to lack of players . In the equivalent of  your  Duchy or Trelawney leagues  divisions 2 down to 6  some teams are losing by almost cricket scores  for example . one division 2 team has conceded  146 goals in 19 games , another in division 4  , 146 in 17  . games are  called of every week through shortage of players . Things are so bad that most leagues now award the points to the other team rather than try to re arrange games in an already crowded schedule . In my own league  one team has conceded 250 goal in 14 games , you have to admire them for carrying on , but its not good .

The FA  recently  carried out a grassroots survey nationally to determine why clubs are folding , its easy to be critical  , but they asked the wrong questions , for example has having a prayer room at the ground really got relevance to the decline ? it might be for a few in inner cities I suppose .For a few seasons now all registered players are registered on the FA database , why can't they contact a few of those that are on there but no longer play , why they no longer play ? . Why have the standards and skills of players dropped so alarmingly ? We a re led to believe that modern coaching of youth players leads to better players in adulthood . I've yet to see it in the many grassroots games that I watch  . Players can no longer dribble past opponents , pass a ball with any accuracy or header a ball ( moot point at the moment ) and their communication skills on the pitch is almost non existent , except when abusing officials . Many ex professionals  such as Chris Waddle and Chris Sutton  think that modern coaching  has prevented young players from the freedom of expression with the ball . They  haven't spent the hours of playing  with friends on waste ground  for hours on end  or playing  with just 2 or 3  doing keepy ups and that sort of thing . In short that don't   develop ball skills . I think this is reflected in British  professional players . How many  have the ability to dribble past defenders and put accurate crosses in ? The seem to start with great promise and stagnate   . There are many examples of this Walcott being one , great promise to start with but has never progressed to being a great player . There are many others .

Hopefully a few young players will respond to my question as to why their friends either no longer play football or don't play at all .

It's a difficult one when trying to think of a single reason as to why football is declining locally. The involvement is definitely dropping, as is the commitment needed to keep clubs running. I do think the national FA haven't done enough in trying to keep grassroots football at an acceptable level, one in which we can be proud of. I think they need to identify what more could be done to not just sustain but also increase involvement within the game. Once they've done that they'll almost definitely need to invest more money in to grassroots football. Not just that, they'll need to come up with more initiatives that will entice people in.

Why do I no longer play football? A couple of reasons really. I wasn't getting a huge amount of minutes on the pitch. But also I didn't have much confidence in my ability to be able to play at my best each week. Instead I thought my services were probably more needed away from the pitch, doing things behind the scenes. That and I want to move in to managing when the right opportunity becomes available.

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Is there a chance School/College work is becoming harder and parents pressuring that instead?

On ‎11‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 14:44, cornishteddyboy said:

Laziness and a snowflake generation who can't face the fact you get hurt sometimes and lose games.

CTB has hit the nail on the head I think. Referring to the getting hurt part, maybe families cant afford to be off work if risking a serious injury on a Saturday/sunday?

The age of playing mens football should go back to 14. That's when I started playing and kept interest from kids football right the way through, will never happen though. Rarely see youngsters play the game now. Real shame.

Gordsy.

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 Thanks for response . I went to our county FA's meeting last night and because of the seriousness of this problem this subject was  the main thing on the agenda . The conclusion was after much debate amongst all the adult leagues that it is a lost cause . Young people have either lost interest in or the desire to carry on playing football after 17 -ish  and  in spite of efforts to retain them after  youth football , the majority stop playing . Allowance has to be made for university and work  , but even so the future looks grim .Statistics proved that there is a  decline  in  the number of 16 to 19 year olds playing in adult football . The question of reducing the age to play adult football  down to 15 years old was raised . The national FA  say that players under 16 are not physically capable  of playing football with adults . I know at least  3 of you will laugh at this  and reminisce  how you played against 6foot tall , 18 stone ex. semi pros and coped reasonably well at the age of 14 or 15 , in the 60's . Many of the grizzled old men at the meeting  came out with similar points . Unfortunately  , as the county FA said they don't make the rules . Even the mid week 5 aside games are fading away  after a bright start 3 or 4 years ago . This could cause a few problems financially due to the huge  cost of maintaining  3 g pitches .

I suppose the topic comes to an end .

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To much organised youth football, they've been playing 10 years before they get to that age, and with dads telling them to drop off, go wide and all the rest of what I've heard at these games ....no wonder they're fed up with it.

W used to put a couple of jumpers down and away we went for 6 odd hours a day ....dreaming of the day when we could play in an organised league.

Then Saturday was match of the day ...nothing else, today you can watch every game played in the world, the mystery is gone with that scenario.

A serious number of teams / clubs to fold yet I fear.

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57 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

To much organised youth football, they've been playing 10 years before they get to that age, and with dads telling them to drop off, go wide and all the rest of what I've heard at these games ....no wonder they're fed up with it.

W used to put a couple of jumpers down and away we went for 6 odd hours a day ....dreaming of the day when we could play in an organised league.

Then Saturday was match of the day ...nothing else, today you can watch every game played in the world, the mystery is gone with that scenario.

A serious number of teams / clubs to fold yet I fear.

Have to agree older , to many parents trying to live through their kids on the pitch , and not having a clue even over the basic laws eg offside , kids rebel when they become teenagers , some carry on but not many even some coaches drop out when the kids reach 16 , perhaps they should try to help with the transition from youth to adult football ., I like the old jumpers for goalposts on the recreation ground , not organized , next goal wins ECT ECT , and then finish up with a game of murder ball , my misspent youth .

 

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1 hour ago, stevieb said:

Have to agree older , to many parents trying to live through their kids on the pitch , and not having a clue even over the basic laws eg offside , kids rebel when they become teenagers , some carry on but not many even some coaches drop out when the kids reach 16 , perhaps they should try to help with the transition from youth to adult football ., I like the old jumpers for goalposts on the recreation ground , not organized , next goal wins ECT ECT , and then finish up with a game of murder ball , my misspent youth .

 

Ha, ha Steve ...nothing wrongt there buddy ....who was this Miss spent you mentioned (?)

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From a management point of view, players don't want (certainly more so the younger ones) to earn their places, through previous seasons, I have seen players sign for 3 or more clubs in a season to find one that will get them (usually through struggling for players) a full 90 every week. I have had players quit because they started on the bench for a game, only wanting to play if their mate(s) play, and in one case a player actually asked for a transfer after being taken off after 75 minutes. 

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In my opinion there's no fun in the game anymore. Everyone seems to take it far to seriously. Where are the 'characters' in the game nowadays? I know someone who has stopped watching local football due to the amount of foul and abusive language. Football really does need to sort itself out. If the product is good people will come to play and watch!

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Fenman at your meetings with the FA how many young people are present. Have you thought about inviting some youngsters along to ask their views. Or even ask them at games yes they may be playing but? they should have a good idea why their mates don't

 

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Yes Pat the FA have conducted several surveys with very few sensible replies , several abusive one's as well . They have done  limited verbal surveys as well  . It seems that travel to games , inability of 16 to 17 years to compete with men and lack of interest in playing after youth football  are the main reasons they give . Very few have used work as a reason but it must  be a  major  factor .

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When I was growing up in Penzance, we had no Leisure Centre (swimming pool, gym, indoor football, badminton....the list goes on), no hockey pitch, no skate parks, and so on. Of course, the obvious, no computers, computer games, McDonalds, Costa and everything like that. We also had very little football on tv.

Nowadays, all the above and more is on offer. So much more diversity available to youngsters. All these things have diluted the want to play football. Guys can go to the gym, play hockey, skateboard, indoor football, tennis, rugby, and so on.

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33 minutes ago, Mangle said:

When I was growing up in Penzance, we had no Leisure Centre (swimming pool, gym, indoor football, badminton....the list goes on), no hockey pitch, no skate parks, and so on. Of course, the obvious, no computers, computer games, McDonalds, Costa and everything like that. We also had very little football on tv.

Nowadays, all the above and more is on offer. So much more diversity available to youngsters. All these things have diluted the want to play football. Guys can go to the gym, play hockey, skateboard, indoor football, tennis, rugby, and so on.

You did have a pool the outdoors one on the prom lol , good points Mangle add to that surfing 🏄  , but overall local sports ,football , 🏉 cricket are finding less interest be it players of volunteers , I know you still play and are involved with Newlyn N/a  and I can remember you when I played for long Rock many moons ago , just think how many West Penwith sides have gone ?  There were two league just for Penwith ,excluding the combination league . How times have changed over the last Twenty years .long Rock my old club folded 16 years ago  ,from at one time three teams down to none , really upset me at the time but it ended up three of us  running the club , including marking pitches ,  finding sponsors , kit wash  , admin ECT ECT two were self employed and if they didn't work on Saturday they didn't get paid . And we couldn't get anyone to step up to help the main excuse i work ! What the hell did they think we were doing ?  Sad but true I am afraid .

 

 

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I'll bang this drum forever .....to much youth football, they are fed up with it by the time they reach 15/16

I drove past a school pitch during half term, there were two fellas coaching 5 year olds, cones bibs the full works, ridiculous.

Two jumpers for goalposts, and let them enjoy it, not coach it.

And only this weekend, driving past the rugby pitches, there they were, coaching kids that did not come up to my knees for gawd's sake.

And that blinking cold the kids were blue ?????

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17 hours ago, Mangle said:

When I was growing up in Penzance, we had no Leisure Centre (swimming pool, gym, indoor football, badminton....the list goes on), no hockey pitch, no skate parks, and so on. Of course, the obvious, no computers, computer games, McDonalds, Costa and everything like that. We also had very little football on tv.

Nowadays, all the above and more is on offer. So much more diversity available to youngsters. All these things have diluted the want to play football. Guys can go to the gym, play hockey, skateboard, indoor football, tennis, rugby, and so on.

Nail on the head I think. 

I don't play no more as I do like going to the gym , and doing things with the family ,

 

but i I think I will start playing again if someone wanted me to play as I do miss it 

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When I was a kid in Malabar we played 30 a side for about 3 hours an evening on a school pitch or a pitch slightly smaller than that where the dads made our own posts and nets and the grass was up to your ankles and we played in any weather going!! The matches were usually about 5 hours long in the summer with players coming and going at different times! That’s where we all met up, boys and girls. The games usually included the dads coming out for an hour in the evenings as well. That’s all we had really! No computers, x boxes, PlayStations, half a dozen live matches on that night! No Sky, BT Sport, Facebook, mobiles, or lap tops and iPads! Just a round bit of leather, whether it was a football, rugby ball, or cricket ball!! Had at least half a dozen good south Western League players, about the same Combo league and some top junior players all come out of those kick arounds in Malabar!!! You hardly ever see a kid kicking a ball around in the street or in a field anymore these days. Great for the kids these days that we’ve got FA coaches, 3G floodlit pitches instead of a street light on concrete! Agree with all the above, the standard is bound to drop. Kids can’t play men’s football until they are 16 now, there were loads of us who were about 11 or 12 getting kicked by the dads in those games, never did us any harm I don’t think!?! Times have probably changed for the better no doubt but I wouldn’t swap those days and memories, great times ⚽️

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1 hour ago, GEACH1 said:

Nail on the head I think. 

I don't play no more as I do like going to the gym , and doing things with the family ,

 

but i I think I will start playing again if someone wanted me to play as I do miss it 

Play as long as you can if you are fit because my God you miss it when you can no longer play . Being a manager ,coach , secretary ECT ECT can never replace playing with mates / teammates  . Every time I see a football always to kick it knock it with both feet , perhaps just me ⚽⚽⚽

 

 

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I suppose if you weigh it all up , perhaps we all take it all to seriously and personal . Using my case as an example , I played adult football from 15 till nearly 60 ( not to a high standard ) , I ran a club for 40 years and did all the things that club secretaries do and I've been involved in league management for 12 years . Sadly the club  I ran is folding at the end of this season , having been division one runners up for the past 5 seasons . The club has been in existence for almost 100 years , so its part of the social history of the village  ending . The villagers won't be overly concerned as they didn't support them anyway , even ex players aren't involved in any way . The reason for the club folding is lack of young players . The present players are in their 30's and have been with the club since they were  15 or16  so they've done their bit  . Now this is a relatively successful team yet young players aren't interested. In addition ,  the league I'm involved in has only 11 teams , when a short while ago we had 40 , so we may have to fold ( ever felt you're something of a Jonah ) in the very near future along with 2 other leagues in the county .

My point is !!!!!!   people provide a  club in order for people to play sport , people provide leagues or other competitions for clubs to play in . Now if those people don't want to play everything collapses , some of us , me included , take this very much to heart , why ?????  .   On a personal basis we suddenly have freedom to do other things on Saturday  other than preparing a pitch  and running the line  on a cold February day( a North Easterly wind on the Norfolk coast comes straight from the Artic )  staying near a phone from Thursday onward waiting for call offs  plus having to wash kit  etc etc . I don't have to explain it to most of you .  Suddenly you can go to live games in Norwich  or Wolverhampton or best of all zoom down to Cornwall for a short break and  watch Plymouth  or a Trelawney game . A totally new outlook on life  .

You realise that the world is totally different to the one you grew up in . Goalpost jackets and playing with a tennis ball whilst wearing wellington or plimsoles  are no longer good enough , you must be part of a club with the correct colours  a proper ball , a grass pitch ,goals with nets and a proper referee .

People don't even speak the same grammar  that I spent years struggling to master but I won't go into that .

 

Refering to Rappo's and Stevie comments  comments , I totally agree memories are something that can't be taken away . When I occasionally go past my old home pitches some great memories of players and games come back . As I said previously I never played to a great standard but I think many of my ability typify the words of  President Roosevelt ( I think ) when he said " don't ridicule the man who is  a bad player and always last , he's not criticizing or observing , he's actually doing it and not talking about it , so has  to be admired as much as the winner "

Not the exact words but the gist of it from the top of my head .

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1 hour ago, fenman said:

I suppose if you weigh it all up , perhaps we all take it all to seriously and personal . Using my case as an example , I played adult football from 15 till nearly 60 ( not to a high standard ) , I ran a club for 40 years and did all the things that club secretaries do and I've been involved in league management for 12 years . Sadly the club  I ran is folding at the end of this season , having been division one runners up for the past 5 seasons . The club has been in existence for almost 100 years , so its part of the social history of the village  ending . The villagers won't be overly concerned as they didn't support them anyway , even ex players aren't involved in any way . The reason for the club folding is lack of young players . The present players are in their 30's and have been with the club since they were  15 or16  so they've done their bit  . Now this is a relatively successful team yet young players aren't interested. In addition ,  the league I'm involved in has only 11 teams , when a short while ago we had 40 , so we may have to fold ( ever felt you're something of a Jonah ) in the very near future along with 2 other leagues in the county .

My point is !!!!!!   people provide a  club in order for people to play sport , people provide leagues or other competitions for clubs to play in . Now if those people don't want to play everything collapses , some of us , me included , take this very much to heart , why ?????  .   On a personal basis we suddenly have freedom to do other things on Saturday  other than preparing a pitch  and running the line  on a cold February day( a North Easterly wind on the Norfolk coast comes straight from the Artic )  staying near a phone from Thursday onward waiting for call offs  plus having to wash kit  etc etc . I don't have to explain it to most of you .  Suddenly you can go to live games in Norwich  or Wolverhampton or best of all zoom down to Cornwall for a short break and  watch Plymouth  or a Trelawney game . A totally new outlook on life  .

You realise that the world is totally different to the one you grew up in . Goalpost jackets and playing with a tennis ball whilst wearing wellington or plimsoles  are no longer good enough , you must be part of a club with the correct colours  a proper ball , a grass pitch ,goals with nets and a proper referee .

People don't even speak the same grammar  that I spent years struggling to master but I won't go into that .

 

Refering to Rappo's and Stevie comments  comments , I totally agree memories are something that can't be taken away . When I occasionally go past my old home pitches some great memories of players and games come back . As I said previously I never played to a great standard but I think many of my ability typify the words of  President Roosevelt ( I think ) when he said " don't ridicule the man who is  a bad player and always last , he's not criticizing or observing , he's actually doing it and not talking about it , so has  to be admired as much as the winner "

Not the exact words but the gist of it from the top of my head .

Where your hair used to be .....lol

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2 hours ago, fenman said:

I suppose if you weigh it all up , perhaps we all take it all to seriously and personal . Using my case as an example , I played adult football from 15 till nearly 60 ( not to a high standard ) , I ran a club for 40 years and did all the things that club secretaries do and I've been involved in league management for 12 years . Sadly the club  I ran is folding at the end of this season , having been division one runners up for the past 5 seasons . The club has been in existence for almost 100 years , so its part of the social history of the village  ending . The villagers won't be overly concerned as they didn't support them anyway , even ex players aren't involved in any way . The reason for the club folding is lack of young players . The present players are in their 30's and have been with the club since they were  15 or16  so they've done their bit  . Now this is a relatively successful team yet young players aren't interested. In addition ,  the league I'm involved in has only 11 teams , when a short while ago we had 40 , so we may have to fold ( ever felt you're something of a Jonah ) in the very near future along with 2 other leagues in the county .

My point is !!!!!!   people provide a  club in order for people to play sport , people provide leagues or other competitions for clubs to play in . Now if those people don't want to play everything collapses , some of us , me included , take this very much to heart , why ?????  .   On a personal basis we suddenly have freedom to do other things on Saturday  other than preparing a pitch  and running the line  on a cold February day( a North Easterly wind on the Norfolk coast comes straight from the Artic )  staying near a phone from Thursday onward waiting for call offs  plus having to wash kit  etc etc . I don't have to explain it to most of you .  Suddenly you can go to live games in Norwich  or Wolverhampton or best of all zoom down to Cornwall for a short break and  watch Plymouth  or a Trelawney game . A totally new outlook on life  .

You realise that the world is totally different to the one you grew up in . Goalpost jackets and playing with a tennis ball whilst wearing wellington or plimsoles  are no longer good enough , you must be part of a club with the correct colours  a proper ball , a grass pitch ,goals with nets and a proper referee .

People don't even speak the same grammar  that I spent years struggling to master but I won't go into that .

 

Refering to Rappo's and Stevie comments  comments , I totally agree memories are something that can't be taken away . When I occasionally go past my old home pitches some great memories of players and games come back . As I said previously I never played to a great standard but I think many of my ability typify the words of  President Roosevelt ( I think ) when he said " don't ridicule the man who is  a bad player and always last , he's not criticizing or observing , he's actually doing it and not talking about it , so has  to be admired as much as the winner "

Not the exact words but the gist of it from the top of my head .

Very true Fenman   , there are still people who care about our game at grassroots  , but not so many as there used to be .😟

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Kids just don't love the game like we used to. I remember getting to school half an hour or more early just to kick a tennis ball around the school yard. There would be dozens of kids playing and you just don't get that commitment anymore. There's too much about to peak their interest nowadays, unlike our day when all we had was a ball and jumpers for goalposts. Great times never to be seen again I fear!

Shame to hear the game is deteriorating in Norfolk. I played up there for Acle Rangers 20 odd years ago when I lived in Norwich. Really enjoyed my football up there.

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Acle Rangers are still going strong with an under 18 team  Addick , they are one of the oldest Sunday teams in Norfolk . Most of the villages around there no longer have teams though .

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7 minutes ago, fenman said:

Acle Rangers are still going strong with an under 18 team  Addick , they are one of the oldest Sunday teams in Norfolk . Most of the villages around there no longer have teams though .

They had a great setup even back then fenman and a hard working committee. 

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Dear Fenman,

The problem is young players do not want to be told how to play. More and more managers and coaches are getting properly qualified to coach and create a new generation of players, however, this contradicts with what the young players do on FIFA! I asked a young player his playing position.... he said CAM??? ...Centre Attacking Midfielder. Every young player is now a CAM!!! He didn't understand that when...not if ...when... the ball is lost he has to work just as hard as everyone else to win the ball back! Forget playing with mates etc....young players...like most young people in the modern world have a weird sense of entitlement....They don't see the hard work the professionals do to have that ablity. They see great things done by professional players who are still coached!!!...and they get frustrated when they are being coached.

They don't see Messi being coached. They think Messi shows up and does whatever he wants! They don't "see" Pep telling his players what he expects from them DURING the game.

So...that's the reason I think.... young people think they are entitled to EVERYTHING....without any work.

Roger Bonaparte

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On 28/02/2018 at 20:15, addick1 said:

Kids just don't love the game like we used to. I remember getting to school half an hour or more early just to kick a tennis ball around the school yard. There would be dozens of kids playing and you just don't get that commitment anymore. There's too much about to peak their interest nowadays, unlike our day when all we had was a ball and jumpers for goalposts. Great times never to be seen again I fear!

Shame to hear the game is deteriorating in Norfolk. I played up there for Acle Rangers 20 odd years ago when I lived in Norwich. Really enjoyed my football up there.

Spot on sir. In our day we had nothing compared with kids today. Did we moan - not a bit of it. We made our own entertainment - as you say coats for goal posts etc,. Those days were super really - your imagination was stretched and we would walk or run everywhere. Some had bikes, most didn't so we just roamed at will. No dangers (or traffic) in those days. We roamed the fields and meadows, fished the rivers and played cowboys and indians in the woodlands. Catapults - my we were hot shots with catapults. Great days. I'm glad I was born when I was.

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4 hours ago, Keith B said:

Spot on sir. In our day we had nothing compared with kids today. Did we moan - not a bit of it. We made our own entertainment - as you say coats for goal posts etc,. Those days were super really - your imagination was stretched and we would walk or run everywhere. Some had bikes, most didn't so we just roamed at will. No dangers (or traffic) in those days. We roamed the fields and meadows, fished the rivers and played cowboys and indians in the woodlands. Catapults - my we were hot shots with catapults. Great days. I'm glad I was born when I was.

I'm 45 this year, born in '73 in Dublin. I kicked a ball around everywhere I went, spent hours just kicking one against our steps and controlling the rebound. Played gaelic football and hurling too, couldn't keep me off a sports pitch and that just doesn't happen nowadays. Playing soldiers, cowboys and Indians, roaming fields, scrumping apples lol, getting chased from fields by farmers not even knowing why we were running. Absolutely brilliant times. Kids have so many different interests now, they don't know what it was like in those days. But the world moves on and what we were doing as kids was different to what our parents did. We need to get our kids back outdoors, playing sports, grazing their knees and getting over themselves. Too much of the cotton wool parenting these days. Definitely glad I grew up in my era.  

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Nearly 2 months have passed and no young person has come up with any reason on here why they or their mates no longer play for a team . During that time you've lost another team in the Duchy or Trelawney league . Surely some young person must answer the question I've asked .

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6 hours ago, fenman said:

Nearly 2 months have passed and no young person has come up with any reason on here why they or their mates no longer play for a team . During that time you've lost another team in the Duchy or Trelawney league . Surely some young person must answer the question I've asked .

Makes you wonder how many young players actually read the forum.

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9 hours ago, fenman said:

Nearly 2 months have passed and no young person has come up with any reason on here why they or their mates no longer play for a team . During that time you've lost another team in the Duchy or Trelawney league . Surely some young person must answer the question I've asked .

I have previously commented on this post. I'd like to consider myself as a young person at 20 years old. I've copied and pasted my previous post below.

 

 

It's a difficult one when trying to think of a single reason as to why football is declining locally. The involvement is definitely dropping, as is the commitment needed to keep clubs running. I do think the national FA haven't done enough in trying to keep grassroots football at an acceptable level, one in which we can be proud of. I think they need to identify what more could be done to not just sustain but also increase involvement within the game. Once they've done that they'll almost definitely need to invest more money in to grassroots football. Not just that, they'll need to come up with more initiatives that will entice people in.

Why do I no longer play football? A couple of reasons really. I wasn't getting a huge amount of minutes on the pitch. But also I didn't have much confidence in my ability to be able to play at my best each week. Instead I thought my services were probably more needed away from the pitch, doing things behind the scenes. That and I want to move in to managing when the right opportunity becomes available.

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Hi Fenman,

Firstly just want to say I agree with almost all the points made in this thread. I've made this argument before elsewhere on this forum that it's probably a symptom of larger and more complex social/cultural changes. So there isn't any one single thing that you can put your finger on and correct then expect to see a magical turnaround. 

Not sure why you're expecting responses from players who leave either. The reason they leave the game is because they're apathetic about it and in general, so it's unrealistic to expect feedback from them on what is a slightly "hardcore" forum. Most of the young players at my club don't even know this forum exists.

Totally agree with the points on coaching as well. Young players should be taught how to control/manipulate a ball through very simple movements first, with both feet through a full 360 degrees. This should be done entirely alone with a ball that is an appropriate size for their age and most importantly before they even enter into those recreational games you guys talk about and which I am so fond of as well. The reason being that without a solid command of the ball you can't progress to being an effective player who can carry out instructions or improvise on a Football pitch. You wouldn't turn up on your first day at a Tesco till and be expected to jump right in with only observational knowledge. So why do we expect the same from children with a much harder skill set to master?

Also, I know you will argue that those games are where you learn to play a natural "uncoached" game. But it's easier to develop solid technique first without opposition and the frustration it can entail. This process can start as soon as kids are able to walk. Learn how to control the ball with both feet and shield it from defenders. Then go from there. Sorry to digress so much and this isn't my own theory either, just paraphrasing from things I've read.

But I do think a lack of technical ability leads to frustration which leads to people dropping out of the game. Although that is not the only reason of course. We live in a society where you consistently get less in exchange for more. More time/£ for less back and it'll likely continue. People are using food banks en masse, shortening attention spans, entitlement, poor diet, high stress, widespread apathy, consumerism etc. Also I think working/lower middle class people will be the most affected by these issues and they are your demographic for local recreational Football.

So in my opinion the situation won't improve until society as a whole does and that might take a while :)

 

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At the risk of this sounding like a Monty Python sketch...

When I were a lad, me and my mate Robert Dickinson, or Dicky for short (stop giggling at the back), would play one on one football against each other, with a bald tennis ball, wearing our scuffed school shoes and school uniform on the street after school. The goals were generally a the gap between a sky blue Hillman Hunter wheels and the rusty green garage door of grumpy Mr Hoare. But in our heads, those goals were at Roker Park or the Baseball Ground or Highfield Road or Sincil Bank, the list went on forever.  We would both re-enact recent Match of the Day goals and then continue our own imaginary First Division season, in which we would memorise and recall all previous results and current league positions of the various teams we represented. Our ball control by the age of nine was exemplary. Which was ironic because our balls probably hadn't even dropped by then.

I, in particular, had a penchant for long range pile driving shots and even today when playing for Royal Par Veterans, the only thing that excites me more than scoring a long range goal, is hitting the post or bar from 30 yards and hearing the ping from the metalwork. To me it feels better than scoring! Now I've not been as prolific as RAPPO in my career but I do like to think I've gone for quality over quantity. But my point is this...

...kids today can't just rock up for a game of "jumpers for goalposts". Everything they do is dictated to them. They are driven to the Centre of Excellence in a Volvo C90. They are coached the same stuff nationwide. They are driven back from the Centre of Footballing Academy Skills of Wonderfullness, still wearing their branded "Indoor Only" footwear and call in on McDonalds on the way because it's Jonny's birthday a week on Thursday and anyway the Minions are on promotion in the Happy Meals.

Football is treated like an hour of entertainment and nothing more.

Myself and Dicky weren't unique either. I could substitute our names for almost my whole school class, let alone for the whole of the kids on this island in those years.

But it just doesn't work like that anymore. And I'm afraid to say that it is our duty to find a way to re-ignite that raw desire to control a wet, looping spinning ball dead at your feet, or to pass and move or feint and draw and thunder in a shot. Personally, I think less football on TV would help. If you're watching it, you're not playing it.

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Thanks for your response A little bit . The reason I asked this question on a foreign forum ( as we have none in this county ) is that I'm interested in the subject . This is partly through being involved with my county FA  , being a committee member of a league that's shortly going to fold and an ex. player and club secretary ( the club has folded this week due to shortage of players particularly young players ) . In fact the situation is so dire in this county that the FA have had to take action and suggest that 4 leagues amalgamate in 2019/20 season . This almost solely due to the lack of young players coming into the game .The FA have tried various surveys to establish why 16 to 20 year olds are no longer playing adult football . As I mentioned earlier on this post the results of these surveys were poor and didn't make the reason any clearer . As this forum covers a large area of the South West  and the majority of the users seem sensible , I thought I would raise the question on here . Your response  is almost exactly what I was looking for , confirmation that the biggest factor is apathy amongst young people . Has the education system and the one parent family , in many cases ,  let them down ? Has this led them to expect more out of society than they've earned ? Society has changed since the days when several of the forum users were teenagers and its impossible for the age groups to swap shoes , so to speak ,

If anything at least my post has sparked off some happy memories of youth for some people .

On a brighter note !!!!!!!!  I've got the 400 mile trip down to God's other county  and seats to watch Plymouth play Portsmouth next week .

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Yeah I wasn't questioning your motive to get the answers, I meant that I don't think forums on the internet are a great avenue to get feedback especially from your target group. I don't think I could suggest a better way as such though at the moment. Or at least a realistic way. If you could have a small copy of a questionnaire in every copy of the next FIFA game then I'm sure you'd get some awesome feedback but of course this isn't realistic. 

Possibly nitpicking here and don't take this the wrong way but this line -

10 hours ago, fenman said:

Your response  is almost exactly what I was looking for , confirmation that the biggest factor is apathy amongst young people .

I get what you're saying, you have a hypothesis and you're essentially testing it. But it might be the case that having such preconceptions has led to you asking some leading questions in your questionnaire? So your questions end up coming from a frame of  "i think X is the problem, do you agree" which is going to skew your feedback and the quality of response. Whereas better questions could lead to better responses. I'd be curious to see a copy of the questionnaire and any details on how it was circulated/how many would be useful. What the response rate was etc 

Also I'm not saying that I 100% believe apathy or any other single factor is the exact cause, I'm just putting my own thoughts out there. It is telling that everyone in the thread has come to roughly the same conclusions though.

 

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Hi my son has played since he was 9 and when he reached 16 he had the opportunity to join Millbrook FC men' team to gain experience and hopefully progress at this level. Josh has always loved football and has had great mentors/coaches which is a big factor in him remaining in football. Most of his mates who used to play football at under 18s level struggled to get the chance to play in local mens teams. I think Josh has been very supported at Millbrook through getting help with transport and the opportunity to grow in confidence and generally feel accepted at this level. His game has improved and even though he has not got the experience of some older players he does feel respected and has enjoyed playing in the SWPL. I think he is lucky that he can work and combine his football. He plays for free getting no help with travel costs and this is another factor for some young players. Teams should encourage youngsters they are the future.

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Ah! I’m with it now. For home games it’s just amongst themselves for whoever shares a lift.

Hopefully no one lives too far away.

How many live in Millbrook - presumably they could always walk to the ground?

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