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Ruling on players ages


Guest Postie Pidge
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Guest Postie Pidge

Barnsley fielded a 15 year old on Tuesday night in their game at Ipswich.

How come player's have to be 16 or older to play for local clubs?

Is it because the Football League is different or is there a way round it?

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Pidge,

Professional clubs are not bound by the same regulations as local clubs.

Basically if a player younger than 16 from a pro club is adjudged to be good enough to play, the FA will sanction it because academies are highly scrutinised and the coaching staff are qualified to know if the player could cope.

No such measures are put in place outside the professional game and therefore a player could be at risk.

Quote from the FA website:

The FA has received a few queries relating to the legitimacy of the appearance of Barnsley's 15-year-old striker, Reuben Noble-Lazarus in their recent Championship match against Ipswich Town.

FA Rule C4 that relates to players of school age clearly distinguishes between players within and those outside The FA's Programme for Excellence, therefore Noble-Lazarus' first-team debut was wholly legitimate.

The decision of The FA Council - where age-related rule changes are sanctioned - accepted that the Programme for Excellence has clear provisions in terms of staffing requirements etc. that enable those clubs to monitor young players’ development more closely and to ensure appropriate steps are taken before playing a 15-year-old in open age football. Those standards cannot be guaranteed outside the Programme for Excellence.

FA Rule C4 can be found on page 108 of The FA Handbook 2008-09.

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I think the ruling on players age is a good thing. At 14 boys do not have the physical and more importantly mental strength to be playing competitive mens football.

At 16 its a push and sadly around cornwall i see young talented players strive to achieve Step 6 football. Some of the players i have worked with this is a massive disappointment when their potential would allow them to achieve so much higher.

The young lad at Barnsley seems to be an exception which will occur in any walk of life but my personal opinion and experience strongly supports the restriction on age in local football!

Maybe a stronger under u18 system throughtout the county would aid the development of younger players instead of a jump from youth to mens!

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Absolutely correct Dudas.

The U-18 league in Cornwall is not as strong as it could be but you could argue that most of these players are playing mens football each Saturday anyway so it could be used for those who can't yet get into a mens side and need extra time.

There is a college league played in Cornwall at U-18 level each Wednesday afternoon set up by Truro College which also gives players another opportunity to play.

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In wiltshire they have a wonderful U-18s league set up with the development of young players in mind.

The league is known as the floodlight league. All fixtures are played on a thursday night on the senior pitch under the lights. Coming through the ranks i was able to continue my development through playing under 18s from the age of 15. If i or any of my team mates hit a bit of form then we would be called to the reserves or the 1sts on a saturday, while still playing for the 18s. Keeping our feet on the ground.

The league rose to a very good standard and many teams in wiltshire are getting the rewards. Sadly i witness a different approach in young players down here. Young players do not get half the support they deserve and often build massive egos cause of the rise to senior football so quickly!

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