How do we want the club to be perceived?

Competitive and rewarding of loyalty

Friendly & inclusive to its community

Develops all players within its club to a good standard

A good and fair football club to play against

Why do we need a selection policy?

Because the club is continuing to grow and we simply cannot guarantee to provide the playing opportunities, the facilities, coaching personnel and equipment to provide adequately for all those who wish to join us. Having too many players and too wide a range of abilities in specific age groups can adversely affect all members of the squad.

Will current players be asked to find another club?

There is no guarantee that players will be retained into following seasons. If the club feels a child will benefit from playing football elsewhere, the parents/carers and child will be advised in plenty of time to find a new club (and one where they could expect to play each week).

Please note – this is in line with AFA best practice – it is not fair to keep a child in a team if it adversely affects the teams’ competitiveness.

When is a squad considered “full”?

The agreed squad sizes are as follows:

11-a-side – 15 with 14 selected to attend each match

7-a-side – 11 with 10 selected to attend each match

The coaches will select the squad to attend each match. A rota system should be used to ensure the process is fair to all children over the course of a season.

All players who attend matches should get 15 minutes of playing time in line with best practice recommendations from the FA. The coaches will strive to achieve this.

The squad size should be made absolutely clear to all parents of existing players and to those who ask to join the club – crucially – before they  agree to sign up for a new season.

So will we be rejecting dozens of approaches from new players?

Not necessarily.

New arrivals to full squads may be taken on as “registered reserves.” They will be registered to play in league and cup competition for the club but will only be selected when the coach has an insufficient squad for a match. The club will be open and transparent in its communication with the parents/carers as another club that offers the chance to play competitively every week may be a better option for a player.

Alternatively they may be offered the chance to become “training members.” These players will be invited to train with the squad but their membership will only be upgraded to “registered reserves” or full squad members if a vacancy emerges.

In all but exceptional circumstances the promotion of reserves and training members should be on a first-come-first-serve basis. Any diversion from that principle will require careful explanation, especially to those who have been overtaken in the “queue.”

Parent reps should retain the contact details of any rejected applicants and alert the club immediately if there is scope for establishing a new team.

How will the status of new arrivals be decided?

The coach and parent rep should agree a course of action for each new applicant – after two or three trial training sessions. This decision should be taken on ability and on size and composition of the squad at the time, commitment of player and parent etc

Again decisions should be fully explained to parent and player before they sign with the club and hand over any training fees.


Who selects the team and squad?

The coach determines the starting line-up from a set size of match-day squad and its composition. He/she will deal with those omitted in a careful and considerate manner and be prepared to explain the decision to the player and their parent/guardian.

The parent rep and coach should agree a rotation system so that the same players are not regularly excluded.

ALL substitutes would be expected to take part in any match for which they have been selected (the FA advises that all attending players should have a minimum 15 minutes pitch time.)

Coaches will make every effort to achieve this. However, if a coach considers a players ability to be a detriment to the team, then this needs to be raised with the parent rep and child welfare officer to agree the best course of action to safeguard the interest of the player concerned.

Coaches need to pay particular attention to “big” matches such as Cup Finals and league “deciders.” Exclusion from the match squad or inclusion but not being allowed to take part in an important game, is likely to have an adverse effect on the confidence of any player. Coaches need to handle these decisions with great sensitivity and bear in mind FA guidance which emphasises fairness to players of all ability and enjoyment before results.


Whether signing up new players or determining who will play in a match the principles we adopt should always be the same;

Transparency – parents and players have the right to an explanation of decisions which directly affect them;

Fairness – all players should be regarded as valued members of the club and given the chance to develop their ability;

Honesty – parents and players are entitled to a reasonably accurate of what they can expect from the club – especially when they sign up for a new season.