Isleworthians Youth Football Club

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Announcement: Season 2023/24

To: All players and parents

From: Chris Webster (Chairman), Jamie Brunton (Club Secretary) & Duncan East (Vice-chair)

In 2022, the Old Isleworthians FC youth committee formed a new FA affiliated football club called Isleworth Youth FC so they could act more autonomously in the best development interests of local players aged 6-16 years old. As part of that transformation, we wish to clarify how IYFC overall, and specifically, the current u11s squads plan to operate for the 2023/24 season from September 2023.

IYFC 2023/24 – a new coaching and development approach

Over the Summer, IYFC will move beyond being just a community grass roots football club, to one that creates more sustainable, consistent, performance development opportunities for all players, at all ages, over time. We want to provide a safe, secure, trusted environment for children to enjoy their football, led by more consistent, age-appropriate support, guidance and best practices.

For less experienced players, we wish to provide players with the football foundation skills and technical advice from fully qualified individuals used to working with groups of young persons, safely and professionally. In line with FA grass roots guidance, our emphasis will be on having fun and making friends, whilst developing a love for football, within a fully inclusive environment.

For more experienced players, we wish to provide an environment that match their aspirations throughout all ages until they are 16, to avoid the feeling of needing to seek other options, that may appear to offer more advanced opportunities by positioning themselves as “academies” or “elite clubs”. We totally understand the desire for your child to be the best they can be, but please be aware that any true academy is fully funded by their parent club and would never charge a fee to join, train, play or for any kit. The others are all a profit-making business, hence the significantly higher costs to grassroots clubs.

We do, however, encourage players of all abilities to play as much football as possible for their health, fitness, well-being, friendships and competitiveness, via family fun, school, and skills development, with Nationally recognised programmes.

It is proven that players and teams playing with or against others of a similar levels of ability, leads to more enjoyment and encourages further development. Whilst our volunteer parent coaches and managers, do a fantastic job already, we want them to feel better supported technically.

After carefully considering how we can achieve a better balance of being a grass roots community football club, yet enable our teams to perform to their best ability, from September 2023 all IYFC teams will begin to be organised and developed as follows:

  1. All teams within each age category will train together as a squad

  2. Training will be taken by a professionally qualified, paid coach, overseen by team manager

  3. All players within or joining a squad, will be allocated to a team, based on ability

  4. Teams within each squad, will still be managed at matches/ tournaments, by volunteers

To achieve this new ambition, we are looking to partner with a coaching development organisation or /and contract specific UEFA qualified individuals. This is not a new approach – some of our more successful teams have done this for several seasons already, most notably the recently disbanded u16s squad that reached the Middlesex Youth Cup final in 2021/22 and 2022/23.

As more details on this approach become clearer, they will be communicated to everyone, but we encourage you to sign-up to receive IYFC updates via our website.

Many Thanks
Chris, Jamie & Duncan