This is an open message to all players and parents regarding St Peter’s Under 18’s and 16’s.
As coaches, we have an ongoing challenge to develop our players whilst trying to maintain consistent high levels of performance for our teams. This means that we have to make a squad selection based on a team that is capable of winning the games set out in front of us, not only in our league, but also the cup competitions and inter-island tournaments. In turn, this will mean that there will be some players who may not get as much game time as they/you may of expected.
There are multiple of reasons for this, firstly at these age groups there is more emphasis on a winning mentality as the league’s we play in are competitive and we clearly have an obligation to the club to produce young players capable of playing senior football, hopefully in the 1st team within the near future. In order to achieve this we select a team that we think is capable of winning the games and who we believe can carry out the tactical instructions given on the training ground. Unfortunately we can only field 11 players with a limited number of squad replacements.
Another aspect is there are 11 different positions to fill in the teams and although we try, not every player is suited to a specific role and on occasions we find ourselves with numerous players vying to occupy the same position. With this in mind we undertake a method of evaluation which assists us with the selection.
The most fundamental element in all of this is training. Training is a huge part of the process however it is not just a case of turning up and being there, it’s the work and application of the players, their attitude and respect to training and the coaching staff delivering the sessions. Some players will need to try harder and where this is the case we try and focus on development and improving the player, this however cannot be dictated, the player must also wish/want to improve. Along with training is team awareness, form and discipline. We see a lot of players who have excellent individual skills however as you know, football is a team game so we will assess tactical awareness and discipline within the team framework. Understanding individual roles and responsibilities within this framework is also vitally important at these age groups as these players look to develop into Senior football. Selection will therefore take into consideration the benefit a player can add to the team whilst examining their form and how they adapt. If forms dips, it is viewed and assessed thus will always create opportunities for others.
The final message is “we don’t want anybody to leave the club” however if players are not taking the commitment seriously or worse being disruptive then we would raise this in private with the individual concerned, if the problem persists, in the interest of all of the other players and the coaching team being able to carry out their responsibilities correctly, we would make clear that players causing such disruption would not be welcome at St Peter FC Academy`.
This is the same principle across both age groups. We have a duty to produce not only good players but I hope rounded individuals who show respect for one another, their coaching staff, match officials and opposition, these are life skills not just football!!
We are aware that we cannot keep every player 100% happy, however we do hope it gives everyone an appreciation of what’s involved in selection. No one has a divine right to be selected without the dedication,hard work, skills, ambition and drive to be the best they possibly can.
We do want you on our side and all working together, we can make the future bright for St Peter’s Football Club.