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irstly, I would like to welcome you all to the very first issue of Grassroots Latest. Inside the monthly magazine you will find all the latest news concerning Grassroots football. There is also news provided by The FA regarding funds, investment and the current state of Grassroots football in England. Alongside this we also have Worldwide news and features, enabling you, the reader to keep up to date with the roots of football. Let’s face it, there is multitude of football being all over the country that is not broadcasted over the weekends, that directly effects the state of our game both professionally and internationally. We, at Grassroots Latest endeavour to give you the latest news and coverage on everything Grassroots.

18 Months was all it took for Chris Smalling to make his career changing from Maidstone to Manchester United Via Fulham. His story is told on P.32 Experienced Ref, Peter Suter is attacked after a match, he explains how attacks on refs are on the rise. Despite The FA claiming they are going down.



Grassroots Update


Peter Suter

Worldwide News

ALEX SALMOND PLANS TO SPEND £4M ON GRASSROOTS Alex Salmond, yesterday joined young footballers as he promised to spend £4million on Scotlands grassroots game if he was reelected as first minister on May 5th. Salmond announced this commitment at the Glennifer Thistle Club, in Paisley which was funded with £50,000 clawed back from Scottish criminals.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK “I think that was pretty venomous, straight into a camera at lunchtime on a Saturday, and at the time I thought ‘am I being old-fashioned about it?” Sir Trevor Brooking on Wayne Rooney’s Outburst, away at West Ham.

However, the Labour party has since described Salmonds pledge as an ‘own goal’ as the SNP’s Renfrewshire Council has cut facilities and increased the fees for children’s football classes.

“A lot of parents come at the weekend to watch their little ones play, and they don’t want to have to walk 500m to the pitches with goalposts on their backs.”

With Football being the national sport in Scotland that unites the nation as one, many people have welcomed the promised investment.

Sinem Cakir on the development of the Wanstead Flats. Amongst the thousands of stud-marks lies a hidden story. They were once etched by Jermain Defoe and John Terry to name a few.

Around The Globe SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR UZBEK AND KYR GYZ REFS Uzbek Ziedilla Abdurakhmanov and Krygyz Natalia Gayvaronskaya are very much looking forward to sparkling refereeing careers. Motivated by their participation in the AFC U-13 Festival of Football, Currently taking place in Tashkent. Both referees are currently undertaking a refereeing course which is one of the educational activities part of the annual footballing festival helping to promote grassroots and youth level football. The course will provide these young referee’s the knowledge on the rules of football and it will be able to provide them with first hand experience of officiating a football tournament. They will be getting knowledge of the game from highly qualified AFC instructors and this can only leave them with the perfect leap board to further their careers.

“The harsh reality of fruitless efforts to secure a viable future for the Club came to an end today.” Statement from Almondsbury town FC from their Eviction from the Southern League

BRIGHT FUTURE FOR AFRICAN GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL Never, have young African men been given the chance to play the beautiful game during the night when the weather is cooler, unless they play at a professional level. But all of that is about to change due to a pioneering scheme in Methere, Kenya. Providing disadvantaged communities the option to play at night and this is all thanks to solar powered floodlighting.


THE BIG GRASSROOTS SURVEY This month the FA are set to undertake a huge project which will see them gather the thoughts of the vast majority of the grassroots community in England, including all FA funded counties. The project that The FA are set to embark on is the big grassroots survey, the information gained from this national survey will provide The FA with information on which area needs the main focus in terms of funding and development. PROGRESS Since the National Game Strategy was implemented in 2008, The FA has invested over £200m in the development of grassroots football . The continued development of grassroots football has seen a huge rise in mini soccer teams throughout each county in England. This has helped to provide our youth, the opportunity to gain an understanding and take part in the game, but most importantly of all a vast majority of children are now able to enjoy the game. The more children that participate in football the more likely The FA will be able to secure England’s future and there will be more of a chance of producing better players. As long as The FA keep on providing these kids with better facilities, the more chance our grassroots will succeed. 5 GRASSROOTS LATEST

The main catalyst for the growth and continued success in the FA’s National Game Strategy is that investment in all areas of grassroots football has provided The FA with a solid framework in which they can measure success. They are now able to provide numerous people who are involved with grassroots football the direction and constant communication about where funding will be placed and how each county will be positively affected. The figures do however show that a lot has been done and The FA cannot afford to become complacent as the figures show a miniscule improvement in the Respect campaign with just a 3.3% drop in dissent shown towards referees. Disrespect shown towards refeeres has fallen but the is still a vast majority of players and coaches showing dissent towards officials. Furthermore, the strategy shows that the FA has rescued the fall of 11-a-side football and although they have arrested the decline of mens football they need to turn this continued decline into an increase in the coming years. We have achieved great levels of success through our existing National Game Strategy, and we want to ask the public now about how they want the game to look in the future




NII LAMPTEY Nii lamptey announced himself in the Under-17 World Cup tournament where he outshone future stars such as Alessandro Del Piero and Juan Sebastian Veron. His Success, stemming from 1991 Under-17 World Cup lead him to eventually become touted as the next Pele, but there was a difference as Pele himself suggested that Lamptey would be his heir to the throne. All took was for Pele to watch him twice and after he did he announced that Lamptey would be his natural successor.

PELE GREAT BEGINNINGS AND THE TRAGIC END By the age of just 21 Lamptey had already been capped 38 times for Ghana and his sparkling displays for them, provided him with an opportunity to ply his trade in Europe for Anderlecht. Lamptey took this opportunity and he had a sensational first season in Belgium and when he moved onto PSV Eindhoven he carried on from where he left of, hitting the net 10 times in 22 appearances.

Lamptey had a tragic childhood, he was violently abused by both of his parents. He had no family relationship with either of his parents, and at times he was frightened to go home due to the abuse he was receiving from both parents. It could be said that the reason why Lamptey thought fleeing to Europe would be best for him was not because of the potential money he could be earning, but because he had to leave his abusive parents and move away from the country that he believes brought his downfall. Lamptey vehemently believes that the Juju Men of Ghana are behind his downfall. He believes two curses were put on him for leaving his Muslim team in Ghana.

It was there. I can’t hide it, he said. I was vomiting blood on the pitch. So it is there when people want your downfall. Lamptey began playing at the tender age of 14 and was thrown into the deepest end of football when he began playing for the Ghanian national team. Many factors of Lamptey’s life have brought about his downfall, education, family

At this time Lamptey was well on his way on proving Pele right but it all came to a tragic end when he signed for Aston Villa and this was partly down to his lack of education, he was signing contracts with agents but had no understanding or knowledge of what His arrival in England was the beginning of the end of his career he was signing and therefore his lack of English language allowed agents life and agents. to take advantage of him. His lack of understanding of When he arrived on Europe’s stage, it is quite the English language left the door open for his agents clear to see that he was well on his way to to steal the money he was promised and they did. becoming burnt out. Playing non-stop over two hundred games which spanned across THE WORLD WAS AT HIS FEET ten countries . The world was certainly at Lamptey’s feet, he Nii Lamptey now runs his successful Glowwas dominating Europe, putting in scintillating Lamp School in Ghana. Providing children performances for both Anderlecht and PSV the one thing he was deprived of and that is Eindhoven. But his career eventually went into free education. Something he was sorely missed fall immediately after arriving to England. out on. 7 GRASSROOTS LATEST


With a population of over 1.2bn and a vast sporting culture, India should be amongst some of the top Asian nations in football. But this is hardly the case, problems with infrastructure on all levels of the game are having detrimental effects to the sports future prospects.


ne of the main issues that is causing a major hindrance to the future of Indian of football is the shortage of sufficient footballing infrastructure on all levels of the game in India. It is vitally important to understand the impact that sufficient infrastructure can have for a footballing nation. The availability and the quality of infrastructure in all sports has a direct relation to the development of youth and can go a very long way in determining the future prospects of that nation, in holding a major footballing event. POOR...EVERYTHING Inadequate playing areas are stunting the development of youth There is a distinct lack of world-class facilities in terms of youth, which is Football coaches would be able to nurture the hampering the progression of youth of players raw talent of youth realising their undeniable at grass roots level. With a population of over potential and more importantly it would mean 1bn, the Indian League, (I-League) becoming a India boasts a wealth of youth talent but the commercially viable product, turning it into a lack of financial investment in professional professional league. This would allow the I-League to attract to a worldwide audience, the income standard facilities and regional playing areas is generated by this would go a very long way in hampering the development of these talented building a soild foundation of solid infrastructure young players. for India’s youth footballers. It is vitally important however to understand the impact that infrastructure would have India is currently stuck without world class on developing the game in India. Investment facilities, a drastic lack of coaches at junior level in infrastructure would pave the way for and most importantly without the points above, world class stadiums to be put in place, and Indias youth are not being developed and have this would provide youth the opportunity little or no tournament exposure, which in the to develop their skills. Sufficient facilities to long run leaves them unable to deal with the provide youth the tools they need to develop. pressures of tournament football. GRASSROOTS LATEST 8


If we have to identify new territories where football can be a better part of life then definitely it is the subcontinent, India, where they have 1.2 billion people. Sepp Blatter - FIFA President

In 2007, FIFA took a step to realizing the problems of infrastructure in India by commencing the launch of a project called ‘Win in India, With India’. The project concentrates on developing infrastructure at elite level, with a main focus on developing infrastructure for clubs with a secondary focus on providing Indian clubs with support in the way there clubs are managed. Although this is a step in the right direction, you cannot help but question if FIFA are doing enough to address the situation of the beautiful game in India.

India are in a vicious circle poor facilities for youth and lack of opportunities for youth to breakthrough on the professional stage thus leading to many questioning the future of the game in India. India are currently hosting the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which is getting worldwide acclaim, and this strongly suggests that India are capable of hosting one of the main sporting tournaments in world if infrastructure is available, which it is with Cricket. With India’s huge commercial wealth In Cricket, people would believe it’s footballing foundation should be on par. So the main question here to be asked is, why can it not be done with football? Stadiums need to be put in place for football and current upkeep of India’s existing footballing stadia is poor, as they do not have the finance from government-based parties to increase capacity.

The game in India needs support in all areas, but the main issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later is the lack of support on grassroots level. Until this is addressed the game in India will constantly Reverting back to the be hitting a Cricket World Cup, brick wall in the impact of this is terms of future that India generating prospects India boasts a wealth of youth, but they are not given a chance to develop a massive audience taking the around the world for game forward. sport in general and it is only a matter of time Youth needs to be the main focus for India and it needs to work from the foundations and when the demand for India to host a major footballing tournament arises. upwards.

It’s slowly changing but until the clubs do more to develop their youth. Its difficult for me to scour the countryside looking for players for the U17 and U19 sides.


Krishan Ghedia on: T - O780 7997 346 @ -


The fans have disappeared from the stadiums, refereeing standards have slipped, infrastructure has remained static and the quality of football AIFF and FIFA Board Committee has further deteriorated.

And in order for India to able to host any footballing tournament at this stage would need a massive investment in generating new stadiums to attract fans of the sport from around the globe. Football in India needs heavy investment in all sectors working Existing stadia upkeep is below standard and stadium infrastructure is nonexistent from grassroots and upwards, only But football in India is crying out for drastic then will India see a turn-a-around in the future improvements working from its foundations. prospects of the sport. But by observing what I Football coaches need to be put in place have found out, it seems more than likely that to nurture the development of youth on a this issue will take a very long time to resolve, nationwide level. Currently there are only and with India currently hosting the ICC Cricket three regions in India out of 25 that have World Cup, there will be, in the not to distant adequate resources in place, that concentrate future, a massive demand for India to host one on developing youth football. And this number of footballs worldwide events. And currently needs to increase throughout all regions in India do not have the sufficient resources in order to sustain a strong foundation of youth place to suggest that they will be ready to host that can push football in India towards the right a footballing event that can attract a massive direction. influx of audiences around the globe. FIFA CAN DO MORE FIFA have recognised the gap that exists when India’s football infrastructure is concerned, but these such improvements are only going to be made on professional levels, whereas the main focus need to be on implementing football centres around India’s regions to provide support for youth to further their development in football. Although improvements made professionally will also go along way to insuring that the Indian league can provide support for professional players.


INDIA HAS TIME ON ITS SIDE India needs to free itself from the shackles of poor investment and sub-standard league organisation, and look towards youth for the answer for their future footballing prospects, only then will India be able to move out of the vicious circle of poor organisation, sub-standard infrastructure and little or no development of youth. Time is on India’s side and they have the support for FIFA, but it is what they do with the support that will ultimately be judged.

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3,523 new mini-soccer teams, 750 new disability teams and the arrested decline of Mens 11-a-side football show that the National Game Strategy is working.

Since The FA’s implementation of the National Game Strategy, which sort to arrest the decline of grassroots football in the UK by investing over £200m into the game, grassroots football has materialized and the FA are now starting to exceed well over the targets they set out to achieve.


he National Game Strategy has provided the FA the perfect framework in which to build and develop the grassroots game further, and over the past four years everyone involved with grassroots football has seen the positive effect that investment has provided for each respectable county. Heavy investment in grassroots football has seen the game thrive beyond expectation. Due to investment and the FA’s concentration on developing better players, mini-soccer is making great headways with over 3523 new teams. This has provided youngsters across the UK the opportunity to take part in the game, unquestionably, having a massive effect on the game in the long run. Amongst other targets that have been hit, the biggest target which shows youth development progressing at a very fast rate is the number of children that have passed through the FA Tesco skills programme, which has seen over 1.83 million children complete the programme during 2008 through to 2011. The skills programme is vital to the FA due to its potential to develop

Children with the technical ability from as early as possible. Since 2009 through to 2010, the NGS has seen 9,989 new young players participating in football and it is clear to see that the FA are trying and succeeding in providing children the opportunity to develop themselves in our national game. The NGS strategy put it in place by the FA has shown all the positive signs of arresting the decline of grassroots football and it must continue to grow. Funding needs to be provided and scattered around to clubs and leagues that are struggling to cope in hard economic times, and once this taken into action the grassroots game will continue flourish as a vast number of children are being exposed to football, and this can only be healthy for the grassroots game. 14 GRASSROOTS LATEST

Routine training session before kick off. Stretching and all that

Scots Youth training session but nothing much seems to be happening, not yet anyway.

Stand and stare. Scots youth midfielder shows a sublime touch.

Scots Youth subs look on at proceedings as they try and carve out a point

Over there can you see it? sub receives Instructions from his manager.


Moretonville F.C entertain Scots Youth at home. The game was blighted with poor officiating due to an inexperienced 16-year old officiating the match.

Good kick Charlie!, Mother clearly impressed with her sons performance

Scots Youth goalkeeper looks on at Proceedings

Moretonville F.C take the lead to put them a goal up, through a lovely placed finish which nestles in the bottom right corner

Scots Youth defender clears his lines, after a dangerous ball through, midway through the second half

Gamble. Scots Youth make a sub early in the first half

Three players go in with force to try and win possession

Close him down, Scots Youth player tracking back

Moretonville supporters struggle to watch amongst the bright sunlight

Young Scots Youth supporter watches on to see if the Scots can grab an Equalizer

Get your head to it!, Scots Youth forward whips one in with the last kick of the game, but no-one can head one in, Scots lose 2-1

FA Respect Campaign

Dissent on the rise

to reaching sufficient standards, The NGS is working in many areas, but the respect on the pitch is nowhere near ul game at grassroots level. Children continue to pick bad habits from their idols and this is staining the beautif

RESPECT...Its one of those words that is thrown around each and every day, and none more so than in Football. Week in and week out you see players waving imaginary cards and crowding the referee due an incorrect decision, and this type of behaviour is mimicked by children in the grassroots game. Yet the FA insist that grassroots has to deal with it first


he FA’s Respect campaign has received a large amount of news in the past week due to Wayne Rooneys unprovoked outburst during Manchester United’s 4-2 comeback against West Ham, the event earned Rooney a two match ban. The forwards foul-mouthed rant was broadcasted to around the world to millions of young children and teenagers.

I was neither surprised and nor was I shocked from what I witnessed. The game itself was filled with moments of great passing and these young teenagers happened to be technically adept. The quality of football on the pitch was a testament to grassroots football and what it can be if The FA continue to progress and invest in it.

FIGHTS ON THE PITCH The behaviour shown by Rooney and a vast majority of players around the globe has a massive impact on these young children who take part in grassroots football. They mimic the behaviour they are exposed to by their role models each and every week. During a weekend match against Moretonville F.C and Scots Youth, I was able to witness at first hand, the impact that these professional footballers and their actions have on these young footballers.


But the game was blighted with incorrect decisions, dirty fouling mainly from Moretonville F.C and crowds of players gathering around the referee to contest his decisions. And these are habits that the players have learned from watching their idols, and it is staining our game. The FA need to tackle from the top if they want to see an immediate impact. Until this is done, the grassroots game will continue to be blighted with disrespect.




razil continue to show their dominance at U-17 level, in a scintillating match against rivals Argentina. Brazil were crowned champions for the fourth straight tournament as they narrowly avoided defeat from the old rivals Argentina to deny them their chance for title glory. Argentina went into the game knowing that they had to win by two goals or more to be crowned champions for only the third time in history. But on the half hour mark they were dealt with hammering blow as Lucas Piazon’s cross found Leo who was unmarked at the far post and he converted the cross to send Brasil 1-0 up. The Argentines however immediately levelled the game up when Ezequiel Baez took advantage of some slack marking, to head home a corner. From then on, Brasil upped the tempo, and the tournaments most brightest spark Adryan, was finding holes in the Argentine defence.

With 33 minutes on the clock, Adryan lofted the ball over the Argentine defence to find Guilherme, who, took the ball in his stride and unleashed a sublime volley/ lob which left the goalkeeper no chance. Guilherme had put Brasil firmly back in the driving seat and they looked assured within themselves that they would see out the match and triumph for the 10th time in this tournament. Any hopes of a late Argentine comeback were put to bed as Barbosa Teixeria scored the third with 13 minutes remaining. Brasil had this game and the cup in the bag and all they had to do now was to sit tight and control the possession, which they were doing from the start. Brasil saw out a last ditch effort from Argentina as Federico Andrada grabbed a consolation as he capitalized on some slack Brasil defending to hit his fourth of the tournament. Brasil however, lifted the trophy for the 10th time in their history and they continue to dominate at the under 17 level. GRASSROOTS LATEST 20



United’s new signing seems to be a prospect for the future How has the earthquake effected infrastructure and its grassroots clubs


A forgotten nation when Football is concerned, but the Philippines have quickly and quietly battled through each day to build a solid foundation for grassroots footballl. And one team that deserves the plaudits for continuing this rise, is the Azkals


hilippines football, especially at grassroots level, is continuing to rise and its development over the years is owed to the Azkals. The Azklas F.C have built a foundation and infrastructure that many nations around the globe would be envious of. And many of Philippines football league clubs have built a youth system which focuses on quality coaching from high-level coaches. The clubs have also built top class facilities with a main focus on developing youth players that are technically adept and with a forward focus to take Philippines football to a higher level in-terms of their FIFA Ranking.


he history of Philippines football has always been a rosy one though. In the past they have often struggled to obtain any investment from the Asian Football Foundation and FIFA. This directly relates to Philippines FIFA ranking in 2009 where they stood at a lowly 167 amongst 203 member countries. But due to the way they have battled to build sufficient infrastructure, they have arrested their yo-yo like movement up and down the FIFA rankings.

Currently the Philippines are ranked at 153, moving ahead of countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and The Maldives. Although the Philippines still lag behind their neighbours Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Malaysia. What’s more important is that Philippines football is on an upward rise, football is being exposed to youngsters all over the country and no stone is being left unturned as the AFC is now branching grassroots development to the more cash-strapped districts of the country. But there still remains a lot of work to be done as the Azkals head coach, Micheal Weiss reiterates that grassroots, although it is developing it is pretty much nonexistent compared to many other Asian countries.

If the Philippines can gain investment from both FIFA and private sectors they will certainly, in the distant future have the infrastructure in place to be a commanding force in the AFC. The Philippines have a lot to do, but slowly and surely a bright future lies in the horizons for the Pinoy’s. GRASSROOTS LATEST 22


utrition, diets, food and drink, for football players and athletes is becoming increasingly scientific and vastly recognised for its importance in the game. Unlike almost every professional club, grassroots football teams may not have the necessary funds to accommodate a nutritionist or a similar health advisor.


he purpose of this article is to provide youth players, coaches and everyone involved with grassroots football with a comprehensive guide to the importance of nutrition, its positive affects on performance and a breakdown of the right food types to consume for a routine diet for amateur footballers. The importance of Nutrition Without the correct levels of nutrition and energy footballers will not be able to perform at a 100%. Basically food provides us with energy for our muscles, brain and vital organs. And with football being a high intensity sport, it is a necessity for footballers to have a high amount of energy available before, during and after the game.

What to eat and when It’s simple, if your over-eat the more lethargic your performance will be, and you run the risk of becoming over-weight. Leaving our muscles to bare the brunt of over-snacking of high in fat products such as Chocolates, Crisps and Cakes. But the same can be said for under-eating, as this leaves our bodies too weak to perform and you run the risk of putting your health in decline and when it comes to perform, you are certainly going to be prone to injury and fatigue. If you stick to a healthy diet, consisting of fruits, veg and protein, your general health will greatly improve and so will your fitness. You will be able to get the most out of your body when it comes to performing if you stick to a healthy diet.


One of the most important factors which effects your rate of performance is the timing of when you consume your meals. So on the day of your match, your intake of fats and protein should be limited as these specific nutrients take a very long time to digest. Your pre-match meal should be consumed 3-4 before the match. The main nutrients you want to be taking in with your pre-match meal are Carbohydrates. The meal should be low in fat, low in protein, low in fibre and relatively light so it is easier to digest. You need to stay away from products that are high in fat as these will only weigh you down when it comes to performing, and if you do eat food that is high in fat, you will run the risk of causing yourself to gain an upset stomach. And you don’t want to be vomiting around parents and children. MEAL EXAMPLES Breakfast Cereals - low in fat Bread - Toasted with jam/honey Fruit - all types Orange juice and Water

Lunch Pasta - low fat sauce Baked Potatoes Chicken Breast Fruit - all types Water

Dinner Chicken Vegetables Pasta Rice Water

The above example provides the player with a general idea of the main nutrients that can be gained during each set meal. For example, with breakfast being the main meal of the day it is vitally important to gain all your carbohydrates to keep you going for the day. And the best way to do that would be by consuming any one of the food types on the Breakfast column accompanied by a glass of water or Orange juice.

Snacking More often than not, snacking can be a dangerous habit for both footballers and many people around the globe. A vast majority of people will pick up a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar for in-between meal snacks and this can have major repercussions if it is not controlled. The best thing you can do for yourself as an athlete and a person is to chop and change what you consume if you are going to snack. And the best way you can do this is to substitute high-carbohydrate and fatty snacks for fruits, carbonated drinks coming off and on coming water as its replacement. Timing the snack The thing about snacking is that it is a very individual thing when it comes to timing. And any time reference given should only be used as a rough estimate. When it comes to match-days the ideal time to snack would be 2 hours before the match. The reason why the time should be used as a rough estimate is because of the individual differences to each and everyone’s ability to digest food. It could be very useful for you to experiment both with a good mix of varied food types and the times that they are consumed before training sessions. The best food group to consume would obviously be fruits as they are the most healthiest option, but if you are looking for something more filling than carbohydrates found in bread would be good healthy option and it would fill you up aswell. Quite often though, when your body is craving for something 1-2 hours after a meal, solids may not always be the answer your stomach is looking for. 9 times out 10 your body will be craving fluids and this due to the amount of stomach acid produced when digesting a meal. The best possible type of fluid to drink would, obviously, be water or freshly squeezed orange juice.

The most important thing to consider at the end of the game is re-hydration and carbohydrate consumption and this should be done as soon as possible to promote the recovery of glycogen stores. During your cool down session, it is vitally important that you consume fluids and small snacks such as Jaffa cakes or Jammy dodgers as these sugary snacks for example are able to provide you energy and nutrition very quickly. You should aim to consume a full meal as soon as possible aswell at this will allow your muscles to recover and replace all the nutrients that have been lost during exercise, and you your meal once again should be high in carbohydrates. For example baked potatoes, pasta, rice, noodles and baked beans would be the most ideal food types to consume after a game as they are very high in carbohydrates, and they would allow your body to recover to its fullest. Fluids Right, we’ve covered a vast majority of the best food types that can help you before and during the match. And we have also looked at the best snacks to eat that are low in fat. That leaves one important aspects to cover and that is fluids. The best fluid to consume during a game would be Isotonic drinks such as Lucozade Sport and Powerade as these contain minerals and sugars lost whilst you sweat. The best time to take on fluid would be at all possible times but it is vitally important to only take on board a little but remember to keep it often.


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he season thus far has been very action packed, there have been moments that have left spectators stunned and leaving them thinking “I would have paid to see this”, Massimo Trofa’s sublime first touch which saw him gather a cross and lift the ball over his markers head all in one touch and if that wasn’t enough, Scott Youth’s No.9 finished it off with a powerful volley which rocketed into the top right corner. But most games have had to be called off this season due to bad weather conditions during the Christmas period. The relegation battles in Division 1 and 2 are very tight and the few games left season could play a major role in who goes down and who survives.


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ith the season now drawing to a close, its safe to say that the top spot for the U-18’s is in Brackley Town’s hands and something drastic has to happen to their from, for them to let a 15 point lead slip away. The U-17 Division 1 is very tight and with the majority of teams still having games in hand over each other, this league will go down to the last match of the weekend. Division 2 on the other hand is also quite tight in places, especially at the top and at the foot of the tables. The season has been great for excitement and due to how tight all the tables are, there will be more twists and turns in all divisions and leagues.







April 2011 Free Issue 1 Worldwide Focus




t the start of the 2007/2008 season, Chris Smalling was plying his trade for Maidstone F.C’s youth team who competed in the Ryman Youth League. The strong defender out shone all of his young teammates and quickly made the transistion from the youth team to the senior squad. With a stadium capacity which is miniscule to compared to Old Trafford, and only a few could have imagined back in 2007 that in just 18 months he would, not only be playing for Manchester United, but he would become an integral part of Uniteds defence. Smalling has put in great shifts against both Stoke and Manchester City at home this season, the later, for the full 90 minutes he was able to keep Carlos Tevez at bay. And for a youngster who has been thrown into the deep end, he has made fans believe that he been their from the start. Smalling has made it seem that he has partnered Vidic from the start, and it must help an awful lot to look like Rio Ferdinand. 31 GRASSROOTS LATEST

Firstly, Smalling’s rapid rise to prominence did not go unnoticed and when Roy Hodgson was managing Fulham, he gave him his premier league break when Smalling came on as a 77th minute substitute in the penultimate game of the 2008/2009 season. There after, he made 13 more appearances at the Craven Cottage and he quickly established himself in the heart of the fulham defence. Smalling’s rapid development and impact at Fulham left Sir Alex Ferguson convinced that even at £12million, Smalling was worth every penny. It has happened on so many occasions; where a youth player has impressed on many occasions at youth level, moving through the gears and progressing at a rapid rate thus causing Premier League clubs to go awol in trying to secure his signature and his services. And once the player decides on a club, he is then finally given his break only for the player to fail at every opportunity and chance that he is given and tragically falling into the background, for his name never to be heard of again. This is where Chris Smalling has shown his maturity and mental strength in taking each game as it comes, his displays alongside Nemanja Vidic seem as if he has been their for over 3-4 seasons and this must be causing Rio Ferdinand to look over his shoulder. The central defence position in the modern day requires a lot from the player, you have to have pace, power and aerial ability and make them the key factors of your game. But Smalling seems to have another ability under his wing, and that is his ability to run out of defence with the ball, similar to the Brazilian stalwart Lucio. He has the ability to turn defence into attack. Many defenders would just decide to send the ball high into the opposition defence. Smalling has established himself in the United backline and plays without fear. And it is great to see a young player, play with a smile and relish an opportunity to play for the biggest club in the world, rather than squander it. GRASSROOTS LATEST 32

Appearances for Juventus Goals for Juventus


he month of February in Tuscany signals the start of a very important tournament, Torneo Di Viareggio. Although the tournament itself may seem like a mystery to some, but to the thousands upon thousands of youth players that take part in the tournament, it signals, for them the beginnings of may what be a sparkling career if they perform to the highest level. The tournament is recognized by worldwide parties such as FIFA and UEFA, and due to it’s importance it welcomes scouts from all over the world and all have their eye on thing, the next worldwide star. The wealth of talent that have come through the tournament provides a clear indication of how important this tournament and why it is considered the most prestigious youth tournament in the world. Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Del Piero and Dino Zoff only scratch the surface when it comes to home-grown players that have now gone on to become world-beaters. Outside of Italy , we have Gabriel Batistuta, Bastian Schweinstiger, Phil Neville and Obafemi Martins to name but a few. Ever since the tournament began, naturally it has been completely dominated by Italian clubs as they are the host country for the tournament. In the last 30 years only two clubs outside of Italy have been able to win the tournament Dukla Prague in 1980 and most recently Juventud in 2006. BRITISH DISAPPOINTMENT

The farthest any British team has progressed in the Viareggio Tournament is the Runner Up stage back in 1981-82 with Ipswich Town. This year, the only British team that decided to send out a team was Peter Beardsleys Newcastle, who didn’t even manage to progress out of the group stages. Each major European football country has many youth footballing tournaments that are heralded for their invaluable experience at tournament level. Italy has the Viareggio Cup and the Italy Cup, Spain has Copa De Campeones and the Primavera cup.

Appearances for the Azzurri Scudetti for Juventus 2 were stripped after Calciopoli

The only major English footballing tournament recognised all over world is the Milk Cup which takes place is Northern Ireland which runs annually. Although it is a major tournament, this is the only experience youngsters are able to attain. Countries such as Italy, Spain and Germany hold considerable amounts of youth tournaments that expose youngsters to a professional and competitive environment which is invaluable due to the highly competitive nature of the modern game. England needs to host more than one major youth tournament as this would provide our young talents with not only experience but it would provide them an opportunity to branch out their footballing skills whilst also gaining knowledge on how to cope throughout each stage of tournament. The Viareggio tournament is invaluable to youth due to the amount of talent on show. So ‘Vive la Viareggio! Just as the locals would say.






his issues spot the ball competition photograph comes from the match up between Scot Youth vs Moretonville Rovers match which saw Moretonville Rovers hang on to a slender two goal lead despite a spirited comeback from Scot Youth.







Correct entries will be chosen at random from texts, emails and letters.


Each competition winner will receive a limited edition poster print featuring artwork based around the beautiful game of football.




The successful entrant will be contacted either by phone, email or text to discuss collection or delivery of the prize.


The winner will be featured in next months issue of Grassroots Latest.

Grassroots Latest provides its readers with the classic game of judgement and skill. If you believe you have what it takes , test skills in our regular competition and win a limited edition poster print!


Text the word BALL followed by your answer: NUMBER AND LETTER To: 0780 7997 346 Or email to With your NUMBER AND LETTER ANSWER

Don’t forget to take a chance, you never know what could happen. Good luck to all entrants!

In recent years it has become commonplace to read and hear about youngsters from the tender age of just 14 binge drinking week in and week out. And this surely must be having an effect on grassroots football on and off the pitch?


he way young children live and learn in the in our day and age has drastically changed over the past decade or so. Gone are the days where a vast majority of children would go for a friendly kick-a-about in the park or the street disturbing their neighbours because they are ruining their flowers. Gone are also the days where children would want to experience the good outdoors coming back with bumps and grazes and grass stains on their freshly washed Abandoned. Parks used to be littered with children, now they have become infamous for crime white polo shirt. Nowadays however, a huge number of children just seemed to be interested in the latest cutting edge football simulation game or the latest iProduct. But what is more worrying is the large amount of children and teenagers interested binge drinking at a very early age. The reason behind this excessive drinking is simple, these children are trying to grow up at very early stages of their lives. And the main question to ask is that, is this somewhat lazy attitude and binge drinking culture amongst children having any sort of impact on grassroots football?

Although the figures released by the NHS show a drastic increase in children binge drinking, this behaviour and everything that comes with it does not directly show itself on a sunday afternoon grassroots football pitch. The only thing that does is the bad habits children learn on when watching their favourite footballers. Modern binge drinking culture impacts football on a wider scope as these children who are trying to grow up fast, will not see football as a serious career only a harmless kick-a-bout.

The fact remains that when it comes to football children without a shadow of a doubt are learning and picking up habits from professional footballers they watch week in and week out. The copious amounts of dissent, simulation and all things that The FA are trying to cut out, the kids are mimicking on the football pitch.

What modern culture has taken away in some aspects is the belief and hope that one day one of these kids could make it on a professional level. And that impacts the future of football far greater than any game or product in the long run. GRASSROOTS LATEST 36

Aside from the millions of cameras that broadcast football on a worldwide scope, what they do not capture is the very game that keeps football on its pedestal. And that very game is thriving in Manchester.


anchester’s grassroots scene is very different when compared to a vast majority of grassroots clubs around the country which have had let go of all their youngsters due to the lack of finance needed to keep the clubs running. It’s a very different story in Manchester and away from the glitz and glamour of the premier league, the very sport which keeps the game in England running is flourishing at a very good level. Manchester’s County FA chief executive indicates that grassroots is thriving and will continue to thrive due to increased amount of investment that has been poured into Manchesters Grassroots. Bridgeford reports that the game in Manchester is alive and kicking in all parts of the city. Since the implementation of the NGS, Manchester has seen drastic rise of participants in all types of grassroots football not just in the traditional youth form. And added to this, Manchester is one of the few counties in the UK where Mens 11-a-side is thriving. Manchester seems to be one of the counties in UK where grassroots on the whole is flourishing and many people would agree that football is a massive tradition in this city and with a rivalry like United and City and their recent success, many children are using this as a catalyst to participate in football and especially for The FA, participation, is key for grassroots to continue to develop and it will be the only way England can produce children that are technically adept.


One of the reasons why Manchesters grassroots scene is growing is down to counties strong and solid club development programme. Children who participate and show talent are given the option and facilities to strength their skills and develop their weaknesses and this is something that many grassroots clubs around the UK can only dream of. With the FA also promoting the FA Community Awards, it seems to me that there will be quite a few nominations from Manchester. And there should be due to the amount of time and effort everyone involved with grassroots in Manchester has put in to try and assure a future for the game. Overall the success and hardwork that Manchester have put in needs to continue. Everyone involved, Coaches, Players, Volunteers, Referees and most importantly, Parents, have all done a massive job in insuring that Manchester has a future when it comes to grassroots football.

Football in Manchester is a passion for so many: players, coaches and referees. Volunteers, and importantly parents, have a vital role to play, both now and over the next few years

PRANDELLI rEBUILDS ITALY With an aging squad that may have experience, Prandelli realizes the only forwards is to take the Azzurri back to basics and start over at grassroots level


ver since Italy’s disappointing showing in last years world cup, there has been an increased focus on youth and development of it. The Italy of the past have always looked towards the old guard for answers and more often than not, have always shunned youth to the side. Prandelli has been a breath of fresh air for the Azzurri and he has provided the Italian national team a new outlook, and its an outlook that certainly has future youth prospects on its horizon. Players such as Leonardo Bonnuci, Mario Balotelli and Sebastian Giovinco to name but a few, are being given their well deserved opportunity to play for the Azzurri, having previously been shunned by previous managers.

It’s a difficult situation as we need to rebuild our soccer from the base, we need to concentrate on youth, but then again we are Italy so we must always aim for the top level Cesare Prandelli - Head Coach

Although Prandelli has focused on providing the Azzurri with an outlook that has youth in mind, Prandelli has also focused on changing Italy’s footballing style, and it can clearly be seen that Prandellis tactics are as far away from Catenaccio than Balotelli is from cooling down his temper. Prandellis Italy focus on keeping the ball and with a midfield that consists of Montolivo, Aquilani and Mauri it is possible, in the past this would this selection would have been ridiculed by fans and pundits. Even though it all may be new to the Azzuri, there comes a time when you have to have faith in youth a new style of play and attitude. As refreshing as it may be, the jury is still out and it will remain so until July 2012.


Grassroots Latest  

Grassroots Latest is monthly youth football magazine with it's main focus on the sport being played by millions of children around the globe...

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