March, 2014

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Posted by: | Posted on: March 15, 2014

Peace Field Projects

Page currently under construction.

Posted by: | Posted on: March 12, 2014


The Ministry of Football Self-Reflection Tool helps children to improve their football skills and enhance their ability to learn and perform in football, writes Mark Carter, Founder and Director.  It does this by collecting information from them on their experience of playing football, and uses that information to rate or score specific technical or psychological areas. Children can then choose a specific area to work on, and the Tool provides help in the form of video tutorials, homework tasks and challenges.

How does it work?

The Self-Reflection Tool is a Microsoft Excel form and associated website, and is developed for use by MoF children aged 9-11 who play football regularly (although any football child could benefit from using it).

The Excel tool asks a variety of questions of the child’s experience of playing football. These questions are in the form of statements such as “I tackle someone” or “My passes don’t go where I want them to”, and also include non-technical, psychological statements such as “My performance is negatively affected by something the referee says or does”. In response to each statement, the child needs to pick an option from: Never / Not very often / Sometimes / Often / Always.


Mark Carter MOF

From the child’s answers, a hidden matrix calculates the child’s strong and weaker areas. An example of an area could be: “Off-the-ball movement”, or “Defending 1-on-1”. Or it could be a psychological area such as “Mental Control, Composure and Resilience”. The Tool presents the child with their strongest and weakest area and the child chooses one of the weaker areas to work on.

Once the child has chosen an area to work on, the Tool sends them to a webpage which has been specially designed with tasks, advice and challenges for their specific area. The child works through the homework tasks. An example of homework might be to watch some tuition videos and answer some questions, or to do some technical practice with a ball. Once the child is ready, they print their area-specific challenge and bring this to their coach. This gives the coach info on what the child is working on, and what they have done for homework to prepare for their improvement. It also gives the child the chance to write down any particular problems they are having. The coach can then – over the course of several weeks I imagine – help the child to develop in their chosen area.

For more information and FREE downloads visit Ministry of Football

Posted by: | Posted on: March 11, 2014

Probably the Best Football Coaches in the World

CELEBRATING A UNIQUE 10-YEAR PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN ARSENAL IN THE COMMUNITY & ISLINGTON HOUSING we take a look at one of the coaches working on the front line.


Tony David. Community Football Coach

Tony David (TD) is a founder member of the National Children’s Football Alliance.  His knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm for football in the community has helped Arsenal Community win awards from organisations like the International Children’s Football Alliance partners, Football is More.  In his capacity at Arsenal’s Positive Futures Community Coach he has help deliver the Family Skills Project with partners NCFA and Family Lives.  He has worked with Ernie Brennan, Director, NCFA for many years providing Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football events in North London and Kent.  Tony provides a candid profile of very modest football coach which defines many unsung heroes working in challenging environments.

TD.  We started engaging young people in January 2004 in notorious anti-social hotspot areas in Islington, based on a government initiative called Positive Futures along with partnership with Islington council.  The age range varied from 8 – 19 years and informal football sessions are the main activity to engage them.  The venue is normally a kick about area on their estate where travel is limited to just a short walk.  We would organise friendly matches, tournaments, educational workshops and trips to keep the interest there and then try and work with different agencies for an exit route strategy and outcome.  We have witnessed many success stories often with some challenging young people.


Tony David (left) with a Family Skills Football Team

As an Arsenal Community Football Coach I would describe my job / role as a combination between youth worker, football coach and mentor.  We are often referred to as role models which I think benefits the youngsters when they first meet us and start to engage in the activities we facilitate.

I believe our role in the community is important we have many young people in Islington who love Arsenal but can stray slightly in life. We are here with another option, rather than the boys getting into anti-social behaviour we give them a chance to make new friends, improve in football, chance for a healthier lifestyle and perhaps help with their future choices.

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Islington footballers at National Children’s Football Week in Kent

The biggest challenges in this job are probably the usual things like ‘a lot of red tape’ trying to help young people with criminal records and not being able to progress due to restrictions. Young people themselves who reach so far and then fall back into trouble and reoffend.  Like any profession you need to keep focused on the job in hand and respect the clear boundaries in everyday life. 

The football sessions are in their backyard so it helps the area when more and more participants join up and stay away from anti-social behaviour. We don’t claim to reduce all crime in Islington but we along with local partners and agencies try to do something that makes the participants think a little more about getting involved. The sessions also help them with their football ability, coordination, communication, discipline and understanding of the game. It gives them some much needed respite from the rigors of day to day life.  Regular matches and tournaments help them mix with youngsters in different parts of Islington where post code wars exist, which is a positive!

We deliver free football sessions two evenings per week on these estates: Market, N7; Girdlestone, N19; Highbury Quadrant, N5; Andover, N7; McCall and Hollins, N7; King Square, EC1; Finsbury, EC1; Crouch Hall Court, N7; New Orleans, N19; Harvist, N7, For more information email Tony David: or call 020 7704 4155.


Posted by: | Posted on: March 10, 2014

Referee Awareness Weekend

Referee Awareness Weekend
29th – 30th March 2014

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The Don’t X The Line Campaign is working with The Professional Footballers
Association, The Football Association, The Professional Game Match Ocials (PGMOL),
The Football Association of Ireland and other professional bodies to help raise awareness and eliminate problems experienced by referees at all levels of the game of football, in particular at grass roots level.
The reFspect awareness weekend is an initiative aimed at improving the behaviour of parents and spectators.
By reducing the number of incidents of poor touchline behaviour we aim to maintain the current number of referees and help to attract many more new referees to the beautiful game.
We would like all football clubs to raise awareness of reFspect by signing up to support the weekend.

This can be done online at or by calling 07951 442 480

s founder Malcolm Lee, to support zero tolerance amongst those people involved in football by refusing to tolerate constant aggression, verbal abuse, bullying and racism.

Mal has been commended for his dedication to the DXTL campain and has been
recognised for his eorts when he was made the National Award Winner Sir Bobby
Moore, Fair Play & Respect by the FA.

DXTL Ambassadors include:
Jamie Carragher
Keith Hackett
Chris Foy Premier League Referee
Dr Esther Burkitt Psycol, CSci, FHEA, Reader in Developmental Psychology.

Don’t X The Line Campaign is credited as the forerunner for the FA’s, Respect Programme; we are a CIC and voluntary organisation. We are very proud of its achievements to date. Also, we will continue to make a difference at grassroots
level by relying on the ongoing work carried out by our many volunteers.

Respect the This included promoting the message over the public address system, advertising it on club websites and a mention in the match day programme.  Some Clubs further responded by providing their logo. Also, some managers participated by wearing a lapel badge in support of the awareness weekend.

t X The Line Campaign requests the media, clubs and County FAs to offer active support, where possible for awareness weekend and fair play within grassroots football.

Many thanks for your continued support.
Further contact for interviews and photo opportunities are as follows:
Mal Lee (Founder Don’t X The Line Campaign): AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW    07951442480


Posted by: | Posted on: March 10, 2014

Silent Sideline

Too often in kids sports; adults, parents and coaches become overly vocal in their approach to working with young athletes. However well-intentioned some of them may be, the results are not always positive. With a Silent Sideline Weekend, the coaches and parents are asked to keep talking to a bare minimum on the sidelines. One coach from each team will be given the task to instruct (not during the game), whilst everyone else stays silent.

Silent Sidelines

Supporters are allowed to clap to show their enthusiasm but adults/Coaches are restricted from coaching their kids from the sideline. This is a weekend when kids can make decisions for themselves, without having adults shout 5/6 different instructions at them. When adults scream from the sidelines they’re not just invading the children’s playtime, they’re preventing children from learning the game in a natural manner. Sideline screaming is just ignorance, we need to educate adults on stages of development. We expect far to much from children at a very young age. We must not forget, we are talking about children not adults.
How does it work?
No Shouting Instructions. No Shouting at the ref. No Shouting at the opposition. Absolutely No shouting when a player is about to receive to ball or pass it. Silent at all times. Kids voices heard everywhere.
With the sidelines quiet, players have the chance to make their own split-second decisions on the pitch and learn by them. Instead of being distracted by the stream of noise that usually exists, the kids on the pitch get the opportunity to communicate with one another, deciding who will take the throw ins, the goal-kicks, free-kicks or the corner kicks etc. This also gives them time to think and focus on what they are about to do.
The focus of the weekend is not to take the atmosphere out of the kids’ game but instead try and encourage less coaching from the line. I want every team in Ireland in organised leagues in ever sport to conform to the ‘Silent sideline’ weekend. Not everyone is going to agree with this idea, but one thing is for sure the kids will!
I’m aware that many teams have some great coaches & parents who may already give minimal instruction and focus on the positives in a game more than others. This exercise is to highlight the over coaching from adults on the sideline across kids sports in Ireland and mainly soccer. I think a lot of kids will benefit from this even if they are use to hearing encouraging words every weekend.
You can be sure that one population that favours the silence is the referees. They will love this, and I’m sure they would love to have it every weekend.
What’s Expected from Participants?:
*To get all clubs and leagues to sign up across the whole of Ireland and the world. ALL CODES *Clubs to manage this initiative internally with our support and the support of every club and league. *Club should select 2 sideline supervisors to keep people calm and make them aware of what is expected. *Each club should have a silent sideline ambassador. *Absolutely NO shouting or directing from the sidelines *Coaching staff to speak to players at halftime and when making changes ONLY. *Clapping allowed for goals scored and effort for both sides. *No directing or advice from adults at anytime. *Absolutely no questioning of referee in charge of game at anytime. *Rope the pitches and provide a designated area for parents.
The only time you can shout at the kids that weekend is to get them up out of bed!!!!
The voices of the players  should be all we here.
*PDF flyer available on request. *Silent Sideline Packs also available
Can you imagine a weekend when kids voices were heard everywhere……..I can!!
Lets make this happen; let’s start talking about it….!! If any leagues and/or club administrators are reading this, please get in touch. I have just emailed you all.
If this doesn’t make you think about the damage we are doing to kids every weekend, then maybe A Players Message To Parents will!
Please LIKE & SHARE this EVENT
Don’t forget: Weekend of 29th & 30th March 2014


Hosted by The Coach Diary “let the kids play”