Learn To Back Off

Sue Palmer talks to the NCFA’s Paul Cooper about the importance of letting children play in environments not dominated by adults.  Sue discusses her work with UPSTART SCOTLAND and about the worrying aspects of professional football clubs keen on signing -up children to participate in the manufacturing of footballers.  Learn To Back Off is an insight to one of Britain’s leading experts in childhood.

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A Level Playing Field

matti_150Matti Vandemeale, 
Director of the Peace Village, Messines, Belgium, site of The First World War, 1914, Christmas Truces, talks about the Peace Fields Project and how visitors to the region feel a sense of humanitarianism every time they visit The Peace Pitch.  ‘There is a strong feeling for exporting peace back to communities around the world once people have visited The Peace Pitch and The Peace Village’.

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David Evennett, MP, supports PFP

David Evennett talks to the NCFA about the importance of creating a legacy in the First World War centenary years and how sport is a valuable tool to get the message across to young people.  The brief interview will feature in the Peace Fields Project film funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and produced by the National Children’s Football Alliance. Click on the link below to view the interview and send it to your friends.

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Respite and hope in Freiburg, Germany

Becca Todd founder of Fotbolistas and Ambassador for The International Children’s Football Alliance continues to deliver a form of football to young and old which transcends the murky adult politics in the conventional game.  Becca, takes the essence of play and presents it to children in an environment that she shapes to aid fun and ultimately create opportunities to make new friends.  Becca writes about her latest project in Frieburg, Germany.

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F C Unity

Yaman Nabeel_h150_w150Yaman Nabeel founder of F C Unity shares a wealth of knowledge about how football unites communities across the Middle East and across London.   FC UNITY was born after the success of the Goodiwll UK Tour of the Iraq National team and it came about with the support of Sven Goran Eriksson.  Joining the International Children’s Football Alliance is a new dawn for new Peace Fields.

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Social Nutrition

Tim_w150_h150Tim Jahnigen
 founder of the One World Play Project is a multi talented visionary – some might say a maverick, to benefit on global peace.  With a rich history in the creative arts Tim has made the world of football a better place for a million young people and in the process he has provided the Peace Fields Project with the iconic poppy ball – a football like no other.

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Arthur Wharton Statue

Arthur Wharton Archive Pic_w150_150Shaun Campbell was given a standing ovation after he delivered a speech at the Football Association’s St Georges Park, Burton on Trent.  Arthur Wharton is a hero to many generations and will be a hero to many more generations to come, says, Shaun.  We speak to the man who moved a mountain to get the world’s first black professional footballer recognised by the establishment and the world of football.

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Prime Minister meets NCFA

ErnieNo10doorstep_300The NCFA’s Director, Ernie Brennan talks about meeting the Prime Minister and visiting 10 Downing Street to discuss the Peace Fields Project.  Funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the Football & Peace Pilot Project was considered a success with partners, participants and the government.  The Peace Fields Project continues the good work and invites schools and sports clubs to twin their areas of play with Flanders Peace Field.

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The Magic of the Ball

Mark Burke Interview_150Mark Burke, takes the opportunity to talk about his football career from childhood to professional footballer to author of ‘A Different Kind of Soccer Book’. ‘I loved my football no matter what club I played for – I never took my childhood football playing days for granted, it taught me the magic of the ball, fundamentals of play and my childhood contributed immeasurably to the development of my professional playing career’. A refreshing interview with a different kind of footballer.

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Minister for Sport Talks Peace.

Helen Grant 150Helen Grant Minister for Sport was the special guest at the National Children’s Football Alliance, Football & Peace Day Celebration, held at the Gallagher Stadium home of Maidstone United Football Club. The Minister featured in the Football & Peace Project film where she was interviewed by project teams on the importance of sport commemorating WW1.  Football & Peace was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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One In A Million

Mick Gale coach 150Mick Gale is a classic example of all that is good in football.  NCFA Directer, Ernie Brennan first met Mick on one of the first FA Module 3 age appropriate courses, in Kent, England.  ‘Mick left an impression on me which very few people do.  I can only describe him as the Salt of the Earth with a knowledge and understanding of the game, second to none.

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Probably the Best Coaches in the World.

Tony David 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.

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Centenary Commemorations.

Dr Andrew Murrison, MP, (Special Representative for Centenary Commemorations) gives an exclusive interview to the NCFA.  ‘I am very pleased that the National Children’s Football Alliance intend to make sure that the Christmas Truce is a strong focus for what we do in the early part of the Centenary period.


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The More Moms The Better.

Luara Dutton (British Soccer Mom) … It is noticeable to assume that the more moms involved in children’s football the better it is for childhood. I want more moms to feel confident on the sidelines of children’s football games and take an active role in supporting football for fun and not just be railroaded into a football system operated by men for men.

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How to Identify Talent.

Rasmus Ankersen (Author of The Gold Mine Effect) says, ‘Cut the Crap’. The proclaimed High Performance Anthropologist’s ‘The Gold Mine Effect’ book is a frank look at the endless sports’ cases that continue to defy trend after trend, sport’s science after sport’s culture and expert after expert dinner speaker. Ankersen touches on the childhood aspect that provides the foundation for world class athletes to develop focus and remain ultra competitive.

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Unhurried Pathways

Sue Palmer (Author of Toxic Childhood and NCFA Pratron) talks to NCFA’s National Projects Director Paul Cooper about the issues concerning children’s natural progression and the adults role directing a digital generation, sometimes beyond the rationale. Sue has been involved in many national campaigns around education, outdoor play, screen-based entertainment and the commercialisation of childhood.

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T-shirts, Racism and the People’s Lawyer

David Neita was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 2000, Dave was a member of the legal team, which brought the largest group action claim in the UK on behalf of thousands of South African asbestos miners. Dave has also represented many youngsters excluded from school and he the last lawyer to Milton Hanson (deceased), the outspoken Nurse who confronted and fought against racism in the NHS.

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Rugby Town Community Football Club

David Roach (Youth Development Manager) is part of dedicated team of 85 volunteers looking after 34 teams that include girls, ladies, boys and under 21s. On top of that RTJFC have young leaders aged between 14 and 16 that assist managers and coaches. The Club funds the young leaders embarking on their coaching badges and they now have four coaches managers at the ripe old age of 18 and 19. NCFA’s Paul Cooper delivered a football for fun coaching session for boys, girls, mums and dads which ended up with a well deserved cup of tea back in the club house.

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Horst Wein Interview

Horst Wein, a German university lecturer with coaching assignments in 51 countries, has always been convinced that one way of promoting the game of football and persuading more youngsters to take up the sport is, to make the practise of football more enjoyable, attractive and from the learning point of view more effective! NCFA’s Paul Cooper talks to the man that operates on the cusp of football’s ever dividing legions.

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Kent FA Youth Council Interview

Inspired by a growing number of organisations advocating a child centred approach the Kent FA Youth Council is designed to provide a platform for young people to support youth participation in decision making throughout Kent football. Chairman Ricky Adams (RA) talks to the NCFA about a greater understanding of youth participation within the game.

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Dr Wilfried Lemke Interview

Mr Wilfried Lemke is a gregarious man’ said the young lady standing next to me. She too was waiting to interview him. I was about to interview Mr Lemke on camera and felt the moment would never come as he was busy being politely pulled from the British Ambassador to the German Ambassador and back to the Mayor of Messines. While a prestigious guest list was assembled to be taken from the Peace Village, Messines to the Digging of the Ground Ceremony at Flanders Peace Field, the place where in World War One 1914 the Christmas Truce Football game took place, I was thinking that it is hard to believe that it’s taken nearly a hundred years for the International Football Community to recognise the significance of this amazing space and place a shrine to the essence of football.

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INTERVIEW with Steve Watson founder FOOTY4KIDS

Footy4Kids founder Steve Watson is an unsung hero of the children’s game. Steve provides a website packed with information about the children’s game in its many formats. Members of the NCFA have long been admirers of the Footy4kids forum and requested that we feature the founder Steve Watson in a newsletter. There is no bigger supporter of the forum than NCFA’s National Projects Director, Paul Cooper (PC)

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Interview with Lloyd Wheeler

Lloyd is a modest young man with a talent to observe and shape a visual narrative. If you get the chance to watch Youth Football: Is It All Fun and Games you will find a community of footballers young and old enjoying their game without stress related adult issues and agendas, IT CAN BE DONE.

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Chris Green Interview

Every Boy’s Dream was the combination of many years of research into the English football academy system for several radio programmes, reports and newspaper & magazine articles. In the end I just felt I had to put it altogether into a book.

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An interview with Don Mullan

“There are so many heroes who are quietly working with immense dedication in helping young people to have a healthy interest in sport.” These are the men and women who provide the opportunities for young people to breath and live football and who, in a very real sense, are the real makers of the talent that eventually finds its way onto professional football pitches across the world..’€.

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An interview with Dave Ramzan

‘€œA majority of the FA’€™s new ideas for youth football mirror the way those who support GUBOG believed the game for children should be played, it is a pity that the FA did not take on board what the GUBOG Campaign was advocating some six years ago when I first encountered them’€.

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The next generation depends on people like you

NCFA founder member Paul Cooper talks with good friend and NCFA Patron Sue Palmer author of Toxic Childhood.

“Play is the natural human learning drive. It comes from within the child (from the moment of birth) and according to developmental psychologists it’€™s as essential to healthy development as food and sleep. Children are naturally programmed to be active, inquisitive, busy and social without any help from the grown-ups.”…

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An interview with Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson.

NCFA Founder, Ernie Brennan met up with Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson.

At a recent Grow the Game Football Foundation presentation Ernie Brennan Founder of the National Children’s Football Alliance met up with Hugh Robertson Minister for Sport and the Olympics. Via the Minister’s department the following questions were answered and promptly returned…

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