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ClubFootball Juniors FAQ
- Why should I join ClubFootball?
- We believe ClubFootball is the right choice for your youngster, whether he/she is a nursery student looking to try the sport for the first time, or an experienced player looking for a competitive football team!
Our coaches are all full-time professional coaches (and mostly university graduates), and are recruited in the UK by ClubFootball to come to China to coach youngsters. The 2015/16 team of 14 full-time coaches has experience of coaching in many countries, and at professional EPL clubs including Liverpool FC, Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, and West Brom.
Our programme provides a clear pathway for players from skills courses to ‘elite’ league teams, offering a football experience tailored to suit the youngsters’ experience, ability, playing ambitions, and busy schedule!
Designed by Coaching Director Alex Arnold (ex-Liverpool FC International Academy Head Coach) our curriculum has a strong technical focus, and our ‘ball-per-child’ policy ensures players get maximum time on the ball to develop confidence and technique; sessions also feature small-sided games to encourage healthy competition and improve skill acquisition.
Our ethos focuses on player development rather than a ‘win-at-all-costs’ mentality. By focusing on the social, psychological, physical and technical benefits which our football courses provide, our coaches encourage players to make their own decisions through guided discovery and learn to be independent-thinkers with a true understanding of the game. Fair play and respect for team-mates, opponents and officials are emphasized; we believe that the learning experiences and friendships that football brings play an important role in a child’s development, both on and off the pitch.
Above all, football is great fun and our aim is to share our passion for football with your child and create a lifelong attachment to the ‘beautiful game’!
- All of ClubFootball's coaches come from the UK or Europe, and are qualified by the English FA or UEFA. All are committed to ensuring your son or daughter has an enjoyable and educational experience during his / her time with ClubFootball. To learn more about our coaches please click here.
- My child has never played before, is this OK?
- Yes! One of ClubFootball’s main objectives is to introduce kids to the joys and benefits of football, so if your child has never played before then we’re happy to have them join. We recommend they start by signing up for one of our skills courses which represent the first step on ClubFootball’s player development pathway. If they do well then the coaches will be sure to invite them to join a more advanced class as soon as they’re ready.
- Can my child join in at any school academy/location?
- The majority of ClubFootball courses are open to students from all schools - so even if a course is based at a school, you don’t have to be a student there in order to participate. However spaces at some school venues are limited so if necessary priority will be given to students from the host school. To maximise your chances of securing a place be sure to sign up early!
- My child's English is not very good, will he/she be able to understand what's going on?
- Since drills, exercises, and skills & techniques are usually demonstrated by the coach, it is generally not a big problem for children with even a limited level of English to understand what's happening and what they should do. In fact some parents appreciate the chance to place their child in a native English-speaking environment to benefit their language skills as well as their ball skills.
For classes with a high proportion of Chinese children ClubFootball's coaches are accompanied by a local coaching assistant to help with communication and translation. If you would like to ensure that your child joins a class with a local assistant coach simply confirm with a member of our member services team when registering your child.
- Can my child play with his/her friends?
- In general, yes, we do try to accommodate requests for friends to play in the same class/group, especially on our skills courses. However, it should be noted that this is subject to available spaces in the group and the defined age range of the group. With this in mind, we strongly suggest that your child and his/her friends register as early as possible and that you make your request known to our Member Services staff when registering.
For Skills Leagues and League Teams participation is based on ability level so it isn't always possible to accommodate such requests, though we are always willing to discuss them! ClubFootball believes that having a player in a group whose ability level is not aligned with the other players/students, negatively impacts all involved. Similarly we also believe that learning how to make new friends and interact socially with (initially) unfamiliar children, builds confidence and is one of the many benefits of playing team sports!
- What is the difference between ClubFootball's Skills Courses, Skills Leagues, and Junior League Teams?
Level 1 - ClubFootball Skills Courses
Beginners start off on our Skills Courses (Level 1); these run after school and at weekends at venues across the city and give students the opportunity to acquire the fundamental skills through fun games, drill and small-sided matches. Skills courses run for players aged 4.5 and up, with MiniSkills sessions running for students aged 3 to 4.5. Sessions are generally 50-75 mins long depending on the age of the players.
Level 2 - The ClubFootball Skills League
Once students have the basic skills, they may be invited to progress to the ClubFootball Skills League (Level 2). The Skills League runs at selected venues and gives students a unique combination of technical training and matchplay, furthering their understanding of the game while continuing to develop their skills and technique. Sessions are 1.5-2 hrs long, with the first half dedicated to technical training, and the second half to coached small-sided league matches where the kids stay in the same teams each week.
Level 3 - ClubFootball League Teams
Armed with skills and developing their tactical awareness and matchplay strategies, students who are ready for competitive matchplay against other clubs and organisations are invited to try out for ClubFootball League Teams (Level 3). Teams train midweek and play in competitive league (which ClubFootball administer) at the weekends, and also compete in competitions around China as well as in neighbouring Asian countries. In 2015, ClubFootball had 21 teams, and was successful both in Beijing in the Beijing International Junior Football League, and also abroad in tournaments such as the CUKI Cup in Bangkok.
- How do I know which course is most suitable for my child?
- Children already registered on ClubFootball programmes can discuss with their coach at any time, whether they are ready to move up to the next level. New students attending a taster class will be advised by ClubFootball staff as to which level of programme will initially suit them best. If you sign up and later decide that you feel that your child is ready to move up to the next level, please contact us or speak to your child's coach and we will work out which type of course is the best option for your child.
- I think my child's very good! Can he/she join a junior league team?
- League team participants attend one or two training sessions during the week and play matches in local and international league competitions. Try-outs are held before the start of every season, and selected players are then invited to join the most suitable league team for them.
Players who want to join once the season has started will be invited to attend a tryout during one of the regular training sessions. If they are successful, and there is a space available, they will be invited to join the team.
To find out more ClubFootball's junior league teams please click here.
- Do students on ClubFootball programmes play in tournaments?
- All students on Skills Courses and Skills Leagues are invited to play in the Nike ClubFootball Junior Cup, a friendly festival of football, where everyone receives a medal and goes home with a smile on their face!
Students on Junior League Teams play weekly matches against external teams in league competitions (such as the Beijing International Junior Football League), and selected players may also represent ClubFootball at tournaments in in other cities or countries! For details on these please ask your coach or contact us.
- Do I have to buy/wear the ClubFootball uniform?
- Yes! We believe that having all of the players kitted out in the same uniform helps to get everyone in the right mindset from the moment the class kicks off, and enhances the overall experience for the students. Looking like a team encourages players to think and play like a team.
We believe that the kit provided by ClubFootball is high-quality and excellent value - as testament to this, many people choose to buy additional kit from the club either for their own use or to give away as presents!
- Do I need to buy any extra clothing or equipment for my child?
- The ClubFootball pack generally includes a shirt, shorts, socks, shin guards and a water bottle (check your registration materials for more details), so in terms of basic necessities you only need to buy appropriate footwear. Since ClubFootball courses are staged on artificial turf we recommend football trainers rather than football boots (which have studs/cleats). For indoor courses in winter, clean indoor shoes with non-marking soles are required.
During colder periods you may also wish to buy additional garments to wear underneath the kit such as a long sleeve top or tracksuit bottoms.
- I'm worried my child will get injured playing football. Is this likely?
- Your child's safety is our top priority and ClubFootball's coaches are trained to conduct classes in such a way that the risk of any injury is minimal. Consequently even minor injuries are a very rare occurrence at ClubFootball's junior activities.
However accidents do happen and so our coaches have all undergone first aid training, are equipped with first aid supplies, and have a clear procedure to follow in the event of an injury. This is the reason that we insist that contact information for both parents is provided when registering for our junior programmes.
Notwithstanding the above, ClubFootball cannot be held liable for injuries that are not due to the negligence of ClubFootball staff and so we recommend that players are covered by an adequate insurance policy.
- Right ... that all sounds good! How do I sign up?
- For complete details on how to sign up, please please click here or visit our Contact Us page and get in touch with our Member Services team.
Before you register, please be sure to read ClubFootball's Player & Parent Conduct Policy, as well as the information on our Discount & Refund Policies, and other registration-related details.