Recently we have had lots of enquiries regarding Team Goal requesting more information. So here is a little brief regarding this new project we started in October for girls in the local area.
Goal Coaching has currently created 12 Girls football teams for local grassroots clubs through our Wildcats Centre pathway. Many of these girls have gone on to greater things at various RTCs (Girls Academies) for professional clubs. However there is currently a large gulf between grassroots girls football and pro-academies. Many girls who are successful in attaining a place in these academies come from a boys (mixed) football background where we currently see a more physically demanding style of play. Whilst we would encourage girls to challenge themselves in these mixed teams it did get us thinking that there must be another way. Many girls don’t wish to play with the boys as they enjoy the social interaction with other girls and friendship groups.
In any team there will be some players that need to be nurtured and some who are forging ahead and need to be challenged to continue their development. Whilst we see an increase in confidence for these players we can also see poor decision-making creeping in. ‘Why pass the ball when I can take it myself?’. This is fine until they compete against an equally good opponent and they don’t get the same individual success. We believe that in order to continue their growth and development it is important that good players play with and against others of a similar ability.
Therefore last October we decided to launch a new initiative. Team Goal is a developmental girls football team that will bring together players who are in need of a further challenge. Having used our local knowledge of players we have been able to identify some of those that would benefit from this model.
Team Goal is an all-girls team that allows the players the opportunity to keep that important social interaction, whilst training against and with players that offer a more competitive edge,to push each other to further their individual skills and decision making. At Goal Coaching we are fortunate to have coaching staff that currently work or have previously worked in professional girls academies and are able to give players the benefit of their knowledge and experience of working in this sector.
Until age 13 the teams will play in boys leagues in order to take their learning into a competitive environment similar to what they would experience in a pro-academy.
The mission objective is to bridge the gap between grassroots and academy football and try to give players the support they need to reach the next level. We also believe that it is important not to remove girls from their current friendship groups in grassroots clubs. Grassroots clubs play a vital role in the development of young players and we remain committed to create more of these teams for local clubs. Therefore it is important to us and the players that Team Goal is used ‘as well as’ rather than ‘instead of’ their current team training. Team Goal train for 2 hours (this is important to maximize playing and learning time) on Thursday evenings, separate to other grassroots clubs, and play their matches on Sundays to avoid clashing with the traditional Saturday girls leagues.
So far this venture has been a tremendous success. After entering an U9 and U10s team into the Macclesfield JPL league we have seen significant growth from all of the girls. So much so that they finished top of their respective divisions and look forward to a greater challenge next season in the top divisions. Our U12s team will also be entering into a league next season along with a brand new U8s team. We are extremely proud that not one player from Team Goal has left their current grassroots club.
Success is not judged by results on the pitch, although this gives us a good indication of progress, but by players we are able to help on their journey to joining pro-academy teams. Team Goal is not an academy, and we try to avoid such labels that can give a mis-representation of what parents and players can expect when they join. What we are trying to achieve is a platform that encourages players to reach their potential and create a positive learning environment that allows players to develop in a fun but challenging way.
If players wish to join Team Goal we would recommend coming along to one of our extensive other girls football events and speaking to one of our coaches. It is important that we maintain a competitive environment at Team Goal for our existing players so places are limited to those recommended by our coaches. We are committed to offering our coaching experience to as many girls of all ages and abilities, so please look through our website to see other girls football provisions that we offer in your area.