CEO Blog

CEO Blog 16-17

Issue 26

This week features a vibrant 11v11 game as seen on Cambs FA twitter


Cup Final dreams made real

Picture the scene…the teams are locked together at 1-1 in the Cup Final, and deep into added time, the prospect of extra time and possibly penalties loom large. You have a corner, so the last throw of the dice is to put on a sub for the set piece. In true fairy tale style, the sub pops up at the back post and slots the ball into the net with his first touch to win the cup for his team! Unbelievable!

This is how the manager and player imagined it, but rarely does it actually happen, but it did this week in the @CambsFA Lower Junior Challenge Cup Final @MarchTownFC.

twitter screenshot

Apparently Adult 11v11 football is dying. I disagree. For the match winner, @grant1932, and his @doddingtonutdfc teammates, this dramatic victory was the pinnacle of their season, and might, just might, be the trigger for life long memories that keep many (if not most of them) playing for many years to come.

Let’s not be complacent and think that everything in adult 11v11 football is rosy. Overall team numbers are declining, squad sizes are huge compared to previous years and there remains a negative narrative around both the culture and state of the 11v11 game. I believe it is time to change and challenge that, and I see significant evidence of engagement by so many with the 11v11 game on social media (focusing here on Twitter in particular) to give optimism that there is life in the traditional game yet.

Champions of the grassroots game like @TonyIncenzo really help to showcase 11v11 and highlight the scale and sheer joy that so many people experience from it.

Twitter screenshot

Tony was on Twitter this week featuring a couple of @CambsLeague games, clocking up number 2,162 in his quest to visit as many football grounds as possible. Coverage like this and some real solutions to the genuine challenges affecting participation of both players and volunteers alike are needed to stem the tide.

Engaging directly with players is the key for me. Going back to the lads from @Doddingtonutdfc, in their euphoric moment of lifting the Lower Junior Challenge Cup, I heard them refer to the @CambsFA Twitter poll earlier that week where 70% of the poll respondents had predicted that their excellent opponents, @WisbechStMaryFC ā€˜Cā€™, would win the trophy.

They used this as good natured motivation to win the game but more importantly for me showed how Twitter had helped to engage them both before during and after the game.

Ugo Ehiogu

It was devastating to hear the news that Ugo Ehiogu has died.

Ugo was not just a top player, but also an excellent coach with a bright future at Spurs. The tributes paid to him also show what a kind and gentle man he was. He will be sorely missed.

Until next time.