CEO Blog 17-18
This week features St George's Park, short stints in management and The FA Grassroots Survey
Could St Georges’ Park be England’s 12th man?
There was a brilliant piece on BBC Sport by Jermaine Jenas on the impact St George’s Park (SGP) is having on improving England’s chances of tournament success, albeit –currently at least- at junior levels only. England’s U19 and U20 squads have both lifted silverware, and SGP has played a significant part in that success, as Jenas’ feature for Match of the Day shows:
Jenas pulls no punches about the lack of success at senior men’s level by stating: ‘I was in squads with the so-called 'golden generation' that promised much but won nothing.’ Despite qualifying for Russia 2018 after creeping past Slovenia on Thursday, the lack of strength in depth and shortage of English players playing top flight football still seem to be barriers to success.
It is encouraging that SGP is providing a base for excellence in coaching and player development for all England’s teams, creating a club mentality underpinned by the England DNA philosophy. If the progress of the women’s and age group squads are an indicator, then it’s working.
With more players who are not necessarily regular first team picks at club level now being selected for the senior men’s team, the importance of time spent as a group, in a club-like environment, at SGP will only increase.
5 days is a long time in football?
The well-worn phrase that a week is a long time in politics seems to have been eclipsed by events in the world of football club management this week, with joint bosses Brian Atkinson and Sean Gregan leaving Darlington FC after just 5 days in the role:
The reason offered was that Atkinson has a ‘conflict of interest’ due to a role he has with a football academy run by the club’s former Manager, Martin Gray. Apparently this connection was not known by the club in advance of the appointment being confirmed.
In the case of Gregan, he resigned on the grounds of needing more job certainty beyond the end of the current season. If it’s job security he’s after, football club management might not be the ideal job for him.
Grassroots Football Survey
The annual Grassroots Football Survey launches on Friday 6th October, providing the opportunity for football’s wide variety of participant’s to feed in their views on the game.
Kelly Simmons, The FA’s Director of Participation and Development, said: “Since launching in 2015, the Grassroots Survey has started to become a fixture of the football season at this level.
“The past two editions have informed our understanding of the game by providing those that know and understand it best with an opportunity to have their voices heard.
“The real and measurable feedback provided in this survey will allow us to continue prioritising and maximising in the areas that really matter, so I would encourage everyone who is directly involved in the game to take part.”
Visit TheFA.com/HaveYourSay by Monday 30 October to complete the 2017 Grassroots Football Survey
For us in Cambridgeshire, the survey offers one of a number of ways in which we are using the views of local stakeholders to help shape our work. This season, independent members have joined all committees and working groups at Cambridgeshire FA. The aim is not only to increase representation but also to recruit new active participants onto our Council.
It’s about finding ways to improve the game by working together.
Until next time