Let us play

Let us play!

Finding their voice; we talked to youth players about what they want from their game.

Earlier this year, on 25/26th February, The FA provided another opportunity for players to do the talking in junior grassroots football, with parents and supporters showing their support from the sidelines, through applause only.

This second ‘Silent Support Weekend’ aimed to allow youth players to find their voice and take control of the game.

Following on from the pilot weekend in November 2022 the second weekend aimed to hear from youth players and find out how to make the game better for them so they can improve as players and fully enjoy the game. With this in mind, we visited an affiliated club in our region and spoke to youth players from a range of ages about their experiences in the game and what they want from adults.

We asked what they liked about football, what they thought of Silent Support Weekend, how it makes them feel when adults shout from the sidelines, the impact that has, and what their message would be to adults about how they want to play their game. This is what they said:

The message from players is clear, positive support from spectators and guidance from coaches is good. It's their game, and they just want to play and have fun.
Watch the video on YouTube

Whilst the vast majority of adults behave well at children’s football, there remains an issue with a small percentage of adult coaches, parents and spectators who behave poorly and it's this type of behaviour that has no place in grassroots football.

Campaigns and initiatives under the Respect banner such as Silent Support Weekend and Play Safe all work towards ensuring that our children can enjoy their football in a fun and safe environment. One of the underlying themes of youth respect campaigns is that children respond best to positivity. The current FA campaign promotes the message that ‘Positivity always Wins’, whilst a previous iteration, 'We Only do Positive' highlighted that 90% of children respond better to positivity.

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