Local Study of Football Provision
Grass Roots Football
In Peterborough one of the first way in which people access football is through their school, either through the school curriculum, school clubs or school club links. The aim of the school curriculum is to give people a chance to play certain sports, largely at a low level of attainment, if the performer wished to improve performance this is the point where they will make use of school numerous club links. Another role schools take in providing provision in football is providing competitive matches between other schools in the area and further afield. This role is taken on by the PSSP, which is the Peterborough school sports partnership. The PSSP arranges fixtures in the city. The PSSP also has many coaches in which to help a performer’s development and to help people just starting the sport. They have the support of Simon Ryan who is a Peterborough United community football coach. Cup competitions are arranged by the ESFA, the English school football association.
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Peterborough has a pretty comprehensive local football system ranging from U9 to senior level. The main junior leagues in the area are the Peterborough Junior Alliance League and the Peterborough and District Youth League.
Peterborough Junior Alliance League
Peterborough and District Youth League
It is quite hard to be critical of these leagues as they provide good structured competitive football for performers of differing abilities, as every age group has 3 division and I can personally say that you need have no strong footballing ability in which to play in the lower divisions. One way in which you could be critical is that the league finishes in late February leaving the players a long break between the end of the season and the start of the new one in early September, surely it would make more sense just to increase the seasons and give performers more competitive action.
High quality football locally could be described as limited. This is only the second year the Peterborough centre of excellence has been running after it was stopped 6 years ago due to funding issues at the club. This gap caused many good standard players to look elsewhere for further development in football.
In Peterborough there are very limited provisions for people wishing to take part in disability football. The is one disabled football club for both senior and junior players in Peterborough that is Netherton United and the closest league is one that is run in Cambridge. The junior league in the area is the Cambridge Ability Counts League, This league provides competitive opportunities for junior Ability Counts teams. The league allows pan disability players to take part in structured games against other teams.
The league consists of festivals throughout the season with scores being collated into a league table. Histon Hornets, Wisbech St Marys, Castle, Cambs Deaf Utd, St Ives Rangers and Netherton Utd all take part in the fixtures. There is also a disabled league for senior players, which is the Eastern Region Ability Counts League.
It can be said that Women’s football in Peterborough is relatively strong. There are quite a few teams all ranging in ability levels, with the top team being Peterborough ladies and the lower ends being teams such as Netherton United. There is quite a few leagues that the teams in the area play in, both for juniors and seniors. The problem is though that these leagues also incorporate teams from further afield meaning more travel is required, however this can also be advantageous as the quality of opponent will be greater. There are 4 junior leagues in the area in which city team’s play in-
- Cambridgeshire girl’s league
- Weetabix league
- Fenland Girls League
- The Primary and Secondary school league
The Funding of Local Football Teams
The Football foundation is the main source of funding for Local Football teams, here are some of their initiatives:
- Capitol Project Scheme
- Goal Post Safety Scheme
- Junior Kit Scheme
Example of funding at a local football club-Hampton FC
- Hampton FC has multiple sponsors.
- Different age groups at the club have their own sponsors
- The club as a whole is sponsored by Serpentine Green, who have supported them and brought club strips since 2OO7
- A scheme called Mars in the Community. The MARS IN THE COMMUNITY programme supports projects and activities that promote the development of cohesive, healthy and sustainable communities in and around their UK sites.
Local Football Facilities
Facilities for the lower level of performance is relatively strong in Peterborough with numerous local Sunday league football clubs having good facilities in the area, a good example of this is Netherton United’s facilities at the grange. There are also council owned facilities in the area, such as bush field astro turf and Powerleague, which has many 5 a side leagues. Peterborough is not home to any top class facilities, Peterborough United train at a ground which is also used for Sunday league football matches and village cricket.
Coaching in Peterborough
There is not a great deal of high quality coaching in Peterborough; however there is a great deal of coaches at the community level. So basically for a player just starting the sport there are many coaches but the problems come when a player is looking to develop as a performer. High quality coaching in Peterborough is quite limited with only Peterborough and Cambridge united having development centres in the city.
Refereeing in Peterborough
Peterborough’s local FA are committed to promoting and developing referees and refereeing the County.
Cambridgeshire FA offer courses for new referees throughout the year.