Mack’s Craic

The magic of the cup.

The magic of the cup.

Kids who play football can’t win trophies any more.

For years youngsters have joined football clubs in the hope of not only winning their local league, but also collecting an end of season trophy. But the Football Association is now banning the practice. They claim that youngsters will enjoy greater ‘player development’ if they play for fun. The rule is already in force for under-7 and under-8s. It will be introduced for the under 9s next season, under 10’s the season after that and from season 2015/16 to under 11’s.’  The FA says no results for the junior games will be ‘collected or published’ to prevent youngsters from being put under ‘too much pressure’.

What is going on here? Has the Football Association been taken over by a group of sandal wearing, latté sipping, pony tailed, basket weavers? They’re supposed to be football people! It’s a competitive sport! You compete for trophies! 

The FA says the kids should be “playing for fun”. Wait a minute, winning IS fun, losing shouldn’t be. Life is all about winning and losing. Learning how to win and how to deal with losing is all a part of growing up. And trophies are a part of life too. It might not be a tin mug or a statue, it might be a qualification, letters after your name, a cash bonus, or maybe you’ll treat yourself to a nice treat or an exotic holiday, they’re all trophies.    

Liverpool’s ex-captain Tommy Smith agrees with me. He said, ‘If a team perform well throughout a season they should be recognised for their glorious achievement. It takes courage and determination to win a season-long league and children should be encouraged to strive for that. It’s good discipline and helps teach useful life-skills, no matter at what level of the game they play in later life.’ 

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that the FA have stopped kids from winning trophies, they’ve had the same policy in place for the national side since 1966.

Craic on!

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