FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What does it mean to be an FA Community Chartered Club?
A. This is the highest level of FA Charter accreditation meaning we've met the high criteria for finance management, training for all age groups, CRC checks for volunteers, equality and respect policies etc. This also allows us to apply for various FA grants.
Q. Can you explain the age groups?
A. The FA definition is the school year from September that they turn that age for example U8s will be the school year they turn 8.
Under 5s - Reception
Under 6s - Year 1
Under 7s - Year 2
Under 8s - Year 3
Under 9s - Year 4
Under 10s - Year 5
Under 11s - Year 6
Under 12s - Year 7
Under 13s - Year 8
Under 14s - Year 9
Under 15s - Year 10
Under 16s - Year 11
Under 17s - Year 12
Under 18s - Year 13
Q. Do you have anyone who is paid a wage at the club?
A. In general the majority of the 50 people that help at the club are unpaid volunteers; this includes all executive committee members, age group managers, team assistants and team administrators. Areas where we pay for a service is our qualified referees and a few specific age groups where we've struggled with parent volunteers to coach. At the moment this includes the girls, Sunday AM, U11s, U12s and U13s - we try to minimise the cost and if possible offset with specific sponsorship or for the girls FA grants. Please bear this in mind if joining these age groups.
Q. Do you stream the teams for each Age Group?
A. Our main focus for the younger children is fun and enjoyment with as many touches of the ball in training as possible; check out the Larkhall Way for more details. In general, as the players get older and gain experience plus ability the teams are more streamed to allow children to play with similar ability players not just in their teams but against similar teams in the league.
Q. Why do you have mixed and girls only teams?
A. From experience, we've found that although we welcome girls to play in the mixed leagues some prefer to play in a girls-only league. This had led to an increase in the number of girls playing football.
Q. Can my daughter play in a mixed team and a girls team?
A. Yes, there is no restriction and many girls have taken this option.
Q. Can my child play up a year?
A. The FA do allow players to play up one year; we do often sign a player to two teams to allow e.g. U12s and U13s. But mostly, players play only in their applicable age group. Often for the U7s it will have some U6s in the team to who are ready for matches.
Q. Do you offer free trials?
A. Yes, we certainly encourage you to bring your child to one of training sessions as a taster to see if right for them. We also run free training over the summer for all U5s to U8s.
Q. When does winter training start?
A. We typical train from mid-August to late September at Beckford Tower Playing Fields on the grass pitches then swap over to our winter training venue (AstroTurf and 3G) at the local schools. We train here until after Easter then move back to the grass pitches.
Q. What's the difference between the U5-U8s Sunday morning session and the mid-week sessions for the same age groups?
A.The Sunday morning session is intended as an introduction to the club and a chance for the children to find their feet in football and develop a love for the game. Once you feel your child is comfortable with playing matches then we encourage you to transfer to the mid-week.
Q. Can my child do the U5-U8s Sunday training instead of/as well as the mid-week?
A. Yes, we are happy to offer this flexibility but note it may clash with matches for some of the age groups. Equally we don't mind if you go to both sessions and have twice the fun!
Q. What age do players start the FA League matches?
A. The first organised league is U7s (Year 2) for mixed team (Girls and Boys). Players are allowed to play a year up, so some U6s (Year 1) choose to play in this team. In general for U5s and U6s we can arrange friendlies with local teams.
For the girls only team the first organised league, at the moment, is the U9s. We have U8s (Year 3) and U9s (Year 4) in the teams.
Q. What age do players compete to in the youth club?
A. The oldest age group is the U18s (Year 13). We often have two teams because there are no U17s (Year 12); with the latter playing in a lower league normally to the first team. Players wanting to continuing move into some of the adult leagues - the highest level players into our Senior team or one of connected teams like Wick FC.
Q. How many players are in each team?
A. As the players go up each year it moves from U7s 5-a-side to U18s 11-a-side with typical no more than 3-5 substitutes. You can find specific details in the FA Rules.
Q. Which leagues do your teams play in?
A. The Teams mainly play in the Mid-Wilts League which play Wiltshire based teams such as Corsham, Chippenham, Colerne, Melksham and Trowbridge as example. Our younger girls play in Wiltshire and our older girls in Somerset. The U17s and U18s play in the Bristol leagues.
Q. What day are matches held?
A. It depends on the league and the age group. For Mid Wilts which most of the players are in: U7s (Saturday), U8s (Sunday), U9s (Saturday), U10s (Sunday), U11s (Saturday), U12s and above Sunday. Note that many managers, including ours, arrange the games for Saturday morning even if officially it is on a Sunday.
Q. I would like to volunteer but have no real experience; what do I need to do?
A. To exist as a club we rely on volunteers from running teams, to running the club to help at matches/tournament for warm-ups, lines person etc. To help the minimum we require is a DBS check - please contact our Welfare Officer and we can take you through the simple application process. For coaching we pay for coaches to do their badges and the emergency first aid courses:
Q. Do you have any female coaches?
A. Yes, but not many. We'd really encourage more women to get into coaches and help inspire our players.
Q. I registered but now I've been told it hasn't been received?
A. We've had a few people experience problems with registration. You need yo join the website first then this allows you to go to the Registration Page where you can complete the embedded form, if using a computer, or click on the Google Form link to open up a new window. If you've clicked away from the Google Form to pay fees then please make sure you go back and press Submit. You will receive an email confirmation of your response. If not please do contact us.
Q. I think I've enter some details incorrectly can I check and amend?
A. If you have the form receipt then you should be able to click the amend link to correct. Otherwise please contact us and we can amend.
Q. I'm not sure whether my child will be playing games straight away; what option should I choose?
A. We're more than happy for you to choose Training Only and then see how they get on through the season. We can agree on additional fees if required.
Q. Can I get a refund if I leave the club?
A. Yes, we are a non-profit and exist to encourage children to play football. If you child no longer wants to be a part of the club we can arrange a refund or cancel your existing plan. We roughly divide the year in to the 10 months we train from August to May so we can use this to calculate the refund.
Q. How are the club fees set?
A. We have a calculator for our costs: winter pitch hire, grass pitch maintenance, equipment (ball, cones, goals, goalie gloves etc.), FA leagues fees, insurance, end of year trophies, coaches training etc. We also give discounts to out volunteers which we need to supplement. The cost is then calculated for training only for all players and then the extra for matches e.g. referee fees, line marking. A breakdown can be found at our AGM.
Q. Are the fees expected to rise each year?
A. As a non-profit we trying to keep costs down and often only increased with the typical rate of living costs - for last 5 years the rise has roughly been 1.5% per year.
Q. Is the match kit included in the club fees?
A. No, this is a separate cost. We do try to find sponsor which has funded kit in the past but obviously this can't be guaranteed. If you know a potential sponsor then please check out our Become a Sponsor Page. Also, we are trying to encourage parents to hand down kit as their child out grows them. We have some available on our Secondhand Boot Store.
Q. Do I need to buy a training and/or match kit when I join the club?
A. If you are training only then there is no pressure to buy either kit - anything suitable will suffice. For matches will do require you to buy the kit; the age group manager will help you choose a number. Kit is available from John Moore Sports.