Aston Clinton Colts e-Handbook

2015 / 2016

1 Welcome to the Colts - Chairmans Introduction

Welcome to your club. And it is very much that, YOUR club, be you a player, parent, manager, coach or one of the many volunteers that keep Aston Clinton Colts going, you all have a part to play – your teamwork, makes the dream work.

This club e-handbook is for you, we pride ourselves on being one club at the heart of our community – and this is designed to be part of that process. Keeping you informed on how we run the club, who does what, where and when. Letting everyone know what’s expected of them, what it costs to be here and much, much more.

It also tells you about our team sponsors, without them the membership rates we charge would be much higher. Unlike some other clubs we do all we can to ensure that there are no hidden costs, charges for matches, or kit, for example, and our sponsors make this possible, so please make sure you support our sponsors with your custom to encourage them to continue to support us! Let them know you know about them because of the Colts!

It’s been a fantastic year at the Colts, and I am incredibly proud of the achievements of the teams throughout the age groups. From our two cup final teams (the Under 18’s winning, the Under 11’s SO close!), to our two table topping teams in the Under 14 and Under 15 age groups all the coaches, managers, players and parents have done the best they can to bring success to the club.

We have also welcomed new blood to the club, our link with Kiddikicks means that the club can proudly boast that it helps provide football for EVERY age group from toddlers to Under 18’s. More than that we have forged new links not only with the men’s team in Aston but the newly formed Weston Turville team, to start to ensure that the Under 18’s don’t simply stop their footballing lives at 18, but have a clear, defined route to the senior age groups.

And the plans continue. Working hard with the parish councils of both Aston Clinton and Weston Turville we are adding more pitches, more teams and therefore more opportunities for the children of both villages. And we won’t sit still.

Our tournament in July 2015 was a clear signal of our intention to become a focal part of the community, utilising local businesses, local people and local facilities for the benefit of us all. In 2015/16 we aim to become an FA Charter Standard Community Club, further cementing our commitment to the community and the future.

But we can’t do it without the team of volunteers that run this club. There truly is a role for everyone, if you only want to be involved in a bit of pitch marking – fantastic, maybe you’d like to help out on the social side of the club, organising fund raising activities for new equipment - amazing, or you want to get involved in the coaching and running of one of our teams – brilliant, who you need to contact is in this handbook.

The future is bright, the future IS Aston Clinton Colts JFC. I’ll raise a toast to that,


Elton Gray

Aston Clinton Colts Chairman

2 Background to the Colts

2.1 Club aims and ethos

Established in 1983 Aston Clinton Colts Junior Football Club has provided football related activities for hundreds of children and young people. We are affiliated to the Berks and Bucks FA and membership is open to boys and girls aged between six and seventeen – although with our affiliated toddler football group, Kiddikicks, we are able to offer football to all from 1 through to adulthood.

The club is run by unpaid volunteers and all activities are funded through member subscriptions and general fundraising.

We aim to:

  • Promote community participation in healthy recreation by providing facilities for playing football.

  • Advance the education of children and young people.

  • Build stronger bonds between all areas of the local community.

At the Colts we adhere to the FA and league guidelines as regards competitive football. We measure our success by the level of enjoyment and involvement our players gain.

We encourage all our players and parents to support good play, and sportsmanship – regardless of which team is playing, and we will always praise performance, effort and teamwork ahead of results.

Our commitments include:

  • The Colts will provide football for as many children and young adults as possible. No child will be prevented from joining the club on grounds of ability as long as they are committed and work hard. The club will give priority to the children living in Aston Clinton and Weston Turville, and those attending local schools.

  • Every child will be treated as an individual and encouraged to develop, to the best of their ability, in terms of skill, teamwork, fitness, tactics and athleticism. We will always play with a desire to win, but good sportsmanship will always be an essential part of all Colts members, coaches, managers and family, regardless of the age group, or competition being played.

  • The Colts fully support a Football for all philosophy, but we still aim to build the strength of our sides and develop and A-team at all age groups that are capable of winning league and cup medals. Our aim is to have at least one team in each age group that is selected on ability, and to allow players from all the teams in that age group an opportunity to become part of the A-team.

  • The players who make up the Colts A-team may change on an annual basis as players mature, or others join the club. Therefore, children may play in a different squad each year. The Colts has a Squad Selection Policy which everyone agrees to when joining the club.

2.2 An FA Charter Standard Community Club

We are incredibly proud of the work we all do at the Colts, we operate to the highest standards set by the FA for youth football clubs, as such we have strived to become an FA Charter Standard Community Club. As such we take the codes of conduct required very seriously. As such players, managers, coaches and spectators are expected to adhere to our codes of conduct and to the FA Respect guidelines. We remain 100% committed to supporting the FA’s plans for the development of youth football, and increasingly want to lead the way in the implementation of these and future plans.

2.3 Codes of conduct

The Club has Codes of Conduct for Players, Coaches, Parents, Senior Players, and Club

Officials. The Codes of Conduct for Parents and Players are included in the Appendix to

this Handbook. Make sure that you, and your children, read them!

We also have a variety of other policies covering social media, photographing of the teams, anti-bullying, all of which are available on the Colts website.

2.4 Club Welfare Officer

The Colts have a Club Welfare Officer who is responsible for the welfare and safeguarding of

all members under the age of 18. Two of the Club codes relate specifically to Club Welfare

issues, namely:

  • Safeguarding Children Policy

  • Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure.

It is vital that everyone concerned with the club, from Parents, to players and managers are familiar with these two codes and Understand what to do should they feel the need.

2.5 Respect campaign

We actively want to encourage everyone involved with the club to become familiar and adhere to the FA’s Respect Campaign. The Campaign is the FA’s programme to eradicate unacceptable behaviour, both on and off the pitch, in football.

Parents, Managers and Coaches have a huge role in this Campaign, as they are not only responsible for their behaviour, but that of their players and those around them. Please take a moment to think about how your behaviour will be reflected by the younger generation. It is vital that spectators, managers and coaches also allow the referee to manage the game without being subjected to any form of abuse – the referees work hard to provide a positive and beneficial environment for our teams.

Click For More Details Of Our Sponsors

Without our sponsors we wouldn't be able to offer as much as we do. Please take the time to support them, and tell them you're a member of the Colts!

3 Constitution, Structure & Club Committees

The Colts have a formal constitution, which can be found on our website. An AGM takes place in July each year.

3.1 The Club Committee

The Club is run by a Committee of unpaid volunteers. The Committee usually meets once a month, normally on the first Monday of the month. Managers are welcome to attend Committee meetings and are entitled to vote at these. The Committee Members are listed in the next section. Every member of the Colts is a volunteer and gives a lot of time to the running of the club.

3.2 The Social Committee

The newly formed social committee has been tasked with improving the links throughout the age groups, and the community. If you would like to be involved please let us know.

3. 3 Committee members

Elton Gray


01296 434648

Andy Smith


Di Waller

Club Secretary

Gordon Baker

Club Treasurer

Jo Davies

Club Child Safety Officer

Ray Lucas

Honorary Life President

John Harris

Sponsorship & Funding Officer

Steve Lewington

Tournament & Digital Officer

Kerry Carter

Recruitment & Social Media Officer

Tim Warren

Presentation Day Officer

Jo Davis

Social Committee Organiser

4 Squad Selection

A major challenge for each age group is to organise players into team squads. It’s important that both managers and parents are aware of our guidelines. When joining the Club, players and parents “buy in” to this approach.

As a Club we follow some clearly defined principles on the structure of teams and the development of players. These principles are guided by the FA guidelines.

The basic principles are:

• Squads are graded on an ability basis. We attempt to match players with other
players of similar ability. Squads are set according to FA guidelines on age, which equates to:

U7 – School Year 2

U8 – Year 3

U9 – Year 4

U10 – Year 5

U11 – Year 6

U12 – Year 7

U13 – Year 8

U14 – Year 9

U15 – Year 10

U16 – Year 11


• Player movement up or down can take place at the beginning of the season and if necessary, at the Christmas break, to balance the squads or to move a player into a squad which better matches his or her ability and development.
• The Club gives priority to children living in the Aston Clinton and Weston Turville community and those attending local schools, irrespective of ability.

4.1 Squad size

The recommended size of squads is as follows, however, managers are able to alter as suits their age group:

• Each mini-sided squad will contain a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 16


• For all 9 a side teams, the minimum squad size is 9 and a maximum of 16.

• For all 11 a side teams the minimum squad size is 11, and the maximum 20.

• Once the recommended maximum squad size has been reached, no further players will be added.

• Additional players may be added with the agreement of the Club Committee or the Age Group Coordinator. Additional players are welcome to join the club and train with the squad but will not play in matches. Where there is sufficient interest, the club will look at setting up additional teams to satisfy demand.

• When the recommended maximum squad sizes are reached, registration of new players for the Club and Leagues will cease until places become available.

• U7 children may play in the U8s team, but may be kept down the following year so they play in the correct year group from then on. Wherever possible, all children should play in their correct age group.

• For each 11 a side match, it is normally recommended that the manager should select no more than 14 players to attend, as this reduces disruption and helps ensure that children do not get cold on the sidelines. As with mini teams, this will require rotation of “rested” players if everyone is available.

4.2 Squad structure

The U7 squads are entirely flexible. The Age Group Coordinator decides in which team the children play each week. U8 squads will be selected on ability where possible. The rapid nature of development in the younger age groups means it is possible that the squads may change significantly at Christmas. Squads for older age groups may change half way through the season to make minor adjustments.

The recommended squad structure is:

  • Colts – A team

  • Cobras – B team

  • Blues – C team

  • Blacks – D team

  • Reds

  • Whites

However, this is not set in stone. Some age groups elect to operate an A team and two or three B teams. At younger age groups, matching levels of ability between squads is less of an issue than at older groups.

Players can be transferred between squads at any time, subject to the League rules on player transfers. If the players are registered with a league, the transfer deadline is February.

Players cannot play for more than one team within the same league, unless a formal transfer has taken place. However, players can be dual registered for teams in separate leagues to provide cover for absences BUT NOT to strengthen a team for a specific match. So a player in West Herts Youth League can also be registered in the Watford Friendly Leagues to provide cover for another team. This should be made known to the Club Secretary.

Squads are structured as far as possible so that players are matched with players of

similar ability.

A parent cannot opt for their child to play at a higher level, if it is against the judgement

of the manager.

Squad selection at the start of a season should be undertaken in consultation with all age group managers, and the age group coaches. You may also wish to involve Parent Representatives in the discussions.

Squad Selection will also depend on the following basic tenaments:

  • Their availability - we're very conscience that the boys and their families will have other commitments from time to time
  • Their attitude and respect toward their team mates, their coaches, match officials and their opposition
  • Their attendance at training and application once there
  • Their fitness level (particularly at the start of the season)
  • Their performances both at training and also during matches
  • Our opposition and the formation we plan to utilise
  • The timeliness of responses to invites for training and matches

4.3 Equal Playing Time

The club has a philosophy of “Equal Playing Time”. “Equal Playing Time” applies over the

season, not to one match. This means that you can give the weaker players extended time in the less competitive games.

“Equal Playing Time” inevitably forces a manager to make changes when they don’t want

to. Therefore, for the younger age groups in particular, substitutions have to be thought

out before the game starts. A manager should not start with the strongest team and end

with the weakest as this can create bad feeling if the team loses the lead in the final

minutes. It is much better to start with the weaker players and stack the defence with

the better players on the pitch so that there is a rousing finale with the better players,

hopefully leading to victory!

There will be occasions when “Equal Playing Time” is inappropriate and managers should

abide with the spirit of this rule rather than without exception.

For a Colts team where there may be a greater emphasis on playing to win, all players

should receive a reasonable amount of pitch time.

4.4 New children joining during the season

If a child wishes to join the club during the season and there are places within the age

group, the Age Group Coordinator will take the decision on whether they can join one of

the squads. If the squads are all full, then the child will be able to join the club for

training but will not be eligible for matches. If enough extra players wish to join, the club

will try to create an extra team.

When a vacancy becomes available, it will go to the most able player on the waiting list. If

the player’s ability warrants inclusion in a higher team, but there is only space in a lower

team, then they will join the lower team until the start of the next season.

4.5 Less able children

All children regardless of ability will be able to join the club. However, if it is felt they are

not yet ready to play matches they will be invited to train with the club and not to play

matches until they have achieved an appropriate level. If a child has already played

matches for a team but it is felt that they are not ready for it, the club will still do its best

to accommodate them within a team. However, in exceptional circumstances, if a child is

struggling to fit within the lowest ability team and it is felt to be in the best interest of the

child and their team-mates not to play matches, they may be asked to attend training

only and not play in matches following consultation with their parents and with the

agreement of the Committee.

4.6 Training players

Where squads are fully subscribed, the manager may be able to accept a new member as

a training player. A training player pays £70 per year, completes the Colts registration

form but is not registered to play for the team in any of the local leagues. When a vacancy becomes available in the team squad, the manager then has the option to upgrade the training player to full membership, eligible to play in competitive games.

Training players MUST COMPLETE a club registration and pay the £70 fee to ensure that

he/she is covered by the Club’s public liability insurance.

5 Kit & Equipment

Before the start of each season Managers can request kit and equipment for the

forthcoming season. The Club sets out a minimum standard of kit and equipment that

each team is provided with by the Club.

5.1 What each team gets

Each Colts Manager is provided with the following:

  • Club kit (whether new or recycled) for each player registered with the club consisting of shirt, shorts and socks.
  • 2 Match balls at the correct size for the age group
  • Training balls at a ratio of balls to registered players of 1:2 (it is expected that some balls will be re-useable from year to year i.e. a squad will not get all new training balls)
  • A set of 40 training cones
  • A ball net/bag
  • A set of poles.
  • Linesman’s flags (under 11’s upwards)
  • First aid kit
  • Coaches Kit which must be worn during training and matches

All equipment remains the property of the club but it is each manager’s responsibility to

look after the equipment.

In the event of any equipment being damaged or lost this must be reported to the

club secretary for record keeping purposes and for any replacements necessary.

5.2 Shirts

All teams play in the same kit and that each kit has a minimum recyclable life of 3 years.

As a club we are aiming to align shirt replacement to a 3 year minimum cycle with U8,

U11, U14, U18 getting new kit. This means you should only expect occasional

replacement shirts between these ages for new players or sudden growth spurts (in which case the outgrown shirt should be rotated to a smaller player).

Shirts belong to the Club not the player. If a player leaves the club, the shirt must be

returned - or a bill will be issued for a replacement kit.

In the event of a colour clash, it is usually the Home team that changes. There are several spare sets of shirts available within the Club, if you need one. Alternatively, you can use a set of bibs.

6 Pitches

The Colts are based in Aston Clinton Park, however due to the size, and popularity of the club we also play in Weston Turville Park.

Detailed below where each team trains and plays:

Aston Clinton Park

Under 7's / 8's

Under 9's

Under 10's

Under 11's

Under 12's

Under 15's

Under 16's

Under 17's

Weston Turville Park

Under 13's

Under 14's

Under 18's

We work closely with the local parish councils to provide football pitches. The Colts take on the costs and responsibility for the provision of goal posts and nets. A set of goal posts and nets costs upwards of £1,500!

7 Coaching & Development

Each age/group or team has an allocated coach, in addition to the Team Manager.

Training facilities are provided throughout the season and are based at Aston Clinton and Weston Turville Parks.

Goalkeeping training is also provided by CJH Football Coaching.

Training sessions are not carried out during the school holidays.

The club will fund the development of the volunteer coaches and will have one FA accredited coach at each age range as a minimum.

Any manager requesting advice on match day warm ups and drills can contact the club committee for ideas and suggestions.

We are aiming for all managers have access to the Coaching Manual, an online resource providing guidance on coaching and drills.

We aim to provide every Colts player with the best possible learning environment

along with main ingredient of having FUN.

Our coaching sessions are run on the following basis:

1. Coaches to arrive at least 15 minutes before session starts.

2. Coaches to have session plans with them, so managers can see what they are coaching their teams.

3. All sessions will start on time, regardless of number of players.

4. Coaches training sessions will be reviewed on a quarterly basis at the managers meeting

5. A Coaching Manual will be made available to coaches and managers online.

6. We adopt the following Coaches Motto - PEPE

a. P - Positive

b. E - Enthusiasm

c. P - Passionate

d. E - Energy

8 Referees

The Colts have a number of qualified referees whose details are provided to the managers. If a referee is required it is up to the manager to make contact and arrange it.

If you use a referee but do not have a referee allocated by the league,

please use the fees below. If you have a league appointed referee please pay the league

specified fee for your league and age group. Managers are able to claim referee expenses back from the club by submitting an expense form.

8.1 Referee fees

• Under 17/18 - £30

• Under 15/16 - £28

• Under 13/14 - £25

• Under 11/12 - £22

8.2 Parents and managers as referees

There will be many games where a qualified referee is not available. Mini soccer games

are usually refereed by the manager or a parent. So, make sure that you read the “Guide

to refereeing mini soccer”. You can download this guide from the Downloads area of the

web site.

At 11 a side, managers may begin to get access to league allocated referees, but don’t

count on it!

Bear in mind that at 11 aside, the leagues have strict guidelines on referees and assistant referees in terms of coaching. The referee or assistant referee must not attempt a dual role. If a manager or a parent is the referee, he or she cannot coach, instruct or issue guidance to the players.

As a club we will also fund referee training courses for anyone who would like to get involved in this side of the game.

8.3 Assistant referees

Each team needs to provide a linesman/assistant referee at 11 a side. Parents who take

on this task should read the “Guidelines on running the line”. You can download this

guide from the Downloads area of the web site.