The team consisted of Nottinghamshire FA staff, referees, volunteers and FA Coach Mentors who were on the lookout for the ‘good stuff’ we know goes on at matches up and down the county each week. Did we find any good stuff? We sure did.
There were lots of games at both venues with some great grassroots football on show including fantastic goals, dramatic endings, disappointment and joy, but most of all lots of smiles from the players.
So who did we ‘Catch In’?
Moorgreen Colts is a welcoming club, with a host of great volunteers who try to create the best possible environment for the teams that play at Birnam Park. Chair, Tony Rowland and Secretary, Darren Summers head a team who work so hard at the ground, cutting the grass, marking the pitches, putting up the goals, and running the newly refurbished tea bar.
Adam Mansouri was caught in showing a real care for his young under 9 players, giving them praise and encouragement, together with some technical detail to help them develop.
We caught in the Willow Wanderers U9s coaches Mark Hodes and Neil Barrs, who were enthusiastic throughout the game, and rotated players and positions throughout, ensuring they got experience all over the pitch.
Southwell City U8s coach Chris Ballard took player rotation to another level, keeping notes on who played where, ensuring that they got a range of experiences during the game.
The U13s game between Moorgreen Colts and Mansfield Hosiery Mills was a great advert for YEL football with goals, thrills and a dramatic end to the game.
Moorgreen coaches John Fordham and Mark Stapleford gave their players encouragement, tips and advice, but most of all they let them play.
David Brown and Dave Thorpe, the opposition coaches put on a fantastic game related warm up for their players which showed progressions and technical detail appropriate for them.
It was a similar atmosphere at Kimberley Leisure Centre, the home of the Nottinghamshire FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year, Priory Celtic. The sign at their entrance is a great example of their commitment to The FA Respect campaign, and is a little reminder to all who come to watch the games.
Club secretary, John Harris was at the ground and gave a warm welcome to the team when they arrived. They really make use of the facilities at the leisure centre, using both the 3G and grass pitches.
Mark and Ryan from Priory Celtic U7s were caught in after they set up a little area for their substitutes to play in to keep them engaged whilst waiting to go on.
There were four U7 teams in action on Saturday, two from Priory Celtic and two from Stapleford Town. A great little initiative from the YEL is to have two games playing at the same time and then have two more games with the teams ‘swapping’ opponents. This gives the players even more experience and coaches the opportunity to swap and rotate players with ease.
Catch You In gives us the opportunity to give our young referees some extra support in the form of observation, feedback and mentoring which was in action at the weekend.
All in all this was a really great morning for the team, it gave us at Nottinghamshire FA the chance to get out and see for ourselves what a great job our volunteers are doing as well as gaining the views of coaches, parents and officials.
We’ll be out and about every month during the season, and you never know, we just might be coming to a pitch near you.
For more information on Catch You In please contact Tim Jones on 01159837413 or Tim.Jones@nottinghamshirefa.com.