Lyne Football Club is pleased to announce a blueprint for the club, which will be applied to all of our age groups from 2014/15. The aim of this blueprint to enable the club to return to its original principles and take an overarching view of every age group to ensure all teams are structured to benefit the future development of every young footballer at Lyne FC.

This document sets out the Club Philosophy, Structure and Future for our football club. It is intended to formalise the ideas and practise that were set out and understood when the club was formed, however over time these principles have not always been reinforced, encouraged or adopted by teams. This has led to many coaches and committee members asking what Lyne FC stands for ?

The intention is that the ideas, aims and objectives stated here, will be formally readopted by the club in its entirety.

This will give Lyne FC a clear identity as a football club within the community as we strive to compete with other more established clubs for new players.

It is not intended for this document to be voted in at committee level as these principles were already in place, and adhered to when the club was formed in its early years. This is just a formalisation of the original policy intended to get the club ‘back on track’ to its ‘Raison d’etre’.


Lyne FC was formed by Nigel Edgecombe in 2007, with 4 ‘Under 13’ teams in a single age group. The age group structure was hierarchical, i.e. each team played at a different ability level, and it was accepted that players of higher ability would be expected to play at the appropriate level. It was understood that ‘mixed ability’ teams were diametrically opposed to the principles of the ‘Hierarchical’ structure, and caused many issues especially in older age groups. This was the founding ethos of the club. Further initiatives were adopted in the form of an emphasis on qualified coaches, acquiring the best facilities available, and investing in good playing surfaces. All of these initiatives helped the club to attain the coveted ‘FA Charter Standard Status’

Over recent times the ethos has either been lost, watered down or compromised, and this document outlines the rationale behind the re-adoption of these founding principles, in order to give Lyne FC;

1. A permanent credible identity

2. A player centric footballing philosophy that primarily evolves around player development

3. A clear pathway for both players and coaches to achieve

4. The adoption of a hierarchical structure within each age group

i.e. each player will play for a team based on their ability

Simply put, the club will have an expectation that all members accept the principles so that each player and coach will strive to be the best they can, in terms of commitment, attainment and development.

This in turn will give Lyne FC the clear identity that we need in order to keep attracting players who want to develop their football.

Organisation Philosophy

Utilising the founding ethos of ability based football, the club will adopt the principles of the FA ‘The Future Game’ document.

Which is, “The FA Technical Guide for Young Player Development, published in 2010, and outlines a philosophy and vision for the future of youth development in English football.

Central to the message are the principles of creativity and innovation, for both coaches and players, and a playing philosophy based on quality passing, possession and building play through the three-thirds of the pitch.

Out of possession, the philosophy calls for a tactical approach to defending in which all players contribute.”

There will also be an emphasis for coaches to encourage the development of skill based practises so that each player can acquire fundamental basics of control, dribbling and turning techniques.

Club Structure.

As a football club, there is a wider standard committee who take responsibility for the day to day running of the club. However, in the past a ‘core’ football based committee was key in ensuring that the club, its coaches, players and teams, were all focusing in the right direction. This included handling not only the ‘Playing style’, but also determined which teams played in which leagues, ensured player and coach discipline, as well as child protection issues.

Effectively this smaller ‘core committee’ acted as a steering group for the club.

It was made up from a small number of committee members who had extensive football knowledge and experience, and the wider committee adopted the ideas and principles from this section of people.

A return to this organisation structure is key to the adoption of the principles laid down in this document.

The original ‘Core’ members were Nigel Edgecombe, Richard Ayres, Richard Johnson, Ian Barrado and Scott Lewis; two of which still form the ‘Core’ committee today. Suitably qualified members may also be asked from time to time to join this committee. It was always intended that this ‘Core’ committee consisted of a small number of people who shared a long term commitment to the club.

Age Group Structure

• Age Group Leader

At each age group it is intended to create at least two teams (where numbers exist). There will be an ‘Age Group Leader’ who will take overall responsibility for the teams. It is recommended that this should be one of the Manager / Coaches of either team.

This person will understand the ethos of the Club and agree the placements of players within each team.

• Manager / Coaches Qualifications

Each Manager / Coach MUST be a minimum ‘FA Level 1’ qualified coach, or they must make the provision to attain this accreditation within their first season. The club will contribute financially to the cost incurred.

However during the initial year, an up to date ‘CRB’ clearance, ‘FA First Aid’ and ‘Safeguarding Children’ certificates MUST be in place along with completion of the online ‘FA Respect’ module.

Non compliance is not an option as the club is an ‘FA Charter Standard Club’ and must meet strict criteria to retain its status.

This is the minimum expectation for a Lyne FC Manager / Coach and will require Continued Personal Development (CPD). The club will support individuals who wish to progress their coaching skills beyond this requirement.

The free online ‘FA Respect’ module must be completed by all club officials and team captains. All other club members are encouraged to complete this too.

 Two teams in each age group & Development

Where numbers are sufficient in an age group, the aim is to offer two squads to meet the needs and abilities of all players.

This will be via streaming the players by ability into separate teams. Each team will be placed in to a league at the relevant standard.

The ‘Higher Standard’ squad will consist of the highest ability players available with the aim to play at the highest level appropriate and to create an environment to challenge the players to be the very best they can be.

The ‘Development Squad’ will provide appropriate ability football at a slightly less competitive level to allow for development at the right pace, whilst building confidence and optimising enjoyment levels. All “Development Squad” players will have the opportunity to move up to the higher level squad should it be the correct move for the player (higher level players can also move down if deemed appropriate). ‘Development Squad’ Coaches will not hold players back from moving upwards. The Coaches at Lyne FC are here to help the players fulfil their individual potential, not to get results for their own egos!

An overriding principle will be that a player of a higher ability should be encouraged to move to the ‘Higher Standard’ squad. However there may be occasions where the individual player requests to stay in the ‘Development Squad’. This is acceptable, but efforts should continually be made to review this situation.

If it is obvious that a player in the ‘Higher Standard’ squad needs to be playing in the ‘Development Squad’, then this adjustment must happen.

If the environment is good and everyone understands the expectations, then player transitions between the squads should be seamless.

As players develop from age 6 to 16 they will undergo changes in growth rates, technique, confidence etc. It is therefore vital that they are playing in a team that suits their ability level.

• From the Top down

Like all successful sports clubs, the ‘Higher Standard’ squad will be the ‘Flagship’ squad for each age group. The ‘Development Squad’ will provide enjoyable, competitive football for its own players and also support to the ‘Higher Standard’ squad where appropriate. ‘Development Squad’ teams will not be left “high and dry” and if a player is ready to move “up” then the coaches will work together to ensure that a reciprocal arrangement is made. However, one of the main aims of the new club structure is to remove the current issues of one squad catering for a very wide range of ability levels, (unless there is only one squad in an age group, when it may be unavoidable). It does no player any good to play and train with players who are of a vastly different level either up or down the ability ladder. We expect our schools to “set” pupils according to their ability and speed of learning and so our young footballers should benefit from the same structure.

• Applying the Blueprint

Applying the development principles should be encouraged and will be easier if more players in each squad are of similar ability.

At 5v5 and during the initial stages of 7v7 format age groups, the game is more about development of the players. Equal time on the pitch, rotation of positions, and encouragement of the style of play is more important than winning.

When the 7v7 format enters the ‘Competitive’ arena (currently mid-way through the U8 age group), this is the ideal time to implement the hierarchical structure. A lot will depend on the ability of the group and the number of players.

If necessary a further season of development can be considered. However, around the ages of 10/11 (School year 6/7), the two tier structure should be operated.

At 9v9 and 11v11, the structure must be applied.

Overall a common sense approach should be employed.

Going Forwards

Before the start of the 2013/2014 season each playing member, parent(s) or guardian, when signing up or renewing their membership will receive a copy of this document and the relevant code of conduct forms.

Each Manager and Coach will also be required to sign up to the ‘Managers & Coaches’ version of this document and the relevant Codes of Conduct in order that the Club can move forward as a whole. It is generally accepted that all members of Lyne FC are already following the accepted Codes of Conduct.

This will be the cornerstone of each member’s commitment to the club.

 Team Applications

All team applications from Managers will go via the Club Secretary, only when the appropriate Manager / Coach sign up has been satisfied will the Club Secretary process the application.

Player Pathway to Senior Football.

After U16’s, Lyne FC may operate U17/18 teams where it feels beneficial to the club and players. It is intended that players of good ability are encouraged to follow a pathway that takes them into Senior football. This can be achieved through one of several associations that Lyne FC has forged with local senior football clubs.

It is intended that eventually Lyne FC will forge a permanent link to a single Senior club that will provide opportunities for players to develop into Senior football via U18 youth and senior ‘Development Squad’/’Reserve Team’ football.

The Lyne FC committee is positive that all coaches, members and friends of Lyne FC will support this important initiative which will enable EVERY player at Lyne FC to achieve their potential. Furthermore, this ethos was always in place at the Club and is the major factor in the Club’s establishment. This ethos is now documented so that there is absolute clarity with regards to our identity going forwards.