Supporting Adult Teams with 16/17 Year Old Players
We know that many 16 and 17-year-old players look to play in open age football, and that this is a fantastic opportunity for them to progress and be challenged both technically and physically. However, club officials, managers and players must also recognise that these young players are still legally children.
This means that Managers, Coaches, Assistants and Medical Staff with U18 players in their teams must be named on The FAs Whole Game System (WGS), have an in date accepted Enhanced FA DBS Check and have completed the appropriate online Safeguarding Training from The FA.
Clubs can further assist with the introduction and enjoyment of 16 and 17-year-old players in open age adult teams by considering the following:
- Managers/Coaches welcoming U18s and discussing with them upfront their expectations of joining the team, including playing time and their role within the team;
- Managers/Coaches acknowledging with U18s and their parents/carers the potential for exposure to adult player behaviours e.g. swearing or alcohol consumption;
- Ensuring photography/filming of players does not occur in changing areas;
- Supporting U18s who request to change discretely or shower separately from the other adult players to be able to do so;
- Identifying a suitable player (possibly the captain) to ensure the others on the team remain mindful of the player’s age throughout the season;
- Ensuring there are no demeaning initiation rituals (sometimes referred to as hazing);
- Ensuring U18s receive The FAs guidance - ‘Know Your Rights’ and understand how to raise any concerns they may have;
- Informing Match Officials when there are U18s in the team;
- Appropriately managing travel arrangements for matches for U18s and ensuring appropriate accommodation is provided for U18s if the team needs to stay away for competition games/cup finals
Find Out More
For further information on Safeguarding in Open Age Football, please download the relevant documents below or contact our Designated Safeguarding Officer who will be happy to help. You can also learn more about Football's Safeguarding Policies and Procedures by visiting The FA website.
SAFEGUARDING ON THEFA.COM