Youth Football

The FA to Explore the Future of Youth Football

Will assess the current provision of youth football and identify new and exciting ways to improve the grassroots game for all young people

The Football Association will carry out a project to explore the future of youth football in England, which will help to identify new and exciting opportunities to improve grassroots football for young players across the country

In early 2023, The FA will engage with the grassroots football community to assess the current set up for different age groups between Under 7s to Under 18s and explore if any further improvements can be introduced to help better support children’s developmental needs and serve the game at this level.

County FAs, clubs, leagues, players, coaches, parents and match officials from across the grassroots community will be consulted during this process and will be asked for their views on many areas, including playing formats and game rules to ensure every young player is physically active and given the best game to play for their age and stage of development.,

The FA’s ambition is to provide a safe, enjoyable and active game for every child, every week, whilst ensuring football plays its part in improving the health of the nation by increasing the levels of engagement, physical activity, skill and technical development for every young player.

Further details will be communicated to the grassroots community for consultation in early 2023.

The FA’s Director of Football Development, James Kendall, said:

"As the governing body of English football, one of our primary objectives is to serve the game. Whilst playing levels are strong across the game, it is best practice for any sport to analyse participation and provision at points in time, to future proof the game – as other nations across the world are doing. This is an exciting opportunity to fully evaluate grassroots youth football in England and identify new and innovative ways to best support the players, officials and volunteers.

"We look forward to working in partnership with the grassroots football community to hear their views in the next step of the evolution of our game, ensuring that youth football can continue to provide an enjoyable, developmental and inclusive experience for everyone involved."

Steve Maker, Hertfordshire FA Head of Football Development and Investment added:

"The previous Youth Review in 2010 had a tremendously positive impact on creating child friendly solutions for football and now over a decade later, it's right that we should look to visit this question again. Hertfordshire FA will be supporting The FA to review the requirements of youth football and we hope to find innovative and positive ways to support football players, officials and volunteers moving forwards."