Grading U13, 14, U15 & 17

This season 2016, with our U13 & U14 teams, we have been encouraged by the league to field 2 even Division 1 sides due to our specific situations. With both U13 & U14 Division 2 teams winning premierships we are left with the possibility of being forced to have 2 Division 1 teams. With this in mind we have an exciting opportunity to develop more children at a higher level of football. As a club we only see this as a positive opportunity as it will be exposing many more players to Division 1 level football. This will be again be re‐assessed next season as circumstances can change very quickly. We ask for your continued support as parents during this process and ask that you put the development of players and each age level ahead of any results driven aspirations.

This season 2016, our grading process will continue the same as in previous years with a possible Division 1 & 2 team. We provide the following as guide for the upcoming grading process and wish your child every success in the season ahead at the Beaconsfield JFC.

Grading Philosophy

From Under 13 onwards, the Beaconsfield JFC will grade its teams where it has the ability to field more than one team. This means each team will be graded according to the number of players available at each age level and the level of ability within those age groups.

At the beginning of every new football season, players are graded into teams in different divisions based on ability level. The grading process gives all players the opportunity to demonstrate their talents to a variety of unbiased selectors thus giving all players (irrespective of the team they played with in the previous season) a chance to play in the highest division in the new season. The Club holds this as important in providing equal opportunity to all players.

Young player’s abilities can change dramatically during a 12‐month period. A player who is graded into an ” A” team in one season must try out again in the following years to win a position in the “A” team. This is the best format to maintain equality of opportunity.

Care must be taken to cater for those who have average ability (or less) but still love the game. It adds to their enjoyment if they are playing with and against players of similar or equal ability. This gives each child the chance to fully participate, enjoy the experience and develop to his/her full potential as a player. Past experience has shown that it is frustrating for any individual to play in a team which is clearly above or below their level of ability. Grading must help all players of all abilities.

The Football Department has the care and, to some extent, control of the Club and its members/players. It is the Club (rather than individuals) that enter teams into various Divisions. The Football Department, and not the coaches, will make the final decision.

Grading Objective

The grading policy is designed to address a number of player and club needs, some of which invariably conflict. The fundamentals of the grading policy are designed to ensure:

That a clear process for the grading of new and existing players is provided each year.

The creation of transparency during this process is maintained by using the

appointed development coach for that age group and an unbiased grading selector to

be the arbiter of the grading process.

All players have the maximum opportunity to play/train in a competitive

environment, appropriate to their skill and ability.

Players learn from their peers and develop an appreciation and love of the game.

The club can field competitive or 1st team and/or teams in each age group.

To provide a clear pathway for players to progress within the club from under 13’s to

seniors with the best development opportunities available to the club.

Support of a club culture that takes priority over individual team culture.

Players, coaches and parents alike, have FUN, enjoy the season, and return to the

club year after year to maximise retention at the older age levels.

Grading Divisions

The first question is which grade should each team play in?

In this regard close attention must be made to whether a team should play in Division 1 or the like equivalent. There is nothing to be achieved by placing a team in the top Division for the prestige when they simply are not up to it.

Alternatively, there is little merit in having a team play down a Division and winning by 20 goals each week as this does not challenge the players.

The SEJ have a general policy of reassessing the grades after 4 weeks so that teams may be moved up or down a Division depending on their results at that time. SEJ’s current policy is that a team that moves does so with all of their points and percentage.

Generally speaking it is the Club’s experience that the difference between the top team in one Division and the top team in the Division below can be upwards of 10 goals, if not more and that generally the players in the higher Divisions are bigger, more physically mature, fitter and more skilled.

Grading Teams

The second decision is which players play in which team?

Grading the players will result in the teams that existed from one season being different in personnel to the following season.

It must be remembered that the players are still young, maturing at different levels and stages and more fundamentally hopefully have many years of sport (not just football) in front of them. The decision to grade must be looked at in terms of that year and what is important to that player’s individual development as a footballer.

Selection of the two or three teams will be done based on a number of considerations

which, without any priority are as follows:

The height and overall size of the player;

The playing ability of the player. This is not just a consideration of skill alone but

whether they are a ball getter or strong mark etc.

What position(s) they play;

Whether, they may be better served playing down a grade or level to;

Improve their skills;

Enable them to play in a position that they would not play in at the higher team;

Enable them to excel at a lower level which will enable them to enjoy their football

more and gain greater confidence for years to come.

Be of greater overall value to a team in a lower grade.

Consideration will not be given to players or parent’s friendship groups as occurs in more

junior levels. Consideration will also not be given to parental support roles either.

Nominated coaches should not establish their support team (assistants, managers etc) to

the detriment of this grading policy. They must work within the parameters set and then

use the available parents from the selected player group for each team.

Grading Process

It is important that the coaches of the each team for the upcoming season, if different, speak to the coaches of the previous season before grading is undertaken. A football department assessment will be completed to assess each player from the previous season to assist with the grading process.

Prior playing history while important should not be an overriding factor. We all know that in 6 months during summer, players can change significantly and so too can their playing ability as bigger size sometimes leads to more confidence.

Practice matches are important and all players should be given an opportunity to show what they can do in a variety of positions. This is why we endeavor to create these opportunities for all our graded teams.

The first three weeks of training must be used to have a look at all players that are vying for the various teams, each age group will train together twice a week throughout this period.

Each player during this three week period needs to attend as many training sessions to enable the Development coaches to gain enough information to undertake a thorough examination of each age level. Each player will be looked at in regards to various factors not just ability and/or size. The development coaches will at least be attending once a week.

Assuming there are 2 teams, the best 24 may not necessarily be selected for the higher graded team. For instance there is little point in selecting 24 players who are all midfield players. Each side needs a Ruck, backs, forwards and ball getters. It is essential that each side have sufficient tall players to fill the Goal to Goal line and also to Ruck.

It is also essential that the second or third rated teams have sufficient good players to make them competitive within their grade. Grading will not see the players rated from 1 to 48 or 72 and the top 24 being in the 1st team. We have graded teams, not graded players. As mentioned above we are selecting a team to play in the highest division it possibly can. This does not always align to the best 24 being in that team.

It is also important to remember that a player who coaches believe is a first team player for a variety of reasons may not wish to play first grade football. In this situation a player is permitted to play in a lower graded team in consultation with the Football Department.

Grading Training

All players are asked to be at training 10‐15 mins prior to training during pre‐season to enable the development coaches to marks each player with an identification number to ensure each player is identifiable during training.

Players from each age level will warm up together, which shall include the warm up drills and shall finish training together, including the warm down drills. All appointed coaches for each age level will work together to take each of these training sessions.

After the three week period Preliminary graded squads will be announced and the graded squads will then break off into their own teams during this period. This is to be worked out between the appointed coaches at each age group and development coaches.

These squads may be made up of more than the required 24 per team, to ensure a thorough opportunity is given to those players who may be at that cut off line. Then during the next 3‐4 week period these players will be given every opportunity to again be assessed thoroughly to make sure they fit in the appropriate squad. After this period a final team list will be announced, at which any player that does not make the final cut will be able to rejoin the other team they have been graded in.

*We once again we stress, the final decision is made by the Beaconsfield JFC

Football Department and not the coaches, we have graded teams, not graded

players and any decisions will be in the best interest of the teams and the

club alike.