Coaches Reports 2021, 2022 & 2023
As we come to the close of another year and look forward to our 10th Anniversary I would like to thank everyone at the club, from the Committee to all our members, for another outstanding 12 months both on and off the pitch.
From the very first kick of a ball at our first session in 2014 our focus has been to establish a Walking Football Club with old school footballing values.
9 years on we continue to influence the shape of our game at recreational and competitive levels at both County FA and FA levels by being members of the Middx FA and FA walking football league alliance steering Committees.
2023 has seen us retain our FA Accredited Club status for a third year. The Accreditation process includes a business plan that shapes all aspects of our Club.
Financially we have a robust budgeting process that has allowed us to offer affordable club fees to members including subsidising the Social membership at the Uxbridge Sports Club by becoming an Affiliated Club.
Sponsorship is key to financial stability and our new sponsor Select Fleet Solutions has been very supportive of both our playing and community programmes.
Charity fundraising continues to exceed all expectations and events like our Quiz nights have taken our 9 year fund total to £30k.... outstanding by any standards.
Our business plan also focuses on our people and we invested in 5 more FA First Aiders this year to bring our trained First Aiders to 14.
On the pitch we continue to achieve excellence participation numbers at all sessions by exceeding our breakeven of 20 players. The weekly sessions will continue with the current structures, Wednesdays a Just Play recreational session and Fridays being more focused on competitive Walking Football with a coaching framework.
One key area at all training sessions that always delivers quality Walking football is having Referees. I encourage all members to have a go at refereeing especially when you're not fit to play but want to remain involved at sessions.
Competitively we now have 3 age groups competing in Middx FA competitions, over 50s, 60s and 65s. 2024 will see all 3 squads compete on the WFLA National Cup. For a second year the Over 60s will represent Middx FA at the National Champions Cup.
Our over 50s squad continues to develop with new members experiencing competitive Walking Football for the first time, the Over 60s were League runners up, League Cup winners and Middx County Cup runners up, the Over 65s have quickly established themselves as a leading team in the monthly FA Festival.
Our Walking Football experience has also helped us to partner with the London Borough of Hillingdon and the Middx FA to establish weekly Community sessions for Men and Women.
Our Dementia Football project Forget Me Not FC continues to go from strength to strength and we have supported the Middx FA in growing the Forget Me Not FC by establishing partnerships hubs in Brent and Barnet. To see our logo alongside the FA, Middx FA and Alzheimers Society logos on all marketing materials is amazing... how far we have come in 9 years!
I look forward to a successful 2024 and to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Uxbridge Amblers Walking FC.
Uxbridge Amblers Walking Football Club
END OF SEASON REVIEW
As we come the close of the 22/23 season I would like to share a review of our achievements.
As we approach our 9th Birthday as a Walking Football Club we continue to play an important role in the development of Walking Football, the fastest growing playing sector at the FA. We achieved FA Accredited Club Status for a second year, a kite mark of quality in all aspects of managing a Football Club. We are the organiser of the Middx FA Walking Football League, member of the Middx FA Walking Football steering group and a member of the FA Walking Football League Management Committee.
Our membership continues to grow and attract new members, we currently have 60 members enjoying our sessions. Our sessions are structured to ensure all our members can enjoy Walking Football, Wednesdays is a Just Play session whilst the Friday session is very much about player development, especially for those wishing to play competitive Walking Football for the club. We are currently achieving a regular 24 players at sessions which beats our breakeven of 20 players at sessions to cover pitch hire costs. We continue to offer training courses to our members and another 5 members achieved the FA First Aid award.
COMPETIVE WALKING FOOTBALL
We have had another excellent season in the Middx FA Walking Football League West Region with a team in the over 50s and over 60s Leagues. The over 50s have progressed well and are well placed to break into the top 4 next season. The over 60s were worthy runners up and League Cup Winners. We also represented the Middx FA in the FA League Champions Cup. Good luck to both squads in the Middx FA County Cup in June. We also developed an over 65s squad and play in the Middx FA Midweek Friendly Festival. We will compete in the 50s and 60s Middx FA League for 23/24 commencing in September. We also intend to continue playing in the over 65s friendly festival.
We have established a groundbreaking Dementia Football project, Forget Me Not FC, and 24 participants attend the weekly Walking Football activity session at Rectory Park. We have also partnered with the London Borough of Hillingdon to deliver a successful Community Walking Football programme for Men and Women. Our fundraising programme has resulted in £2500 being donated to the Mayor of Hillingdon's charities and the Dementia Friends Christmas lunch.
Our robust financial management has meant we have held the membership fee at £20 for a 9th year and the pay and play subs at £5 for a 5th year, despite an increase in pitch hire costs. We have also strengthened our relationship with the Uxbridge Sports Club by becoming an Associate Member Club. The annual
membership fee of £650 has allowed all our members to retain the annual Social membership of £25, discounted by £10. To ensure we give our members affordable quality walking football, we rely on all our members to support fundraising events. We are continually looking for new sponsors and partners and in
January we welcomed Select Fleet Solutions as a sponsor for our Dementia Friends project and a shirt sponsor. As mentioned before, our 9 years of robust financial management has resulted in our annual operational costs achieving a profit and our bank balance showing a fantastic amount of £8000.
In summary our Club has now established a solid foundation for delivering a quality walking football experience for all. We continue to take a leading role in shaping the game of walking football nationally and in our community.
I would like to to thank all our Committee and Members on another very successful season of Walking Football.
COACHES CORNER 2022 REVIEW
The past 12 months has delivered success on many fronts on and off the field. Achieving the FA Accredited Club status has given renewed focus on our strategy of growth and continued development as a Walking Football Club. Club sessions are and always will be at the heart and soul of what we do.
Our Strategy of people development has resulted in 9 members completing the FA Playmaker course, an introduction to facilitating sessions, 11 FA qualified First Aiders, 5 FA Walking Football Referees and 1 member embarking on the FA Introduction to Coaching course. This development plan underpins and supports our current UEFA B licensed and Level 1 Coaches to deliver quality Walking Football sessions on a weekly basis.
With a membership of 75 players our Wednesday and Friday sessions continue to enjoy excellent numbers of participants with many new members enjoying our version of the beautiful game once again.
The 2 weekly sessions have each established different formats. Wednesdays is very much a Just Play session whilst Fridays has a focus on player development, through guided coaching, which enhances play in Club sessions and prepares players for competitive walking football at a Middx FA County level.
Our Middx FA league over 50s and 60s squads have enjoyed successes at County level in 2022. The over 50s won the Middx FA County Plate competition and the over 60s gained runners up in the County League and Cup. 45 players represented the Club competitively during the year and with both squads going through a season of change our focus is definitely on the County Cups in June.
The Club continues to support the FAs Walking Football strategy by its partnership with the London Borough of Hillingdon in delivering Walking football sessions for Men, Women and disability groups in Hillingdon. We also have grown our FA Project of the year award winning Dementia football programme, Forget Me Not FC. The weekly sessions are enjoyed by participants living with Dementia and their carers in Hillingdon, the only session of its type nationally.
We proudly won the Gold Award for Helping Vulnerable People at the Hillingdon Community Awards 2020 for the programme.
I look forward to continued development, on and off the pitch, throughout 2023 which keeps Uxbridge Amblers as the Walking Football Club others follow.
Thanks for all your continued support.
As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2022, our 8th season, I would like to give a belated welcome to all our members, new and old.
During the past 3 months the committee have worked tirelessly to achieve FA Accredited status, the FA quality kite mark for all football clubs. We are very proud to be the first Men's football club in Middlesex and only one of a very few walking football clubs in the country to get the award.
We will be offering FA First Aid courses and FA Playmaker courses in the coming months as part of our members' development plan.
The 2022 membership has reached 70 players and both our Wednesday and Friday sessions have seen excellent attendance with 2 pitches being used..
The Wednesday session is match based and our Friday session continues to be structured around developing players in walking football, through small sided practices and full size games, for more competitive walking football.
The standards of Walking Football at all sessions continues to improve but we all need to focus on no jogging and no contact.
We continue to be a lead club in promoting the 3 touch game which more and more clubs are adopting.
Please remember, especially new members, to fully warm up without the ball before each session to avoid injuries. Our partnership with Uxbridge Physiotherapy at Brunel has proved successful and will continue throughout 2022.
I would encourage all members to attend both weekly sessions when possible.
We continue to offer players monthly competitive walking football in the Middlesex FA League. This has proven to be successful.
Our Middlesex FA League teams continue to be very competitive at both over 50s and 60s. The League titles will go to the very end of the season in April.
We then play in the League Cup and Plate in May and the Middlesex FA County Cup in June. Thank you to the 35 players who have represented the club to date.
We have committed to playing in the Middlesex FA League in 2022/23 season commencing in September 2022.
We are in the process of arranging a club friendly weekend with Clevedon Town away. Details to follow.
Our Community project, Forget Me Not FC, football for Dementia continues to be very successful and is recognised as as leading Dementia Football Project in England. Thank you to all our members for your continued support in fundraising for the project.
Finally please look at our website for continued updates on our FA Accreditation Club Plan, the monthly social diary and details of John Handell's Club Shop. John will be presenting the 2022 Club Polo Shirts and Rain Jackets in April.
Hi Foxes ,
After 18 months of Covid restrictions we are now returning to playing Walking Football with caution.
During the Pandemic we have followed the FA guidelines to playing football and all sessions have been well attended .
The session formats have gone through many stages to get us back to match play conditions. I would like to thank all players for their enthusiasm when taking part in drills and phase of play practises when nothing else was allowed .From a coaching perspective I can see the benefits of those practices in the quality of play in sessions over the past few months.
The Club also continued to engage with the FA and Middx FA throughout lockdown on sharing best practise with clubs nationally, support Walking Football Referee's development and oversee the management of the Middx FA Walking Football league 21/22 season.
Our continued drive to achieve the new FA Accreditation status has seen 8 members pass the FA Playmaker course ensuring we have qualified leaders at all sessions . We also have 10 FA qualified First Aiders ,again ensuring we have first aid cover at all sessions .
A growing number of clubs and competitions are adopting the 3 touch rule which we have used for the past 4 years. Clubs have seen the benefit of the rule with players development in touch ,distribution and movement and also a real reduction in contact all echoed in our weekly sessions.
The one common theme across the country is the constant jogging and running by players . I share the frustration of Club leaders and coaches with the regular speed merchants . Maybe a Club VAR ,video a runner, could be a tool to be used to reduce running ? Although it's the players who need to look at themselves and make the changes in their style of play that will make the real difference.
The other key difference with Walking Football compared to mainstream football is no contact . I have always seen defending to within a metre as an art and both individually and as a team and I see a marked improvement in this are of all members games. It's interesting to see in the Euros and in the Premier league players and teams defending by pressing to within a metre - my case rests !
Walking football has shown great growth this year nationally and we have seen enquiries to join increase. Both Wednesday and Friday sessions has seen new players resulting in our membership reaching 70 players . Any new player enquiries must now be by member request to Mick Harvey or myself .
I look forward to a successful 21/22 season with full sessions , competitive League and friendlies and the our continued status as a Walking football club others follow.