Regatta Way, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5AT
This is where the vast majority of our u8 fixtures and selected u7 fixtures take place. Primarily 10am kick offs. Please use overflow car park. No dogs allowed. Hot & cold drinks, sweets, bacon / sausage cobs* on sale in Clubhouse. (*50p from every cob sold goes to this season’s chosen WB Mini Colts charity,The Tom Maccabee Memorial Fund)
Nottingham Football Centre, behind Rushcliffe School, Boundary Road NG2 7BY
This is where our u5 / u6 / mini girls soccer schools take place, as well as the majority of our u7 fixtures. Full clubhouse facilities available.
Our usual entry point for children coincides with when children start school, ie in the majority of cases the September after they have turned 4. These children will form our u5s group. We do give 4 year old pre-schoolers the opportunity to do taster sessions, and if at the end of these the parents & coaches agree the sessions are suitable for the child and s/he is responding well to instruction and likes the environment, then they can join the u5s group (please note they then stay in the u5s when starting school).
We ask that parents take responsibility for their child arriving in clothing that is appropriate for both the weather conditions; and for taking part in sporting activity. In colder weather, it is better for a child to come layered up and remove layers as they get warmed up, rather than in too few layers. Waterproof coats are recommended during the winter months; gloves / hats when it is especially cold; equally sun screen is recommended on very sunny days. Trainers or boots with rubber / moulded studs should be worn at Nottingham Football Centre. Boots with metal studs may be worn on the grass pitches at Regatta Way. We ask that ALL players wear shinpads at every session.
U5-U8 (reception – year 3)
We would ask that you don’t just turn up unannounced at a session, but contact us in advance via email. Some sections are full, and there’s nothing worse than a child turning up excited about playing only to be told they can’t (when this does happen we will normally let the child join in on that day rather than send them home – but if we are full and have started a waiting list, they will then have to go on that list, so will still experience disappointment having had a taste of the sessions).
See the ‘when’ section above for the latest update on spaces.
U5s & U6s & Mini Girls: weekly coaching sessions
…all sessions at Nottingham Football Centre behind Rushcliffe School, Boundary Road NG2 7BW
U7s on both Sats & Suns have a mix of training sessions and friendly matches with other clubs. These are always in the morning, but times can vary, so it is not recommended to have another regular activity for your child during the morning. We also run week night training for most of our u7s.
U8s train on week nights, and play friendly matches every weekend (standard week night training time is 6-7pm; match ko times vary but are always am; we have pools training on different nights at various venues in WB)
Our home base for u8s fixtures is Regatta Way (NG2 5AT); the u7s play here occasionally, but more frequently at Nottingham Football Centre at Rushcliffe School (NG2 7BW).
Under national FA guidelines, most children start playing matches at u7 (school year 2). These are primarily friendly matches, and to encourage the importance of player development being prioritised over results, matches remain predominantly friendlies or small one off competitions at u8 / 9 / 10, with a slightly increased level of competition at u11/12. WBC supports this approach. The rules do allow year one children to play matches when they have turned 6. We do sometimes consider this if we genuinely feel it will benefit the player.
Some clubs have their u7s playing matches every week; others don’t enter their players into matches til u8 or u9. For the most part WBC u7s will mix training with matches – the size of our club does mean that internal WBC matches can form part of the programme, so children can develop their match awareness in a pressure-free environment alongside their mates. We review this policy on a season by season basis – if some children are ready for more games, we will find them more games; if some would benefit from more training sessions, this is what we provide.
At u7/8, we register all our children simply as players for West Bridgford Colts rather than in set teams. As a club we helped pioneer this rule in the local Young Elizabethan League (YEL) and YEL supported us in discussions with Notts FA where we argued that children shouldn’t have to be placed in set squads at these age groups. What works for one child may not work for another, so the more fluidity and flexibility we have in the system, the better. The coaching teams meet & correspond regularly to ensure we do all we can for the benefit of all children.
Players need to be registered in set teams at u9 (when they move from 5-a-side to 7-a-side football), and everything we do at u7 & 8 is geared towards having players in a team / environment that works for them at the start of the u9 season. Our coaches are encouraged to think in terms of the whole year group rather than just ‘their team’; and players are encouraged to think of themselves as first & foremost West Bridgford Colts players. We ask parents to support this approach – it makes the necessary merging of teams as the formats change from 5- to 7- to 9- to 11-a-side a whole lot more straightforward for coaches and administrators; and a stress-free process for players.