Mosman FC Player Skills Assessment Policy
Our regional Association, the MWFA, operates a fully graded competition for players U12/W12 and above, with divisions of 8-12 teams, league tables and a Grand Final. Mosman Football club is required to grade all teams that it enters into these MWFA competitions. Often, the final divisions allocated by the MWFA are different to those requested by MFC!
The national governing body, the FFA, has a set the following national program for junior games, that the MWFA has adopted:
- U6/7 : 4 a side
- U8/9 : 7 a side
- U10/11 : 9 a side
- U12 + 11 a side
The U8 to U11 & W11 ages are therefore transitions from small sided Sub-Junior teams (4 a side) to 11 a side U12/W12 teams. The teams are 7 or 9 a side and play on a 3/4 sized field. Since some U9 players and teams are becoming stronger / more skilled than others by this age, the teams are split into 3 groups:
- Red division for the top 25% of teams
- Blue division for the next 50% of teams
- Green/Yellow divisions for other teams
The Green/Yellow divisions are usually organised around existing groups of friends. No leagues tables are kept and there is a gala day rather than a Grand Final, the focus for all teams should be on fun and player development rather than winning. The main reasons for doing this are:
- To avoid lots of 10-0 scorelines, which can be very demotivating for the losing team
- To avoid teams relying on 1 excellent player to run & score, which hampers the development of the rest of the team
- To challenge all players by having them play against teams of similar ability
We select the top U9-U11 teams at our Mosman Academy trials in November, possibly with a few additional places available in February. We strongly encourage all players to attend skills assessment, but it is not compulsory to be able to play, particularly for U10s and W10s. The logistics for skills assessment will vary from year to year depending on the number of registrations, and will be posted on the website. If we need to make adjustments after registration the players involved who have registered will be contacted by e-mail.
Teams will be finalised in late February / early March. As far as possible, where players have expressed a preference to play together, this will be done, but this may be overruled by other considerations. Players who are unhappy with their team allocation can participate in our Skills Assessment Appeal Process. All team selections are at the absolute discretion of the Mosman FC, and we will refund registrations fully up to mid-March if players do not wish to play in the teams we select - but obviously hope that this does not occur.
MFC Skills Assessment For U10s Mixed and U10 Girls
Many U10 / W10 players have previously played with the club for up four seasons, from U6 to U9, and most of the them have played in the same team each year, often based around their school and friendships. At U10 / W10 level, for the first time some of the teams are graded and selected based on ability. The transition can be challenging for players, parents and coaches, and Mosman FC aims to make this as easy and comfortable as possible as the players transition into fully graded divisions in U10 or W11.
In February each year all of the U10/W10s will be invited to attend one or more pre-season skills assessment sessions. The VPs for Junior/Junior Ladies will have overall responsibility for coordinating the skills assessment, and will convene a volunteer group made up of experienced coaches / players. While input may be sought from the previous season's U8 coaches, parents will in general have no involvement in the final team selections.
The team formation process will be done in two parts:
- Metrics. Firstly there will be metrics sessions in February (either in the afternoon after school, or on Sunday morning) made up of objective skills exercises such as running, dribbling, and passing the ball. The skills assessment team will also cross-check their assessments with available information on the player from the previous year. This process aims to be fair, well organised and conducted in as fun and positive environment for the players. At the end of the metrics sessions the coaching coordinators will collate the ratings of the players and, for the U9s, to select a squad for the gameplay sessions of around half the group (taking into account player preference for staying with friend vs playing in the highest possible team).
- Gameplay. The second part of the process will involve game play, so that the judges and coaches can see how the players perform in actual games. At the end of these games and/or after training commences, the final squad selections will be decided. For example, for U10s they may select 1-2 Red teams of 14 players each and 1-2 Blue teams.
U11s Mixed and U11 Girls and above
The skills assessment process for the older age groups is similar to the U9/W10s outlined above, with the exceptions that:
- All players will be involved in the gameplay step, which may be organised during /as a joint squad training session if there are only 1 or 2 teams in the age group
- Once teams are formed, an overall grade will be established for each team and provided to the MWFA
Usually team formation is easier for the older age groups since the players have been playing already in a graded competition in previous years, so have established a track record and a clearer understanding of the skills levels in different divisions.
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