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A Message from the Chairman

7 months ago By Richard Dodd

To give clarity to players and parents regarding our squad policy the following update has been prepared which I hope helps everyone.

To All Parents and Carers,

As our season ends and we move into pitch and changing room maintenance mode there have been some quite difficult conversations with parents regarding squad make up for next season. To give clarity to players and parents regarding our squad policy the following update has been prepared which I hope helps everyone.

Have a great summer.

Mark Woollett
Harvesters Football Club

Football Development at Harvesters Football Club

At what should be a rest period for those involved in Harvesters a number of issues have required addressing in respect of the movement of players within squads. This update has been prepared to remind everyone of how Harvesters operates and to give further clarity to players and parents.

Four years ago when the concept of Football Development was introduced to Harvesters it was on the basis that every player in the age groups 5 – 13, would receive the same level of coaching irrespective of ability. This philosophy is now being rolled out across all forty six teams.

Our Football Development team set out with the aim of offering the best learning and safest environment for players within an outstanding sporting complex at Smallford. The vision was that players would enjoy playing football and develop their skills at a level that best suited their ability and needs, both physically and socially. Our coaches are aware that children have different learning styles and develop at different speeds and at differing times. In order to enjoy their football players need to play at a level they are comfortable with, where they can contribute to the team and are seen by all as members of that team. Operating outside of this approach can lead to players being unhappy, unfulfilled and in many cases opting to give up this great sport. We at Harvesters simply don’t want that.

Harvesters is not and has never been a win at all costs club. It aims to play a specific style of football that is both creative and sporting and holding the best interests of all players at its core.

Naturally Harvesters has rules by which it expects those connected with the club to comply and a place at Harvesters is a place for life as long as ....

  • Players have the desire to learn, improve, listen and be part of a team.
  • Behaviour is at a level that enables coaches and team managers to undertake their roles.
  • Accept and respect the decisions made by our Football Development team; they are the professionals.
  • Respect refereeing decisions.
  • Players attendance is 90% for both games and training and is timely.
  • Players understand that they join Harvesters and not a specific team.

For parents we expect ....
  • There to be acceptance of the decisions made by Football Development, they will always be in the player’s best long term interest and let’s remind ourselves they are the professionals.
  • Do not give instructions to players during training or matches
  • Always see fair play and applaud both teams.
  • Respect team managers and the decisions they make.
  • Respect refereeing decisions at all times.
  • Volunteer for 2 hours to support the WFL Finals Day.

At the end of each season our team managers, coaches and the Football Committee get together to review the makeup of the new season’s squads. This process takes into account a range of factors of which attendance and time keeping are two. Like every club we have occasions where parents disagree with our coaching team’s recommendations, however, whilst disagreements are becoming fewer and fewer there have been a number recently which have become confrontational and not how we do things at Harvesters.

Please remember our coaching team is professionally qualified and under the wing of Dean Austin who is qualified at the very highest level within the professional game. Our coaches understand how to help players develop and enjoy their football. The movement of a player within teams in any age group is only undertaken to help that player develop and enjoy their football. If you want clarification of any aspect of our Football Development programme please speak with Dean or any of our coaches. However, please understand that there might be occasions when we simply beg to disagree.

At Harvesters every child’s welfare is paramount, indeed welfare is a standing agenda item for all relevant club committees and we are in regular communication with the Herts FA for clarification on the best welfare standards to adopt. The club is very fortunate to have the services of Gaye Lloyd a recently retired police officer overseeing the management of our welfare policy. If you have a query regarding any aspect of this welfare policy please speak with Gaye.

Something worth remembering is that Harvesters is a charitable organisation, run in the main by volunteers who give their time both freely and willingly. Any money the club makes is ploughed back into the club to improve the Smallford site and to enhance the experience for all Harvesters’ players and yes we are always looking for more volunteers. Four of our current Executive Committee no longer has children at the club and they will be looking to pass the baton of responsibility to others before not too long. Please therefore reflect on how you may help the club move forward.

Finally can I let everyone know that Harvesters has applied to become a Standard Chartered Club at Community level. This is the highest level of charter standard that a junior football club can achieve and out of approximately 700 football clubs in Hertfordshire only a handful currently hold this accolade.

Updated 11:18 - 15 Jun 2017 by Richard Dodd

Where next?

New Player Wanted - for next season 2017/18 - U16 Girls (2017/18) Four players needed for next season U16 Girls. Current School Years 9 & 10 for team playing in HGFPL Division 1
Statement on Welfare at Harvesters FC Harvesters Football Club is an inclusive club where we encourage the social and physical development of all players.


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