· The FA will assess the current provision of youth football in England from Under 7s to Under 18s, and identify new and exciting ways to improve the grassroots game for all young people
· The grassroots game will be consulted as a key part of this project, which will commence in early 2023.
The Football Association [The FA] will carry out a project to explore the future of youth football in England, which will help to identify new and exciting opportunities to improve grassroots football for young players across the country.
In early 2023, The FA will engage with the grassroots football community to assess the current set up for different age groups between Under 7s to Under 18s and explore if any further improvements can be introduced to help better support children’s developmental needs and serve the game at this level.
County FAs, clubs, leagues, players, coaches, parents and match officials from across the grassroots community will be consulted during this process and will be asked for their views on many areas, including playing formats and game rules to ensure every young player is physically active and given the best game to play for their age and stage of development.
The FA’s ambition is to provide a safe, enjoyable and active game for every child, every week, whilst ensuring football plays its part in improving the health of the nation by increasing the levels of engagement, physical activity, skill and technical development for every young player.
Further details will be communicated to the grassroots community for consultation in early 2023.
The FA’s Director of Football Development, James Kendall, said: "As the governing body of English football, one of our primary objectives is to serve the game. Whilst playing levels are strong across the game, it is best practice for any sport to analyse participation and provision at points in time, to future proof the game – as other nations across the world are doing. This is an exciting opportunity to fully evaluate grassroots youth football in England and identify new and innovative ways to best support the players, officials and volunteers.
"We look forward to working in partnership with the grassroots football community to hear their views in the next step of the evolution of our game, ensuring that youth football can continue to provide an enjoyable, developmental and inclusive experience for everyone involved."