Grassroots Essex football teams now have an additional FA ‘Find Football’ facility to utilise via the online FA Whole Game System (WGS) which enables them to showcase their club to potential new players.
It can sometimes prove to be a challenge for a club to recruit new players or develop the size of squad now required to get through a season. Just finding eleven players for a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday morning can, on occasions, pose a real challenge. If this starts to happen regularly, then teams start to disappear, taking with them divisions, and even whole leagues.
There are, however, millions of people who still want to play and The FA can now help to recruit players for clubs more efficiently. Whether it’s ‘cat-like’ keepers, rock hard defenders, free-scoring strikers or just someone to make up the numbers, The FA’s improved search engine will direct players to those clubs in their locality who are keen to recruit.
Running alongside the popular Essex County FA ‘Squad Booster’ service which pairs players with clubs, The FA’s Find Football search engine is a further way for participants to research their local opportunities and get a comprehensive idea of what’s available. The experience has now been improved to include:
* search by format (i.e. adult male, adult female, youth, Just Play, disability)
* search by day or time
* search by club name, postcode or area name
* guidance on the playing standard, so you can find the right level for you
* access to Find Football for any partner organisation who wishes to host this search engine on their website
* view searches on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile
Another big difference is The FA’s invitation to clubs to provide details about themselves which will encourage users to enquire about opportunities to play. Instead of just getting a list of clubs - some of whom won’t be suitable - the aim is to provide all clubs with the opportunity to describe themselves, their background and history, the league they play in, club facilities, the teams they run, training arrangements, fees, coaching, playing record, club ethos, social events etc.
Clubs can provide these details in the same way they provide other key club details by logging onto WGS and completing their club profile. It’s possible to list forthcoming events, such as open training days and club festivals, then removing these when the dates have passed. The Find Football search engine will display any details listed within a WGS profile.
In addition, someone’s search is now translated into a club enquiry, so every club profile will include a ‘Contact Us’ box which, if completed, will send an E-Mail to the nominated club contact. Doing it in this way is far more likely to result in new players turning up at a club. To get started, clubs should do the following:
* log into their WGS account and, in the club details section, provide a description of their club in no more than 1,200 characters which will convince newcomers
* keep this club profile updated as The FA will, in its promotions and campaigns, be directing people to use Find Football so, if these details are months or years out of date, it doesn’t show a club in the best light
Clubs are invited to complete their club profile using their ‘Whole Game System’ login (link at the top of this website). Information on grassroots Essex football is also shared on Twitter by following @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.