Strategy 2018/21 Launch

Proud to Launch Our 2018-21 Grassroots Strategy

‘Moving Forward’ To Build “Football for All” Landscape

Our brand new Essex County FA 2018-21: ‘Moving Forward’ Strategy is aiming to “create a united grassroots environment which delivers football opportunity for all.”

Essex remains one of the strongest counties in the country for football participation, covering 19 local authority areas including the five London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Newham, Redbridge, Havering and Waltham Forest. In-line with the FA National Game Strategy, we're excited by the challenge of continuing to develop the game locally. 

Moving Forward sets out our direction through the pillars of Engagement, Corporate Governance, Business and Operations. These are supported by individual department operational strategies which will deliver the FA National Game Strategy for Football Development, Safeguarding & Welfare, Refereeing, Governance and Marketing & Communications.

Some notable targets in the strategy include:

Male: to achieve 81,440 youth and adult male players by 2021

Charter Standard: deliver a bespoke Club Development and FA Charter Standard strategy to empower and enable clubs to operate at their highest level

Coaches: deliver an inspirational and inclusive coach education programme engaging 2,000 students annually including a minimum of 234 Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and 109 female learners to support achieving 100% of youth teams with a qualified coach by 2021

Education: deliver workshops to league and club officials to support and prepare volunteers for future technology changes in football administration through The FA’s Whole Game System (WGS) and Full-Time portals to achieve a player registration coverage of 80% by 2021

Facilities: deliver a bespoke Facilities Strategy to achieve £5 million total project cost investment into grassroots football facilities and improve 296 grass pitches by 2021

Governance: from the 2018/19 season, to publish all decisions and reasons for serious cases

Inclusion: embed the Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) to support and develop an Inclusion & Disability Strategy and ‘football for all’ philosophy, achieving 839 disability players by 2021

Referees: recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive referee workforce of 1,331 by 2021

Volunteers: deliver a volunteer strategy that recognises, rewards and supports our workforce of volunteers through a variety of programmes

Safeguarding: achieve and implement the FA Safeguarding Operating Standard each season and ensure 100% Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) compliancy across youth grassroots football

Women & Girls: achieve 5,104 female players and 115 SSE Wildcats Centres by 2021

Youth: ensure a qualified Welfare Officer is situated in every youth club and league, proactively promoting safeguarding across grassroots football

Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe, is excited by the prospect of these targets, explaining: “We are committed to ensuring we create the best inclusive and diverse environment possible for people of all ages and abilities, to experience the game of football in Essex and we are pleased to bring forward the Essex County FA ‘Moving Forward’ Strategy 2018-21.” 

“Over the next three years, the accumulative population across the Local Authorities the Essex County FA serves is projected to grow by more than 100,000, which will create opportunities for the game in Essex to grow and expand, but the game of football is evolving season-by-season.”

“Individual participation habits are changing in-line with ever-increasing demands on individuals’ time, driven by a fast-moving society. Individuals are choosing to consume the game in different ways based on their individual lifestyles, which includes more recreational and ‘turn-up and play’ formats, as well as the core league and club structure of the game.”

Moving Forward is being built on some existing achievements which include, in one season:

* more than 1,500 participants engaged in two Community Day events
* 1,836 learners across all coach education courses
* 284 candidates on Referee Courses through 15 individual courses
* £1.6m total project cost investment into new facility development in Essex
* 20,242 discipline cases administered
* 82% of all 9v9 and 11v11 games appointed with a qualified match official
* secured more than £91,000 of Football Foundation ‘Grow the Game’ funding into Essex
* safeguarding visits completed with 173 teams
* delivered female Regional Talent Club and Player Development Centre for 113 players
* developed six England female youth internationals

Walshe summarised: “This [Strategy] will require collaboration across the game, and we fully appreciate and recognise that football in Essex is built on a strong foundation of committed volunteers who dedicate thousands of hours to support the delivery and coordination of football every week in clubs and leagues.”

“Those partnerships, along with work in collaboration with Local Authorities, our professional club Football in the Community partners, facility providers, schools, colleges and universities will be key to achieving the targets laid out in this strategy.”

You can read our full 2018-2021: ‘Moving Forward’ Strategy below. Find out how to get involved in grassroots football as a player, coach, referee, volunteer or club in the menus above, plus follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook for more news and information.

Strategy 2018/21 Launch

read our 2018-21 strategy in full

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