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Female Club Development Evening
 Women's Football News 18 Nov 2011
 
This week, a Club Development Evening for all clubs involved with female football in the County was held at St George's Hall in Northampton. 
 
The aim of the evening was to help clubs share ideas on recruitment and retention of girls teams and then to enable planning and target setting for clubs around growth and retention of players. Fourteen clubs attended the evening, youth clubs, adult clubs and those with both girls and ladies.
 
The evening started with some icebreakers and then a County round up of what has been achieved in the last 3-4 years in terms of female football in the County. This covered developments in female coaching, refereeing, league developments and a general progress report.
 
The first half of the evening was spent on recruitment and retention - so everyone worked in groups with different people from different clubs and discussed the different things they do to drive recruitment in the clubs. There were some really great ideas, one of the most notable was a girls team at Under-14 who filmed their training sessions and made a DVD to take and show in their school assembly to attract other players to join the team.
 
We did the same activity on recruitment - the real star here was Erika who plays for Daventry Town ladies and has started an Under-15 girls team this season.  She invites her Under-15 girls to watch the ladies and then invites a ladies player to the girls training to work with them on different topics such as defending, attacking etc. Her influence at the club has been significant and the club are also now looking at developing Under-10s.
 
Nigel Hardy from FC Aztec presented a great case study on his recruitment and retention successes over the past few seasons, a notable idea from this was that he writes an end of season appraisal for each of his players, he said parents love it and it gives the girls great feedback and areas for improvement.
 
Then we had a break and promoted the new www.thefa.com/Yourgame - "What's your pitch?" site. The site is a new area on the FA website aimed to equip clubs with over 70 downloadable resources to aid promotion, sponsorship, Communication and Branding.
 
The second half of the evening was about club development and target setting, the groups were rearranged into their geographical areas and club groups.  They were given templates of a club development plan and some pointers on target setting and aims and objectives and I asked them to look at 3-5 targets that they could look at as a club/area to support growth and retention specifically.
 
Some clubs already had very clear aims on growth and retention whilst others continued to share ideas and plans with other clubs in neighbouring areas.
 
Clubs were asked to take the plans away with them and work on them with their committees, before meeting again in the New Year. Feedback from the evening was very positive with many clubs welcoming the opportunity to share ideas and network with other clubs.
 
A big thanks to the MDH Midshires League for paying for the facility, in particular Dave Hughes, to Trevor Clifton for his Support from the NFA Council, to Steve from Woburn Lionesses for crossing the border to help out and to all the clubs and volunteers who gave up their time and committed such enthusiasm during the evening. We look forward to seeing the results.
 
- Kathryn Hall, Women's and Girls Football Development Officer - Northamptonshire FA

 
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