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Player Development


At Wanderers, we believe that kids should learn the fundamentals in fun sessions with enthusiastic coaches. Our observation is that younger kids love to learn the skills that allow them to emulate their heroes on 'Match Of The Day'.
We are pleased to introduce our new Mini Soccer Awards for the 2011/12 season. The scheme has been devised to further enhance our player development across the younger age groups. It will focus primarily on building a strong foundation of good technique and skill in all our U8 - U10s, and will support our coaches in delivering age-appropriate training. The basic curriculum for the award scheme has been aligned to FA Level 2 materials, and is as follows
Bronze Award (U8) Silver Award (U9) Gold Award (U10)
Techniques Techniques Techniques
Body Basics Defending 1v1 Basic Heading Technique
Running With The Ball Volleying Techniques Long Passing
Short Passing Advanced Receiving Techniques Weaker Foot
Ball Holding Tackling Technique .
Basic Receiving Techniques Basic Goalkeeping .
Turning with the Ball More Advanced Tricks & Ball-Skills .
Finishing . .
Simple Tricks & Ball-Skills . .

Tactics & Teamwork

Tactics & Teamwork

Tactics & Teamwork
Mini Soccer Formations and Roles. 1v1 Attacking Strategies Match Play Basics / Strategies
Defending Basics Throw Ins Receiving Priorities
The Basics Of Set Pieces Passing to Retain Possession Defending as a Unit & Outnumbered
. Recovery Runs Advanced Finishing
. Moving As A Team Support Play & Attacking Strategies
. More Advanced Set Pieces Passing to Break Down The Opposition

We have aligned techniques and skills to a particular age group, based on the following observations.

  • U6 And U7s - Should just be having fun and playing football! Although we do lay some foundations of technique and skill, the focus is really on games, agility and 'body basics'
  • U8s – Are very self-centred and ‘greedy’ with the ball. This is no bad thing, U8s have a fantastic capacity to develop coordination and motor skills, but limited understanding of group play and spatial awareness. The U8 award is focussed on building a very strong foundation of basic technique and coordination. Simple games and practice sessions help to keep the focus on good technique.
  • U9s – Will start to develop more of a capacity to understand basic individual tactics (when to pass vs when to dribble, when to tackle vs when to delay), but still struggle with many team dynamics. Many of the U9 sessions build on the U8 basics into more advanced techniques requiring finer motor skills. At the same time, we introduce simple tactical awareness and teamwork concepts which do not require complex decision making on the part of the player.
  • U10s – Some U10 players will be physically and mentally mature enough to work on more advanced techniques and tactics, and most will be able to pace themselves and plan ahead. Players are starting to understand support play, group dynamics, and develop strategies for items such as finishing which are simply instinctive for the younger age groups. Practice sessions become more focussed on tactics and skills, and players are encouraged to find their own solutions to match-play problems
(c) Wheathampstead Wanderers 2011, All Rights Reserved
Goalkeeper Development
At Wheathampstead Wanderers FC we appreciate that there is one group of important players that can go without any specific club training in their crucial position.....the goalkeepers.  We have therefore teamed up with Paul Warnecki, and Bobby White, to provide training for all our keepers aged between 7 and 16. 

Paul has enjoyed a long and distinguished playing career, starting as a schoolboy at Luton Town before playing for Kettering Town and Rushden and Diamonds, and has now set up a Just4Keepers coaching academy to pass on his vast knowledge to budding goalkeepers.

His colleague, Bobby White, was a promising goalkeeper who signed up for the sporting giants talent identification programme in 2007.  This led to him being introduced to handball, a journey which ended with Bobby playing “between the sticks” and captaining the GB team at the 2012 Olympics.

They are both FA qualified coaches, DBS checked and hold the relevant health and safety certificates.
Paul and Bobby run several successful Just4Keepers goalkeeping schools in the area - one of which is based here in Wheathampstead.  This operates at Marford Playing Fields on a Friday night at the following times:
  • 7-11 Year Olds - 6pm to 7pm
  • 12-16 Year Olds - 7pm to 8pm
Please contact your team manager for more details.