New Addington Little League has been providing good quality football since our founding in 1977. It is our aim to give local children the opportunity to enjoy regular organised games of football during the season in a friendly and cheerful environment. Little League is designed to provide football for boys and girls who would not otherwise play regular games for their school or in other organisations.
We have two Welfare Officers who have both attended a certificated Child Protection course organised by the Surrey County F.A. and our Child Protection Policy is exhibited in the club house. The majority of our managers hold a Coaching Certificate. We encourage our players to attend training sessions throughout the year. This gives a sense of continuity and enables the children to improve their skills.
To ensure no child is put under any pressure, on or off the pitch, we expect all players, managers, parents and spectators to adhere to the Codes of Conduct displayed in our club house.
One of the main differences between Little League and other football bodies is that no player is picked solely on ability, we give every child the opportunity to play. Another difference between us and other football leagues is that all of our players are guaranteed at least half a game in every match with substitutions being compulsory at half time.
A further major difference between Little League and some other football bodies is that once a child has been accepted into a team he/she cannot be replaced unless for disciplinary reasons. Therefore a child who joins us as an 8 year old is guaranteed a minimum of five years football. We have found that most of our boys, by the time they reach the age of 13 years, have also been selected by their school teams or have joined a Sunday league team.
We currently run two separate divisions consisting of six teams each with the younger children playing 7-a-side mini-soccer and the older children playing full-sided matches. The mini-soccer teams are all associated with an 11-a-side team and as they get older the players in the mini-soccer teams move up into the 11-a-side team, thus providing continuity. The mini-soccer teams are now known as the Academy League while the full sided teams are in the Premier League.
We also have a group known as the Bantams where boys and girls aged from 5 to 7 years are provided with football training under the direction of Tracy Harris and Trevor Twomey. ‘Turn up and play’ games are also arranged for these children on Saturday mornings during the league season. When they reach the league age of 8 years these children become eligible to join teams in the Academy division.
The playing season is of two halves to provide an incentive for a team doing badly in the first half to improve during the second, with a play-off between the winners of each half to determine the overall League Champions. Added to this we have an annual Cup competition where each division of six teams is split into groups of three teams who play each other on a league basis with the group winners going forward to play in the Cup Final.
We now have Kieran Sabine Trophy matches and these games are to give new players a taste of what to expect when the league programme games commence. This event is similar to the Cup competition with teams divided into groups of three playing for a place in the final.
We also have an annual 6-a-side tournament which we hold in the Spring of each year after the normal playing season has finished.
In May or June each year we hold four trials for children wishing to join the league and these are always oversubscribed with wanna-be players. To be eligible for selection a child must have attended at least two of these trials and all the children are notified within a few days after the final trial date as to whether or not they have been successful. We are however limited to the number of players we can accept each year but those who are unsuccessful are placed on our ‘reserve’ waiting list and are taken into one of our squads at the first available opportunity.
The foregoing shows how we attempt to provide a full programme of football for those children who are successful in joining our league and we believe that by so doing we are making a valuable contribution to the local community. Our only regret is that we cannot promise to take on every child who wishes to enrol.