PROACTIVE and positive discussions on the challenges facing adult football were the focus of the annual Suffolk FA Youth Conference.
More than 30 guests attended the event at Ufford Park near Woodbridge on Tuesday evening.
The event was all about ‘Youth to Adult Transition’ which is a hot topic in grassroots football and grassroots sport across the country.
There were attendees from Adult and Youth leagues, community clubs who have teams from Under-7 to Adult and Suffolk FA partners.
The evening was kicked off by Suffolk FA Mini-Soccer & Youth Football Development Officer James Morley, who then introduced Dermot Collins, The FA’s Participation Manager for Adult Football.
He took the guests through the first workshop of the evening which was titled ‘Where are the next generation of adult footballers coming from?’
The second half of the evening was led by Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal who presented a workshop on Youth Personality types of 14-25 year olds in the UK and how these contribute to the transition of young people in football.
James Morley said: “Firstly a big thank you to Dermot Collins for coming down to Suffolk and to Richard Neal for presenting and generating important discussions among influential individuals within our local game.
“From being in the room there were some great ideas and talking points for clubs, leagues and ourselves to take away to start creating further opportunities for 16, 17 and 18 year olds to transition into adult football.
“Thank you to all of the people who came to the event last night, who gave up more of their time to help us find potential solutions to football transition in Suffolk.
“Without the people in the room there wouldn’t be a lot of the football which is taking place in Suffolk and we look forward to continuing to work closely to develop opportunities for local players.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard added: “It was a real pleasure to hear local partners engage in proactive and positive discussion on the challenges we face with adult football and the opportunities that a thriving youth game can provide to support the transition of players into the adult game.
“A big thank you to our guest speakers, Dermot and Richard, who helped stimulate discussion on this key topic between delegates – it was great to hear some of the best practice currently taking place across the county.
“Also, well done to James Morley for organising such an engaging and informative event. We look forward to working with our partners moving forwards to support the delivery of new projects which support Youth to Adult transition within the game in Suffolk.”
Pictured above at the event are Suffolk FA and Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League officials (left to right) NSYL President John Pitts, Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler, NSYL Commercial & Welfare Officer Andrew Hannah, NSYL Chairman Shaun Platten, Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal, NSYL Secretary Paul Newby and Suffolk FA Mini-Soccer & Youth Football Development Officer James Morley.