Club looking to lead by example with our own 'Foundation Phase'


We believe the foundation phase within this wonderful sport is a fundamental stage in any footballers development and why we are really focusing on it for our players at Port of Bristol Youth Football Club. Because of this belief, we have decided to roll out our own 'Foundation Phase', that will run for an initial 12 months and reviewed in the Spring 2020 with a view to continuing it withing the age groups (Soccer Tots, U6, U7 & U8)

Children acquire and develop skills at different rates and must be allowed to develop at their own unique, individual pace. As children learn new skills they should be given opportunities to practise them in different situations, to reflect on and evaluate their work. In all aspects of their development, children's own work should be respected, valued and encouraged.


To create a framework that will nurture our players, allowing them to love the game and to prepare them for the bigger and more complex formats as they grow within our club, not just as footballers but as human beings. 

Two main focus points:

  • Allowing the individual to learn in an safe environment with players of similar abilities, this allowing maximum development.
  • Allowing younger players who develop skill and comprehension at a quicker pace than their peers an opportunity to practice them in older age group. 

To add to that, we also believe in order to develop players who are confident and comfortable in possession, players should be exposed to all situations and areas of the pitch and not be position specific in the foundation phase. So if a players strongest position is striker, let them learn a different position to become a better overall player long term.

Also, we will looking to give ownership of their learning to the player. This is very age specific and will incorporate leading questions, allowing them to make decisions (for example scoring) to enable them to be as engaged as possible.

We will look to encourage:

  • Good, quick feet
  • Good passing & receiving skills
  • Good A-B-C's
  • Be confident and comfortable on the ball
  • Good Decision Makers
  • A desire to learn

To help players develop these key traits, we must work to an enriched, flexible session plan with resources to nurture the development of the player to ensure they stay within the game, either with Port of Bristol Youth or elsewhere.

Training Model

In the Foundation Phase, the coaching given should provide the framework for our players to have challenging sessions to enable them to develop and put their learning to the test in current and future 5 v 5 & 7 v 7 development games.

The coaches will incorporate the"4 Corner Development Model" and will always refer back to the reference point of Attacking / Defending / Transition. 

However, with the age of these players, it is a key stage for "Windows of Opportunity" and therefore the Physical, Psychological and Social Corners can be truly developed as can the Technical. All four of the key attributes are vital for any developing young footballer as is the England DNA, that the coaches will be looking to create with our players .

Sessions will be motivating for all, enriching and matter where our player is in their development. A high proportion of each session will be made up of technique, ball mastery, passing, receiving & possession, with the any remaining time used for social, understanding the player and allowing them to reflect with their peers.

Action Required

So with any development there needs to be positive changes, although these may not be the easiest to implement, giving the ages of the children. 

The biggest changes will be some of the players will have different coaches as we start to return to the club for 'Summer Training'

Current U7s

There will now be three U7 squads instead of the current two, with the whole age group still being over viewed by Chris George. We are doing this to create a safe environment for those players who are still learning the basics as well as allowing the progression of younger players from the age group below who are deemed ready to play development 

Purple Squad

The purple squad will be ran by Chris George, playing league fixtures on Sunday's either in the A or B division. Training will be held on a Wednesday evening

White Squad

Our white squad will be ran by Steve Winter, playing league fixtures on Sunday's in the C division. Training will be held on a Wednesday evening

Black (development)

This squad will not be entered into a league and will be smaller in numbers. This will be ran by Chris George, training on a Thursday evenings

Current U6s

With Steve Winter working with the older age group the void left by him will be filled by Tom Lawlor, who will work alongside Marc Newman.

Although not being entered into a league the two will look to arrange development game time for players that are showing development. This will co-inside with players possibly being put into 'white squad' or training up with the older squads.

Training will be on a Wednesday evening.  

Current Soccer Tots

With Tom Lawlor moving up to help develop our current U6, Tom Nightingale and Chris Ellis with continue their development. Tom Lawlor will still be involved as training will be on a Thursday night, but will of course be looking to test this group by sending players to train on a Wednesday with older ages.