LEIGHTON WOODSIDE COLTS
WHERE THE MAGIC BEGINS...
Leighton Woodside FC has an incredibly healthy and well-respected Colts section for players aged 4, 5 and 6*. We run a Colts recruitment campaign every summer, but players can join at any point during the season (September to May). We offer a ‘try before you buy’ scheme that allows your player to join the team for up to 4 weeks free of charge to see how they get on and, more importantly, if they enjoy themselves. It’s not uncommon for a parent or player to give it a go, decide it’s a bit early and come back later in the year or the following season... each player is different!
ANY PLAYER WELCOME
We allow any player to join the Colts regardless of ability or gender. Initially they will receive training from the Club’s Head Coach and Colts Manager, Paul Sullivan. Paul has an unrivalled experience of coaching and developing players at this age group and you can expect your player to make clear progress during their time in the Colts. He is also incredibly patient and knows how to treat players as individuals and is quick to gain the respect and discipline required from the players.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TRAINING SESSION?
During a typical 90 minute training session, the players will start with a light warm up drill to get their muscles working before concentrating on two or three specific footballing skills, for example passing, keeping the ball or dribbling. The group might then split into their various age groups for a more tailored session depending on their needs. This is important, as some of the older players will be expected to be playing competitive games the following season so will need careful and dedicated coaching sessions. The younger groups will continue to concentrate on more basic skills which is vital at this stage of your player’s development.
Your player will almost always play a match at the end of the training session. At this point, Paul will be looking to see examples of players using the skills that have been coached that day. Often players will do this unconsciously, which is amazing to see! The games are played in good spirit and with ‘having fun’ the key objective. Paul will encourage players to take part, get stuck in and give it a go. He will also stop the game at various points to highlight a particular aspect of the game, for example when literally every player is around the ball! Inevitably there are always a few bumps, bruises and temper tantrums, But fear not, there’s no situation that Paul can’t resolve with care, fairness and sensitivity.
At the end of the session, players will shake hands and probably go home for a hot bath or shower! It’s worth pointing out at this point that football is an outdoor winter sport, so training session will take place every week unless the pitch is waterlogged, frozen or cannot be seen – for example snow – or if the weather is deemed too inclement to continue, for example lightning. It is your responsibility to ensure your player has the correct and suitable clothing for the conditions. It’s best to pack warm clothing at all times as football pitches do have micro-climates of their own. Oh, and you might want to consider some thermals for you too!
WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP FOR MY PLAYERS'S DEVELOPMENT?
Players leave the Colts section when they get to year 2 at school when, starting after Christmas, they become Leighton Woodside Under 7s players. At this point, your player will be issued with a Leighton Woodside kit, an official player number and start playing competitive home and away matches in the MKDDL league. They will also be officially registered for the league and must provide proof of age so there can be no older players or unregistered mates muscling in to help a team – these registration cards are checked at every match. There are lots of steps required to mobilise a team from the Colts to league football and, as a Club, we will support the team during this process. We also rely on support from parents to volunteer for several key positions within the team. For more information about these roles and this next important phase of development for the team, please read the Under 8s section here.
GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER AND COMMUNICATION
As a family friendly club, we encourage parents to get to know each other and each other's players. This is really important during these early years as your player and the team will need to support and help each other as they start playing in the League, for example giving players lifts to and from training or matches.
Each section of the Club has a 'closed' Facebook group and this is currently the best and most secure way to communicate with each other. Once you have been approved to join the Facebook group, all communication will flow from your dedicated Communications Manager about training times and other important information or events - for example a cancelled session. The Colts' current Communications Manager is Gemma Johnson-Powell. Being a closed group allows you to share photos, comments and ask questions without worrying who else is looking.
And who knows, as you get to know each other, you might even want to organise a mums and/or dads night out - it all goes to ultimately help your player!
INTERESTED IN TAKING PART?
If you are interested in joining the Colts, please use the Contact Us form here and we will respond to you as soon as possible. Colts train on Saturday mornings between 10.00am – 11.30am at ‘Stadium Brooklands’ (Brooklands School, Brooklands Avenue) in Leighton Buzzard.
* please note that sometimes a 4 year old is mature and strong enough to take part in training and other times not. As the football age groups match school years, you can see why this might happen. Football even at this age requires a degree of physical strength and it will be up to Paul Sullivan to decide with your player is ready or not as we don’t want anyone getting hurt or injured. The FA is encouraging players to start at the age of 3, but as a club we have decided not to take on players at this age.
colts Manager // PAUL SULLIVAN
Many older players joined Leighton Woodside in the Colts team. The Club's Head Coach, Paul, is amazing at giving players the initial confidence and skills that will stay with them for the rest of their career. My player would not be as good as he is without the dedicated committment of the Colts coaches.