Carlow Juveniles League BACK
The Carlow & District Juveniles League are delighted to announce that all competitive leagues will start this Saturday 26th September 2020.

We are delighted to announce the start of our season this weekend. After a shortened season due to the outbreak of the coronavirus last March, we're all looking forward to Saturday and a full fixture card. Please remember that clubs will have protocols in place to ensure that all our players, coaches and families have a safe playing environment.

CDJL's Season 2020/21

With the Carlow & District Juvenile Competitive Leagues set to kick off on Sept 26th, we would like to wish all the players, coaches, managers, officials and parents the best of luck. There will be sweat and tears over the coming months – and hopefully no blood!

Our non-competitive age groups will kick off their season next month and with that in mind, we would like to take the opportunity to highlight a few things – including some differences between the structures and rules at competitive age levels compared to the younger, non-competitive age levels.

The C&DJL is an advocate of the FAI’s Player Development Plan (PDP) – and this season it is mandatory for every Club fielding a team at the non-comp age groups to nominate a Club PDP Rep and failure to do so will see no fixtures at those age groups for a Club until they do. We expect Clubs & Managers to adhere fully to the PDP rules and there will be sanctions for Clubs who don’t.

At non-competitive age groups (U8s, U9s, U10s & U11s) we run fixtures according to the PDP rules. The PDP is inclusive, it offers small-sided matches, it provides all players with guaranteed equal game time and it encourages players to play the ball out from the back and also allows for weaker players to improve with aspects like the retreat line giving a defender a free touch before they can be tackled etc.

The focus over these first 4 or 5 seasons (some clubs allow players to play 2 years at U8s) is on fun, learning the basics, improving all players and involving the whole squad. No results are recorded. No results or goal-scorers can be made public on any social media.

Traditionally, in the second half of the season at U11s the C&DJL run grading fixtures using the U12 rules. The purpose of this is to allow teams to find their level while results are not public – so that they can be entered in the appropriate division the following season at U12s. Due to Covid19, last season ended abruptly and ahead of schedule, and only a few grading matches were played – so this season, we are starting the U12s in a mini-grading comp, a Champions League-style group stage that will see Clubs play 4 matches, and those results will go back to the league to determine what division the teams are entered in.

The squads that start the grading competition, are the squads players will play in, there will be NO swapping of players before we start the League campaign after the grading competition has finished. While the PDP rules outline equal playing time for all players at the non-competitive age groups, that changes at U12s and up for the competitive leagues. That doesn’t mean, however, that players should be cast aside or not get any game time – but at the same time, we appreciate that it is a difficult juggling act for managers to keep their teams competitive in every match while ensuring that players of all abilities continue to get their share of game time over the season. We don’t get involved in how managers manage that – we know of Clubs with bigger squads who rotate from a strong core of players and rotate the rest on a match by match basis, or other clubs who can bring all their squad to every game – but what we do insist on is that every player gets at least what the FAI have outlined as their minimum game time for that age group over the course of the season:

From U12s – U16s that minimum is 25% playing time.

It is a big change from the non-competitive game time, but it is now a competitive game with leagues and cups and matches almost every week, which means there will be more game time available.

And the reality is that from U12s up, the focus changes. Those initial seasons of non-comp games are an excellent way to involve as many children as possible and to encourage players who aren’t as confident or skilful to keep playing and improving – but at some point, and that point is currently at the competitive age groups from U12s, we have to give the same attention and opportunity to the players who are stronger, more skilful and likely to play the game at higher levels or for years to come.

The opportunities for the stronger players have never been as good as they are now with our academy teams excelling at both boy’s and girl’s national competitions and League of Ireland football available locally with Carlow Kilkenny FC – and with those opportunities in mind, we would also highlight the importance and duty of Clubs to provide the opportunity to their weaker players to continue to play football for their Club.

Players should not be cast aside to B teams with no coaches lined up or excessive numbers to be catered for, with all the focus on a smaller, strong squad involved with their A team.

To all players, clubs and supporters, we ask that you show respect to the referees and officials at all times.

We also ask that whether your team wins or loses, that the same degree of respect is shown to your opponents.

Enjoy the season ahead and #StaySafe

03/09/2020 12:29