Girls' Small Sided Programme is in Full Swing

As 2015 comes to an end, here is a roundup of how the Girls’ Small Sided programme has gone so far and a preview into what 2016 will bring.

The programme has developed considerably throughout the later stage of 2015, as it now caters for a staggering 110 teams across the whole of the county, as well as providing the opportunity to deliver three tailored Small Sided Referee workshops to one High School and two Colleges, with the aim of developing referees for the U13 and U15’s fixtures. The U18’s have had qualified referee’s appointed to their fixtures and are now eagerly waiting for 2016 where they can play their final fixture date before the big Final.

The U15’s have only just now kicked off, where we have had our biggest and most testing fixture date hosted at the FDC yet… 16 teams, 44 games and an hour and a half to play it in! 

Over in the U18’s age group, they are now half way through their fixture programme, having completed two of the three fixture dates in the months of October and November.  They’ve been faced with slightly trickier weather conditions but the games still went ahead and despite the challenging wind and rain, there has been some great football on display.  What is truly great about this age group is that it is like one big reunion with college students catching up with former school friends who are in their last year at high school, the atmosphere is fantastic and of course controlled by the appointed qualified referees who also seem to enjoy themselves.

Next up to start their fixtures were the U15’s, with 43 teams entered into this age group four venues are used and at each of these venues sport leaders support on a voluntary basis by refereeing the fixtures. 

Before these fixtures even began, Stacey Annison (Football Development Officer) and David Robinson (Referee Development Officer) organised and delivered a 2 hour tailored Small Sided Referee workshop which included an interactive theory and a practical session, putting what they had learnt into practice.  This is a new addition to this year’s Girls’ Small Sided Programme to improve and raise the standards of the programme. Stacey Annison commented on the initiative:

"It’s great to be able to go in and upskill a group of 12+ students in years 10 – 13 and to also have them support this programme on a voluntary basis.  These students are taking BTEC sport or GCSE PE, which in turn supports them in their academic studies and providing them with priceless experience, which adds more value to the reason why we do these workshops."

30 out of the possible 36 teams have participated in the U15 first set of fixtures; and the seven U15 teams at the Lynn Sport venue will be playing their fixtures on Tuesday 8 December.   Without the support of the leaders refereeing at these venues, the programme wouldn’t be able to run efficiently, therefore their work and time is very much appreciated.

What does 2016 bring?

In January, the U18’s will play their last fixture before their inter County final. The U15’s will have a short break and will get back to playing ways in February, to allow the 44 teams entered into the U13’s a chance to get their season started in January!

To check out what schools are participating and how the league tables are shaping up click here.  Also this year we have tried to catch as many action shots as possible so make sure to regularly check our Flickr page:!

For any information around the Norfolk FA Girls’ Small Sided Programme, please do not hesitate to contact Stacey Annison on or call her on at the County Headquarters on 01603 704050.

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