Hi everyone

I hope you have all had a great Christmas, far too much to eat and drink, and no doubt now getting ready burn those calories off with the kids in the park with all those new Footballs, boots, goals, tops and so much more.

I thought it was time to look forward now and update you on a number of league activities and general news along with the Pilot progress

New Web Site

Some of you will have no doubt found our New Web Site at www.wsyl.org.uk this is still work in progress, but hopefully you can see some improvements already. We have some dedicated areas for Player Adverts and your Summer Festival / Tournaments that we can advertise. The Results and Fixtures areas are taking updated feeds from Prawn Sandwich, along with the admin and advice area’s being updated.

David Lomax and myself are working with our supplier to finish it off and tidy it up a bit more, but to date we are quite pleased. I would welcome a volunteer to join us to help with updating the news areas, and perhaps seeking out and finding news stories for the league to promote, anyone that has a knowledge of web sites and word press just drop me a line if your interested.

Development Football

This area of the league is always changing and developing season after season, in General lots of positive feedback on the small competitions, we continue to manipulate the groups as team’s standards alter throughout the season, but this is very difficult to judge standards perfectly. That said I think we are getting the standards about right.

We have areas to look at in terms of tightening conditions, the ability for teams to move players between squads has been abused by a few teams in Small Competitions and Cups, these aspects we are going to have to tighten, once again I think we can work within a spirit of competition, but someone decides that because its not black and white they will push it to its furthest extent.

A small word about the U8’s that I have taken on from a fixtures perspective in the Short Term, whilst Hanna his focused on some personal matters that are eating her time, we wish Hanna and her family allgood wishes whilst she puts a few things back together.

Child Historic Safeguarding

We are all aware of the recent press coverage on the above topic, just to say it was a timely reminder that as Clubs and Officials of the league we need to make sure that all of our process and procedures are robust. I know that in the main the Youth Football world has made significant improvements over the recent times, but let’s not be complacent. Frank, in his role as County Welfare Officer, has been extremely busy with this topic and of course many of you will have been dealing with him to ensure all records are up to date on a variety of Football admin systems. A big thanks to all club secretaries that have had to refocus in these area’s over recent weeks.

The Pilot

From my perspective, the pilot does seem to be having a positive influence on poor behaviours, but of course every week we do get incidents, probably around 4 or 5 a week, across maybe 400+ matches.

I would like to thank Gordon Campbell who joined the committee this year to help administer the Pilot reporting process and has just done a wonderful job in distilling the reports and working with Clubs and Counties to get focus on issues that appear.

All for the Clubs have worked positively with us on Respect Issues we have seen, and have in my view dealt with the issues appropriately.

We have had a positive response from the FA regarding the Pilot so far, the results, site visit to Mitcham Park and our report have given the FA sanctions committee a feeling that this could be adopted into the Standard Code of Youth Rules for next season.

Referee Appointment and Briefings

One area that everyone needs to help the League and yourselves with.

We have had a number of issues recently where referees have had incidents in matches, no reports have been made and on further investigation it transpires that the referee is not registered, has no access to report Cautions, Sendings off or misconduct to the FA, and then we are all left to pick up the mess. If a referee is taking money for services, then they are duty bound to be registered and capable of refereeing to the rules of the FA and League, please help us to help you – Check the refs you appoint.

When you appoint referees as a Club you need to do the following please:-

  • Make sure that the referee is currently registered with his parent county FA for this season. If they are not then there is a good chance that the referee does not have a DBS/CRB check in place, if they don’t then you all understand the consequences – ensure that you have the proof of registration, you can write to the county FA referee secretary Tim.lawrence@surreyfa.com to check if you are in any doubt.
  • If you have satisfied yourself with the first point then please ensure you brief the referee on the SYL Respect Pilot and the Pitch Marshalls, you all have the materials.

Good Practice and Reminders

The same reminder please on the topics below, still the same area’s to focus on.

  • Linesman acting as Pitch Marshalls – absolutely not, this is not permitted, if there is no Pitch Marshall for whatever lukewarm reason, then it falls to the manager.
  • The no standing behind opposition linesman seems to be in the main adhered to, but please keep reminding people.
  • Referee reporting still not at a good enough level, I will be having a purge again on this – REFEREES please ensure you match report every game, this scheme is here for all to participate in, which includes yourselves.

Pilot Survey

Later this week we will be issuing two survey regarding the Respect Pilot.

  • Survey 1 will be for Club’s and their committee to complete from a club perspective.
  • Survey 2 will be open for anyone associated with the Surrey Youth League, Referees, Pitch Marshall’s, Linesman, Spectators/Parents & Club Officials, the survey can be taken anonymously if people wish.

From these survey’s, we will be better able to gauge people’s views on the Pilot to date. Enabling us to to look at whether we continue, whether we can improve and help us to make recommendations to the FA on further roll outs. It will also form a basis for a workshop in the March timeframe for Clubs to attend.


Enjoy these few days off from the madness of Sunday morning, lets keep moving forward and really focus on the Football and the Children enjoying themselves when we start up in the New Year.


Graham Ekins

SYL Chairman

FA Respect awards given to the Surrey youth league