It’s a new season and new kit for the Easingwold Town AFC Under 8s team, sponsored by Industrial Textiles and Plastics. The North Yorkshire producer of protective materials for buildings and construction is headquartered across the road from the club’s grounds.
Easingwold U8s football team has two FA qualified coaches, Craig Jeffries and Chris Prior, who take joint responsibility for Saturday morning training. For games the U8s are split into two equal sides, with Craig managing the ‘Harriers’ and Chris managing the ‘Hawks’
Craig Jeffries explains their philosophy: “The emphasis is primarily on encouraging the players to ‘learn through fun’. Skills are learnt through focused exercises and match situations. At this age the players are developing through individual ball control into positional and tactical awareness. There is a broad range of ability among our players and that is as it should be. The training and match experience allow ALL our players to develop and enjoy football. On match days the league game is played first, and we try to allow all our players time on the pitch. The second game is more of a friendly/development game where players who lack confidence and/or or very new to the game get to play in the club colours and get match experience. I don’t think you can underestimate how proud the players are playing in the team strip. The fact that through ITP’s sponsorship we can provide a kit without the parents’ having to pay can make a big difference to some families and for that we are grateful.
“It’s great to see them all develop their characters and change over the seasons. A couple of the smaller players have developed in awesome defenders, taking on far bigger players. Quiet children have come out of their shell and learned to develop their confidence on the pitch. What has been particularly impressive has been how supportive they have been of each other. We’ve lost as many games as we’ve won but the focus has been on enjoying the games rather than focusing on just winning.
“As the season progresses we are looking for the teamplay to develop, for the players to continue to develop both their own skills but also how they play as a team …. And most importantly that they still come to every training session with a big smile, happy to see their friends and eager to enjoy the world’s greatest game.”
Pictured at the club’s grounds with the ETAFC Under 8s team is Richard Menage, ITP’s chairman.