So your new to football - congratulations on joining the best sport ever!
Here are some things to get you going and to ease those first day jitters and million questions that you might have.
All children must be registered to play. You can CLICK HERE to register your child.
After you've registered your child you can pay via credit card or by internet banking. All information on fees and account details can be found HERE.
Next you and your child come to trials at Starling Park on the 12th and 19th February. While we prefer that your child attends both days, don't worry if you can't make one of the days, we will do our best to get your child in the best team for their abilities. For more information about trials you can click HERE.
Trials can sometimes make the players feel nervous. Please rest assure this is about getting to know your child and finding out their football abilities so they are placed in the right team for the season and the right division. If this is your first time playing football, we wouldn't place you in a 1st Division competitive team. We want your child to enjoy their time playing football and learning new skills.
When you arrive at trials you will need to check your child in, and we will need to take some key contact info. Parents will need to stay for trials, although we do understand that some parents need to leave. If you do need to go we need to be able to contact you. Sometimes the line can be a little long when checking in - please be patient as we are all volunteers running the club. After checking in, a number will be written on your child's hand. This is to help us identify kids when doing team placements later.
We love positive encouragement, praise and enthusiasm from our parents, but sometimes parents get a little too enthusiastic. We would appreciate you sitting on the side line and not coaching your child. Please refrain from yelling or any negative comments - you will be asked to zip it or leave. We have a zero tolerance for bad sideline behaviour.
Your child will be placed in the appropriate grades and taken by a club official for a warm up, basic drills and small sided games. There will be time for children to have a drink in between games.
PLEASE, PLEASE make sure your child wears shin pads - this is a non-negotiable, compulsory safety item for your child at trials and games. No shin pads - No play! All other items such as socks, shorts and boots can be purchased closer to when the season starts. We will be opening up an online store for you to purchase these very soon if you need them!
Once the club official dismissed your child from the trial you will be able to collect them and take them home. Please remember we are running trials ALL DAY for ALL AGE GROUPS, so please be patient. We have a few club officials available for you to talk to should you have any questions on the day.
After trials, the club officials get together to allocate your child into a team - this does take a few weeks to do. We also need to register these teams with Northern Football Federation (NFF) so they are in the right league and division. So please bare with us during this time - we haven't forgotten you!
It's important that you attend Muster, but again, we understand that some families have prior commitments, so if you can't make it, simply get in touch and we will make sure you know what team your child is in.
Muster is the day that you and your child have been waiting for! You will find out what team your in and who your coach and manager is. You will also set your training day and time. All of our teams are coached and managed by volunteer parents of children within your team. If you've ever thought about coaching or managing this is great opportunity to get involved! It's much easier than you think and you will have a great support network around you to get you started. It takes a lot for someone to step up and coach so please support them and give it a go!
After Muster, your team will start training and the club will work with you to help get you started.
The scary part (just kidding). All fee information can be found HERE. You can pay online by credit card when you register or you can pay by internet banking. If you are concerned about the up front payment please contact our AWESOME Club Treasurer Sama, who will be able to talk you through your options. All fees must be paid by the 1st April or your child will not be able to play. Or you would have to have contacted Sama to put an arrangement in place. We are a family based club and like to support our community but can't help if you don't let us know your situation. Please remember we are a not for profit and rely on fees being paid on time so we can pay the affiliation fees to NFF and New Zealand Football. We also have massive rent to pay for our awesome building and replacement equipment, which is why it's important to pay your fees on time.
At RSFC our uniform is BLACK. Black playing shirt, black shorts and black socks (not pink or orange with stripes - just plain BLACK). It is compulsory that your child wears shin pads, and these must be under your socks - not on top of them. Your shirt is given out to your child at each game day by the team manager and returned after the game. So wear a spare shirt, skins or long sleeved skivvy (black) to wear under the shirt. The club will supply a shirt for your child to wear, which must be returned at the end of the season. Any un-returned gear will be invoiced to you!
RULES & GAME DAY
The first game day can be a bit stressful (especially if you've slept in - we've all been there), but it's also a really exciting time. My son's first game when he was 4 spent most of the game playing aeroplane's at the other end of the field - so don't expect too much from the younger ones - they will pick it up as the season goes along.
Every age group has different rules, so here's a quick overview for you parents, but don't worry we make sure that all coaches and managers are up to speed on the rules for their grade.
First Kicks: 6th - 8th Grade
The rules are - there are no rules (just kidding).
This age group is all about having fun, learning football skills and having as many touches on the ball as possible. There are no FIFA rules for this group, no goal keepers, no goal hanging, no off-sides and no throw ins. The Whole of Football rules apply and these will be introduced to your coach and manager.
6th Grade: They play three 10 minute games against other clubs (usually at Starling Park). And just to make sure we have a positive environment - only coaches and managers are allowed on the turf. ALL PARENTS MUST BE BEHIND THE TURF FENCE! They usually play 3 or 4 a side.
7th Grade: They play four 10 minute games at a local West Auckland park
8th Grade: They play three 15 minute games at a local West Auckland park
7th & 8th grade can play 4 or 5 a side
Junior Football: 9th - 12th Grade
Here its a lil different as we start to bring in some fundamental rules about the game of football. This group play two 25 minute halves with a 5min half time.
9th - 10th Grade: Here we introduce the rules such as blatant off-sides, hand ball, throw ins and goal keepers. This age group plays 7 a side.
11th & 12th Grade: They play 9 a side and full FIFA Laws apply.
We also have this thing called a retreating line - the coach will teach this to the kids as the club will hold a session on it - parents are welcome to attend, and you can read about it HERE.
Youth Football: 13th - 17th Grade
Teenagers...scary things! Even in sport!
Full FIFA Laws apply to 13th - 17th Grade and play a full sized pitch with 11 a side.
13 & 14th: Two 27.5 halves with 5min half time
15th: Two 35min halves with 5min half time
17th: Two 40 min halves with 5 min half time
Each of these groups (First Kicks, Junior Football & Youth Football) have different requirements for ball sizes and field sizes. This will be explained to the coach and manager as well as in their booklets. But if your keen to know more you can check out the information from 2015 - it pretty much still applies and will bring you up to speed on most things - CLICK HERE.
We have a zero tolerance policy for negative comments and swearing on the sideline. Your child's game is no place for you to drop the F*Bomb or yell at your child because they don't feel like playing or don't want to kick the ball. Kids will enjoy the game better when they are in a positive environment, don't just take my word for it either, there are plenty of research reports and stats that prove it - just ask Uncle Google! If you see another parent displaying poor behavior - call them out on it and quietly say chill out. If your still having no luck and it's a home game, come find a club official and we will kindly have a chat with them. Let your child learn from the mistake and give plenty of encouragement, in fact make sure you give it to the team mates as well, because over the next 6 months you will become a family.
SEASON STARTS & GAME DAY
Our season officially starts on the 1st April. You will have a couple of training's prior to the first game for the team to get to know each other and start to 'gel together'. All game day information is on our club website- it's a great place to go to for information so check it out!
Game day is really important. Expect to arrive at least 30mins before your game starts. This will allow you plenty of time to warm up and if need be setup the field if its a home game. Remember your coach is an amazing individual because they are a volunteer and giving up their time to coach your child. So please give them hand carrying a goal over and putting up a net or two, taking them down and putting them away. When you do it once, it becomes very easy to do, and starts to really build a team environment not only for your kids but also the parents too! Trust me, you will make some great friends this season.
After a game there is always a player of the day certificate and participation award. The coach usually chooses this person or sometimes the parents will choose together - it's up to the team. Some do lollies, some do chocolates, some do oranges. It's up the team to work this out, but best practice is the coach starts of with the chosen item, then the player of the day brings the item the next week and so on.
The most important thing to remember is for your child to learn a new skill and HAVE FUN!
CLUB CULTURE & IMPORTANT INFORMATION
At RSFC, we are really big on promoting our club culture - after all we are just one big family. That's why we encourage all players to come and support our Senior Mens First Team and Development Squad when the play at home in the afternoons. It's a great opportunity for your children to watch fast football in action and learn new things just from watching their club heros. We always need kids to help out being ball kids for these matches too - so if your keen let us know!
We have a canteen on site with food and drink available, and from about 1pm on-wards the bar upstairs or downstairs is open. We just like to remind people if you are drinking, please drink on the grand stands only and not on the fence line or fields, use a recycling bin and please drink responsibly. If it looks like you're having a bit much, we will give plenty of water free of charge for the remainder of your stay!
Starling Park, our home grounds, has a smoke-free policy in place which you can read HERE. If you are a smoker we ask that you please refrain from smoking on the sidelines on the grass fields and the turf, and use the car park or public footpath.
This season we are introducing supporter shirts and hoodies, keep an eye out for the online shop to purchase your very own!
We also have lots of fundraisers throughout the season to keep the club going. It would be great for you to get involved and support us to continue delivering football in our area.
If you want to know what's going on visit our CLUB CALENDAR HERE. Which we update on a regular basis. You can check out our Committee Members by clicking HERE and contacting them at any time. I'm always available, even for those late night questions.
Remember to always check our club website or Facebook page for more information, and if you still can't find what you're looking for then drop me an email. I will always do my best to respond within 24 hours and put you in the right direction.
There is so much more information I could throw at you - but it might scare you off! I've been with the club 10ish years and have been a coach, manager, referee, treasurer, secretary and now president. I can't tell you how rewarding it is to be a volunteer at the club and really get involved!
I hope this covers of the basics, and I look forward to many more email inquiries and meeting you all through out the season!
By Toni Talijancich
President of Ranui Swanson Football Club, Referee, Proud RSFC Supporter, Mum and Work-a-Holic