What to expect when you join Carlton Athletic Juniors FC

How it a works here

You found us! Brilliant. Here’s where your journey begins as one or more as a parent, carer, player, volunteer coach, supporter, committee member, volunteer and ambassador for Carlton Athletic FC.

When you first bring your boy or girl along, don’t worry about anything other than introducing yourself to a coach, making sure your child is wearing appropriate clothing, shinpads, boots and has something to drink. If your child has never played before, then ask the coach before you attend to see if we have some spare boots we can lend you. If we can help, we will.

Your first two training session are free because we want your child to feel comfortable and see if it’s right for them. Fun comes first, always. Once you decide to join and/or the age group has enough space then your child becomes a Carlton Athletic player – what a moment! Our club like most others is a membership organisation meaning your child needs to sign up and all parents/carers pays subs for the year (also known as subscriptions). It is £180 for the entire year payable in one lump sum at the start or £15 per month ongoing every month via direct debit.

The subs go directly to the main club to help (but not entirely) cover basic running costs like pitch maintenance, pitch hire, winter training venues, goals, line marking, clubhouse utility bills, repairs and so on.

Each team/age group then raises their own funds via sponsorship, events and fundraisers to pay for kit, equipment and extras. If you may struggle to afford this, please contact the coach or the club committee in complete confidence and we will find a way to help. We will always do our best to help everyone who asks for help.

Once you join, your child will be registered with the West Riding FA giving you access to the national FA app and website. A head and shoulders photograph will be required of them alongside key personal data. You should also make us aware of anything you think our coaches might need to know about your child. That could be anything from medical requirements to injuries. The more we know about a child relevant to football and socialising with others, the better. We’ll also ask if you are happy for them to be on photographs used publicly.

All our coaches are DBS checked via the FA and we have a dedicated safeguarding page on this website with contact details for our safeguarding leads. It goes without saying that everyone is welcome no matter what your background or circumstances are. We have a zero tolerance approach to discrimination of all kinds and bullying. That includes any kind of abuse aimed at referees, players and coaches, which is not on – ever.

Every single person involved with our club is a volunteer. No-one gets paid for coaching, administrating, being a safeguarding lead, being the chairman and so on. It’s all done for the love of the game and to give children a chance to play, have fun, improve and flourish as players and people.

Our home ground is at Carlton Athletic on Town Street although we have other pitches we play on around the wider area. If driving to a match or training at our home ground only ever park at Greenfield Produce and never park at the club (reserved for disabled and ground staff) or along the main road, otherwise we get understandable complaints which we want to avoid. There are toilets available here and our neighbours are Carlton Cricket Club on one side and Rhubarb Triangle Farm Shop on the other – tasty!

If your child plays at U11 or lower, never post the scores or results anywhere on social media as this is against FA rules and we could be fined. They purposely brought this rule in for U11 matches and below so teams focused on learning to play the game and the rules and not winning at all costs. U12 upwards record and publish scores, so it’s fine to do so.

Things you may notice about matches…if your child is playing 7-a-side which is likely if they are between U8 and U10 then the pitches are slightly smaller, but things like goal kicks and throw ins are all part of it. When a goalkeeper has the ball the opposition must retreat to the halfway to allow them to play the ball out. U11 and U12 move to 9-a-side on a bigger pitch where offside is introduced and there is no requirement for the opposition to retreat to the halfway line. U13 upwards us full size 11-a-side with full rules like the pros.

At Carlton we love to see and hear vocal, passionate support – it’s brilliant! What we do not want to hear and see is parents telling players what to do – that’s the coaches’ job. If you think you can do better, brilliant – sign up as a volunteer and help run a team. Otherwise support and encourage, do not instruct. This also includes telling the ref what to do or aiming anything negative their way, their job is tough enough. Similarly do not be aggressive. We all know how passionate we get watching football, especially when it’s our kids playing. But shouting “take him out” or “get into her” isn’t on. We are happy to stop a match in mid-flow to warn or eject spectators. Let’s make sure it doesn’t get to that.

A small committee of volunteers run the junior section that encompasses our girls and boys teams. If you would like to contact them or be part of them, please get in touch on info@carltonathletic.co.uk If you see or hear anything that doesn’t look or feel right please report it to our safeguarding leads immediately – contacts are on the website under safeguarding.

Wow, a lot of info there – but it gives you an overview of how we try our best to do things right at Carlton Athletic so your child, you and your family all feel part of something special, something fun and something safe.

We might not always be able to accommodate every person’s individual or specific needs – or even have space as the team may be full – but if we can’t do it ourselves, we will always try and help signpost you to another club or specialist team that can help. It’s all about the game and getting kids playing whether it’s with us or somewhere else.

Thanks for your time. Please feel free to get in touch too.

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