GFA Academy Statement
Date: 10 June 2016

Following on from the numerous comments/questions that have been received after many parents were approached unexpectedly by Ormer FC officials at the recent Rangers 7’s tournament, we felt it prudent to clarify our position should any parent/player wish to consider the opportunity being presented by this Club.


First and foremost, our ethos of ‘Player first and Always’ has not changed since we began developing the GFA Academy, which is an integral part of the Guernsey FA’s High Performance Player Pathway.  With this in mind and after speaking to the officials from Ormer FC, and following their leaflet distribution and approaches to many parents, we requested they confirm their intentions for this particular Club based ‘product’ moving forward. This was with particular regard to the current age group years 4 to 6, as these were previously confirmed to the GFA by these same officials as not being of interest.


In summary, it is now apparent that Ormer FC are looking to increase their Club ‘product’ age groups. As such, their amended intentions are now communicated to the GFA as follows:


·         ‘Trials’ are to be held at some point during the summer months

·         Assuming numbers are as they hope, they will create age group training sessions and/or mixed years

·         The intention will be to hold 2 training sessions per week going forward for each group, and current plan is for this to be every Tues and Thurs.

·         They will also look to travel away to play 4 to 5 matches/tournaments, which we are led to believe will be parent funded unless they can obtain the necessary sponsorship.


With this planned schedule in mind, GFA Academy representatives have agreed with the officials who run Ormer FC that once the ‘trial’ process has been finalised, the choice of which ‘product’ parents and children intend committing to going forward will be for them to decide. This position is predominately being taken in the interests of child welfare.


Obviously parents and children are fully aware of the GFA Academy ‘product’ and the Pathway that this affords. We are sure the parents/coaches from Ormer FC will do likewise.   


Out of courtesy we would request that parents advise us by return email if a child intends to ‘trial’ with Ormer FC - to confirm, it goes without saying that anybody that wishes to trial are entitled to do so and there is no issue if a parent/child wish to take up the offer of a ‘trial’.  Again, should your child prove ‘successful’ and wish to choose the Ormer FC pathway, we would request parents communicate this to us so we are aware of your intentions. We fully respect and support any decision a parent and child may make in this situation.


To clarify the child welfare considerations, the reason this position has been reached and a decision required, is to ensure that in the best interests of everybody and to continue with our ethos of ‘Player Frist and Always’, if a parent and child child were looking to embrace both ‘products’, they would be looking at the following during a normal week:


·         2 sessions per week with the GFA Academy

·         2 sessions per week with Ormer FC

·         1 Club training session/match

·         1 School match/training

·         PLUS other activities, e.g. school work & other sports, etc.


We firmly believe that even the most dedicated parent would be wary of this schedule for their child at such a very young age.


Again to avoid any doubt, and despite what some people may believe or wish to have at their disposal, the GFA does not consider it is practical to do ‘some’ of one product and ‘some’ of the other product.  From a coaching/team perspective, this is simply an impossible situation to manage not knowing which player is turning up when or ‘some one week’ and ‘others another week’. This is an impractical position for all concerned and not in the best interests of the players.  Trying to plan a relevant coaching/training session and not knowing who will be around makes things incredibly difficult and can be hugely detrimental.


It is also worth clarifying that when the parents of some Year 7 children (and one Year 6 child) formed Ormer FC, it was decided and agreed that it was in everybody’s best interests to choose one option or the other. Therefore, there is now some evidential experience to support the position being taken and it is why we believe it is entirely correct to do likewise with the current Years 4, 5 & 6 as Ormer FC are looking to increase their cohort.  


There is no doubt that those children at Year 7 who embraced the Ormer FC ‘product’ have enjoyed some fantastic experiences and have developed themselves but those who did not and stayed within the GFA Academy product and the HPPP have developed significantly also within the programme that has been created for them.  Which is ‘right’ which is ‘wrong’ is not a debate that I would choose to get involved in because nobody will know the answer for a number of years, if ever at all.


To summarise, we pride ourselves on our coaching and our product of developing as many players as possible who we see as ‘high performing’, defined by our three pronged criteria of ‘technical ability’, work ethic’ and ‘willingness to learn’.  All three of these criteria are underpinned by realistic parental support. We will continue to provide the GFA Academy pathway and will always look to enhance our product as best we can, taking into account the financial and resource challenges faced in today’s climate.  The fact some parents may consider the Ormer FC offer does not change anything from our point of view and as mentioned above, if this is a pathway you choose to go down, we will respect and support that decision.