Football

Northern United Junior (Saturday) Winter Soccer 2017 Season FAQs

Where can I get information on the club?

The best sources of information are our Facebook page (search for Northern United Football Club) and our website www.northernunitedfootball.com

We use Facebook as our main means of communication, with our website mainly used as a location to store information. The use of Facebook, whilst not everyone’s favourite choice, has been chosen by the club as it is free, easy to use, and enables us to communicate efficiently with all our members. Importantly, the use of the Comments sections to ask and answer questions saves the committee lots of time otherwise spent answering the same question multiple times. 

Club Philosophy

The Clubs overall philosophy is to enable players of any ability, gender or age to play football in a fun and friendly environment, and provide opportunities for those who wish to develop and improve their skills playing an attractive passing style of football.

What Grade is my child?

Your child’s grade is how old they are at the end of the year. (i.e. if they will be 10yrs old at the end of 2017, then they are 10th Grade for 2017)

When does the season normally run?

Traditionally the Junior season starts at the beginning of May and runs until early/mid  September each year.

When are games played and trainings held?

For Junior players (5th Grade to 14th Grade) games are played Saturday mornings.

5th to 6th Grade players will be enrolled in our “Grassroots” programme. This involves being part of a team that practices one afternoon a week (Thursdays at Discovery Park or Ashurst Park between 4.30pm and 5.30pm). We also run games for the grassroots kids early on a Saturday morning, which run for no more than an hour (cancelled only in heavy rain). Refer to the separate Grassroots info section of our website for more details.

For 7th Grade and up, teams play on Saturday mornings (usually finished by 12 noon) but play every other weekend ‘away’ (i.e. normally some other ground in Hamilton, but sometimes as far away as Raglan). Training times for these teams is team dependent and is arranged at Team Muster (see below).

Where does the club play home games

We are currently spread across a number of parks in northern Hamilton. Ashurst Park (Pukete) on the west side of the river (mostly used for training under lights), Discovery Park (Flagstaff) and Grosvenor Park (Rototuna) on the east side.

How do I register and when does registration close?

You can register and pay via the link at the top of our website Home Page. Registrations will generally be kept open until the end of March, after which our teams are selected (but please also see also ‘Grading’ below).

How much is it and when do I need to pay?

For Saturday Junior Teams the seasons fees are $75 per child (with a $10 discount for each extra child in a family). Payment is by credit card on registration to secure a place in a team.

Those fees seem very cheap for 5 months of football. How is it so affordable?

Nice of you to ask! The reason the fees are cheap is that we are a volunteer run club. That means a small group of football loving individuals giving up a lot of their spare time to run the club and provide you or your child with the chance to play football. We don’t get paid a thing, and we even pay fees for our own children to play. Please remember this during the season should things not always live up to your expectations, we are fitting running this club in around our busy lives and paid work! Most importantly, you are more than welcome to lend us at hand during the season when we ask for volunteers, or join the committee if you are keen.

What equipment do I need to buy?

Each player is required to have their own football (and bring it to training), boots, shin pads (essential), drinks bottle, and (for Saturday Junior Teams) NUFC navy blue shorts and socks. The NUFC navy blue shorts and socks are available from the Soccer Shop. To make things easy, the items that you will need for the season will be available to  purchase from The Soccer Shop stall at our Team Musters.

How do you select teams?

We select teams via two methods. For those players in 8th Grade and above (7th Grade for girls) who want to play competitively, we offer a grading process where we run trials early in March with the view to select around 2 or 3 graded teams for each age group. For younger players, and players just wanting to play socially with friends, we select teams on the following basis:

  • Specific requests made on the Registration Form during enrollment
  • Keeping previous teams together (if requested)
  • Selecting teams based on the childs school (if requested)

Does my child need to come to grading to get selected in a team?

No, grading is only aimed at establishing the top 20-25 or so players in each age group who wish to play competitively (as a guide, we normally have between 80 to 100 players in each age group). Whilst these players make up our graded teams, all teams in the club are treated equally throughout the season and there is a team for every player who wishes to play for us.

When is grading and how does it work?

Grading is at the start of March (refer to the Calendar on the website for specific details on dates and times) . It consists of a midweek night skills session, where we assess players during skills drills (dribbling, shooting, passing etc), and a game scenario session the following week where we call back the top 24 – 30 or so ranked players in each age group from the skills session.Players wishing to attend grading will need to have registered and paid their fees prior to the end of February. Note: The club takes attendance at grading as a firm commitment from that player to play for us for that season regardless of the outcome of grading. Based on this, there will be NO REFUND of fees to any player once they have attended a grading session.

Can girls play in Boys/Mixed Teams this year?

With the girls only leagues becoming more established this year (and the pitch sizes better matching those of the boys) WaiBOP have stated it will be harder for girls to get dispensation to play in the boys league now. Dispensation will only be considered for girls that are known to WaiBOP through the Girls Reps Programme, and who manage to grade into one of our top two boys/mixed teams. Even then dispensation is not a given. As such, we recommend you contact the club in advance if you intend to bring your daughter to boys/mixed grading.

What happens after grading?

Each child who attended grading will be advised soon after grading (usually within a week) if they have been placed into one of the graded teams. That team will then need to select a manager and coach from the parents of the children in the team. The team are then provided a Team Gear Bag  and are then free to organise and start their training sessions to get ready for the season (and to enter any pre-season tournaments if they wish).

If my child attends grading and doesn’t make a graded team, what then?

As noted above, we have a team for each child who wants to play for us. So in this situation (unless we receive a different specific request for placement from the parent of a child) we would look at placing the child in a team with other children who graded with a similar score in the skills session. 

Why do the graded teams get selected and announced before other teams?

This is because traditionally these teams like to enter pre-season tournaments, some of which happen more than a month before the start of the season.

When do the remaining teams get announced?

After grading we keep registrations open for a further month to capture any late entrants before we close registration towards the end of March. We then assess all the various team placement requests provided on the registration forms and look to put teams together. We then hold age based Team Muster days on weekend mornings in early April (refer to the Calendar on the website for specific details on dates and times).

What happens at Team Muster, do I need to attend?

Yes, at least one parent of each child must attend Team Muster (with the child). During the muster, team lists for each Grade get announced and each team then meets to select a manager and coach from the parents of the children in the team, and also a preferred mid-week training day. Whoever has kindly volunteered to manage the team then takes home a contact list for each player in the team. Note: The need for parent volunteers is the same for all teams, no team gets provided with a coach or manager (not even the graded teams).

Once teams are announced (and coaches and managers sorted) then the team manager will be provided with a Gear Bag for the team, which includes  individually numbered team shirt to use (and look after) during the season.

Note: Muster does NOT involve playing a match, so you don’t need to attend in football gear (in fact please don’t, as studs will damage the school hall floors)

Why don’t teams get provided with Coaches?

The club usually has over 70 teams, and it is simply impossible to find this number of coaches. Also, proper coaches cost money, and providing a coach to teams would increase season fees dramatically. As such, being a family club run by volunteers, we have to rely on parent volunteers to act as Coaches (and Managers). To support this requirement the club does arrange and pay for attendance at Coaching Intro and Development courses that are run at the start of the season. These courses are very useful and include coaching handbooks with a number of great training programmes and sessions.

What does a Team Manger do?

The team managers first task is to collect the Gear Bag at muster. After Team Muster the manager then contacts each player in their team (via email, text or however each team prefers) to confirm that everyone is still available to play for the year. The Manager then confirms this to the Club. During the season the manager’s role is to advise the team about training dates and game times and venues each week. The team manager is also the team’s point of contact for any feedback they wish to provide to the Club.  

What gets provided in the Team Gear Bag

The gear bag includes individually numbered team shirts to use (and look after) during the season, and training cones, first aid kit, a set of training bibs (also to be used as alternative tops if there is a colour clash on game days), goalkeeping gloves and jersey (for those teams who have GKs), player of the day trophy and certificates and some footballs (to be used on game days).

How do we find our when are where we are playing each week?

One of the roles of the team manager is to advise teams of their games each week. You can however check the draws and results yourself, via the link provided on our club website under Teams and Grades/Draws. Note: Fixtures and start times sometimes get changed during the week, so it’s best to check on after a Thursday evening to be sure you are looking the most up to date information for that weekend.

Is there any other information we should be aware of?

Apart from the regular weekend club games there are a number of other events and sessions that occur during the season. These include team photo day, end of season awards, mid-season tournaments, Skills Development Programmes, soccer skills holiday programmes, additional coaching courses, fundraisers etc.

Information on these, and more (such as a summary of rules, list of contact details for the Committee etc) are available (or will appear during the season) on our website www.northernunitedfootball.com and our Facebook page (search for Northern United Football Club).

The WaiBOP website www.waibopfootball.co.nz is also a useful source of information.