Established King's Lynn football development programme ready for big kick-off after lockdown
King’s Lynn Community Football are looking forward to the return of grassroots football and the opportunity to train and play competitive games again.
KLCF, a well-established football development programme known as King’s Lynn Elite (KLE) currently offer training opportunities for players aged 7 to 15-years-old with almost all the players involved also representing one of the many grassroots clubs in and around West Norfolk.
The staff at KLE believe that one of its keys to success is its player-first approach and rapport that it has with players and parents.
Football development officer Dan Buhlemann said: “The club take a holistic approach to developing players meaning we don’t just support with players’ football skills,.
“We also focus on physical, social and psychological developments as we believe developing the person is just as important as progressing the player.”
“The aim of KLCF and KLE is that we want players to go into the footballing community as a rounded person and a better player.
“Every young players dream is to make it as a professional, if you have played football from an early age, you have probably dreamt about it too.
“For some, that is possible so we want to give players the best opportunity to play as high as they can. Most importantly, the more young people we can get to stay in the game the better.”
“There are players that we, along with their grassroots clubs, have supported to play at professional, semi-professional, senior, junior and social levels.”
Buhlemann added: “There are also players who have gone on to coach and start the cycle over again giving back their experience to others and encourage future generations to fall in love with the game.
“We find satisfaction in delivering well-structured training sessions and all coaches take pride in the progress they see within the individual players.
“The coaches also continue to work on their own personal progress, which in-turn is then used to extend the players’ learning further.
“It’s never just been about developing winning teams, as experience has shown that teams very rarely stay together when entering open age football.
“Individuals find different levels, a level that they are happy in. For some, that’s the challenge of really competitive football, for others its being the star player in a comfortable league or simply just playing with mates.
“Regardless of what outcome they choose, we strive to keep them all in the game.”
“In the foundation age groups (U9-U12) there is a lot of focus on individual technique where players develop how to manipulate the ball with both feet.
“They figure out how to both protect the ball as well as use the ball. Recently, the KLE was given praise from England’s Foundation Phase Lead, Pete Sturgess, on their process for young players.”
The foundation group train twice a week and play development fixtures which give them opportunities to put their training into practice and, where possible, showcase their skills in games against professional academies.
In the youth development phase (U13-U16) the individual work continues but the scheme get the players to understand the importance of playing within a team. They highlight areas that we feel make a good teammate and what roles they may need to fulfil to help the teams objectives.
At this age, the scheme offer them the opportunity to play in the Junior Premier League which KLE has now been a part of since 2016.
Buhlemann said: “Players continue to train twice a week and also play with us on Saturdays in a highly competitive league.
“It’s the perfect environment to continue working on the areas we prioritise as this is exactly what the league is about.
“It almost mirrors what you would get in a category two to three academy programme.”
KLCF are looking forward to its teams returning to complete the 2020/21 season with JPL games restarting on Saturday, April 10 and running through to the end of May.
KLE and its players also benefit from having their games recorded on the latest Veo cameras, made possible by the sponsorship of Double G Clothing.
Players and coaches are able to watch their fixtures back again providing a great opportunity for reflection.
KLCF is now in its 18th season as a football development programme and continues to evolve in the ever changing world that is football.
Opportunities for new players to join the programme will be available in June. To express your interest, email: email@example.com for more information.
King’s Lynn Community Football is a registered charitable incorporated organisation run for the benefit of those in West Norfolk and its surrounding areas.