The Grassroots Football Coach’s Guide to Matchday Equipment
A grassroots football coach and their club’s admin team need to be fully prepared for the season ahead.This means stocking up on kit, footballs, football goals and training equipment. But there are also certain items of matchday equipment every club must have.
In many cases, failing to provide certain items for use on matchday can result in a fine. Or at the very least, the game can’t take place in the normal way.
To help you stock up your inventory, here are some of the must-have items of football matchday equipment for grassroots football clubs. While you won’t need everything on the list, it’s always good to know what’s available.
There are certain items of equipment that can often be the difference between success and victory on a matchday. And while they’re usually not essential, they can give teams a competitive edge when a coach uses them correctly.
Notepads — A coach’s notepad isn’t just filled with blank pages. It includes pitch diagrams for making tactical notes, along with various prompts and reminders. There are also planners, which allow coach’s to plan ahead for matches.
Clipboards and folders — An A4 football coach folder is designed for use at pitchside and in the dressing room. There are often magnetic markers for formations, as well as planning sheets and a pen for making notes.
Tactic board — A permanently positioned version of the tactical notepad, a tactics board is fixed to a wall for team talks and tactical planning sessions. It always coach’s to communicate formations with the use of magnetic markers. It’s often a white board too, which means notes can be made with non-permanent marker and then wiped away in readiness for the next match.
Coaches have a duty of care towards their players. Whether that means keeping them fully hydrated or attending to their injuries, it’s a responsibility that has to be taken seriously. Fortunately, there are a few items of equipment that make the job a lot easier.
Water bottles — Players should drink little and often during and after a match. You can prepare in advance for this by filling plastic, squeezable water bottles just before kick-off. Buy a set of 12 for your starting line-up, which will leave you with a spare. There are also packs of 8, which are perfect for substitutes and coaches.
First aid kits — Injuries are part and parcel of all football, but grassroots teams don’t have the medical teams on standby that professional teams do. Nevertheless, you can do your bit by purchasing fully stocked first aid kits from reputable suppliers. Take the Koolpack Astroturf First Aid Kit, for instance. It has all the usual medical supplies you’d expect to find, but it is designed specifically to deal with the grazes and burns that can occur on artificial pitches.
You should have bandages, tape, sterile dressings, moist wipes, vinyl gloves, a resuscitation face shield, safety pins and an instruction leaflet in your first aid kit. Buying a new kit will give you all these things, but you can buy or replace individual items separately.
Cool and hot packs — There are some very effective therapeutic cool and hot packs that are designed to provide relief from pain and swelling. They can be wrapped around an ankle or knee to provide relief until medical treatment can be sought.
Joint support equipment — To help your players play through minor niggles and strains, make sure you have a supply of ankle, knee and shoulder supports. They provide extra strength and support, as well as protection from further injury.
Referee’s whistle — While most officials bring their own whistle, it’s always a good idea to have one in reserve. They’re very cheap, and the best ones come with their own lanyard.
Referee’s cards — Again, officials usually have their own red and yellow cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some in reserve. You can now buy these cards as part of a wallet, which includes a logbook for recording match incidents.
Sports watch — For obvious reasons, referees have to keep perfect time. Most referees have a watch they rely on, but it’s always best to be prepared for every eventuality. You can buy some highly accurate sports watches for less than £15 these days — which are designed specifically for use by sports officials.
When you’re hosting home matches, you’ll be expected to prepare the pitch according to league rules. The most obvious equipment you’ll need is a pair of football goals. However, you’ll also need corner flags. Flags are available in a wide range of colours, and you can buy flag poles in sets of four. Other items you might want to consider include an electric football pump, corner pole bases, folding seats for spectators and dugouts.
Check your inventory today, and make a list of the items you don’t have. Always be prepared for every equipment eventuality, and you and your players will always be able to concentrate fully on your next match.