Whether you’re playing in a Sunday league pub match or at FA County level, there are certain items of equipment – over and above basics such as goal posts and footballs – you simply can’t do without. In order to maximise your team’s chances of success this season, it is important to ensure that the following types of match day equipment are always readily available in your team’s inventory.
Every good coach goes through their tactical plans in advance of a big match, and this usually involves a group discussion or a presentation using visual aids. There are many options when it comes to delivering tactical team talks, including tactics boards that stick to any wall and A4 coaching manuals. For a bigger impact, a double-sided tactics board with magnetic markers always delivers an impactful team talk. And notepads specifically designed for note-taking by a coach during a match ensure nothing is left to chance in terms of tactical decision making.
Before, during and after a match, there are several items of match day equipment that are essential to the health and well-being of players. Water bottles are crucial to effective hydration, and they can be bought singly or as part of a set of bottles with a dedicated carrier.
In order to administer first aid quickly and effectively, it is vital that your team has access to a selection of equipment designed to prevent or treat injuries. You can ensure that the swelling of joints is kept to a minimum by having a box of ice packs at the ready. A standard first aid kit with bandages, gloves, eye-wash, plasters, heat sprays and cleansing packs is is essential. And a resuscitation face shield with one-way valve could be the difference between life and death. Other useful items of equipment related to the health of players include hot and cold therapy support, spray bottles and support tape.
In order to define the dimensions of a pitch, and to comply with league regulations, you should ensure that you always have a supply of poles and corner flags in your inventory, which come in sets of four and in a range of colour combinations. Particularly if you play on fields shared with other teams, you may want to mark out the dimensions of your entire pitch area. Or you might want to clearly mark a spectator area around your pitch. A set of Samba Respect Barriers includes ground anchors, rope and poles for creating barriers safely and quickly.
FA regulations dictate that the every team must have a designated captain, and that player – who must always be on the field of play – has to wear a captain’s armband at all times. Elasticated ‘C’ bands are available in a range of colours and sizes, and can be fixed in place with Velcro fastening. Shin pads are essential for injury prevention, and they are required as mandatory items of equipment by the vast majority of leagues and competitions. They are available in a range of colours, sizes and designs, and many options are made with breathable, lightweight materials and ankle protection.
Depending on the rules of your league, you might be required to provide a referee and assistant referees with certain items of equipment for home matches. The essential items that should be in your match day inventory include a linesman flag set, training watches, stopwatches, referee’s wallets, vanishing spray and whistles.
Preparation and a professional approach to every aspect of the game are crucial to the chances of any football team enjoying success during the course of a season. As long as your team has a match day inventory that is prepared for every eventuality, you can concentrate your efforts on the important business of winning matches.