Baginton Lions FC are run by a hard working committee who have created a development plan to ensure we can deliver our aim of being the most progressive junior football club in the area. Off the pitch the club is financially sound, and due to the excellent relationship with Baginton Parish Council, we are currently developing our base at the Millenium Fields to be able to reach out to a wider community.
On the pitch the coaching strategy sees children being carefully nurtured to ensure they develop both their social and footballing skills. Social behaviour is something that we feel very strongly about. Respect for others and enjoyment of the sport go hand in hand and we aim to have a football club that demonstrates these values, with a sociable, well behaved group of children who, along with responsible parents and coaches, can ENJOY the game.
We have built an excellent relationship with the Birmingham FA and, through the Tesco Skills Programme have been able to call upon ex England internationals Mark Walters and Marianne Spacey (who played over 90 times for England’s ladies) to come down and offer their excellent coaching services.
Chairman Simon Atherfold explains, “The committee, as a group have had a vast amount of experience within junior football and felt that the only way to put our ideas, aspirations and vision into practice was to create something from scratch. Due to popularity and in some areas no competition, clubs have grown almost blindly, without the managed approach that you would apply in a business arena.”
“Baginton Lions aim to bring together like minded people. Coaches who have experience in the game, usually ex players who have played either professionally or semi-professionally and have also undertaken their coaching badges and have aligned that to some practical experience. They then, as a group, we develop a coaching strategy and style that will be adopted by the club, for the benefit of the club and its players. They will harness all experience, ideas and coaching styles and ensure that all teams are together in their approach. There will not be disparate teams playing under a club banner; there will be a club, united by the players playing for it and enjoying their football. All adult club members attend a seminar where they are given an overview on what the club are trying to achieve; the child-centred approach they are adopting and how the responsible adults within the club can help to promote the image and conduct that is expected. During this time, parents are actively encouraged to input ideas as this is a two-way process.”
Justin Watt, Chid Welfare Office and Community Development Manager says, “To engage effectively with the community that surrounds us is something we must do. We have to provide something, and that something is the opportunity for the children of that community to be given a chance to be able to participate in this great sport, regardless of their ability.”
“Yes, eventually we want to have teams completing for honours, but we must never lose sight of the fact that there are many differing levels of ability out there and we must encourage and welcome everyone. We will also welcome children with disabilities who want to play and will encourage them to come along and play.”
“If we have to be judged, it will on the quality of players produced and the way we play and behave both on and off the pitch, not on the amount of trophies we win. To produce these players within our club we need to have coaches and volunteers who have an understanding of exactly what it is we are trying to achieve.”
The club’s strategy is based upon four basic statements:
- young players should be encouraged to have fun
- we must remove the importance of winning
- stop young players being afraid of making mistakes
- small-sided games encourage more touches and more time on the ball
At Baginton Lions children are encouraged to get involved and begin learning football skills at the age of 5 (2 or 3 with Football Cubs). To get the most out our youngsters, they are encouraged not criticised. At every opportunity the coaches find something positive from the actions of the child and praise them, even in the most testing circumstances!