County FA to Implement Blackout Weekends

Following a consultation of youth football in Northumberland, which was attended by several youth leagues and clubs, a proposal was made by...
The County FA, local authorities, leagues and clubs unanimously agreed that these blackout weekends - which will predominantly coincide with school holidays - would be a welcome addition to the grassroots football calendar.

Youth Leagues in Northumberland have fully supported the decision to implement the breaks. They have added the blackout weekends to their league rules and have agreed that no fixtures should take place across the weekends identified.

Ian Skinner, Football Development Officer for Youth Football at Northumberland FA, said: “As players are so often unavailable throughout school holidays, teams struggle to name a sufficient number of players on certain matchdays.

“Whilst this is one of the main reasons we feel mini-breaks are sensible during these periods, we also want to give volunteer coaches the time to upskill or refresh their coaching awards during the football season. The breaks will also allow for minor repairs to be carried out on pitches, which like players, need a rest throughout the season.

“We’re delighted that our youth leagues are fully supporting the blackout weekends. We will look to do some league specific work across the next two breaks and the leagues will be promoting our activities as well, so there’s plenty to look forward to.”

All youth leagues have agreed to cancel fixtures on the following weekends:

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October 2017

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February 2018

Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2018

Northumberland FA is pleased to make the following courses available during the first blackout weekend in October.

•    FA Emergency First Aid at Whitley Park on Saturday 21 October
•    FA Coaching Disabled Footballers at Whitley Park on Saturday 21 October
•    Coach the Coach Clinic at Whitley Park on Sunday 22 October (this session will include both theory and practical elements of ‘linking your philosophy to the pitch’).

For further information about the blackout weekends, please contact Ian Skinner on or 07458 043 678.

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