Representative Football in the Army



1. Introduction

These guidelines apply to both Men’s and Women’s Teams and, whilst different circumstances pertain, the Youth/ Development and Crusaders Teams should follow them as far as is relevant and possible.

2. Aim

The aim of these guidelines is to ensure that the most talented players are always available to represent the Army, avoiding conflict with their personal and unit commitments.

3. Close Season Action

Prior to the onset of a new season, the representative team coaches are to assess which players from the previous season might/ should continue forward at representative level and pass a list of these, via team managers, to the Football Office. At the same time, they are to agree a date and venue for a 2/ 3 day selection session with the Football Office. The Football Office is then to:

a. Publish the dates of the selection session, at least 6 weeks beforehand, via the chain of command, encouraging all players who have aspirations to play at Army level to apply to the Football Office to attend.

b. Write to all Corps coaches at least 6 weeks beforehand, encouraging them to nominate potential representative players and also to attend the selection session themselves, as observers.

c. Issue a call-up notice at least 3 weeks beforehand to all players who have been nominated by the Army team coaches and Corps coaches or who have otherwise applied to attend.

4. Selection Session

Administrative arrangements (pitches, accommodation etc) for the selection session are to be made by the Football Office, whilst the conduct of the sessions themselves is to be the responsibility of representative team managers and coaches. The sessions are to take place at the end of August/ start of September. The aim is to be:

a. To view as many potential Army players as possible and, from these, select some 25-30 to form the core of the squad for each team for the coming season.

b. To engage those Corps coaches who attend in the the selection process such that their continuing commitment is ensured.

5. Squad Nominations

Immediately following the selection weekends, OIC Men’s and Women’s football are to write personally to the CO’s of those players selected for the representative squads, informing them that their soldiers have been selected as potential Army players for the season just starting. The letters are to:

a. Ask the CO’s to commit to making the players available when required and to provide active unit support to the players such that they are freed of administrative and other headaches.

b. Inform CO’s of the likely dates of representative matches throughout the season, subject to unavoidable change nearer the time, and ask them to confirm or otherwise their players’ availability for these dates and across the entire season.

c. Warn CO’s that Army representational duties take priority over all others and that they are not permitted to play for any other team within 48 hours of an Army match, including involvement in Army Cup or civilian club matches.

d. Ask CO’s for the contact details of primary POCs in their units to whom questions on availability should be directed. These POCs should normally not be below commissioned officer level in major units.

A copy of these letters is to go to each player concerned, so that the players are aware of what approaches have been made to their units and the date of all forthcoming matches. Similar letters are to go to CO’s of any players who join the Army squads subsequent to the selection sessions, at whatever stage of the season.

6. Match Call-Up

Team managers are to notify the Football Office of those players they wish to be called up for each match at least 3 weeks beforehand. Call-up notices for each match are then to be issued by the Football Office over the signature block of Vice Chairman Army FA. Such notices are to be issued such that they arrive with units at least 14 days before the match in question, accepting always that there may be need to issue notices for some individual players closer to the event. Call-up notices may cover no more than 2 matches each and copies are to go to CO’s for action and the players themselves for information. The notices are to:

a. Ask CO’s to notify the Football Office by NLT 7 days before the match if the player is unavailable. Any unavailability arising after this time is to be notified as soon as it becomes apparent.

b. Provide all necessary administrative detail.

c. Warn as per Paragraph 5c above.

In parallel with this formal call-up procedure, team managers/ coaches are to contact the players direct, NLT 14 days before the match in question, to encourage availability and head-off any administrative difficulties.

7. Post-Match Action

During or at the end of each call-up, the team managers/coaches are to brief players on the future forecast of events, indicate who may be required for which commitments, establish initial availability and deal with any administrative difficulties apparent at this stage.

8. End of Season Action

At the onset of each season, OICs Men’s and Women’s football are to write personally to the CO’s of all players who have represented the Army during the season:

a. Thanking the CO’s and the players for their support.

b. Providing details of notable performance, to help influence annual reports.

c. Indicating whether or not the players may be required for the coming season.

d. Giving details of any administrative problems which have occurred and how best they might be avoided in future.

9. Trouble-Shooting

Where problems over the availability of a particular player for a particular match arise then:

a. The Football Office is to notify the team manager concerned immediately.

b. The team manager is then to contact the unit immediately to establish the facts and, if possible, resolve the problem.

c. The OIC will then form a view as to if and how to intercede.

d. If this fails to resolve the problem to mutual satisfaction, then the OIC is to involve the Vice Chairman if he believes it would be of benefit to do so.

In cases of continual difficulties with the same specific units and players, OICs are to consult team managers and coaches and decide whether the players concerned are to be dropped from the squads permanently, rather than tolerate their disruptive influence. If this happens, the decision should be taken earlier rather than later in the season.

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