Chairman's Annual Review 2017

Clifton United has enjoyed another successful season as a parent run club, primarily dependent on volunteers and has continued to thrive and develop thanks to the dedication and commitment of the committee members, team managers and coaches.

  • Membership: For the 2016 – 17 season, the club had 206 registered players across 10 age groups from U7 to U16
  • Participation: We entered teams in Bristol Saturday Youth League, Avon Youth League and Severn Valley Youth League as well as playing in the Ashley Down Friendly Fixtures
  • Christmas Fun Day: We held our annual Christmas Fun Day in December, which saw the highly competitive coaches and managers vs parents match, followed by round robin tournaments for the kids
  • Summer Tournament: Our 9th Annual Summer Tournament and Festival of Football was held in May, with 100 teams taking part, providing a showcase for the club, building a real sense of community among parent volunteers and raising a substantial sum for the club. The event was superbly run by a large team of volunteers and feedback from participating clubs has been excellent
  • Committee: The Club has been run by a Committee of volunteers meeting regularly throughout the year on the 1st Monday of each month. Meetings have been well attended and productive.
  • Volunteers: We continue to need more volunteers to help out with running the club and finding ways to get more parents involved continues to be a key challenge for us, with a number of committee vacancies needing to be filled for the coming season
  • Registration and Subs: We successfully streamlined our registrations and subs payment process, moving to a single payment only which, along with the combined efforts of team managers, meant we collected over 95% of subs in one go and on time
  • Welfare and safeguarding children: Provision of an enjoyable and safe environment for every child or young person playing football with the club remains a priority, and has been an area of increased focus within football over the last year. We have policies and processes in place that adhere to FA standards for child protection and the committee has spent time discussing the environment we create, the ethos of the club and welfare issues. We plan to run a session for parents on 2nd September to share our approach and get their support for embedding this more deeply across the club
  • Coaching: We have continued our strong relationship with JW Football as provider of fully qualified professional coaches across all age groups, which is central to the way the club operates. We ran a CPD event with support from Steve Lilley at GFA attended by a number of JW and parent coaches. We have increased the use of Futsal as part of our training offer. We have further increased involvement of parents in coaching, encouraging more to become FA qualified to support match days at 12 and over, with help from new Development Support Coach role
  • Playing Facilities: We continue to mainly use CCSL pitches for training and matches but have been exploring other pitch options due to issues with overlapping school use restricting availability at CCSL. For next season we have now agreed use of RGS 3G pitch on Saturday mornings for the 9 week spring term and may need to explore grass pitch availability for Sunday matches. However, we remain committed to maintaining a solid relationship with CCSL in order to keep the Beggar Bush Lane site as our club’s base  
  • Football Kit: New process now in place for the purchase of new playing kit by parents directly from the supplier, supported by a second hand kit recycling service
  • Charter Standard: Unfortunately we lost our Charter Standard status in June 2016 and have been working hard to get this reinstated in time for the 2017/18 season. This requires us to ensure full compliance with all FA welfare and coaching requirements, something that had been allowed to lapse but is now fully under control following internal reviews
  • Website: We have maintained and improved the club’s website and started using Twitter to keep people informed about the goings on at Clifton United. We have also successfully trialled the use of Teamer as a way of organising and communicating with teams
  • Sea Mills Park links: We have started discussions with a local adult football club about creating a more formal partnership that could allow us to provide a development pathway for players beyond U16 as well as other mutual benefits. Whilst at an early stage, conversations have so far been positive

I’d like to formally thank everyone that has been involved in making the club a great success, allowing all our young players to enjoy and develop their football ability in a fun, enthusiastic and safe environment. 

Chris Strange

Chairman, Clifton United

5 June 2017