Every player aged 16 or over playing in affiliated football is being encouraged to sign up for The Official FA Player Pass as part of a new scheme to enable the Essex County Football Association, in partnership with The FA, to work directly with footballers throughout the County for the first time.
The new system, which is free to sign-up to, was launched at the beginning of September and brings with it a range of benefits with the promise of more in future months and years. There are six specific advantages to grassroots football, including:
1. Keeping Players in the Game.
Counties will be able to track the number of players playing football, track those dropping out and offer alternative football opportunities e.g. local five-a-side leagues, FA Mars Just Play sessions and veterans football to help keep players in the game for longer.
2. Recruiting New Coaches, Referees and Volunteers.
It will beeasier to directly target players to attend courses, helping to recruit a new generation of coaches, referees and volunteers. For example, we could target all players over 35 years who may be coming to the end of playing and encourage them to stay in the game and become referees or club or league volunteers.
3. Communicating Directly With Players.
The FA Player Pass will enable The FA and County FAs to communicate directly with players for the first time. It will open up dialogue with players at every level. This will help us to promote services available and gain valuable feedback on how we can best support players to get into football and stay in the game.
4. Getting Our Support on Target
The FA Player Pass scheme will help provide County FAs with valuable data about how many players we have, whether those players are representative of their communities and will help The FA and County FAs to target investment more strategically.
5. Helping Football Access Funding
Better management information and better quality data will help The FA and County FAs obtain more partnership funding e.g. Sport England will invest in national governing bodies who can identify, track and grow the number of people playing sport. The FA Player Pass helps us to achieve these aims. That means more money for grassroots football.
6. Benefiting Players
The FA Player Pass will also entitle each player and clubs to a range of benefits - including England tickets, discount offers from FA partners and prize draws - all accessed via the FA Player Pass website.
More exciting benefits will be added as the scheme matures but, in the meantime, you can visit the website at www.thefa.com/playerpass to find out more.