In school years and sporting age groups, children can be almost a year apart in age and this represents challenges for the children born later in the academic calendar.
The sporting disadvantage to the younger child in the age group is known as the ‘Relative Age Effect’. This is stark in football; research shows that 45% of children in professional football academies are born between September and November, while just 10% are born June to August. Children born later in the academic year can be at a disadvantage from their size, their speed, their social and academic maturity.
Football clubs, through scouts, will often choose players when they’re six to eight years old, and at that age they’re picking the biggest, strongest, loudest and then those children get more coaching, development and opportunities. Younger, smaller players often do not get the same chance to enter the academy system simply due to their birthdate.
It is this phenomenon that ‘Late Birthday Project’ is tackling through their unique programme that is tailored by only accepting players born January to August*. The latest expansion of the project is the opening of a new centre at Kings College Guildford on their impressive new 3G facilities.
FREE TRIALS ARE BEING HELD ON 11TH & 18TH SEPTEMBER (5-6.30PM) to identify new players (u6 – u14s) for this unique initiative.
Late Birthday Project was founded in 2016 with 30 players at one centre in Dorking, and has quickly grown to 500 players in 10 centres across Surrey and Sussex. The set-up allows younger players to flourish without the older and more physically dominant players and represents a genuine revolution in talent ID and player development for young footballers.
Dozens of the project’s attendees have since gone on to trial successfully with professional football clubs. Late Birthday Project delivers success to players at all ability levels however, some players just want to get from their B team to their A team, or get into their school team, or just have fun. “We get a lot of parents who say their child is not enjoying their football, not being passed to by his teammates, and helping in those cases is often what gives us the most satisfaction.” said Richard King.
*Players born Sept – Dec can play at the ‘All-Birthday’ sessions at the Dorking centre.
REGISTER FOR A FREE TRIAL, visit the LBP website www.latebirthdayproject.co.uk or for more information on this unique football programme, email: firstname.lastname@example.org