Whole of Football plan details

  Dec 7, 2016   callum

Format of Saturday football

Norwest United was one of the first clubs to implement NZ Football's award winning 'Whole of Football' programme. More information about this can be found on the NZ football site at http://www.nzfootball.co.nz/whole-of-football/

This is a grassroots programme designed to retain and develop young talent while ensuring that all players learn the skills they need to enjoy the game.

The midget grades encompass 'First Kicks' for 4 and 5 year olds and 'Fun Football' for 6, 7 and 8 year olds. The format for each of these is the same. On the Saturday morning, each team participates in short skills sessions, followed by short, small-sided games.

Each team is coached in the first skills session by their own coach. They then move to another pitch to have another session with another team's coach, and repeat.

The team returns to their home pitch for oranges and their coach divides them into two smaller teams. They then play a short, small-sided game against their own team. The 'away' team then moves to the pitch at which they had their second skills session, and plays that team's 'home' team, and then to their third game.

This system ensures that the children get interactions with a range of coaches and other teams in their grade.


All midget grade teams are coached by volunteers, usually a parent or grandparent. The club provides coaching handbooks, which contain instructions for games and activities which develop specific football skills. Several coaching training sessions led by professional coaches are arranged at the start of each season.

It is possible to share coaching duties between several people, if needed. No qualifications or previous experience as a coach is necessary and you don't have to know all the rules to start.

We cannot have too many coaches available and this is a great way to support your child, so please volunteer!


Each midget grade team needs a manager, who will deal with the administrative side of the team, ensuring that everyone knows where they need to be and when, if the game is still on even though it's raining and whose turn it is to bring the oranges etc. Like coaching, this is a volunteer role.

Managers also look after the fundraising money, track who has the trophies, and escort the ‘away’ team to the correct pitch on Saturday mornings. No prior experience is necessary and, as with coaches, we cannot run the club without you, so please volunteer!

Team equipment

Team coaches are supplied with balls, cones, bibs and a coaching manual. The team's manager gets a 'player of the day' trophy, a 'most improved' trophy and a supply of certificates to give the children during the season.

What to bring to games and practices

Please make sure your child brings at least one bottle of water.

As this is a winter sport, children will need warm clothing for before and after the game. If your child feels the cold, they can wear woolly hats and gloves, and/or another top under their uniform shirt. Polypropylene or woollen under-shirts are a good choice as they do not restrict movement.

For spectators, gumboots and warm clothes are highly recommended, as the fields can be very wet and cold.

Setting up and clearing pitches

The 4th, 5th and 6th grade teams need to collect two goals per team from the gear shed underneath the toilet block on their way down to the midget pitches. Many of these will then be used and returned by a 7th or 8th grade team.

If your pitch is not used by a 7th or 8th grade team, please see that the goals are returned to the shed. Parents are asked to share this work around the team as the coach and manager have plenty of things to carry and arrange without having to worry about this job too.

By 8th grade, children are usually big enough to carry the goals out to the pitches themselves, so please encourage your child to take a turn doing this.

Certificates and trophies

Trophies and certificates are handed out each week after the Saturday game. The team's coach and manager will usually decide between them who will receive these.

It is generally accepted that each child on the team will receive a trophy at least once during the season – there is always something to commend about the skill or attitude of their play if it is looked for.

Sideline behaviour

Parents are asked to read and agree to the Norwest United Code of Conduct as part of the registration process.

Inappropriate sideline behaviour will usually be dealt with on the spot by a team manager or coach, or by a club representative. If you are concerned, please approach the midget grade coordinator(s) or one of the club officials.

Oranges and treats

Each team's manager will arrange a roster for parents to provide the half-time oranges for the team. Many teams also arrange for a treat to be given out to the team after the game (usually lollies). This is entirely optional and the team parents should decide together whether or not this will occur. If it does, for safety reasons this must occur after play has finished.

Club prizegiving

This is held in the clubrooms after the season finishes. There are separate times for the different age groups. Each team’s coach can nominate a ‘most valuable player’ (MVP) award. This award is to encompass all aspects of the players skill set not necessarily just who is the best player. Things to take in to consideration are teamwork, dedication, improvement and work ethic. Teams can choose not to single one player out from their team and pass up the opportunity to have an MVP award which is up to the discretion of each team.

Team photographs

Team photographs are usually taken on a Sunday during the second half of the season. Each team is asked to arrive at a specific time, in full kit (including boots). The whole process takes about fifteen minutes.


Like any other club, Norwest is always in need of funds for maintenance and replacement of equipment and facilities, and to fund coaching staff. The tuck shop contributes to this, as do the team photographs, summer soccer and the holiday programmes.

In addition, once a season we raise funds by selling Whittakers' chocolate bars. Each player is asked to sell one box at a minimum, with a prize offered for the person who sells the most boxes/bars. This is coordinated by each team's manager.

Facilities at the grounds

There are toilets inside the Norwest clubrooms, and there is a block of toilets next to the playground by the lower carpark (see map).

Water is available at the clubrooms – please note that no drinking water is available at the public toilets.

On Saturdays, Norwest runs a sausage sizzle and tuck shop, selling lollies, drinks and hot chips.

Weather and cancelations

As a winter sport, football will frequently go ahead even if it is raining. Please dress accordingly. For the midget grades, games will sometimes be cancelled if it is very wet, very cold or very windy.

In all cases the cancelation will be communicated by your team manager. Cancelation will usually be decided by 0715 for the 0815 games, and by 0815 for the 0915 games.


Auckland City by-laws state that no dogs are permitted on playing fields at any time. Therefore, please refrain from bringing your dog with you to watch your children play.


There is free parking within Huapai Domain and in the surrounding streets. The carparks fill up quickly however, so leave plenty of time to find a space before your game. Children must be supervised in the carpark areas in particular.

Holiday programmes

Norwest offers a football skills programme during the school holidays (excluding the Christmas holidays). These are run by professional coaches and often include visits from White Ferns and other representative level players.

Each day of the programme runs from 0900 to 1500, rain or shine, at the clubrooms in Huapai Domain. Children from 5 to 14 years old can participate, and are grouped according to age and skill level.

The programmes are very popular with both children and parents, and can provide a real boost in football skills and confidence.

Whole of Football Handbook