Research tells us that children and young people play football for simple reasons; to have fun and be with their friends. The main reason they stop enjoying the game is because they don’t get to play enough.
‘Even Stevens’ is a campaign to get all children playing a more even amount of playing time, so that more young people can enjoy more football across Somerset.
The aims of 'Even Stevens' are simply to help coaches even out the game time played by their squad, and to get more young people playing and enjoying the great game. We have done this by creating a number of resources that our coaches can use both on a matchday and in their preparation and planning.
The FA’s Mini Soccer and Futsal handbook highlights the rules which are in place to help you ensure that the game of football is fun, enjoyable and rewarding and for all. We have taken the key principles of making the game fun, holding coaches as role models and using games to develop young players.
Sarah Nickless, Somerset FA’s Youth and Mini Soccer Football Development Officer said about ‘Even Stevens’: “It’s our job to ensure that football is for all. By placing our youngest participants at the centre of what we do as well as supporting our selfless coaches and volunteers, we will no doubt create and provide enjoyable football experiences.
“We have designed the initiative working closely with our Youth Council and the clubs that they are involved in to make sure that ‘Even Stevens’ fully covers the needs of our grassroots communities. I have also worked closely with our Marketing Officer, Conor Ogilvie-Davidson, to create a suite of resources including an interactive even playing time calculator on our website, for coaches to use when making their team an 'Even Stevens' team.
“We hope that ‘Even Stevens’, with the range of resources and support available with the initiative from Somerset FA, will get more young people playing more game time and creating great memories whilst developing into great players.”
We have built an exciting range of resources for clubs to use, including an interactive online calculator that works out how much game time each player should have based on your squad size, playing format and total game length. You can find this feature and more on the 'Even Stevens' page.
Even Stevens Resources