welfare and safeguarding in grassroots football Whether starting, or on the bench, coaches intend to play every player at some time during each game they’re selected for. Fair playing time DISCOVER MORE

Squad Selection

We provide football for all abilities and our intention is to always play every match day squad player at some time during each game they’re selected for.

U8’s – U10’s

The club aims to provide football for all abilities although, currently, it has no disability team. We appreciate that some children are late-developers and a keenness to learn/play is an attribute that should be encouraged. We try not to have waiting lists and aim to provide sufficient coaches appropriate to the age-group(s) being coached. This will usually be a request to parents to volunteer.

When forming U8’s squads coaches do not offer places based solely on ability and should instead focus on coach ability, (keenness to learn and implement), behaviour, respect and commitment, and availability. 

football for all abilities
Coaches intend to play all players at some time during the game

Team Selection 

From an early age, children become aware of each other’s ability and not all children have the same fitness levels. Therefore it may be more beneficial to some players to have spells on and off during matches. Consequently, coaches will not offer equal playing time at all age groups and must adopt a selection process which considers fair playing time based on a players ability, confidence and fitness.  

Whether starting, or on the bench, coaches intend to play all players at some time during the game. In development age groups (up to U11’s), we ensure that every player will have played broadly the same time as their peers over the duration of the season, with some exceptions such as a dedicated goalkeeper, and long term injuries.

Training Players 

Each squad is made up of registered and unregistered players (training players). The Club includes as many of the training squad as possible in competitive tournaments or friendly games over the season.

Teams benefit from a rotation of players. Mixing a core of (currently) more confident players with those less confident offers them the chance to develop. Plus, it provides a reasonable challenge to the opposition without delivering or receiving a landslide scoreline. Where numbers allow, coach(es) may decide to run two evenly split teams, whereby there is no “A” and “B” team. This allows players a fair chance to compete in matches. 

Football teams benefit from a rotation of players
The club aims to ensure fair game time in matches

U11’s upwards

From U11’s upwards, coaches may begin selecting the team to become more competitive. However, by this age players are aware of, and compare their abilities to others, potentially causing challenges within the squad. This creates competition for places and the coach will balance this along with the player’s developmental needs and the interests of the squad. 

The club aims to ensure fair game time in matches and that it is rotated fairly across the registered playing squad members. However, unreliable squad members may be prioritised for missing games. As are players who do not follow the clubs codes of conduct or misbehave when representing the club.

Captaincy Selection 

The club recognises that the captaincy of a team can improve a child’s development of core behavioural skills such as leadership, communication and respect. Children also see captaincy as an important form of recognition. Therefore, the club endevors to rotate the captaincy throughout the squad as a reward for commitment, behaviour and displaying core skills.

Only when teams compete at U11’s upwards, is the captaincy allocated at the coaches discretion where they may wish to nominate a “club captain” for an extended run of games / season. 

Children see captaincy as an important form of recognition

What others say…

Football for all abilities

“I choose Thurlby Tigers because of the attitude toward fair play, not overly competitive, and I liked the morals. I liked the idea of my son making different friends as we live in Bourne. When I think of Thurlby Tigers I think of fairness, approachable coaches and local.”

Paula (Parent)

“Tigers is a local club which was recommended by friends. Tigers is a friendly local club with great teams for children of all abilities and a very professional feel to how the club is run.”

Matt (Parent/Sponsor)

Football for all abilities in Bourne

More info…

View this seasons teams by age group


The latest info on COVID-19 and Grassroots Football.


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Welfare and safeguarding is our first priority.


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