Fletcher Moss Soccer School in Norway

Fletcher Moss Soccer School at Rosseland Ballklubb: See all the coaching videos below.

Passing

Goalkeeping footwork

Shooting

Dominating 1v1 situations

Agility session

The Soccer School is going on tour! Fletcher Moss Rangers Soccer School is visiting Norwegian club Rosseland Ballklubb 23.5. – 27.5.2017. This page is a blog from our journey.  It will provide daily updates and show behind the scenes access from our experiences abroad. Please follow our journey as well on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for instant updates.

We will share our ideas and methods of coaching children to this Norwegian club based in Bryne. Six of our coaches will deliver training sessions throughout the week to three age groups, under 9’s, 11’s and 13’s, to fulfill as high coaching and learning outcomes as possible during our stay.  We intend to attempt to mirror the activities we do throughout the year at Mersey Bank, now in Norway. Their club is made up of 450 girls and boys aged up to under 12. They have 75 qualified coaches as well as volunteers assisting in running the teams.

Tuesday 23rd May. We arrived at the airport and although the wait to get our bags checked through security was long winded, it was good to see we were being kept safe to fly. There thousands of United fans flying out too, it felt like we were at Old Trafford. We took off on time and made our way to Denmark on the first hop of our journey to Norway. After a relatively short stay in Copenhagen we jumped on to our plane to Stravanger. The coach was there to pick us up and take us to our hotel, a 25km ride to the Bryen-Kro Hotel; https://www.bryne-kro.no/  . What a lovely place, Rosseland Football club have done us proud https://www.facebook.com/rosselandbk/ . After a short walk to the local shops and a bite to eat for some of who were adventurous to try the local food (and pay the prices, the cost of living is very high) our adventure had begun. Later in the evening when we had eaten our supper, we met with Goran and three other Rosseland coaches to discuss the format of the week ahead. Tomorrow will be a 4.00pm start and will be sessions with 7 & 8 year olds, finishing at 6.00pm . Then there will be a rush to get back to the hotel to get showered, changed, have some tea and then get to the Rosseland FC club house to watch the UEFA cup final. We have been invited to join the club coaches and officials to watch the match on their large screen TV. Apparently almost all the inhabitants of Norway are United fans, so Danny Franics was in a minority (he is a GOONER and we all know how successful they have been this season). Amir, Josh, Richard, Paul, Danny and I can’t wait to get started now. It has been a long wait and it’s very exciting.

Wednesday 24th May, what a beautiful day. The sun was shining when 60 girls and boys aged 7 & 8 turned out. The soccer school coaches were alotted a club coach to assist with setting up sessions and helping translate to the Norwegian kids.  We began the session with a communal warm up. The children dribbling, showing off, trying to do a ‘NUTS’ on the coaches. All the children were then divided into groups of 12 (boys and girls in each group). The goalkeepers were sent to begin their session with Danny https://youtu.be/DESOU_cVYEk,  encouraging good footwork, strong passing and showing the importance of the use of two feet even in goalkeeping. https://youtu.be/Vab_cLtToR8. Amir coordinated a session of ‘Shooting’ and it highlighted how being patient with children of this age is imperative https://youtu.be/Kx4qMlbdjcU .  Thursday brings a 4 hour session with 9 and 10 year olds. Tonight we were watching the match at the Rosseland Ballklubb club house. United have ran out 2-0 winners over Ajax  and we had a great night, such a hospitable group of guys. We are back on Thursday evening to debate the differences in the English infrastructure and Norwegian, with regards to developing better players and comparing Fletcher Moss Rangers and Rosseland.

Thursday 25th May, what a change from yesterday. The drizzle was not about to put a dampen today’s sessions. The 9’s & 10’s girls and boys were even more enthusiastic as the kids yesterday. We put all the players through a 1000 touch warm up session. Using both feet, changing direction and including a simple trick. This encouraged the kids to be more relaxed with these new coaches before them. The language difference was still there but these guys were slightly easier to get along with (with a lot of help from our Norwegian coaching assistants). Again the players were divided into 6 groups including the goalkeepers, and were allocated coaches to start the first session. Paul was working with the groups working on developing the dominating 1v1 situations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHfoC3HmAeU&feature=youtu.be . Josh was working on dribbling with an end result. The children all seemed to have a particular affinity with Josh, perhaps because he was closest to his age. https://youtu.be/blg7qtl0Ud8 . This evening we will be returning to the Rosseland Ballklubb club house. On attending the club forum, we were greeted by almost 40 Rosseland club officials, most of whom organise the training and games for the children. Richard began with delivering a history so far of Fletcher Moss Rangers FC including all the hurdles his father had to negotiate in the early years. The discussions went from serious to humourous and profound. These guys were serious about the manner in which we had taken grassroots football in Manchester.

Friday 26th May,  again the weather was as unpredictable as we had already encountered. Today was beautiful and hot. The children we were working with today were the oldest 11 & 12 year old girls and boys. Many still with a poor grasp of English, so again our assistants were invaluable with translating instructions, guidance and relating back to us their responses and ideas. https://youtu.be/TzVqEy2HrTs .  David was delivering a very demanding Agility session with this group and they soon found in the heat of the day how important taking in extra fluid while playing and training was.

At the end of each day, the coaches presented to each and every player one of the soccer school medals. The parents were all so eager to have their children have photographs of memories of the fun they had.

In conclusion, the Fletcher Moss Soccer School Norway visit was a great success. We all agreed that it could not have been better. Every player, parent, coach and club official of Rosseland Ballklubb were awesome. They welcomed us into their homes and their club. They are eager to continue a relationship with Fletcher Moss Rangers for the future. We will keep in touch and exchange ideas, experiences and friendship for a long time to come.  Danny, Josh, Amir, Paul, Richard and David would like to say, on behalf of Fletcher Moss Rangers CFC, how much we appreciated and enjoyed working with Rosseland Ballklubb Norway.

Fletcher Moss Rangers – history beyond comparison

Photo: Ida Englund

If you want to fully understand the pride of playing for your football club, you must know the club’s history. “All the young players here need to understand the history of the club. After I watched those DVDs I realised I needed to respect the shirt. I needed to respect the story. So said Patrice Evra after he had signed for Manchester United and learned club’s history from several videos.

Fletcher Moss Rangers has its own uniqueness, as it has produced over 70 professional footballers in 31 years, a tally that can be only desired by many junior clubs across the UK.

Richard Hanson, 43, played in the very first Fletcher Moss Rangers team. His father, Nigel Hanson, was one of the founders of the club and offered crucial funding in the first steps of club’s footprint. Richard tells enthusiastically over a cup of coffee about a team that would dominate Manchester, the disparity of racism and how terrifyingly good Wes Brown was.

Richard and his friends, aged about 12, used to often play football in Fletcher Moss Park, in Didsbury in 1986. In front of the park is a pub called Ye Olde Cock Inn. Shaun Keene, the pub landlord’s son saw the potential of the boys and subsequently asked them if they wanted to form a team? The boys said yes, and so Shaun decided to register a team.

“Shaun had a Scottish friend, Allie, who said to call it Fletcher Moss Rangers, because he was a Rangers fan”, Richard tells.

Shaun had to leave the club after a few games due to family issues, so Richard’s dad Nigel took charge of the club. He funded new shirts, nets and footballs for the club and drove the whole team around in the back of his van. Fletcher Moss Rangers began to operate on a more solid foundation.

Photo: Ida Englund

Multicultural club starts to gain reputation

Nigel wasn’t a football man but he cared about communities and saw an opportunity to help a group of boys stay out of trouble. The first teams were very multicultural, many of who came from poor backgrounds.

In the early 1990s Manchester was widely known as Gunchester, because in areas such as Hulme and Moss Side, there was much violence and many drug gangs in the deprived inner-city areas.

“There were two main estates in Moss Side:  Gooch Close and Pepper Hill. They were rival drug gangs and they were shooting and killing each other. We had players from each estate, and my dad used to drive to Gooch, open up the back of his van and pick up players; then he’d drive to Pepper Hill  and do the same”, Richard laughs now. However 30 years back this was unprecedented, as both of these areas had been compared to urban war zones.

Richard explains that the amount of talent in inner city Manchester, Moss Side and Longsight in particular, was untapped. Fletcher Moss found some seriously good players in the second and third years. It was the only club operating in the region with so many black and Asian players.

Naturally, the players didn’t really think about from which backgrounds their team mates came from. They just enjoyed their football with likeminded friends. Nigel however, was proud that he could bring a community together and allow multicultural group of boys to play football.

“Nigel once said that if he could keep a single child off the streets and away from drugs and guns, then he’d done his job.”

After few years of existence Fletcher Moss had teams in five different age groups. They started to build a strong reputation and became the biggest threat for top teams. On the flip side to this, they faced constant racism from opponents.

“I remember one match in particular. We played a team in North Manchester that hadn’t been beaten for four years. Then we came with all of our talent and easily half of the players were black. We beat the ‘unbeatables’ at their ground. After the match, surprisingly the parents of the opposition came over and started being racist towards our boys, using the nastiest language you can think of, and tried to start a fight in the changing room against 15 year-old kids. It was literally kicking off and I remember my dad in the middle trying to keep their parents away from our kids. Absolutely horrible.”

Richard Hanson with his son Richard jnr.

“Wes Brown was so far ahead of other kids”

At that time five players from Richard’s team also played for Manchester Boys (selected squad of the best 16 players from whole of Manchester). Fletcher Moss Rangers had the best under 15 year-olds from Manchester. Still the mix of multicultural children stood out.

Due to Fletcher Moss’ growing reputation they began to draw more and more of the best talent from inner city Manchester. The scouting system was completely different then and players stayed with their clubs for much longer than today – now the Academy system removes players from their teams. With the club growing not only in reputation but also in the number of players and age groups, the playing style and passion for the game remained ever constant. The same applied in the late 80s and Richard remembers how their team was always, in addition to talent, more up for the matches than the opposition.

Few years after, saw the emergence of Wes Brown who then suddenly started to catch the eye of people by showing his amazing ability.

“Wes was playing for under 9s and I remember coaching him only once. There were two boys, him and Leon Mills, who were just absolutely so far ahead of other kids. They were bigger, stronger, having shots from tens of yards out. I was astonished.”

Since then, Fletcher Moss has produced a long list of professional footballers: Danny Welbeck, Jessie Lingard, Ravel Morrison, Tyler Blackett, Kyle Bartley, Marcus Rashford, to name a few. Scouting and club Academy systems have revolutionised the game from the grassroots point of view and for Fletcher Moss it’s difficult to keep hold of players for many years.

Still, the awareness and club’s reputation is perhaps more widely known now than ever before. The club has a variety of teams in many age groups. Nigel Hanson left a great lasting legacy. The club still attracts a large number of players from the same inner-city footprint, from all ethnic backgrounds and welcomes all who want to play football.

“The incredible work Ron Jamieson and Dave Horrocks have done in the last 25 years has meant that the club has realised the potential that was created all those years ago.  Whether the players went on to play for Man United and England – or only ever played for Fletcher Moss – Fletcher Moss has become a positive part of so many people’s lives.”

Photo: Ida Englund

Blog is provided by Salford University’s BSc Business Management with Sport student Pauli Loukola

3 thoughts on “Fletcher Moss Soccer School in Norway”

  1. So, the new season is just around the corner? Is the coach arranging training sessions and friendlies in preparation? Are you, the players and the parents prepared. Can i suggest that you have a quiet chat with the team coach before the proceedings begin, to let them know if you will not be around for certain weekends. By communicating the tiniest of details you can give the coach the best chance of preparing. I mean, you wouldn’t like it if the coach cancelled training or heaven forbid didn’t turn up without some sort of notice. Please, think about your coach’s, they put a lot of time and effort into developing your children.
    Thanks

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