It’s a sad state of affairs – but the number of people playing in an 11-a-side team in the UK is on the slide

The rise of the 5-a-side multiplex and other commitments on weekend mornings have seen the number of players (male and female, young and old)’  move away from the ‘purest’ form of the beautiful game, in recent years.

So, the FA have started a new initiative to show people the fun side of 11-a-side football – and recruited Soccer Saturday favourite Chris Kamara and Premier League stars Peter Crouch, Jermaine Defoe, Gareth Barry and Shaun Wright-Philips to help them do it!

Get Into Football

The film opens with Kamara preparing his kit ahead of the big game. As he turns his back to put on his boots his favourite item of clothing – the lucky jock strap – is stolen from his kit bag by Peter Crouch without him realising (Now there’s a sentence I thought I’d never type!!).

Thinking the culprit is Jermain Defoe, Kamara chases after him but fails to catch the speedy Spurs striker.

Get Into Football

Chris Kamara said: “I had so much fun making the Lucky Jock Strap film with Crouch, Defoe, Barry, Wright-Phillips and the rest of the guys. It’s great that The FA is taking the 11-a-side grassroots game seriously as it’s where it all started for me.

The banter and team spirit that exists between players is all part of the enjoyment of the game. I hope this film helps to inspire those to take up or continue playing 11-a-side football as it’s a great way of having fun with your mates.”

Here at Footy-Boots, we’re thrilled to bits to see the FA encouraging anyone who’s got nothing to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning to get up and get their football boots on and join a team.

What do you think of the Ad? Or more interestingly, if you’ve stopped playing 11-a-side recently; why did you stop?

Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. says: bucky

    why do you think the 11 a side game is on the decline? because of sh*t facilities (why would anyone want to turn up on a cold damp morning at Hough End in Manchester as an example – go on the continent to places like Holland and their facilities are top notch), too much pre madonna premier league on the TV at all times, the rising cost of playing – subs , fines etc , and the general disctractions that are available to the potential players of today – If the FA were to put in just a tiny fraction of funds to improve facilities instead of letting them go to ruin and have terrible pitches , then people might show more interest , but it is hardly rocket science to figure out why interest has waned

  2. says: geo

    to be honest i stopped playing 11 v 11 because i started playing futsal. i always used to play futsal in the winter and and full 11 matches in the summer but then for some reason the 11 a side matches were too unorganized and it was easier to get 12 people interested in a game then it was 22. my dad grew up in Ecuador so i always was around futsal and i grew to enjoy it more. But i would never turn down a chance at a good 11 v 11 match.

  3. says: Kyle

    Geo – How true is that?

    I just got back from France and Switzerland and I was amazed at not just the amount of football pitches, but the fact that each of the was so neatly trimmed and rolled!

    There were ones with stands and ones with just a fence around them – but the key similarity was how amazingly groomed the pitches were!

  4. says: kuuku

    Hard to get 22 people and subs. Not to mention 2 dudes who actually want to be keepers in big goals….

    5,7 aside can give the same feel but with less people required.

  5. says: John7

    I agree, the pitch is the main factor i’ve packed in. on most pitches you really cant play football, theres only small patches where you can get away with dribbling the ball. i would play again if the pitches were even just slightly better but its no fun running arround a cabbage patch trying to avoid the waterlogged patches.

  6. says: Splinter09

    Hilarious ending! I’m not leaving in the UK right now. But I can see same problem here in Brazil at the moment, believe it or not. The problem is that there to many of those 7 a side pitches now and the 11 a side ones are in most cases in a really bad state.

  7. says: channo

    agree with kuuku, it’s hard to gather 22 people + subs and a decent pitch.
    and without a referee, the neverending “offside arguments” are inevitable.

    i found myself playing more futsal & 5-a-side alike lately.
    heck i even start buying indoor absolados and T90 shoots…

  8. says: tony

    As most of the guys have said the reason its dropping off, is quite frankly the fa is only concerned about childrens football, womens football and the premier league. It costs £290 to register with a league in Manchester, £600-£1000 to hire a “pitch”. To define a pitch, its an area mostly grassy with 2 goals on either side. The standard of the pitches for the money the council makes is beyond a joke. They are virtually never maintained, the grass is cut 1-2 a year, they arent used just for football and rugby games cricket etc are played on the same pitches, a ball cant roll along them with hitting divets, and holes, to be honest its amazing more guys dont break ankles. Hough End, Turn Moss in Manchester, and i have played all over the country and the amateur game is on decline because quite frankly we arent important enough to give money to. Exactly what does the FA give amateur football, if anyone is in the FA i would like justification of this. A club pays to be registered with the FA, pays to be registered in the league, pays to be insured (or at least should do) buys its kits and nets etc. Pays for whoever is sent down as a referee by the league not the FA, these “Fa trained referees” are frequently late, too shy or too arrogant to referee a game and then demand £25-£30 for the game. The Club gets nothing from the FA, not even a football and yet the club, the league, even the refs pay the FA each season, so please someone tell me where the thousands of pounds from amateur football go each season, and where the benefit is to the amateur clubs? Its not on pitches, or facilities as these are council owned, its not on insurance, kit or anything like that?

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