Extra Time: Extra Kickabouts

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We go to Manchester for our latest case study, where Ant Bromley and Stu Normansell tell us about the extra match time their lads have organised to further bolster their fitness!

What is the reason you organise extra kick abouts?
It started way back in 2017 when the first Manchester club launched. We had 80 guys who were looking for a bit more time on the pitch to improve their fitness and skills.

Since then every new MAN v FAT Club that’s launched in Greater Manchester has organised their own Kick Abouts and some have merged over the years.

How do you organise it each week?
Firstly there’s two of us who run the game, this makes things a lot easier if one of us is away. We have to book a pitch each week on a Wednesday evening (Our sessions are Tuesdays) and Sunday Mornings.

We get a good deal on a 7 a side pitch as a block booker from our local Powerleague especially the Sunday. Then we put shoutouts in our Extra Games WhatsApp group twice a week to see who is available to play. We usually get 14-16 lads each session.

We use PayPal to collect the money so no messing around with cash either.

How did you get the MAN v FAT community involved?
We get the coaches at Stockport and Manchester to post our extra games link into the broadcast groups a few times a season so new players can join in. We are pretty strict in only allowing MAN v FAT Players to play. Although if guys leave MAN v FAT we’ll let them continue.

Often players will get involved in MAN v FAT again because the majority of extra games, players are still involved.

What were the main issues in organising?
There’s not many to be honest. We have enough guys to keep two games going. Sometimes lads drop out last minute, but we usually have some reserves step in. I suppose the biggest issue is lads who ghost the game and don’t turn up. That can spoil it for everyone else so after we check the player is OK they usually have to serve a weeks ban. (Especially if its booze related!).

The final thing really is trying to balance the teams. That’s the biggest headache as we try to get a competitive game going. We know the players well and who’s good at what in each side but sometimes lads may turn up a little worse for wear on a Sunday but there’s no hiding!

Why do you believe it’s important to have more pitch time?
The extra games add into the whole one club feel at Stockport and also beyond as we have player who play in Manchester and Rochdale too. We play an hour, so it certainly improves fitness levels, but I think the biggest thing for me is it sharpens players’ game and you can see when a player is playing extra games for a few weeks they get better at our MAN v FAT sessions.

What are your future plans?
Maybe a third week night if we can get the 7 a side pitch. We also plan to invite some other local clubs to play a competitive fixture in the summer too. We played Ashton on a Friday night recently and the lads really enjoyed it.


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