Program and Team Philosophies

Program and Team Philosophies

Tai Tam JFC believes that Football should always be about playing, learning and most of all enjoyment.  As such, we are committed to providing an environment that is dedicated to the needs of the children. Our aim is to remove the emphasis from winning and focus on long term development of players. By celebrating spirit, sportsmanship, skill and good character participants have an opportunity to realize their full potential as a responsible member of society and as a Football player.

We strive to develop children who are independent, value learning, are creative and enjoy playing football as part of a team. We should remember at all times that the game of soccer is just that - a game. The number one reason (well documented in a number of studies) children participate in soccer is to have fun. If they don’t have fun, they will soon quit. It is detrimental to the player if there is too much pressure placed on them too early to achieve a result rather than simply experiencing the sheer joy of a youth game.

Tai Tam Academy & Development Squads - Team Philosophy: Playing time is dependent upon a combination of skill, work ethic, attitude, attendance, effort and commitment at practices as well as the ability to demonstrate a “team” philosophy. We expect all players to work hard in practice to earn their playing time. Games are viewed primarily as an opportunity for all of our players to learn.  Every player will get a fair amount of playing time. However, as is the nature of the game, some players may play more than others to maintain a sense of balance through the team and the tournament. Players who show a high level of ability/work-rate within the games may get more time than others.

All players must be prepared to understand and play formations and positions that they otherwise may not regularly play. This will be based on the requirements of the opponents we play and our coaches’ feeling for the game. We expect all players to respect the coaches’ decisions and to play the role asked of them for the good of the team. All players must be prepared to demonstrate their ability to adapt to their role and the system that is required on the day.

Substitutes will be expected to position themselves alongside the coach during the match and are expected to pay attention to the game so that when called upon, they already have an understanding of the opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Substitutes who do not engage in the game taking place may not be rotated into the match if the coach feels they are not ready at the time.

At all events we expect an impeccable level of sportsmanship, respect and discipline both on and off the field of play.  Players must be punctual and organized. Failing to adhere to these rules, being late, not having full kit, etc could affect, amongst other things, the amount of playing time for any player. We will hold the players responsible.

It is important to note that if any player has any issues with the amount of playing time or the positions they are being asked to play, the player, not the parent, should talk to the coach first. The coach will only discuss this with parents if the player has first communicated with the coach directly themselves and even then, at an appropriate time – see below. 

Players can move between the Academy and Development Squads over the season and within each Tier, the A and B squads are in no way fixed and players will move between the two at the team coach’s discretion. No player is guaranteed of a spot in either squad.  The coach’s decision is final.

The main competition for the club is the Hong Kong Junior Football League (HKJFL) and this league is divided into 3 tiers based on ability and performance. The top tier is the Premiership, then the Championship and the 3rd tier is the non-competitive Community League. So, while the League does not demand that each Clubs’ squads are fixed for the season, the understanding is that Clubs will put out their strongest teams in the Premiership, etc, etc. So, while players can move between the Premiership (A team), and the Championship (B team) over the season, not all players are able to move between squads based on the league rules. For example, we would breach these league rules if we moved our top-rated players to the Championship for a HKJFL league game.

For non HKJFL games, we may well move players and mix teams, but this is at the coaches and clubs’ discretion.

Positions (Under 9’s to U11’s): Each player will be given the opportunity to play all positions over the course of a season. This does not mean that they need to play every position over the course of one game or even one tournament, but over the course of a season, young players will be given the chance to play and learn all positions. All players will be encouraged to try goalkeeping, but no player will be forced to play the position as the teams’ designated keeper unless they Try Out and are given a place on the team as a specialist goalkeeper.

Positions (Under 12’s to U14’s): While players from U12 up should start to be much more aware of the responsibilities associated with each position on the field and positional rotation may not be on a match-by-match basis, players should still be allowed to try all positions throughout a season.