Who’d be a football manager?
Dealing with prima donna players, a growing injury list, travel logistics, player revolts, poor form – the list is endless. For us mere mortals, the pressures that a football manager faces are beyond comprehension.
However, for those wanting to experience a taste of the problems, then putting together a 5-a-side team carries its own set of challenges.
Here are some hard-earned tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of putting together a team:
1. Have fun
Before considering the nitty-gritty of putting a team together, my first piece of advice is to have fun!
This might seem obvious but putting together a football team of any size can be hard work. Player call-offs, transport, money, even 5-a-side teams need a lot of organising. That’s why it’s important to keep your eye on the ball and remember why you started the team in the first place – because it’s fun.
If you lose the enjoyment of the sport, then the whole thing becomes a chore you can do without.
2. Set up a group chat
A group chat is a great way of keeping the whole team in the loop. Sending out messages to individual players is time-consuming. One quick message, and the whole team is informed. The banter is pretty good too!
3. Plan ahead
Sending out reminders the night before a game will inevitably lead to last-minute call-off headaches. Always try to check availability at least 4 or 5 days before a game. This means you have plenty of time to find replacements.
4. Squad size
Any football manager will tell you that squad size is important. Illness, injuries, work commitments, and on occasion, just downright laziness means that there are always call-offs for one reason or another.
Having a squad that numbers 5 or 6 players will mean you frequently find yourself short of players on match days. Aim for a squad of at least 7 players or more.
5. Money matters
Now I’m not saying that football players are tight with their cash, but it is a fact that if people haven’t paid for something, they are more likely to cancel. By getting players to pay upfront, you are less likely to have them drop out. Getting the money upfront is a great way to ensure a higher level of commitment from your teammates.
6. Friends matter
Selecting players from close friends with whom you already have strong bonds is a fantastic way of ensuring a happy and committed team. The camaraderie that already exists between the group means that the last thing they will want to do is let the team down.
They are also more likely to muck in and help out with organisation too.
7. Play at the right level
Losing every single week is one sure way to demoralise the team and put people off playing again. Choosing the right 5-a-side football league, one that suits the honest capabilities of the team, is essential.
Football players, by nature, are competitive and always want to win and to win against the best. Consider this a longer-term goal for the team and join a league that will hone your competitive edge but not dull it by continually losing.
The Final Whistle
You might not end up being the next Jose Mourinho, but by following the tips above, you will be able to participate in the sport you love – and, more importantly, have fun as you do so!
And now that you’ve got your team together, why not take your management skills to the next level and check our useful 5-a-side strategy guide. It’s full of useful hints and tips to help you get on the winning track.