What you need to know about UK Football League Playoffs

If initially you are not a football fan and would have a change of heart and learn to love football, it is best to understand how the UK football league play-offs are done. This way, you will learn to appreciate the game even more.

The football league play-offs happen every year in United Kingdom. It is a series of matches that will determine which team will go to the final promotion places within every division of the Football League. In every division of the league, they basically pick the four teams that finish right under the automatic promotion ranks. Then, these teams would fight in a number of play-off matches in order to know which team should be promoted to the finals.

When the teams have been identified for each division, these teams will enter the Semi-Final matches which are played over two legs. The first leg has game play duration of 90 minutes. If by the end of the first leg, the teams have equal scores, no tie breaker is going to happen yet. Instead, teams will proceed to the second leg with a much longer game time than the first leg. Now, if the by the end of the second leg with the added duration considered and the teams are still on a tie, the teams will take turns in taking of kicks starting from the penalty mark. This tie breaker match should always be in accordance with the Laws of Association Football.

Come the Finals or Championship, the teams are still given 90 minutes of game time. If by the end of the 90 minutes, a tie will take place, the game will then be extended further. And if by the end of the over time, the teams’ scores are still equal, the necessary taking turns of kicks from the penalty mark should be the tie breaker. Again, the extension and the free kicks should always be in accordance to the Laws of Association Football.

What Is the English Football Hall of Fame?

The National Football Museum houses the English Football Hall of Fame in Manchester, England. The Hall’s goal is to highlight and celebrate the individuals who have become famous figures in English football history. New members are included every year at the induction ceremonies that are set every autumn, which were formerly held in different locations but are now exclusively held in the Museum with its transfer to Urbis building in 2012.

The Hall is permanently displayed inside the Museum. The accompanying book written by Rob Galvin features football’s hall of famers and the all-time legends of the sport. Mark Bushell, the Museum’s founding curator, updates the book every year for its newest inductees. The book also contains a detailed profile of the reputation and career of every one and a selected exhibit from the Museum. The profile also provides information of the hall of famer’s achievements.

Selecting the Hall of Fame

Members of the Hall of Fame are selected through a panel. This is initially made up of ex-players like Gordon Taylor, Mark Lawrenson, Jimmy Hill, and Trevor Brooking, all of which had become senior figures and pundits of the game after retirement. These very significant individuals have been associated with Graham Taylor, a former manager of England, and a group of England’s most prominent football historians – Jean Williams, John Walton, Matthew Taylor, Dave Russell, Gail Newsham, Tony Mason, Graham Kelly, Alexander Jackson, Simon Inglis, John Hughson, Dick Holt, Peter Holme, and Rob Galvin. It is the role of the group to give advice on the choosing of players during the early days of the game.

All living inductees in the Hall are provided with additional positions over the panel. Two players were inducted as fans’ choice after polls over the Sky Sports and BBC Sport websites.

What are the Equipment and Facilities for Football?

Football is a sport where the main aim of the team is to score a goal. Scoring a goal involves getting the ball from one side of the field into the other and shooting the ball inside an actual goal. For you to be able to play football well, it is very important that you have the right equipment and you play in a facility that is meant for the sport.

Basic Equipment of Soccer

  • The Outfit or Uniform

The football outfit of a player does not only involve the jersey itself; however, it also includes the socks and the shoes. Football players should have jerseys and uniforms that are comfortable enough for them to move in. Note that there is a standard type of textile for football jerseys. Socks usually are knee length. Meanwhile in terms of shoes, there is an appropriate shoes for football; the ones with studs.

  • Shin Guards

A shin guard is an equipment to prevent serious injuries. It mainly protects the legs. If you are a striker, then it is recommended that you use the smaller and lighter ones; while for those who are defenders, midfielders, and goalkeepers, use designs that will offer you the most coverage.

  • Gloves

Gloves are commonly used by the goalkeepers for their primary goal is to defend their team’s home; blocking the balls using any available extremity or even body. It is important for them to find gloves that are designed to provide maximum hand mobility and support.

Facilities for Football

The facility wherein you can play football is the football field or stadium. It should have lines that will determine the grounds for an “out of bounds” call. Also, it should have goals with nets; otherwise, football wouldn’t be possible. Note that the length and width of a football field depends on who will be using it. A college football field might be suitable for college or amateur footballs. Meanwhile in the world of the pros, specific dimensions and rules are being set by FIFA.

UK Football Try-Outs

If you are so keen to be able to play football and be part of the team that would play during a Football League, then it is best that you should know more about what happens during football trials in UK.

The football trials are an opportunity for wannabe’s like you to showcase your ability in front of the experts. The trials run at about 2 to 3 hours open to individuals with age ranging from ten to twenty eight. The main goal of the trial is to help you land a team, improve your game and build up your confidence in playing the ball.

During the said football trials, scouts from different football clubs are usually present to check you out. And if you qualify and meet their standards, the scouts would usually go over you and discuss the membership to the club. So, it is highly recommended that you do your best to let the scouts see what you have got in order to land a team in one of the leagues.

Now, if by the time of the football trials, the luck is not on your side and you have not been picked by the scouts, do not get disappointed easily and be grumpy about it. Take this as a cue to work on your weaknesses and come back better than before. The scouts have their own reasons for not picking you right away: this maybe because of your age or you are not quite at the peak of the game yet. But do not get discouraged easily rather, come back again on the next trials and prove to the scouts that you are better and more skilled than the last time you have played in front of them.

Just like any other sports, in order to be part of a team, you must always give your best shot and if that best shot is not enough come back in another time and do better than the last.

UK Football Tournament: The Football League System

The United Kingdom football league system is also known as the football pyramid. This league consists of a series of interconnected games for men’s association football clubs. The league follows a hierarchical format where promotion and relegation between leagues in different levels. Having this rule, the system is allowing even the smallest team the chance of ultimately rising to the very top.

Basically, there will be a certain number of the most successful teams in each league which will be promoted to a much higher league and those that finish at the bottom will unfortunately find themselves backing down a level. However, the promotion to a higher league is still contingent in meeting the criteria made by the higher league. That is why in theory; the small team can rise to a pinnacle.

There are a number of divisions within the football league system and they are the following:

  • The Premier League or the top flight is the top league and only contains 20 clubs competing with each other.
  • The Football League is lower than the Premier and it is divided into three divisions with 24 clubs each: League Two, League One and The Championship.
  • The Football Conference is the top competition among the non-League football and usually consists of a Conference Premier with 24 clubs, Conference North and Conference south with 22 clubs each.
  • Next to the Football Conference are the Northern Premier League Southern Football League and the Isthmian League. All of which have a Premier Division which consists of 24 teams.

Essentially, the clubs in the Premier League and Football League are all full-time professionals. While the rest of the other leagues or competitions are already considered the non-League clubs even if they play in league-type competitions. Suffice to say, the lower the pyramid or the league, the less professional the player gets.

Types of Football Coaching Drills in UK

Football is one of the most famous sports in the UK today; in fact, it is the most watched league. Because of this, coaches feel the most pressure. They need to be able to train their players in order to stand a fighting chance against their opponents. Before they start practice, they usually get their players do some drills.

Different Coaching Drills for Football

  • Shoot From Your Own Half

This type of drill divides the team into groups of 3-4 players. The teams will face each other in the center with no one to protect the goals. The ball will then be rolled by the coach to one team. Note that the team must do their best to keep the ball constantly move. Each player should also be able to handle the ball first before they score a goal. The main aim of this drill is to enhance the players’ shooting and one-touch skills.

  • Hot Potato

Hot potato is a coaching drill that aims to promote effective communication and teamwork among the players. Aside from that, it also improves their skills in passing and receiving the ball. This drill also allows the coaches to determine who among the team is a potential leader. The drill works by dividing the team and placing at least 10 soccer balls at the end of the field. Each team should be able to transfer the soccer balls to the other end by ensuring that each ball is touched by everyone on the team.

  • Tug of War

The Tug of War drill aims to teach kicking accuracy and power among the players. The team is divided into two teams. In the center of the field, the coach will place a target; the target must be eye catching like a colored ball. The goal of the players is to try to hit or move the target with their soccer ball by kicking it precisely.

  • Speed Racer

The aim of the Speed Racer drill is to actually improve, if not teach, dribbling skills to the players. Each player will have their own ball while cones are scattered and circled on the field. Each of the players is required to dribble the ball around the circle of cones; note that, players can go in whichever direction they please. This will make them attentive on who might they bump into while dribbling. Their main goal is to get back to the starting position first.

Three Top UK Football Teams

Discussed in this section are three top UK Football teams. There are others in the top ten, and these three are hot on the list.

Arsenal

The Arsenal Gunners have been playing within the top divisions of English football for consecutive seasons through 1919–1920 seasons. Champions of thirteen events, they have gained a unique record throughout the 2003–2004 seasons. They were undefeated throughout the entire season. Arsenal won the coveted ‘double’, which is league and cup winners in the season, three times in 1971, 1998, and 2002.

The team has moved to a brand new venue in the Emirates Stadium in the recent years. The stadium has a 60,000 capacity, and it makes up for a great visit, along with the Arsenal Museum.

Brentford

The Brentford Football Club is presently playing in the Football League I. The club was founded in 1889 and played home games at Griffin Park, its home court since 1904. The most successful spell of Brentford came in 1930, when it gained consecutive top six finishes throughout the First Division.

 

Ever since the War, the team spent the majority of its time within the third and fourth tiers for English football. Brentford had been a quarter-finalist for the FA Cup in four events and had been runner-up for the Football League Trophy twice.

Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic Addicks have witnessed better days. The halcyon days were set in the 1930s to 1940s. They’ve struggled in the recent years after they’ve been promoted in the Premiere League of 2005 and in the championships of 2008. They are playing on The Valley south of Greenwich, along the River Thames. The club was established in 1905.

Charlton’s most grandiose period was during the 1930s, when the club’s best league finishes were documented with runners-up from the league in 1937 and the club got to the FA Cup Finals twice. It won in 1947.

Rules of Football Game in the UK

Rules of football game in the UK are officially called “Laws of the Game”. Below are these rules:

  • Field of play – the game is played on an artificial or a natural surface, and the surface should be rectangular and green. Touch lines and two goal lines are set on each side of the rectangle, and a halfway line divides the field in half.
  • Ball – the ball should be spherical and made from leather. It has to have a certain pressure and a circumference measuring 68–70 cm.
  • Number of players – the game is to be played by two teams with eleven players each team. It cannot begin if there are less than seven players in either team.
  • Equipment – players should wear shin guards, footwear, stockings, shorts, and jersey.
  • Referee – the referee makes sure that the rules of the game are followed and respected.
  • Assistant referees – there may be at least two assistant referees.
  • Match duration – the game consists of two halves with 45 minutes each half. Half-time interval should not go beyond fifteen minutes.
  • Start and restart of play – the kick-off marks the beginning of the match or continuation of the game after a goal. A switch in the direction of the other team for kick-off is done after half time.
  • Ball in and out – the ball is out the moment a goal is scored or as the referee stops the game. The game is also played in all other occasions.
  • Scoring method – the ball should cross the goal line and within the goal mouth.
  • Offside – if on offence, the player in contact with the ball is closer to the opposing team’s goal than the ball and the second-to-the-last opponent. The offside rule was set to make sure that the opponents like the defender and goalkeeper are always there in between the goal and the player getting the ball.
  • Misconduct and fouls – there is a variety of fouls, and it would be an offence to utilise too much force in handling the ball (unless you’re the goalkeeper). The referee may reveal the yellow card to the players to caution them and make them more cautious of the offences. Red card means more serious offences were done. Two yellow cards are equal to one red card.
  • Free kicks – these kicks are provided by the referee in case of misconduct and fouls. The kick may either be direct or indirect. A score can be made in a direct free kick. Such goals can only be scored from indirect free kick when it touches another player first.
  • Penalty kicks – these kicks are provided against the team that makes an offence. The ball will be kicked from a penalty spot.
  • Throw-in – this is utilised to restart the game as the ball crosses the touch line.
  • Goal kick – this is done to restart the game after a goal is scored.
  • Corner kick – this kick is provided when the ball crosses the goal line and was touched last by someone from the defending team.

Learn the Different UK Football Positions

To get a complete sense of the different tactics used in football, it is very important to know several UK football positions on the pitch and other important areas. A playmaker or strong midfielder will significantly influence a team’s game style.

The following are the different football positions you can learn:

  • Goalkeeper – the goalkeeper is the only team member who is allowed to hold the ball in his arms. He defends the goal by utilising skills like punching, kicking, catching, blocking, and so on.
  • Central defender – positioned at the edge of his team’s penalty area, it is the role of the central defender to defend the goalkeeper and, by principle, the goal.
  • Sweeper – the sweeper is a unique position that is rarely seen these days. It is the role of the sweeper to serve as the defender who reacts to any breach at the defensive line.
  • Fullback – though the fullback holds the same beginning position, over the right and left of every central defender, what makes the fullback different from the wing back is that the latter can move forward to support attacks and the former can’t.
  • Central midfielder – positioned in undoubtedly the most essential part of the field, it is the job of the central fielder to offer support to both attackers and defenders.
  • Defensive midfielder – this position is set behind the centre circle and is mainly required to break opposing attacks or augment defenses.
  • Playmaker – the playmaker is situated in the same position as the defensive holder, and his role is to give more opportunity to the side’s offensive game.
  • ’Box to box’ midfielder – he is termed precisely as such because his game is set on both ends of the field and he is filling in anywhere.
  • Attacking midfielder – this position is set within the space between the strikers and the midfield and directly influences the attacks coming from above the field. Attacking midfielders are oftentimes supporting forwards because of their potential at the front area of the goal.
  • Winger – just like their defensive equals, two wingers are assigned on a side, beginning with both touchlines at the centre midfielders. The tasks of a winger include pressuring the opposing fullbacks, attacking at different positions, and offering crosses within the box.
  • Striker – the goal of the striker is to strike goals. Forward players begin at the back part of the opposing team’s penalty area.
  • Target man – the target man’s game is set within the penalty area, and he serves as the focal point of attacks. Target men are generally ideal ‘poachers’. This means that they are headers and opportunists of the ball, although they rely on the midfield for chances.
  • Withdrawn striker – just like the offside rule, withdrawn strikers are among the hardest positions to explain, although they also are among the most essential since some of the greatest football players have such a position.

Football Basic Skills

Before you can become a really good football player, you must first master the football basic skills. These skills are your foundation for learning football, and you will be doing them almost every time you play football in order to get the proper playing of the game.

Here are the basic football skills that you should master in order to become good in the sport:

  • Knowledge of the areas and corners of the field – you should know all the small areas and corners of the field from where you dribble or kick the ball. You need to know where to go and what to do in a certain area of the field if you’re going to play any football at all. The corner area, for example, is where a corner kick is used to put the ball in play after the ball has gone over the goal line and out of play if it was last touched by a player defending that goal.
  • Dribbling – practice advancing the ball with a series of short kicks. Some of the best football players in the world are known for their very advanced dribbling skills. A great skill in dribbling will give you an edge on the field because it would give you more refined and accurate mobility.
  • Goal kick – when the attacking team kicks the ball over its opponent’s goal line, the goalkeeper gets the ball and may kick it far downfield. As a goalkeeper, you should practice with this basic skill to be efficient in your position.
  • Half volley – kick a ball just as it is bouncing from the ground. Kicking the ball while it is resting isn’t a challenge at all, but kicking a ball while it’s bouncing would require skill and precision. Practice on the half volley, and you can become an efficient football player.
  • Screening – this is keeping a player’s body between an opponent and the ball. If you’re a defender or attacker, this is a very important defensive skill to learn. This practice is a team effort though, and you need to practice it with your teammates.
  • Throw-in – when the ball goes across the touch line, possession is awarded to the opponent of the last player to touch the ball. The throw-in is made with an overhand motion using both hands. This is a basic skill that many football players don’t take for granted because it is very important.
  • Trapping – this means gaining control of the ball using some part of the body other than the hands or arms.
  • Volley – this happens when a ball is kicked while it is still in the air. Some use the “scissors kick”, which is a highly advanced skill that not all football players can do.