Youth players attempting to be selected for a top tier, competitive team (U11-U18 Gold) must be able to prove that it is their "appropriate level", which is an equivalent balance of both successes and challenges. The individual should have the ability to experiment, and to comfortably execute a large percentage of various attacking techniques (dribbles, passes, shots) when performing at their best, especially in practice sessions. The technical staff will take into consideration additional factors such as attendance and dedication to the sport, but a combination of the "ABCD-123" attributes required of the relevant level must be deemed to be adequately met by the assessors:
Speed: Able to outrun peers and gain advantageous positions in both attack and defense.
Strength: Ability to exert and maintain desired physical force, especially in one on one challenges.
- Ball Control
Dribbling: Able and willing to dribble side-to-side and/or "drive" forward with the ball when confronted by defender(s).
Passing & Receiving: Ability to strike the ball accurately with appropriate height, angle & power, and receiving the ball comfortably at various speeds, heights and angles.
Motivation: Desire to consistently compete and succeed in all activities.
"Coachability": Willingness to learn and understand various coaching concepts, and always striving for the highest personal standard.
- Decision Making
Awareness: Decisions with the ball when taking into account the amount of nearby teammates and opposition, and the area of the field.
Off-the-ball Movement/Positioning: Supporting teammate with the ball and giving them optimal passing options, or influencing defenders to create space for other teammates.
1-2-3: Assessing the success of players in individual(1) situations, where they duel 1v1(2) in both attack and defense, and 2v1/1v2(3) scenarios in both attack and defense - utilizing the ABCD attributes listed above.
Simply "holding their own" is not an acceptable degree of success. Dribbling, and having regular success in doing so, should be a key focus for young players as this increases close control, creativity and problem solving, confidence, and both agility and balance. The technical staff look for the most “effective” players in order to create the most viable and competitive team possible. “Effective” players are those who experience the highest degree of success in whatever it is they attempt to do on the field, whether it be passing, dribbling, shooting, sprinting or challenging for the ball. Positional responsibilities are also taken into consideration, where certain attributes are more necessary than others, though players at the younger ages are expected to play different positions on a regular basis - including goalkeepers.
*Players should be aware that they are being "evaluated" throughout the season by their coaches and technical staff using the criteria above, which means it is not only performances during official assessments that are taken into account when selecting rosters.
Players wishing to “play up” in an age group above their own must be able to prove that it is their "appropriate level", which is an equivalent balance of both successes and challenges. A combination of the "ABCD-123" Assessment Criteria areas(mentioned above) required of the relevant level must be deemed to be adequately met by the assessors. Simply "holding their own" is not an acceptable degree of success. Dribbling, and having regular success in doing so, should be a key focus for young players as this increases close control, creativity and problem solving, confidence, and both agility and balance.
In the tiered age groups it must also be deemed that the younger player is not taking the place of an older player of a similar or equivalent ability. Additionally, if a player is needed to remain at their own age to increase the viability of a Lakehill team which competes against other clubs, then this factor will be strongly considered by the technical staff.