U08B: 2009 Boys Junior Competitive Program Overview

The following provides an overview of THPFC’s 2017 Boys U08 (born 2009) Junior Competitive Program (JCP).


This program is designed to provide further development of U08 players in a fun, nurturing yet structured environment.  This program is designed to focus on developing soccer skills in keeping with the Club’s support to the Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) initiated by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA).  LTPD is a program put in place to focus more on development at a young age and less on competitive aspects.  This allows players to progress at their own pace and develop a love for the game without being pushed by coaches and parents alike.  The focus is also to improve the overall technical development of coaching staff to ensure kids are given the best guidance for building their skill level.  This program will help to develop a solid foundation towards future participation in the Club's rep/competitive program in later years.


We are always looking for volunteer coaches to help assist in the program so please contact the Director of Coaching (DOC) Ian Sinclair at ian.sinclair@thpfc.ca to express your interest or to learn more about what is involved.


Below is a table outlining details on the program.


Who is eligible to participate?

The program is open to boys in 2009.  Boys and girls programs are run independently.  Previous participation in any THPFC program is not required.

Is this right for my child?

If they have a keen interest in soccer and have shown a good skill level, then it is an excellent program for them.  As mentioned above, this is a good path for your child to take if they are interested in participating at the competitive level in future years.

Is there a limit on the number of participants?

There is a general participation number that we have based on the DOC, technical support and volunteer coaches.  We want to ensure we provide the right level of coaching attention for each player.  

What if you get more participants than you can support?

We will conduct evaluation sessions in early April to those players who have expressed an interest in joining the program to determine interest levels.  If we are beyond the planned levels, we may be required to go through a selection process. Sign up for the evaluation sessions can be found here:

What is the Director of Coaching (DOC)?

The DOC is a full-time role, part of THPFC'S technical staff. Their primary responsibility will be to lead all practices and to oversee the development of all players and coaches within the U06 to U08 age groups in line with the Club's philosophy. The DOC will manage player selection if required, assign team rosters for festivals and provide coaching during the festivals. The volunteer coaching staff will assist during one of the weekly practices and will also be responsible for helping coach some of the games at festival events.

What is the DOC’s role?

The role of the DOC...

  1. Provide consistency for the development of all players at all practices and games.
  2. Ensure players are provided with a high level of technical expertise.
  3. Help mentor volunteer coaches, and parent volunteer coaches.
  4. Conduct one parent meeting per age group, per season.
  5. Provide written feedback to each player once per season in a player-parent-coach meeting.
  6. Manage player selection (if required) and assign team rosters for festivals and attend all festivals for the U08 age group.

The DOC will also work closely with the Club’s Technical Director to ensure that the Club’s development philosophy is consistent and adhered to.

Who is the DOC?

Ian Sinclair

Email: ian.sinclair@thpfc.ca

Ian’s coaching career spans over 15 years, in particular playing an important role in helping nurture and develop players at the grassroots level. His experience includes; technical director of grassroots and special programs at Oakville Soccer Club, junior academy director at Oakville Soccer Club, rep competitive coach Girls U13-U17 and assistant men’s coach with McMaster University. His significant background working with players at the younger age groups provides us with the ability to further develop players with the intent to help build player confidence and provide them the tools necessary to grow and enhance their skills.

  • USSF National B License

  • CSA National B License

  • NSCAA Director of Coaching

  • NSCAA National Diploma

  • NCCP Nutrition Course

What is the Structure?

There will be three practices a week.  All will be led by the Director of Coaching, with support from the Club's technical lead and parental volunteers.  Players will also participate in festival t\games every other Saturday morning against neighbouring clubs within the Toronto Soccer Association (e.g. Etobicoke, North Toronto, Leaside, etc).  

What are Festivals?

Festivals are fun games organized in a tournament style.  Each team will play two games against other teams in a 5v5 format with 4 players out and one keeper.  There will be two halves to each game with game leaders.  Scores will not kept and team composition will vary for each festival.

Festivals will not be held on long weekends.

Are players placed on specific teams

No, not at this age group.  For festivals, teams and players are assigned to game day rosters the week of the festival and are expected to be balanced as per the TSA/Ontario Soccer mandate. Roster assignments will be the responsibility of the DOC and they will communicate out to the parent group in advance.

At U08, we take balanced approach to rosters assignments so that all players can benefit from a positive soccer experience. It will be mixed/blended tiering of teams/players. We may plan to make selective changes throughout the season based on how players are developing, how teams are competing and where opportunities exist to challenge players while balancing talent amongst the age group to ensure meaningful competition is achieved.

While some kids and parents may find this format a little challenging, it is a good way for players to get to know one another, coaches get experience working with different kids and it makes team management at festivals much easier.

When are practices and Festivals?

There will be two one-hour practices a week, on week nights.  Festivals take place on Saturday mornings and are usually finished by 12:00 and 1:00pm.  Our Club will also be responsible for hosting at least one festival event per season.

Are scores and standings kept?

No. As part of the Long-Term Player Development program endorsed by the TSA and Ontario Soccer, there will be no scores kept for the games. While we recognize the players will likely know the score, the real point is to ensure that the focus remains on development in terms of technical skills/tactical awareness. If scores aren’t kept, then coaches are less likely to do things that might win a game at the detriment of development, like playing bigger players up front and playing kick and chase soccer. As well, parents will likely be more relaxed if they don’t see winning and losing as the end result.

The goal is to develop a lifelong participation of soccer and if the kids have fun and learn how to play the game properly, they are more likely to play for a longer period of time. There will be lots of opportunities as they mature to get competitive and develop further.

Do players also participate in House League?

No, this program is distinct from House League and players will no longer be able to participate in both.  This program will often have three sessions per week and trying to also fit in house league is considered far too much time spent on one sport and could result in early burnout particularly in this age group.

What uniforms are included?

Each player will be provided with socks, shorts, shirt and a practice shirt. 

What is the fee?

The approved fee for 2017 is $775

The fee will be used to pay for the DOC, professional technical trainer fees, field costs, uniforms, equipment, Festival hosting costs (referees) and contribution to Club administrative costs

When will the season begin?

Winter Club Training sessions will go up to and including the end of March. Pre-season training will culminate at the start of April and end at the beginning of May. We will then transition to the outdoor season from May until September. Festivals will begin in late May, early June and conclude around beginning to mid-September.

When can I register?

Registration will formally open in mid- to late-February for this program, but you will be advised through a wide-communication e-mail from the Club as well as program and registration available via the Club web site.

What is the commitment level required?

Your child is expected to participate and attend as many practices and games as possible.  While games are enjoyable for both parents and players alike, the real development happens at practices.  If you child is not regularly attending practices, it may hinder them and slow down the growth of their individual skill development. We highly encourage players to attend as many practices as they can.

What do we expect from parents?

Number one is to ensure you focus on encouragement for your child and other participants.  This includes both THPFC players and players from other clubs.  Kids need to learn on their own and having parents yelling at them will not only diminish the amount of fun they are having, but will limit their desire to try new things.

Secondly, we ask that you have your kids show up on time for each session so that it does not interrupt the practice sessions or Festival planning.

Finally, parents will be asked to assist with festivals hosted by THPFC.

We will also be looking for a number of parents to help volunteer their time. We may require team managers to help with communication and co-ordination, social coordinator to help with planned social/ team bonding events, and a parent in charge of post-game snack/rotation. If you are interested in helping out in any capacity please contact our U08 DOC for the age group.


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