Young Leaders Programme


We not only provide opportunities to learn and play football but also to develop broad life and leadership skills. Our junior young leader scheme is for ages up to U11, and involves taking on simple yet rewarding ad hoc responsibilities at training sessions and on match days. Our senior programme is open to: players from U12 and above, young men that play in our adult teams, and other young people that are not players.

S87 ET Academy Young Leader Development Programme

Through encouragement and example, normally 2-3 players from each of our associated Club teams will become young leaders; this is a very high proportion that we are very proud of. The senior programme offers a structured framework of development that is flexible in its participation requirements – young leaders choose what type and level of learning they undertake and support they wish to provide. The primary topics that the programme covers are: coaching, team management, match officiating, event organising, and club administration and management.

Progressing from senior to elite takes a lot of commitment and effort, and is dependant upon the amount of support and learning hours undertaken each season. Young leaders who reach the elite level will often advance into either our volunteers or coaches education programmes.

National, regional and county programme honours

  • Graduated Level 4 (Psychology) Coach – 2016
  • Two Graduated Level 3 (YM3) Coaches – 2016
  • Serving member Suffolk FA Committee – 2015
  • English FA National Football Futures Awards – Winner 2014 Coach of the Year
  • Suffolk FA Young Volunteer of the Year – Winner 2014
  • English FA National ’150 Years’ Grassroots Awards – Winner of two medals (out of just 150 awarded by FA President HRH Prince William!)
  • EDF Energy Young Community Volunteer of the Year (Suffolk Sports Awards) – Winner 2013
  • Three founding Suffolk FA WAYS League committee members
  • English FA National Football Futures Awards – Winners 2012 of two categories
  • Suffolk FA Young Leaders Club of the Year – Winners 2012
  • Suffolk FA Young Leaders Mentors of the Year – Winners 2012
  • Suffolk FA Young Volunteer of the Year – Commendation 2012
  • St Edmunds bury Young Volunteer of the Year – Winner 2012
  • Suffolk FA Football Futures Programme – Ambassador Appointment 2012
  • Suffolk FA Youth Council – Committee Member Appointment 2012 and 2013

Educational Trust and Football Club honours

  • Sporting Young Leader of the Year – 2017-18: Stephen Clarke
  • Sporting Runner-up Young Leader of the Year – 2017-18: Harry Tricker
  • Sporting Young Leader Special comendations – 2017-18: Hannah Docking, Matthew Francis, Charlie Landenburger, Thomas Gibson, and Jack Furnell
  • Sporting Young Leader of the Year – 2016-17: Lewis Taylor-Balls
  • Sporting Runner-up Young Leader of the Year – 2016-17: Ben Wicks
  • Sporting Young Leader Special comendations – 2016-17: Stephen Clarke, Harry Tricker and Robert Jones

Programme Manager

Lucy Miles
T. 07541 411095

About the scheme and programme

The FA Football Futures and Suffolk Sport Topleaders development schemes are a major component of our young leader programme, with the Suffolk FA and Suffolk Sport providing formal courses and opportunities for wider experience. To become a young leader express your interest by ticking the appropriate box on the sign on form; you will then be contacted. Otherwise just ask a Club official.

Team assignments

Young leaders interested in developing as coaches are assigned to assist a specific Sporting 87 Junior Youth team, where they are guided and mentored by the team manager.

Community assignments

Our team of young leaders are encouraged to support local events and sports activities within the local community. We have established links with various organisations that engage our young people in running and refereeing football tournaments, supporting school sports days and participating in school fetes, etc.

Media assignments

S87 Media

Opportunities are provided to support the Trust and Football Club in varied communications projects.

Young Leader meetings

These are held throughout the year, providing opportunities to share experiences and make decisions to shape the programme as determined by the participants.


Voluntary effort is rewarded through the FA Football Futures programme, from certification through to awards of coaching kit and even tickets to see England play! Further, the Club rewards Young Leader assistance by providing coaching apparel and affording special privileges. Attainment of formal qualifications and passing Club competency tests lead to opportunities of paid work within and outside of the Club, e.g. refereeing.

Suffolk Sports Award, July 2015

National Coach of the Year, Oct 2014

Suffolk Sports Award, July 2013

S87 Junior Youth World Cup, July 2012

Would you like to be a young leader?

Talk to any current young leader to find out more. You can dip your toes by shadowing a young leader before you commit, and there’s no minimum obligation – learn and help as it suits you.

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