Toowong FC’s Director of Coaching, Cail Turp, recently shared his experience regarding the progression in football and children playing club, school or both types of football, as we recognise many of the players at club may be attending private schools that have Saturday sport. Here’s what Cail had to say…

I have been involved with both the private school space as a kid and a teacher so have some experience and guidance for most. Additionally, I am now at a State school with a curriculum time (school time) program. 

The first question that I think most should be asking is how committed to football does your child want to be and do they want to progress to the best player they can be. If they are wanting to progress, then the more football the better, club and school. If there is a choice to be made between the school and club I personally would recommend club (whether at Toowong FC or not). 

The main reason is that school football, and particularly private school football, is only one term and about 8 games per year (some of the “A” teams or year 11&12 teams may start training the term before and have some additional games). Club football is over double the length and number of games meaning more football and greater progress). 

I do not degrade the school programs, as I know many are great with good coaches and positive cultures that can also be awesome and build great character (getting marched on with bagpipes and involved in the war cries is something I will always remember and have brought into the schools I have been involved in since). It's just that they are not long enough.

If the answer to the first question is that they just want to have fun and not be as committed, then school football and the exposure to other sports can be great. I was able to be involved with AFL, basketball and volleyball.

If committing to football is the desire, then the second question is can the parents/guardians manage the logistics. This is only something that you can decide yourself. U12 games are usually sometime Saturday while U13 and up are usually Sundays. If the club coach knows in advance that there could be some clashes, then arrangements can be made so the team is not short, such as having an extra player or two in the squad.

There does not need to be a question about if the players can handle the load. They can. It does need to be watched, but the main issue to watch is big peaks and troughs of activity. If club and school coaches communicate, this can be managed. I do this with my school teams, who train 3 times a week with most of my kids training 3+ times a week with their NPL/FQ academy clubs plus their games. Happy to provide specific advice around this anytime. 

If you are after advice on schools (private or state) in relation to football, please let me know. There are quite a few quality state schools that have school-time programs (making the logistics so easy), and their educational outcomes are just as good as some GPS schools (and a lot cheaper).

Cail (Parent, Coach, Director of Coaching at Toowong, Football Academy Director at Cavendish Road SHS) 

Cail Turp, Toowong FC Director of Coaching