It's important for every football club to have ambition and equally important to have players with drive. Over the past 10 seasons of competitive football, the club's teams have reached just two Cup finals and finished in the top two league places just 3 times. To attract better quality players, this is something we have to improve on.
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS: 1. Bear in mind individual objectives as well as team objectives. 2. Coaches and players can be more direct and focused when it comes to making decisions, where that improves the chances of the team winning. 3. Incorporate explicitly language related to winning in the Code of Conduct. 4. Explore best ways to create a positive pre-match atmosphere. 5. Keep End of Season Awards and change individual trophies to 'perpetual' trophies held by the club.
Question 1: What are your personal, footballing goals and how can Wanderers help you achieve that?
This question allowed respondents to express their own views in their own words. These have been grouped into responses which are predominantly personal or collective.
To have a positive impact on the culture of the club.
It would be great to help the club win something and put smiles on people’s faces who have worked really hard for it. A Wanderers’ cup final day, a constant look at the league table to see if we can win the league, those sort of things are what drives me.
Play and win football matches.
Win a league title and win a cup.
I want to be back playing competitively, we need a proper training pitch with goals, someone who understands fitness to take this seriously and a coach who can support our growth in becoming better at skills.
To play as much football as I can before a life event comes in the way (age, children, injury etc). Wanderers can help me by ensuring as much football is organized before then!
Trying to improve my football and stay in shape.
Happy to be back playing in a club but probably get stronger.
Enjoy playing football on a weekly basis.
Become more confident on the pitch.
To enjoy the game and try to play with a smile on my face.
To lose weight and tone up and eventually start playing football at a higher level.
To turn up weekly improve my fitness and catch up with my friends.
Getting better through regular, effective training sessions.
Provide more assists while maintaining defensive solidity (play more as RB/LB).
I would like to receive consistent professional coaching to improve skill and confidence.
There were two comments which could have been assigned to either category;
"Being able to play competitively with people I enjoy being around, whilst balancing family commitments."
"To enjoy my football, Wanderers helps me achieve that already. I want us to be more intentional about improving and creating the conditions for everyone to improve their game."
These results are inconclusive as to what internal motivation is most prevalent. It would be fair to say that, even as part of a team, individual goals are still an important consideration.
OUTCOMES: Coaches should keep in mind that players will have personal and collective goals. The club can support coaches in their work with players by providing some cue questions to help them identify similar individual goals, which could result in closer collaboration.
Question 2: How important is winning matches to you? Alternatively, how competitive are you?
There were ten options from least competitive (1) to most competitive (10).
It's clear to see that the club has far more competitive players than 'social' players. 78.1% of players rated themselves as 6 or higher with 60.8% at 8 or higher.
OUTCOMES: The club can afford to be more decisive and focused when it comes to ensuring that the teams are competitive. This will ensure continued engagement amongst the majority of players.
Question 3: What one thing could you do to help the team you play for win more games?
You can add more than one thing, but try to choose the most important thing.
This was another question which allowed for players to make their own responses. This have been grouped into the following categories with one keyword from each sentence;
Turn up more - frequently, availability, train x3, more, commitment, available
Speak honestly - skirting, learn, positions, compete
Build relationships - valued, chemistry
Do more exercise - fitter, shape, fit
Communicate clearly - understands, voice
Change my psychology - mentality, lead, brave
Deliver coaching - tactical
...to help the team win more games."
OUTCOMES: These seven groups could be incorporated more explicitly in the Code of Conduct players sign up to at the start of the season.
Question 4: Which of the following things make you feel more confident that the team can win?
The mental state of a team is often set before the game even starts. The right preparation can make the difference between winning and losing. These are the top 5 pre-match priorities for our players;
A full squad of players (13+) 87.0%
Positive atmosphere before the game 73.9%
Right players in the right positions 69.6%
Tactical coaching at training 65.2%
Everyone arriving on time 60.9%
OUTCOMES: Availability and time-keeping are important but attention should be paid to creating the right atmosphere before matches and what this looks like should be further investigated.
Question 5: If a player joins the club who plays a similar position to you and who you believe has better abilities than you, how does that make you feel?
More competitive players can sometimes feel more threatened when a new player who plays in the same position joins the team. Inevitably, to improve, a team needs to bring in better players.
benefit; better; commitment; compete; confident; contribute; fight; first; great; harder; improve; learn; limits; merit; motivate; participate; perform; push; quality; regularly; skill; try; welcome; willing; work
accept; choice; competition; fair; fine; football; involved; learning; leisure; maintain; patient; position; purpose; question; ready; selection; starts; team; training; young
annoyed; disappointment; problems; threatened; wrong
Outcomes: There is a clear consensus that players understand that better players are necessary, a willingness to compete for selection, and a clear message that selection must be a balance between commitment and skill - players of a better ability must still train, or else issues within the squad will occur.
Question 6: How should Wanderers recognise individual success? (End of Season Awards event; Individual trophies; Other physical prizes; Cash rewards; Recognition from manager or volunteers; Social media posts; Named on the Wanderers website; Other)
We always want to recognise commitment and success. In the past, Wanderers issued handmade shields and velvet caps to players who passed the 50 and 100 competitive matches thresholds respectively. These items are not as readily available any more and new approaches should be found. There had, anecdotally, been some push back on physical trophies so this question intended to find those new approaches and test whether anecdotal evidence was more widely shared.
🥳 End of Season Social 69.6%
🔊 Public recognition from managers / volunteers 47.8%
👍 Publicity on social media 47.8%
🔗 Named on the Wanderers website 39.1%
🏆 Individual trophies 34.8%
🏅 Physical prizes, other than trophies 21.7%
Outcomes: The annual social remains the most popular way of sharing individual and collective success. From previous questions, we know that greater visibility on social media needs to improve. Most interestingly, only a minority wanted individual trophies, so this may have to be changed to cups held by the club that players can have photos taken with rather than trophies they have to take home.