NPL Player Handbook

Player Handbook

IntroductionTeam CultureOutline of ProgramApparalIntegrated Talented Player PathwayState and National Championships, Tours and TournamentsPlayer RegistrationTrainingLake Macquarie Regional Football Facility (LMRFF) Game Day SAP and NPLInjury Policy and ProceduresPlayer WelfareCommunication ProtocolMedia and Photography Policy and ProceduresCode of Conduct

The Program

Download the:

2018 NCF NPL Player and Parent Handbook

Selection in an NCF Player Development Squad is a significant achievement; however this is only the start of the journey towards the ultimate goal of being the best player you can be, and even perhaps a professional footballer.

The program is designed to provide players with the opportunity to develop their skills through access to quality coaching, competitive opportunities, and support services.

With this opportunity comes an expectation that all players will commit to the program and demonstrate respect for fellow players, coaches, managers, opposition players, and match officials.

Player / Parent Handbook

This guide has been developed to help familiarise players and parents with various aspects of the program.

The intent is to provide a point of reference (for players, officials, and parents) on matters relating to the NCF Player Development Program. FFA/NNSWF/NCF regulations, policies, statutes, and competition rules will prevail over matters not specifically covered within this guide.

Throughout this guide, references to…
⦁ ‘parent’ should be interpreted to include guardian where appropriate
⦁ ‘year’ should be interpreted as the duration of the season 2018 – 2019
(beginning early October 2018 and concluding late September 2019).

The program aims to provide identified players and coaches with the opportunity to reach their full potential. The success of the program will be partly measured by the number of players and coaches who progress to represent the State teams, Newcastle Jets, Australian Teams and ultimately the Socceroos and Matildas. These also have the aspiration to develop players who have the ability to showcase our region in the world’s biggest leagues and inspire future generations of grassroots players.

All NCF Player Development Program players involved in the Program should strive to meet high standards on and off the football pitch. In representing the NCF Player Development Program, players should be punctual, humble, and gracious – to their team mates, coaches and support staff, their opposition, match officials, and supporters.

The NCF Player Development Program key values are respect, commitment, discipline, integrity, leadership, courage, and humility. All players, coaches and parents should strive to meet high standards in all areas and properly embody the NCF Vision.

It is important that players continually set and evaluate their short-term and long-term goals during the Program. This is important to drive the players’ commitment, discipline, and courage during the season. Players are encouraged to set goals on and off the football field, at school, and at home.

The NCF coaching staff will be continually monitoring players on and off the pitch to ensure that they are fulfilling the team culture to the highest level possible.

Northern NSW Football accepts that the reality is that not all players in the program will have the opportunity to become professional footballers, so we need to ensure that they have other opportunities available for them. By monitoring their general behaviour, we can ensure that they are also setting high standards for their future in other areas.

Skill Acquisition (SAP) Training Phase

Teams within the Skill Acquisition Phase: Boys 10, 11, & 12 Years and Girls 12, & 14 Years.

The Skill Acquisition Phase is also referred to the foundation phase with the main theme based on skill introduction, skill training and skill game. By transitioning the players through these themes, players first learn the skill and then are able to slowly apply the skills into a real game scenario/decision making.

The NCF Skills Acquisition Program is designed to perfect and accelerate the skill development of identified talented players between the ages of 9 and 13 years with developing core skills the main focus:

⦁ Striking the Ball
⦁ 1 v 1
⦁ First Touch
⦁ Running with the Ball

Overall, the purpose of the SAP phase is to improve the technical quality of youth footballers that successfully transition from their current age group to the next age group and ultimately to the Game Training Phase.

Skill Acquisition Player Performance Feedback

The Team Coach and the Technical Director of the NCF Player Development program will endeavour to complete a minimum of 2 player assessments throughout the season on each individual player in the Skill Acquisition phase of the NCF Program. These will be completed at the end of training before the Christmas break and prior to July school holiday break.

The player assessments will relate to the 4 core skills of Skill Acquisition. The purpose of the player performance feedback is to give both players and parents an indication of where the coaches of the program believe the individual is at in their football development and in relation to what is considered the top level Australian footballer in each individual functional game skill.

Each functional game skill will be ranked on a 1-5 scale. It is important to be aware that when the coaches are giving the individual scores for different game skills that it is not a ranking in a squad, but an overall score in relation to all members of the individual players’ age group across Australia.

Game Training (GT) Phase

Teams within the Game Training Phase: Boys 13, 14, 15, and 16 Years

The Game Training Phase is the third of the four stage process identified by the FFA in the National Talented Player Pathway. Game Training follows the Skill Acquisition stage and precedes the Performance stage. The major focal areas of Game Training are:

⦁ The continued technical development, in addition to the prior learning of the Skill Acquisition Phase.
⦁ The first major stage of Team Tactical development.

The program aims to provide the necessary training and competition program required to prepare players for the next stage of development, namely the Performance stage.

By continually challenging players’ technique under decision making pressure, with the progression of bigger numbers and more game related situations, the specific aim of the Phase is to develop the players “Game Understanding”.

This is achieved by implementing the FFA approved Game Training curriculum which includes, but is not limited to, the following areas of team development:

⦁ Ball Possession (BP)
⦁ Playing out from the back, maintaining possession through the thirds of the field, positioning through the midfield, switching play and combination play in attack, creating scoring and 1v1 opportunities.
⦁ Ball Possession Opponent (BPO)
⦁ Disturbing/pressuring, delaying opposition attacks and zonal defending/recapturing the ball.
⦁ Transitioning (BP>BPO and BPO>BP)
⦁ Team and players actions when they lose possession and when they win possession.
⦁ Game Training Player Performance Feedback
⦁ All Game Training players will receive formal feedback a minimum of 2 times during the program.

This is in the form of the FFA standardised position specific player performance sheet.

The purpose of this style of assessment feedback is to provide updates on individual progress, and in turn promote player coach communication and understanding. In addition to the official feedback is the regular coach player/player coach casual communication available within the training/learning environment.

Performance Phase

Teams within the Performance Phase: Boys 16 (transition from GT to Performance Phase towards the end of the program)

The Performance Stage is the final stage of the FFA National Curriculum Training Blocks. This training phase is designed to:

⦁ Prepare teams for a competition environment where winning becomes the main aim
⦁ Shift the training focus to solving football problems, based on match analysis
⦁ Add football conditioning to a key part of the program

With the main focus of the Performance Phase being learning how to perform / win as a team, the coach is very much focused on getting results and therefore training is centred on fixing specific problems with the teams’ tactical performance.

Due to the performance phase main aim shifting from individual development within a team environment (Game Training Phase) to learning how to win as a team. There is likely to be a bigger variance in playing minutes for players, this is due to player performance and coaching decisions being made for what is best for the team.

Performance Phase Player Feedback

All Performance Phase players should receive formal feedback a minimum of 2 times during the program. This is in the form of the FFA standardised position specific player performance sheet.

The purpose of this style of assessment feedback is to provide updates on individual progress, and in turn promote player coach communication and understanding. In addition to the official feedback is the regular coach player/player coach casual communication available within the training/learning environment.

NCF Apparel – SAP

All NCF SAP Players are issued with the following:

NCF SAP Training Kit NCF SAP Playing Kit
1 x Training Shorts 1 x Playing Shorts
1 x Training T-Shirts 1 x Playing Jersey
1pr x Training Socks 1pr x Playing Socks

Please Note: New players will also be required to purchase a polo shirt for $25.

NCF Apparel – NPL

All NCF NPL Players are provided with the following or alternatives:

NCF NPL Training Kit NCF NPL Playing Kit
1 x Training Shorts 1 x Playing Shorts
2 x Training T-Shirts 1 x Playing Jersey
1pr x Training Socks 1pr x Playing Socks
NCF Tracksuit
1x Jacket
1x Pants
NCF Sports Bag
NCF Polo Shirt

North Coast Football will provide all teams with a playing and alternate strip during the season, at this stage these may not be kept by the players at the end of the season. A final decision will be made at a later stage.

North Coast Football will provide all teams with Goal Keepers kits

NCF Goalkeeper Playing Kit
2 x Goal Keeper Shirts
2 x Goal Keeper padded Shorts
2 x Goal Keeper Socks

All NCF players are required to keep all of the above clothing in appropriate condition.

If clothing is damaged or lost players are asked to inform the Operations Manager as soon as possible. Players may be asked to pay for replacement items. Players are asked to clearly label all clothing to prevent items from being misplaced or picked up by other players.

Integrated Talented Player Pathway – Male

Responsibility Elite Teams Competitions 2017
 NNSWF 15 Years 15 Years National Premier Leagues
 NNSWF 14 Years 14 Years National Premier Leagues
National Youth Championships (Sept/Oct)
14 Years NNSW Boys Tournament (June)
14 Year Telstra Cup (April)
 NNSWF 13 Years 13 Years National Premier League
National Youth Championships (Sept/Oct)
13 Years NNSW Boys Tournament (June)
13 Year Telstra Cup (April)
 NNSWF 12 Years State Championships (June)
12 Year Telstra Cup (April)
Monthly SAP Gala Days
NNSWF 11 Years State Championships (June)
Monthly SAP Gala Days
NNSWF 10 Years Monthly SAP Gala Days (Monthly)


Integrated Talented Player Pathway – Female

Responsibility Elite Teams Competitions 2017
 NNSWF 14 Years Monthly SAP Gala Days
National Youth Championships (July)
State Championships (September)
 NNSWF 12 Years Monthly SAP Gala Days
State Championships (September)

NB: there may be other matches and tournaments added during the year that have not been finalised.
Players invited to participate in matches and tournaments will be notified as soon as possible with information and any fees applicable to their involvement.

State and National Championships, Tours and Tournaments

During the year there may be opportunities for some players to be involved in a variety of activities, which are in addition to the regular program scheduling. The additional opportunities will depend on the age group and may change on an annual basis. The majority of additional opportunities are outlined in the “Integrated Talented Player Pathway”.

Some of these events may be residential, and may result in extra costs for the participant as they are not covered within the NCF registration fee. These opportunities are intended to enhance the players’ experiences.

As the NCF Player Development Program continues to grow, North Coast Football is continuously looking for extra opportunities for our players to participate. These competitions will be selected to extend the opportunity for player development and experience. As stated above, these opportunities could change on an annual basis or be tailored to an age group, so it is important that players and parents wait to be informed of the process and the opportunity before pencilling in plans.

The administration process for these tournaments ensures that the players are provided with appropriate food, accommodation, clothing and transport (if applicable). In some cases it can be a long process, and in busy periods needs to be finalised as soon as possible. It is vital that all time lines stated are adhered to by the players and parents to make sure that the appropriate measures are in place, i.e. allergies, dietary requirements, and clothing sizing.

Payment Schedule

Registration payment must be received within the time frame specified to allow you to continue in the program and participate in any NNSW competition fixture.

Player Registration

All players must register online with North Coast Football for the season via the FFA MyFootballClub website. An email with step by step instructions will be sent to each family from the Operations Manager early in the year. Follow these instructions to complete your registration to NCF.

For SAP players only – Providing this process is completed correctly, players wishing to register with their local Club will be able to do so without issue once their Club opens online registrations.

If a SAP player is not joining a local Club, they must contact the Operations Manager for assistance in the registration process.

NPL players will only register and play with NCF and cannot play for local Clubs.

If you need help with your registration

⦁ Visit the FAQ’s page on the MyFootballClub website.
⦁ View the Player Registration guides and videos which are on the Resources page of the MyFootballClub website.
⦁ Call FFA Support Centre (02) 8020 4199 particularly if you are having problems with your password to login.
⦁ The Operations Manager may also be able to assist with MFC registration enquiries.

Payment Schedule

NPL Amount | Due Date

1st Instalment: $550 | 18th November 2017
2nd Instalment: $550 20th February 2018
Balance 30th June 2018

SAP Amount | Due Date

1st Instalment: $350 | 30th November 2017
Balance: | 20th February 2018

Parents who are unable to meet the payment deadlines are strongly encouraged to contact the General Manager to discuss alternative arrangements.

Unfortunately parents who fail to contact NCF or to fulfil their payment obligations risk their children being omitted from the program with immediate effect.

All other enquiries relating to participation fees should be directed to Operations Manager, Ros Linsley

Participation Fee for NPL Includes

– Expertise of Technical Director and Specialist qualified Coaches
– All training and playing apparel NNSWF & FFA Registration and Competition Fees (including NNSWF Sports Injury Protection Scheme – parents to note Policy inclusions)
– Participation in nominated competition/program
– Match Official fees
– Facility hire fees including provision of lights
– Provision of qualified sports trainers and physiotherapists (only – match days)
– Coach transfers to and from all Away Competition venues (mandatory travel requirement)
– Post season Presentation Dinner

Participation Fee for SAP Includes

– Expertise of Technical Director and Specialist qualified Coaches
– All training and playing apparel
– Participation in nominated competition/program
– Match Official fees
– Facility hire fees including provision of lights

Participation Fee Does Not Include

– January Telstra Identification Camp (Boys 13s and 14s)
– Participation in State Championships (Boys 12s & 13s & Girls 12s & 14s) 
– Participation in National Youth Championships (Girls 13/14s & 15s and Boys 13s & 14s)
– Participation in Telstra Youth Challenge (Boys 13s & 14s)
– Additional/replacement apparel
– Supply of strapping tape
– Screening by Physiotherapists
– Participation in any additional tournaments / gala days which are determined beneficial to the player’s development by the NNSWF Technical Director. These opportunities may require accommodation, meals and transport

Inclement Weather Conditions

In the event that training is altered due to inclement weather conditions your Team Manager/Coach will notify all players through the NCF Team App as soon as possible.

Training Schedules

The NCF Player Development training schedule for all age groups will be provided via email by the Technical Director or Operations Manager. Any changes to this program, due to player loading / welfare, rescheduled fixtures, training facility availability etc will be sent by Team App and/or email as early as possible.

Players will also be able to view their training schedule on the NCF Website, which will outline their training focus, practices and requirements for the session. Players should always reference this prior to the session to confirm attendance and reference their session to properly prepare.

Training Expectations

Players must:

– Let the coach know as soon as possible if unable to attend training. Please keep in mind session planning times of at least 4 hours prior to training, this will provide the coach time to modify the session accordingly. Preferably this should be sent by email/text message to the Team Manager for NPL. As a final option, messages can be passed to the Operations Manager. Players must provide a reason for missing training.
– Be at training at least 15 minutes prior to the start time. Players are encouraged to arrive earlier to work on individual core skills prior to training. Players should not use fields if in use by other teams. For other events, times will be determined and relayed to the players.
– Wear the full NCF training kit at EVERY training session, other apparel is not considered part of the NCF Training Attire.
– Bring shin pads, drink bottle, and any personal medical equipment required
– Behave in a responsible and professional manner at all times
– Pay attention to their coach and manager, and follow instructions at all times
– Treat team mates and coaching staff with respect at all times
– Perform to the best of their ability
– Where possible attend physio treatments outside of team training times
– Ensure that all prehab and rehab programs are adhered to. Note – Player game time could be dependent on the player loads during the week preceding a match. This is to prevent player injury and ensure a good preparation for both the team and the individual.

Medical Requirements

Parents are advised that if a player requires a puffer, Epipen, or other medical aids, this will be the responsibility of the parents/player. It will not be the responsibility of the team coach or manager to administer during training practices. If your son/daughter has a potentially serious medical condition (eg anaphylaxis, asthma) we ask that you please advise the Operations Manager via email so that any necessary precautions can be made in an effort to reduce the risk/severity of an emergency situation.

Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility (LMRFF)

LMRFF is the site for all Away NPL matches not being played against Mid North Coast or Northern Inland Football. As all NCF NPL teams will travel by Coach, this information is primarily provided for parents wishing to attend matches.

The LMRFF has been open since January 2015. The new home of football in the Hunter Region is the site of all Away NPL matches against Hunter Region teams. The only other venue attended for NPL will be when playing Football Mid North Coast teams.

The facility has 2 full-sized synthetic fields, one full-sized turf field, and 12 synthetic football fields. It also has a licenced café, and two seminar rooms.

Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility – Sidelines Café

Sidelines Café prides itself on its freshly made barista coffee and fresh products arriving daily. Standard menu items include fruit, salad wraps, and sandwiches.

Sidelines Café is usually open from 4:45pm – 8pm weeknights. Opening hours on weeknights and weekends will vary and are dependent on activity at the facility.

Cold beverages are available from the facility’s vending machines when the café is not open.

Parents Parking at LMRFF

Parents are asked to park their vehicles exclusively in the overflow parking, which is clearly identified on the map below. The Football FIVE5 Leagues are the backbone of the facility’s commercial model and it is therefore essential that commercial customers where possible have access to the parking at the front of the building.

The cooperation of all parents is greatly appreciated.


Game Day – Skill Acquisition Program

Player Expectations

⦁ Confirm attendance to the fixture with your Coach
⦁ Arrive at least 1 hour prior to kick off
⦁ Be dressed in the appropriate NCF apparel when travelling to and from fixtures
⦁ Behave in accordance with the NCF requirements and FFA Player Code of Conduct
⦁ All players, including injured players, must be present unless excused by the team coach.
Parent / Spectator Expectations
⦁ Behave in accordance with the NCF requirements and FFA Parent / Spectator Code of Conduct.
Team Coach Responsibilities and Expectations
⦁ Check attendance
⦁ Arrive at least 1 hour prior to kick off
⦁ Bring appropriate playing strip to fixture (Main or Alternate or preferably both) and collect the strip at the end of the fixture to wash for the next fixture
⦁ Complete team sheet for fixture (if required)
⦁ Be dressed in the appropriate NCF apparel
⦁ Behave in accordance with the NCF requirements and FFA Coach / Team Manager Code of Conduct

Game Day – Game Training (NPL)

Player Expectations

⦁ Confirm attendance to the fixture with your Coach
⦁ For Away Games – Arrive at the Coach Pick up point at least 30 minutes before advised departure time.
⦁ For Home Games 1 hour prior to kick off.
⦁ Be dressed in the appropriate NCF apparel when travelling to and from fixtures
⦁ Behave in accordance with the NCF requirements and FFA Player Code of Conduct
⦁ All players, including injured players, must be present unless excused by the team coach.
Parent / Spectator Expectations
⦁ Behave in accordance with the NCF requirements and FFA Parent / Spectator Code of Conduct.
Team Manager Responsibilities and Expectations
⦁ Check attendance
⦁ Arrive at least 1 hour prior to kick off
⦁ Bring appropriate playing strip to fixture (Main or Alternate or preferably both) and collect the strip at the end of the fixture to wash for the next fixture
⦁ Complete team sheet for fixture (if required)
⦁ Be dressed in the appropriate NCF apparel
⦁ Behave in accordance with the NCF requirements and FFA Coach / Team Manager Code of Conduct

Procedure to follow if you sustain an injury whilst training or during game time:

Seek attention from Sports Trainer/ Physio if possible. If they are not available seek assistance from the team coach or manager
⦁ If the injury is serious or requires medical treatment please ensure you complete an injury form. If there is a Sports Trainer in attendance, they will carry an Injury Log, else please report the injury to the Team Manager.
⦁ If the injury is serious players must see a Doctor and obtain a referral to see the physiotherapist due to the Player Insurance requirements.
2 Assess the injury – does it require rest, or does it need to be assessed by a professional
⦁ Contact a Sports Trainer/Physio to seek further assessment if they were not at the session/fixture.
⦁ Seek further assessment through Advanced Physiotherapy / hospital depending on injury
3 Ensure that your physiotherapist is providing reports of the injury to the coach and/or Technical Director by email after each appointment
⦁ If the injury requires you to miss training and or games you will need to contact the team coach by email / text message.
⦁ Any player that sustains an injury that requires them to miss training will be required to bring a doctor/physio clearance prior to coming back to training or games. This should also include a rehab program from the physiotherapist to bring the player back into training at an appropriate rate.
4 If your injury requires medical treatment you will need to complete a NNSWF insurance claim form within 90 days of sustaining the injury.
⦁ Insurance claim information can be obtained by contacting the High Performance Administrator. Information will be sent to you in an email.

If a player sustains an injury outside of the program (eg at school or home) please notify the team coach and Technical Director as soon as possible to inform them of the injury and how it may impact on training or games.

Please note that injuries sustained outside of the program will not be covered by NNSWF Sporting Injury Protection Scheme

NB: A player must obtain a referral from a doctor in the first instance in order to claim the rebate associated with non-Medicare expenses.

Private Health Insurance

Northern NSW Football and NCF management strongly encourage all players to have suitable private health insurance cover with consideration for physiotherapy, dental, hospital and ambulance cover a priority.

Sports Injury Protection Scheme

For a full outline of the Northern NSW Football sports injury protection scheme please refer to the website below. Please take the time to read the policy Terms & Conditions carefully, paying close attention to
submitting timelines.

Preferred Providers

The NCF Player Development program aim is to provide our players where possible with a holistic development model. Part of this development model is individual injury management, and/or injury prevention program.

In order for the program coaches and players to maintain regular feedback, and communication in this area, we are negotiating to aligned ourselves with the respected professional services listed below. NCF expects this to allow the communication process with all injured players to be streamlined, ensuring that the players and coaches receive detailed and up to date information on the player’s injury and recovery timeframes. The following provider has extensive experience in Sports Physiotherapy and is highly experienced in treating elite athletes. In recognition of the significance of this program our provider has indicated that they will use their best endeavours to provide NCF players with prioritise treatment.

Injury Prevention Program

The NCF Technical Director and physiotherapists have analysed numerous studies amongst professional and amateur leagues specifically looking at the effectiveness of injury prevention programs and injury rate reduction where a program has been introduced into a club.

The purpose of this program is to address modified risk factors for soft tissue/ligament injuries common in footballers such as:

⦁ Reduce muscle tension/spasm prior to training
⦁ Improve range of motion
⦁ Enhance neuromuscular firing patterns/muscular recruitment

The modified injury prevention program will be incorporated into the NCF training/playing schedule during 2017. Players will be guided through the program to ensure that they are performing all activities in accordance with the requirements of the program. The program will be designed to cater for specific age levels and then adapted to the player’s ability and progress.

Players will be asked to monitor their progress during the program and will be outlined by the Player Welfare Analyst directly to the players. This will help ensure that all players are performing to the best of their ability. Each player will be required to provide honest and reliable feedback to ensure that any injuries and overloads are avoided where possible.

Key points for motivation to complete your injury prevention program (at training or home program) are outlined below:

⦁ Proven that increased injury rate = reduced performance in competitions
⦁ Less time out of play = increased chance for football development
⦁ Ease transition between Skill Acquisition, Game Training, NYL and HAL or WWL programs, i.e. attitudes, behaviours, awareness of their body, biometrically strong/efficient.

NCF Musculoskeletal Player Screening with Advanced Physiotherap

The Musculoskeletal Player Screenings are not a compulsory part of the program. However, they are highly recommended by the coaching staff and enable players to know what injuries they could be at risk of e.g. knee injuries. More information about the screening is available from Advanced Physiotherapy.

Preventing Overtraining

Everybody knows the saying ‘No pain, no gain’- that in order to physically improve yourself, it is necessary to push your body, sometimes to its limits.

But what most athletes aren’t aware of is that constantly pushing your body to its limits, without giving it its necessary ‘ingredients for recovery’ can result in a state known as ‘overtraining’.

Overtraining is a prolonged state (think of it being similar to suffering from chronic fatigue), where the body experiences decreased performance and an increased chance of injury. Things such as being stressed (for example, external pressure such as exams), an inadequate diet, dehydration, or training too much without giving your body adequate recovery can all become foundations for overtraining. This becomes all the more important when considering that as you move into elite level programs, the physical strain it places upon you increases.

It is essential to keep an eye out for any signs that you are heading towards overtraining.

The symptoms of overtraining include:

⦁ Feeling washed out- lack of energy
⦁ Mild leg soreness- constant aches and pains
⦁ Decreased appetite
⦁ Loss of competitive drive
⦁ Insomnia
⦁ Decreased immunity (increased number of colds and sore throats)
⦁ Irritability
⦁ Decreased concentration

The best way to prevent overtraining is to give your body its ingredients for recovery. These are generally considered to be three main areas – sleep, adequate passive rest, adequate nutrition and hydration.


⦁ Though this is highly individualised, most athletes require at least eight hours of undisturbed sleep a night.
⦁ Athletes should have one day of passive rest a week.


⦁ A healthy diet is essential for any person, but is vital to an elite athlete. Football players in particular require additional carbohydrates, in particular low G.I, up to 5-10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight.


⦁ Water s another important but often overlooked part of recovery. 1.5 to 2 litres can be lost in sweat in an intense training session.

Periodical Training Load Policy

NCF players must be aware of and in time learn to manage, the training hours and competition hours that they are required to undertake over the course of the year.

The aim of the Periodical Training Policy is to protect players’ welfare and where possible ensure players do not overtrain. This is closely linked to the injury prevention program and enables the head coaches to work together with individual players when planning for the season.

NCF Players will be required to make some choices in relation to how much physical activity is undertaken within and outside the program. Where possible the program will work in line with other identified partners in elite player development.

Players are required to notify their team coach through email of any extra physical activity that they will be taking part in, eg school sport commitments, other sports commitments, and extra individual training.

If the coaching staff, feel that there are too many commitments outside of the program, a player/parent meeting will be scheduled to discuss solutions, to ensure that player development, equity and welfare are meeting the standards set by the program.

Personal Endorsements/Sponsorships

NCF Players are not permitted to seek or allow any personal endorsements/sponsorships without the approval of NCF.

Should you be interested in a Sponsorship deal or have a lead to an organisation you believe may be interested in Sponsorship of the NCF Development Program, please contact the General Manager.

Any sponsorship acquired will assist in minimising the overall cost of the Program and therefore the fees paid by players and their parents.

Communication Protocol

Technical Director (TD) / Operations Manager (OM)

The TD or OM will distribute all relevant information via email to the address provided to NCF. Players are responsible for informing the OM promptly if contact details change.

The information the TD or OM distribute includes, but is not limited to, training schedules, training game / match fixture information, contact details, upcoming tournament details and trial notification and selection emails.

Should you require any further information regarding administration please contact the OM either by phone 02 6651 2159 or by email .

Training and Match Day Communication

The Om and TD are responsible for communication with players engaged within the NCF Programs during business hours. In the event that a training session or fixture is cancelled or changed within business hours, the Om or TD will distribute information by Team App and or email. If a training session or fixture is cancelled or changed at late notice, or outside of business hours the OM or TD will update the details on Team App and will distribute a message to all players.

Changes to NCF training sessions and fixtures will generally not be posted on NCF’s website.

Players and parents are encouraged to communicate directly with the TD or OM in relation to all football related matters. This includes matters related to the training, injuries, absences, and match day. Parents are reminded that Team Coaches are not employees and in the main have full-time jobs outside of football.

Players and parents are asked to be mindful and respectful of the time when contacting NCF staff members including administration, coaches, and team managers. With the exception of an emergency or match days it is generally accepted that contacting NCF Staff should take place between the hours 10am and 6pm. Email correspondence will also be addressed (where possible) within the same period.

Team Managers – NPL Only

Team Managers will be responsible for match day administration, liaising with the opposition and match day officials, preparing the dressing room for game day, ensuring that the dressing room is left in an acceptable condition, and other appropriate tasks related to management of game day.

Team Managers should have no input to Training and Match day on-field processes unless specifically requested by the Coach or Technical Director.

Please note that the communication process can vary marginally from team to team. The communication could be from either the Team Coach or the Team Manager, this will be outlined at the start of the program.

Program Feedback and Complaints Procedures

To provide the opportunity for program feedback and an avenue to address concerns/complaints that may arise, the following processes should be adhered to.

Feedback Procedure

As part of the ongoing development and advancement of the NCF Programs, NCF will distribute an annual survey to players and parents providing an opportunity to submit feedback in regards to the program.

Players and parents are also encouraged to submit feedback (in writing) to NCF at any time during the season. This feedback will be lodged for consideration at the appropriate time.

Complaints Procedure

Should a player or parent wish to submit a complaint, the procedures listed below should be followed (please note that the complaints process can end at any step depending on if the matter is resolved) :

1 Verbal Communication
⦁ Raise the issue with your Team Coach or Technical Director of the program in person

2 Submit in Writing
⦁ If your complaint is not resolved, you should submit it in writing to the Operations Manager. Your complaint will then be referred to the relevant person.

3 Escalation
⦁ If your complaint is still not resolved, it will be forwarded to the Northern NSW Football Operations Manager or NNSWF Technical Director for further consideration

4 Response
⦁ Your complaint will be responded to within 7 working days of receipt and actioned (where possible) within 21 days of receipt

5 Grievance
⦁ If you are not satisfied with the final outcome of your complaint, you may be referred to the FFA Grievance Policy.

Media and Photography/Videography Policy and Procedures

In registering to become an NCF Development Program player, you acknowledge that players could at any time, whilst training or playing, be photographed/videoed by reporters, NCF Staff, NNSWF Staff, FFA Staff and/or other members of the public for football publication. If at any time you become suspicious or uncomfortable with anyone taking photos/video, you must immediately tell your coach or manager. Do not approach this person.

Whether you are satisfied or not satisfied with how the situation was handled, you need to follow the feedback and complaints procedure so that the situation is put on record.

Public Appearances

NCF players are required to wear their NCF polo, tracksuits (Playing shorts may be allowed in certain weather conditions) and joggers when making public appearances that do not require physical activity.

NCF players are required to wear their NCF training apparel when taking part in a public appearance that involves physical activity.

At no stage should players arrive at games, public appearances and/or any media event in thongs, beanies or hats (unless they bear the NCF logo). If this occurs you will be asked to leave the event.

This will be the standard rule unless told otherwise by the Technical Director, your team coach/manager, or the Operations Manager.


Players must wear their NCF training apparel to every training session. Players may be asked to sit out of training if they are not dressed correctly, especially if there are members of the media or NNSWF marketing or NCF Publicity staff present.

Media Appearances / Being Approached by the Media

Media will generally contact NCF or NNSWF Marketing Department in the first instance to arrange player/coach interviews in relation to NCF activities.

In the event that media attend training unannounced, players are not to talk to the media.

Coaches are to contact the Technical Director or General Manager to obtain directions, after obtaining information on the requirements of the media representative. It will then be at the discretion of the Technical Director or General Manager whether an interview with any players will proceed.

Using their discretion in relation to the nature of the interview, the coach/manager on some occasions may comment on behalf of the player.

The significance of some matters will necessitate that only an official comment from NCF General Manger or NCF President will be made. Players, coaches, and managers will make no comment on these occasions.

When selections are announced, some players may be approached by their local paper for comment.

Before you can take part in a media appearance you will need to contact the Technical Director for confirmation. Due to internal processes, player selection may be announced internally before it is announced to the wider public. Once the official announcement has been made, the process to be eligible to take part in media entries will be relatively straightforward but will still need to be approved before the interview can take place.

Social Media Policy

Northern NSW Football’s Corporate Social Media Strategy and Guidelines can be found by following this link to the Northern NSW Football website.

As an NCF player and/or parent you are asked to read the NNSWF Social Media Strategy and Guidelines as it outlines how NCF and NNSWF employees will utilise social media in relation to Northern NSW Football activities and therefore the NCF Player Development program.

Social Media has immense opportunity to promote and recognise the achievements of our young NCF players. However if used irresponsibly and disrespectfully, it can have a significant impact on the professionalism of the program, the players involved, and also the integrity of North Coast Football, Northern NSW Football and Football Federation Australia.

One of the basic stipulations within the Policy is that NCF players and parents are not permitted to post slanderous, profane, discriminatory, obscene, racist or sexist language or images through social media. If this occurs, disciplinary action will be implemented and could have an impact on playing eligibility.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of all NCF players and their parents to ensure that images and social media posts will not have a negative impact on their position within the program, the NCF Player Development program itself, or the partnering organisations in this program namely North Coast Football, Northern NSW Football, and Football Federation Australia.

The National Code of Conduct Applies to all members and governs:

⦁ bringing FFA or football into disrepute, including through discriminatory behaviour, offensive behaviour and incitement of hatred or violence;
⦁ liability for spectator and supporter conduct;
⦁ betting, match-fixing and corruption; and
⦁ disparaging public or media statements.

Codes of Conduct specifically aimed at:
⦁ Players
⦁ Parents
⦁ Spectators
⦁ Coach / Support Staff

Code of Conduct – Players
The National Code of Conduct applies to all players at any playing level
⦁ Play by the rules
⦁ Never argue with an official – if you disagree, have your captain, coach, or manager respectfully and politely approach the official during the break at the appropriate time
⦁ Control your temper – verbal abuse of officials or other players, or deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent is not acceptable or permitted in any sport
⦁ Work equally hard for yourself and your team – your team’s performance will benefit and so will yours
⦁ Be a good sport – applaud all good play whether it is from your team or the opposition
⦁ Treat all players, as you would like to be treated – do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of any other player
⦁ Co-operate with your team coach, team-mates, and opponents – without them there would be no game
Play the game for the fun of it, not just to please parents and coaches.

NCF Player Expectations, Roles, and Responsibilities

When playing football, I will:
⦁ Always play to the best of my ability and for the benefit of my team
⦁ Play fairly – I won’t cheat, dive, complain, or waste time
⦁ Respect my teammates, the other team, the referee and my coach and manager
⦁ Play by the rules, as directed by the referee
⦁ Be gracious in victory and defeat – I will shake hands with the other team and referee at the end of the game
⦁ Listen and respond to the what my coach/manager tells me
⦁ Understand that a coach has to do what is best for the team and not one individual player.
I understand that if I do not adhere to the programs expectations and requirements, any/all of the following actions may be taken by the NCF management or Northern NSW Football;
I may:

⦁ Receive a verbal caution from the team coach
⦁ Receive a verbal caution from the Technical Director
⦁ Receive a written caution from NCF or Northern NSW Football
⦁ Be subject to further disciplinary action as determined by NCF or NNSWF
⦁ Be required to leave the program.

Code of Conduct – Parents

The National Code of Conduct applies to all parents at any playing level:
⦁ Respect the rights, dignity, and worth of others
⦁ Remember that your child participates in sport for their own enjoyment, not yours
⦁ Focus on your child’s efforts and performance rather than winning or losing
⦁ Never ridicule or yell at children for making a mistake or losing a game
⦁ Applaud good performance and effort by all players – when watching a game congratulate both teams upon their performance regardless of the outcome
⦁ Show respect for your team’s coach, the referee, and opponents – without them there would be no game
⦁ Demonstrate appropriate behaviour by not using foul language and not harassing administrators, coaches, players, or referees
⦁ Condemn the use of violence at all times
⦁ Teach your child that an honest effort is as important as victory, so that the result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment
⦁ Be a model of good behaviour for children to copy
⦁ Respect officials’ decisions and teach children to do likewise
⦁ Do not physically or verbally abuse or harass anyone associated with the sport.

NCF Parents Expectations, Roles, and Responsibilities

We all bear a collective responsibility to set a good example and help provide a positive environment in which children can learn and enjoy the game. Play your part and observe the Emerging Jets expectations, roles and responsibilities for spectators at all times:

I will:
⦁ Remember that children play for enjoyment as well as competition
⦁ Applaud effort, fair play, and sportsmanship
⦁ Respect match official decisions at all times
⦁ Be positive and provide encouragement, not criticism
⦁ Recognise the position of the coach and respect his/her philosophies and methods
⦁ Not give coaching directions to players
⦁ Never engage in or tolerate offensive/insulting/abusive language or behaviour
⦁ Remain behind the touchline and within the designated spectator areas (where provided).
I understand that if I do not follow the parent’s code of conduct, any/all of the following actions may be taken by the NCF management or Northern NSW Football… I may be:
⦁ Issued with a verbal caution from the Team coach
⦁ Issued with a verbal caution from the Technical Director
⦁ Required to have a formal meeting with the General Manager and Technical Director
⦁ Issued with a written caution from NCF or Northern NSW Football
⦁ Subject to further disciplinary action as determined by NCF or Northern NSW Football.
Code of Conduct – FFA Spectator Code of Behaviour
A spectator at a match or otherwise involved in any activity sanctioned or staged by, or held under the auspices of FFA, a Member Federation, a District Association or a Club must:
⦁ Respect the decisions of match officials and teach children to do the same
⦁ Never ridicule or unduly scold a child for making a mistake
⦁ Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, race, colour, religion, language, politics, national or ethnic origin
⦁ Not use violence in any form, whether it is against other spectators, team officials (including coaches), match officials or players
⦁ Not engage in discrimination, harassment or abuse in any form, including the use of obscene or offensive language or gestures, the incitement of hatred or violence or partaking in indecent or racist chanting
⦁ Comply with any terms of entry of a venue, including bag inspections, prohibited and restricted items such as flares, missiles, dangerous articles, and items that have the potential to cause injury or public nuisance
⦁ Not, and must not attempt to, bring into a venue national or political flags or emblems (except for the recognised national flags of any of the competing teams) or offensive or inappropriate banners, whether written in English or a foreign language
⦁ Not throw missiles (including on to the field of play or at other spectators) and must not enter the field of play or its surrounds without lawful authority
⦁ Conduct oneself in a manner that enhances, rather than injures, the reputation and goodwill of FFA and football generally.
Any person who does not comply with the Spectator Code of Behaviour or who otherwise causes a disturbance may be evicted from a venue and banned from attending future matches.

Code of Conduct – Coach/Manager

This National Code of Conduct applies to all Coaches and Managers at any playing level:
⦁ Remember children participate for their enjoyment – winning is only a part of the fun
⦁ Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake or losing
⦁ Be reasonable in your demands on young player’s time, energy, and enthusiasm
⦁ Teach your players to follow rules
⦁ Whenever possible, group players to ensure that everyone has a reasonable amount of success
⦁ Ensure that equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate to the age and ability of your players
⦁ Avoid overplaying the talented players – the average players need and deserve equal time
⦁ Develop team respect for ability of opponents and for the judgement or officials and opposing coaches
⦁ Follow the advice of a physician when determining when an injured player is ready to recommence training or competition
⦁ Keep up to date with the latest coaching practices and the principles of growth and development of the child.