End of Season Football and Netball Update

As we come to the end of the football and netball season, we reflect on the progress and improvements made over the last few months. Although there have been no competitive fixtures, the time has been invaluable to rebuild and set the foundations for the 2021-22 season and the future of Netball and Football at Fulneck School.

During the Autumn term it was great to see the students enjoying their football and netball once again after an uncertain time over the last 12 months. We started implementing our pre-season fitness programme alongside working hard on ball familiarity through small, conditioned games. All players should be extremely pleased with the progress they made during the first term back and it is unfortunate we were not able to play any competitive fixtures this term to complement their efforts and dedication. We look forward to starting the 2021-2022 season with a little more normality with a full programme of competitive fixtures. Please stay active over the summer break and remember to continue working on your core skills!

Year 3 and 4
In Years 3 and 4, our girls have developed the fundamental skills of passing, footwork and shooting. We have gained an awareness of positions and applied the rules to develop our knowledge of the game. The girls are improving on combining the fundamentals and are starting to work together as a team to get the ball through court to goal.

Our focus this year in football has been to develop confidence by improving all players ability to use a push pass accurately, using both our right and left feet. To dribble the ball effectively by keeping the ball close to the feet and changing direction of the ball, whilst keeping control has also been a developmental area this term.

Year 5 and 6
In Years 5 and 6, the girls have begun to develop a range of movement skills and built to secure fundamentals of passing, landing and shooting. We have started to apply these skills to different attacking and defensive situations. How we move to change direction has been a focus and this work is now being translated onto the court, making us more effective at evading defence in order to get to goal.

Our focus this year in football has been to begin to develop an understanding of key positions in football and begin to look at styles of play to create space on the pitch. Whilst working hard on the core skills, our main emphasis has been on playing with their heads up and scanning before making decisions on when or who to pass to.

Year 7 and 8
In Years 7 and 8, our girls have homed in on the technique of passing and they have continued to develop movement skills in relation to the principles of attack and defence. Strength and fitness start to play more of a part as the physicality of the games increase. We have worked on movement that is effective on and off the ball to improve the transition in play from attack to defence.

Our focus this year has been to develop the players ability to ‘pass and move’ during competitive small, sided games. To develop a greater understanding of styles of play and to not only decide on when/who to pass to, but to begin to think about movement following the pass to give an option or ‘Green Light’ to other players.

Year 9 and 10
Year 9 and 10 have extended their versatility of ball handling and passing and applied these to different contexts. We have worked together to create situations to test and practise attacking and defensive strategies aiming for execution which is effective and consistent. Strength and fitness has improved and competitive contest for ball has started to become evident in game play.

Our focus this year has been to develop all players ability to make decisions quickly and effectively, in order for us to build play from defensive areas and create scoring opportunities by utilising space effectively.

With thanks
A special thanks to Coach Mark for all his hard work and efforts to enhance the Netball programme at Fulneck School in such challenging times. Mark has worked alongside every age group at Fulneck School and provided high quality, engaging sessions each week which have challenged and enthused our students. On behalf of the girls, I would like to say thanks and I hope there will be more opportunities in the future for our girls to work with Mark and Elite Netball Academy.

A collective thank you from all football players at Fulneck goes to Nathan Clarke, who has planned and delivered excellent sessions this season. The students are very lucky to be able to take part in and learn from the experience that Nathan brings to Fulneck and they have thoroughly enjoyed their football this year – albeit with no competitive fixtures!

Looking forward
Although we are changing our focus as we move into summer sports, we feel it is still important to keep the girls ticking over by providing an extra-curricular netball session over the summer months. We will work to maintain the skills developed leading into an important pre-season before our return to full competitive Netball in September 2021.

In all age groups we have worked hard on improving individual fitness and core skills with an emphasis on the tactical element of football. We would like all players to stay active over the next few months and wherever possible have a ball at your feet. Have a go at developing individual skills such as the ‘Stepover Turn’, ‘Cruyff Turn’ or other ideas such as ‘Kick Ups’ or ‘Around The World’. These skills are all online so have a go, they’re great fun! We will also be running an extra-curricular football club on a Wednesday evening throughout the Summer term.

Wider development
As performance sports at Fulneck School we encourage as many of our students as possible to extend their love of Netball and football outside of school. We are extremely lucky to have many high quality, competitive clubs in our region. Most clubs take students from Years 3 - 11 offering one training night and in most cases playing competitively on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Below is a list of Clubs and the areas they are based. If you are interested in your son/daughter playing Netball or Football outside of school, please contact Miss Sutcliffe (Head of Netball) or Mr Potter (Head of Football) for details on CSE@fulneckschool.co.uk or AJP@fulneckschool.co.uk


  • Leeds Athletic (LANC) - Leeds
  • YMCA - Leeds
  • Fusion - Leeds
  • Birkenshaw Bells - Birkenshaw, BD11
  • Whitcliffe Warriors - Mirfield
  • Wakefield Wildcats - Wakefield
  • Rothwell - Morley, Wakefield
  • Huddersfield Giants - Huddersfield
  • Yorkshire Terriers - Halifax
  • Twinkles - Halifax
  • Shipley Swifts – Bradford
  • Rothwell Town AFC
  • Pudsey Juniors AFC
  • Garforth Rangers AFC
  • Farsley Celtic FC
  • Leeds Juniors FC

Finally, a big well done to all students for their commitment and high levels of engagement in this year’s programme. Despite the absence of competitive matches there has been an abundance of motivation and enjoyment in each session, and we hope all students have found the year of development useful. We look forward to a full competitive season next year and the opportunity for our students to demonstrate the potential they have shown.

Thank you for your continued support.

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