skip navigation

Year End Review - Grassroots Department

By OSA News, 12/16/14, 10:15AM EST


The Grassroots Department has expanded in 2014 and their reach has been felt with significant impact across the province. A number of initiatives have engaged new areas of the province and challenged those in the province to try new development techniques. 

Implementation of the Retreat Line

The world of soccer is evolving and Canadian youth must also evolve with the game. The modern game now evolves around maintaining possession of the ball, with controlled, precise build up play starting with the goalkeeper. Players must understand the right time to play forward and/or backwards. To enable youth players to play this style of soccer they must learn to play through the thirds of the field and have the ability to maintain possession throughout the whole field, while under pressure. Every player on the field must become comfortable in possession of the ball. Possession based soccer should become their default style of play. 

This is a program in the early stages of its developments but the results have already been seen by those who have adopted the Retreat Line into their games.

Schools Program

Getting an education in soccer has never been so easy. The Ontario Soccer Association, through its Grassroots Soccer Development department worked with Bishop MacDonnell Catholic High School in Guelph this summer, to provide 23 students in its Health and Physical Education Soccer Course with instruction in soccer coaching and player development. During the semester the students were taught theoretical and practical approaches in Active Start, Fundamentals and Learn to Train coaching courses. Grassroots has received tremendous response from that program and are now looking at extending it out to other schools. 

Hiring two Grassroots Advisors

The addition of Carl Horton and Ramin Mohammadi as OSA Grassroots Advisors has meant that the department has been able to take their programming to the farthest reaches of the province and has great assisted in rolling out of their popular Grassroots Practices You Can Use resources. Their work, along with Bobby Lennox's work as Grassroots Manager, has ensured Grassroots is one of the most active and engaged departments at the OSA. 

Grassroots Survey

Earlier this year the Grassroots Department under took an effort to understand what young players want and need out of the game so that they are able to properly begin their development as well as learn a love for the game. The results of the survey were fascinating and will serve as a blueprint in their program for years to come.