Learn to take responsibility for your career. We often call or write to YOU. You then should reply and take responsibility. If you do this in life you will do it on the football field. Some matters are the responsibility of your parents or guardians and we will contact them on these matters.

When at training or matches and when you are away from the shadow squad obey the important club rules on nutrition and bed times.

When asked to do something, please do it without question. Later if you wish to ask why we do things in a certain way you will have it explained to you. We encourage discussion.

Never question the match officials or make comments no matter how much they strain the patience. We can have our opinions in the changing room but never publicly. It does not matter what the opposition players or spectators do, shouting out during fixtures is forbidden from parents and spectators but unfortunately this does sometimes happen.  The only instruction you take is from your coach.

Get in the habit of cleaning your own boots and packing your own bag.

Bring the correct equipment to training and matches.

After matches shake hands with opponents and match officials.

All players shower after training and matches if showers are available. Bring flip-flops, towel and washing gear.

Always leave the changing rooms and transport litter free.

Take pride in being a very professional unit. It works!

If you need to find out something from the coaches please ensure YOU call them yourself.

We have high standards at the FDS-West Brom Shadow Squad both on and off the field. All players are expected to follow the code of conduct when representing the Shadow Squad.

When representing the shadow squad wear the club tracksuit. You may on certain occasions be asked to wear shirt and tie.

When you meet people whilst representing FDS-West Brom look them in the eye and shake hands and greet them. People often judge you and us on appearance and manners.

Shake hands with your coach and staff on arrival and departure.


One of the pleasures in having a son/relative talented enough to play in an set-up such as FDS-West Brom is that the boys are not continually caught up in the chase for cups, medals and leagues but can enjoy a pressure free environment where development of their potential is the key. The art of winning and the ability to handle pressure is taught on tours and in top competitions, but our main aim is to bring out the best in every player.

We want you to enjoy the FDS-West Brom experience as much as your son/relative and so ask you to help us in this exciting task by doing the following:

Read the Players code of conduct and encourage your son to follow it.

At matches never comment to match officials or get into dispute with other people watching.

The players may have specific instructions at matches or be playing new formations and trying out new things. Please do not shout out instructions and advice to players at matches as these may well be the opposite of tactics decided before the game by the coach. Parents/spectators are forbidden from shouting, commenting or giving an opinion vocally towards any player, coach or official during a fixture or training session.

The changing rooms and adjacent areas are for players and staff only. Please respect this.

At matches one side is for supporters and the other for players and staff. Please observe this.

When we play professional clubs, games are often in thirds not halves and players can be bio banded. The games are for development purposes. In professional football there are no leagues or cups or published results. The result is not as important as the performance.

Please try to leave the coach as free as possible on a training night and training and match day. Their first priority is to the players. The worst time to discuss a players progress is at these times.

Please watch our matches and training, but please only observe.  If a session is inside the training is strictly players and coaches only. If you drop them and return rest assured that coaches will never leave until the last player has been collected.

We have a really happy atmosphere at the FDS-West Brom Shadow Squad. We are all approachable coaches and our players are a credit to us all on and off the pitch. Please enjoy it as much as we do and relax in the knowledge that your son is doing something he loves every week in a caring and responsible environment.


Players need to arrive in their FDS-West Brom tracksuit. If they are waiting for one a plain tracksuit will be fine for now. Players must NOT turn up in training kit under any circumstances. We appreciate the travel demands required, if you can lift share within your squad then that would be of great help. Any introductions required please ask the coaches.  Players are required to stay behind after every fixture for their de brief, parents are not to take the players away straight after a fixture has finished, it is a very important part of development as is the preparation before kick off times – we aim for players to arrive before a fixture 45min to 1 hour prior and depart 45mins to 1 hour after the final whistle.

Home Fixtures

When we play our home fixtures at Montsaye College, Rothwell players are expected to make their own way there.

Away Fixtures

Where possible we will provide transport. As you can appreciate with the geography of our players sometimes this means it is not possible to provide this. Where we do provide transport it is important players travel with the squad to aid preparation and team spirit.




Players need all the kit on the kit list. However, if you want to buy it over a couple of months that is fine. It makes a big difference in how the boys look at fixtures and at training. Any kit which is currently out of stock will have an approximate deliver time of 3 weeks. As soon as it comes in, we will distribute it via development centre sessions.  The black match kit is needed as this is the strip we play in.

Kit List

FDS/West Brom Tracksuit – Black

FDS/West Brom Match Kit (Yellow, Blue and White socks)

FDS-West Brom training kit (Blue)

FDS-West Brom rainjacket (black)
Shin Pads
Astros – indoor
Boots – outdoor (grass and 3/4G)
Football Socks (white)
Healthy/Football Snacks Quick energy release snacks to have in between games (Jaffa cakes, cereal bars, wine gums)
Refillable Drinks bottle
Note Pad
Towel/Shower Gel
Flip flops/Sliders
Healthy Packed Lunch (Fixtures)

The FDS-WBA.F.C Shadow Squads use the following venues:

Harbrough Town – 3G Astro and Grass pitches
West Bromwich Albion Training Ground – Indoor full size 4G astro


Players need to take ownership of the following areas if they want to achieve their best in their football career

Practice and improvement – make sure they are working to improve at home on their touch, fitness, skill, speed (look at FDS practice page under Coaching on the website). These are the foundations of our programme and players should know the names of skills, the different ladder exercises and footwork on the ball to develop foot speed – please look at twitter and facebook as we have uploaded an article from FourFourTwo magazine about how street football in England is dead – your sons probably couldn’t get enough friends for a mini match if they knocked on 20 houses so they NEED to practice on their own as above
Packing their own bag – the boys need to learn how to do this (most will need parents help to start with) it also makes sure they have everything.

Carrying their own bag!

Bringing a healthy packed lunch – this fuel is really important, no biscuits, chocolate or crisps (for more information on the type of fuel the boys need please look at the Nutrition, Hydration & Sleep page on the website)

Travelling in comfort – the boys travel in tracksuits to make sure they have something clean, dry and comfortable to travel in. They also need travel in cotton/sports socks and a cotton t-shirt NOT FDS-West Brom training shirt which may be needed to play in and will be sweaty and unhygienic to travel home in after a shower. The reason they don’t travel in football socks is that they are great for football but make your feet sweat a lot which can cause blisters if you wear them for too long. You need to get ready in the changing rooms which is an important part of preparation.


There are a lot of time and energy demands placed upon FDS-West Brom Shadow Squad players. With training, practice, matches and travel, players are taking a lot of energy out of their bodies, which needs to be replaced in the best way possible. This is important for a number of reasons;

playing and training performance
prevention of illness and injury
learning and improvement

If players have better energy levels they are able to perform at a higher work rate for longer, which will improve their fitness levels. The right type of energy also helps players with concentration, which is important for both performance and learning. By making sure that energy levels are high, players also reduce the risk of being run down, which is when illness, infection and injury are most likely to happen. The right energy also provides the best fuel to help the body to grow, which is a very important issue in young footballers. There are many reasons therefore to consume the right fuel. This also includes drinking the right amount of fluids. This has the same effects as having the right energy.

In a footballer’s diet the most important form of energy is CARBOHYDRATE. This allows players to practice and play at a high tempo. PROTEIN is important for growth and muscle repair, but is not required in large quantities and FAT helps with energy at low work rates, but with the focus on high intensity, quality practice at FDS, CARBOHYDRATE is the best fuel for this purpose. This is also beneficial for a healthy balanced diet, as CARBOHYDRATE FOODS contain lots of vitamins and minerals to help with general health as well.

Footballers require approximately two thirds (60 – 70%) of their energy from carbohydrate, a quarter from fat (25%) and a tenth (10%) from protein. It is important to remember when looking at this that gram for gram fat contains more energy than either carbohydrate or fat, so you need fewer grams of fat to get the same energy.

In addition to fuelling yourself with the correct energy, it is important that players eat a balanced diet. The 5-a-day message of 5 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day is very useful because this helps players to take in vitamins and minerals. They also help with the intake of fibre which is essential for general health.

CARBOHYDRATE RICH FOODS: Pasta, Rice, Bread, Fruit, Vegatables, Lentils, Cereal, Fruit Yoghurt

PROTEIN RICH FOODS: Meat,Eggs, Cheese, Milk, Fish, Beans, Tofu, Nuts, Yoghurt

FAT RICH FOODS: Butter, Chocolate, Biscuits, Cakes, Nuts, Eggs

Fluids are equally important for players. Players need to consume approximately 2 litres per day. The reason for this is that with the demands placed on the players, they will sweat a lot and require a lot of water to produce energy. In the course of a day they also lose fluid through urination and through water vapour lost when breathing. It is also interesting to note that the average person loses nearly 0.5 litre of fluid while they are asleep each night, through sweating and breathing. Players also need to make sure whatever they lose in a session or match that they drink 1.5 times this amount, because they will also lose water through urine loss.

Frequently asked questions?

Q. What should I eat and drink before a game?

A. Before any game or event it is important to maximise your body’s carbohydrate stores. Start the day with a good high carbohydrate breakfast e.g. toast, cereal, orange juice.

2-3 hours before the game or event have a light high carbohydrate meal e.g. jacket potato & tuna, pasta and tomato based sauce, beans on toast. Make sure your meal is low in fat as a high fat meal can slow down the absorption of carbohydrate. Breakfast is often your last meal before the game so this pre-match meal would be good the night before a game.

Some athletes feel the benefit of a high carbohydrate snack 1-2 hours before the game/event e.g. bananas, cereal bars (make sure you train with this before you try it out!)

Have a drink prior to the game. 300-400ml or 1/2-pint to make sure you are fully hydrated. On the journey to the game make sure you have a drinks bottle with you and that you are drinking at regular intervals.

Q. What should I eat or drink during the game/event?

A. Try to prevent rather than cure. You should try to drink enough to offset any weight loss during the event. As a rule of thumb for every 1kg you lose during an event replace with 1.5 litres of liquid. A sports drink contains carbohydrate and sodium (salt), which can help with fluid absorption.

Q. What should I eat or drink after an event?

A. Eating after the event is a window of opportunity to refuel your muscles carbohydrate store. Pick high carbohydrate food like, jelly babies, bananas, wine gums, sandwiches or a sports drink. These will be absorbed quickly. Continue to eat plenty bread, cereal and potato goods over the next 24 hours.


Improve SLEEP to improve performance

Players need a minimum of 8-9 good hours sleep per night – younger players will need more especially when they are growing
Sleep is for the brain, not the body
Quality sleep is necessary for us to perform at our best
Regular bed times and regular wake times will help improve sleep quality
Improving sleep will improve performance
Make time for sleep


Performance is more important than the result – the big picture and a long term approach is more important

Encourage our players to express themselves – We ask our teams to play from the back, and through the thirds of the pitch with the aim of developing attacking play and creating chances, this makes our play deliberate and not by chance and the mistakes of others

Match Marks

Our match marks system works on the basis that 7 out of 10 is professional club standard. Above that is a good/excellent professional level performance. Below that are there are things missing that need to be worked on. If the boys would like their match mark explained they are encouraged to speak to the coach themselves and take responsibility for getting better.