Football at Chigwell
Football at Chigwell is for everyone. We are proud to fulfil our philosophy of encouraging as many pupils as possible to represent the School by utilising our enviable playing facilities.
For Years 7 to 13 the game is mainly played during the Michaelmas term, where we regularly field thirteen teams; five seniors XI’s and A&B teams at U12, U13, U14 and U15 level. As a medium-sized school, we compete to the best of our ability against a variety of schools including Bradfield, Westminster, Hampton and local rivals Forest.
The 1st XI have an extensive fixture card and compete in the prestigious Boodles Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) Cup as well as the ISFA Sixes competition, which Chigwell hosted and in which they were runners up in 2014. In 2015 the 1st XI were runners up in the plate competition. The U16As enter the ISFA small schools shield and reached the semi-finals in 2011 and 2012, and won the tournament in 2013, beating Abbey Gate School from Chester in the final. Both the U15As and the U13As enter the Rensburg Sheppards ISFA cup – in 2014, the U13 team reached the final, where they unfortunately were beaten by Whitgift School. The U13s also enter the IAPS Sixes and we have enjoyed a very successful record in the competition. In 2013, the U13 team won the Eastern regional round and were runners up to Millfield in the final at the national finals held at Shrewsbury School.
Alongside school teams, 95% of boys in the School will compete for their respective House during house football week. Football development tours are held annually and in recent years there have been five tours to Valencia, one to Cyprus and three to Barcelona. Visiting teams from all over the world also come to Chigwell to play against our teams, and recent visitors have included teams from Australia, Japan and the USA.
After leaving Chigwell, many boys continue with their football, playing for the Old Chigwellians or representing their university. The traditional School versus OCs fixtures take place on Shrove Tuesday every year.
Our large site includes nine full sized pitches, three 9v9 junior pitches, eight 7v7 junior pitches and an Astroturf. Leyton Orient FC use the Old Chigwellian’s Clubhouse and the school’s pitches as their training base, whilst we regularly host fixtures and tournaments for Essex County FA, Essex Schools FA and the English Schools FA (ESFA).
The School was awarded ISFA Focus School status in 2009. This allows us to develop further, with support from ISFA, our own football development programme which is delivered to our local state and independent schools. This includes our annual U9 and U11 festivals for local primary and prep schools, INSET courses for teachers, and development opportunities for young leaders. In 2016 the school was accredited Junior Hub School. The ISFA Junior Hub School Programme is designed to be a partnership between ISFA and the Hub School in order to enhance the football provision available for boys and girls under the age of 11 and we are proud to be a part of that.
In the Junior School we have an inclusive policy whereby all boys from Years 3 to 8 will have the opportunity to represent the School. We aim to produce technically competent players through an athlete-centred and developmental approach, as opposed to the win at all costs mentality. We have implemented a skills based curriculum at younger age group (Years 3 and 4) based around the 4v4 game, whilst in Years 5 and 6, 6v6 and 7v7 is our preferred format. In 2010, we introduced 9v9 in Year 7 which has been a huge success to bridge the gap between mini-soccer and the adult game.
The coaching staff at Chigwell is made up of FA qualified teachers ranging from level 1 through to level 4 with extensive experience. These staff guide and support the many other enthusiastic teachers involved in the game. Micky Payne is FA ‘A’ licensed coach and is an England ‘C’ team coach whilst head of football, Andrew Bruce, is a UEFA ‘B’, Level 3 coach with an expanse of experience in Football Academy’s and professional football environments.
A number of boys have represented the ISFA at various age groups in recent years, whilst we also have a number of alumni who are currently playing in the professional game including England U21 and MK Don’s Jordan Spence, and Ipswich Town’s, Darren McQueen. Three pupils since 2006 have represented England U16s whilst still at Chigwell.
Girl’s football runs mainly in the Trinity term. Chigwell now have a competitive fixture list which includes Haleybury, Forest and a like. The philosophy is to get girls involved and therefore the majority of girls in the year group are encouraged to play in fixtures.
Chigwell has recently been recognised for its growing girls football programme, with an accreditation of ISFA Girls Community Hub School. The girl’s football has grown exponentially in the last two years and the school now provides U11, U12, U13, U15 and senior teams. This programme has developed individual success with girls now at professional academies such as Leyton Orient and Chelsea. The numbers that represent ISFA in regional and National competitions has also flourished.