Touchline parents: the next time you are tempted to shout yourself hoarse at your son or daughter as they fail to perform like Lionel Messi on Saturday morning, bear this in mind: the bloody pitch is too big!
Why? Er, well, they're designed for fully grown adult footballers, right! It ain't rocket science.
But for some reason, England's youth coaching set-up insists on our barely 5ft-tall boys and girls booting a ball around a pitch designed for near six-footers.
No wonder they often run out of steam before they can put toe to ball.
Unfortunately, England are one of the few footballing nations that don't grasp the counter-productivity of making youngsters play on full-size pitches as soon as they hit the pivotal U11 bracket – which is believed to be one reason why our national side is so woeful.
And to make the point, the Sussex County FA – along with former footballer Steve Hodge – organised an adults' game on a giant 200-yard pitch with 10-feet high goals to demonstrate exactly what it's like for an 11-year-old to play on an adult pitch.
In this very funny but informative YouTube video, few found it much fun taking corners which couldn't reach the area, or being left completely in the wilderness on the opposite side of a giant pitch away from all the action, or running the equivalent of a Mo Farrah marathon over the course of the game.
Story continues after the video...
Clearly, it's time for the English FA to take note – but also for shouty touchline parents to give their hard-running kids a break...
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