The FA is ready to unfurl a new player registration system for the grassroots community following the resounding success of a pilot scheme.
Having listened to feedback from clubs, leagues and volunteers, we've developed the Club Portal system to make completing your football administration faster and easier.
The new system has been trialled in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey since last summer and has paved the way for a national rollout, which will commence in March.
The Club Portal system has also been optimised to do away with loading pages and is now paper-free, making it greener and more sustainable.
The new user-friendly interface makes it much easier to navigate and also allows users to download squad lists as well as eradicating the issue of duplicate profiles.
We'll be offering online training and additional ‘how to’ videos to support clubs and leagues when making the transition to the new system, which will be mandatory within grassroots football for the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Chris Lihou, football secretary for Guernsey Rovers, was part of the pilot scheme launched last summer and has been thrilled with the results so far.
What are your first impressions of the new player registration system?
“When I started the league admin role, it was pretty clear that the registration system was essentially paper-based, very clunky and very time-consuming.
“This latest platform has been quite groundbreaking because not only does it streamline things, but the system is very much user-friendly and for me, as a club administrator, I've got no paper to deal with. And I can actually register the players so much easier than I used to be able to."
What are the main improvements you’ve noticed since you started using the new system?
“In the old days, if a player moved to another club, the new club would have to create a new player in the database - so you ended up with five or six of the same player and it was very chaotic.
“Now each player is given their own unique fan number - so all you need to do is type in the number and it brings the player straight to you which is a massive enhancement.”
How easy have you found the new system to use?
“Not only is it more efficient now but the look and feel of the platform is so much better.
“It’s also much tidier and if you’re a club that has five or so teams, like we do, it's so much easier to check which player plays for which team and which other they are eligible for.”
How easy do you envisage the new system being to roll out on a national scale?
“A lot of work has been done in the background to make sure the infrastructure and servers are able to take the quantity of information without collapsing.
“If you’ve got a County FA that's happy to spend the time with you and sort any issues out too then there’s no reason why the system can’t be rolled out smoothly everywhere.
“At the end of the day it is going to save everyone a lot of time so it’s a win win for the leagues and the clubs.”