Registrations for 2022 First Kicks are now CLOSED (as at 29 April)

First Kicks is aimed at those turning 4, 5 or 6 this year (for 2022 that is kids born in 2018, 2017 and 2016).

We follow New Zealand Football’s nationwide Football framework to teach core skills, play simplified games and have a whole load of fun!

We usually have around 100 kids registered and playing First Kicks each Saturday morning. It’s superb to see the turf humming on a Saturday morning and you’re most welcome to come along and give it a go first to see if your player is keen.

When

Saturdays 9:00am – 10:00am from 21 May through to late August.

No games in the middle weekend of the Term 2/3 school holidays (i.e. no games on 16/17 July).

Where

Artificial football turf at Maidstone Park, Park Road (opposite Parapine ITM). 

What

We follow the New Zealand Football Junior Framework that encourages a variety of skill development and is all about building the foundation for future years. You’ll probably see us using laminated games guides from the framework each Saturday.

Each Saturday we’ll start 9:00am sharp. The first part of the session is made up of four station rotations (around 8 minutes each) that focus on each training area including general movement, football coordination, football technique and small-sided games.

Then we play games (around 8 minutes each) for the remainder of the time.

Introducing Belinda Warrington, First Kicks Programme Co-ordinator

Belinda has over 10 years’ junior coaching experience, she currently holds Junior Level 1-3 coaching certificates, is working on her senior C licence, is a qualified Level 2 referee, and is a Central Federation regional coach of the year winner and a New Zealand Football finalist.

Belinda also holds our club portfolio as Junior and Youth Girls Development Officer and we are delighted that she is helping to set up this year’s First Kicks Programme.

Teamwork – how you can help

We usually have a few players from our youth grade (U15-U17) helping out as part of their Duke of Edinburgh programme, and love First Kicks parents who volunteer to set-up/pack-up of gear or as “game leaders” to help deliver the fun. The game leader role is far more about making sure they’re having fun than any technical football job, with readymade game cards to work with and we always love coaches who are keen to get a bit crazy.

If you enjoy administration, we’re always keen to grow our fab volunteer base. This year we’re fortunate to have Belinda on board to provide technical guidance but our First Kicks programme needs a Grade Manager/s to help get things started, liaise with parents and point them in the right direction on Saturday morning – for all roles, please contact UHCF Junior Captain, Noel Raggett on juniors@upperhuttcityfootball.org.nz 

Thanks to our generous sponsor Farrahs!

Local Upper Hutt business Farrah’s have been proud sponsors of UHCF junior football and the First Kicks programme for a few years now. As a club we are extremely grateful for their ongoing support for our youngest budding footballers.

Please do support this wonderful sponsor. You can find more info including great recipe ideas on their website, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and of course, purchase those delicious Farrah’s wraps from local retailers.

Registrations

Registration for First Kicks for the 2022 season is now closed.

Game rules

To ensure each player has as many touches of the ball as possible and young players concentrate on skills that are best suited to their age we play a simplified version.

  • No goalies.
  • No offside.
  • No corners.
  • Kick/dribble in instead of throw-ins.
  • Attacking team returns to half-way for a goal kick.

FAQs – frequently asked questions

My child is new to football, can we turn up and give it a go first?
Yes, so long as we haven’t reached our maximum registrations. Contact our First Kicks grade manager to check first.

What’s your maximum amount of players?
We aim to have not more than 5 v 5 in a game of football and so cap registrations at around 120 players for the season based on the area available on our turf.

Is there a uniform?
First Kicks uniform consists of just the t-shirt we give you once you’re registered and paid up. At this age it’s more about fun than having a perfect uniform so shorts and socks are your choice. Many of our players have gear passed down from older players so it’s not unusual to see the wider club uniform adopted by some of our players but it’s not compulsory.

Are any bits of gear compulsory?
Shin pads are an absolute must ($15-$20) as feet can get a little crazy at this early stage of play.

Does my child have to wear boots?
Boots can sometimes be pretty expensive! If your child is just giving it a go, come in sports shoes and buy the boots when you know for sure they are in to it. Boots give grip on our turf surface (that can be slippery with dew or rain) and also allows players to get better contact on the ball.

Can I buy gear second hand?
The club often has boot/gear sales at the start of the season. Follow the club Facebook page to stay in touch with the latest.

What happens if my child is absent?
Absences are a fact of life in winter for sickness or family occasions and that’s built into the flexible way we run our game days. We simply ask that if parents are game leaders, they can give our grade manager a heads up as soon as they can to help with planning on the day.

When do you cancel and how will I find out?
We play on artificial turf so we usually just play on as typically the kids love playing in the rain – it’s us parents who get cold not moving around under umbrellas. If it’s set to be cold, wet and windy we’ll make the rare decision to cancel. Notifications will go up on our First Kicks parent Facebook group and we’ll send out an email alert before a pre-determined time.

Like to know more?

If there’s anything else you’d like to know please get in touch with us.