News & Media Features Grassroots Figureheads - David Annobil, Kekoa Coaching (Part Two) Grassroots football is the heart and soul of the game. For the hundreds of thousands of participants, it is their opportunity to be involved in a sport they are truly passionate about. Kick It Out will speak to figureheads and representatives of the grassroots game, in a series exclusive to the organisation’s website, as they offer their unique thoughts from the amateur and community level. In the latest edition, David Annobil, founder of Kekoa Coaching, spoke to Kick It Out about what the football authorities can do to support grassroots football across the country. David has been a proactive figurehead at grassroots football, working closely with over 70 children on a weekly basis. When asked whether the football authorities care about the grassroots game, David felt there could be more done. “I think grassroots football is doing well in terms of numbers, but whether the support is there from the likes of The FA, I don’t know. I think they could be doing much more because grassroots is where every single player comes from. “There is a lack of support for people such as myself and there are a lot of teams have folded due to the cost of a running a team. “I think they need to get in contact more with people at the grassroots level and get involved more with what they are doing. I think they are more concerned with affiliations and scenarios like that but they are not actually on the front line, seeing what is actually going on – how new ideas are being implemented or making new spaces available for people to play. “For example, the places we use (to play) are not provided by The FA, we have to use school pitches. We need more facilities to be made available and I think that’s an extremely important thing.” David was keen to stress that The FA’s support shouldn’t be spoon-fed, rather supportive where required. “We’re not saying that we want them to do everything for us but it would be good to know that they were more involved and had more of an interest in what is going on. There is so much talent in the game and there is so much more that can be done to make them better. “Some of these teams can’t play because of the surfaces they are told to use. It’s about getting on the frontline and giving people the right tools so they can coach and run football teams properly.” But what about making that change? Where does it need to happen? David spoke of where he felt action needs to be taken. “I definitely feel there is change that needs to be made at the top of the game. If there is not any change at the top, I don’t see how they will implement it at the bottom. They have to lead by example and show they can implement the right change. I currently have four full-time coaches and two of them are women. “I have an opinion that The FA is run by old white men and they’re stuck in their ways but it’s good to hear they are trying to implement some sort of change. Whether if it will happen or be successful is another matter.” David won’t let the lack of change deter him from enjoying the sport and sharing that passion with a new group of young football enthusiasts. “For myself, my coaching is about trying to recreate that enjoyment for the kids I work with and it’s about instilling that into the players and making it fun. “I just want to keep building Kekoa Coaching. I want to build the league as well. I’ve also had contact with various professional clubs as well about getting involved. “For the young players, I just want to keep developing them and giving them as many competitive games as possible to allow them to thrive.” To find out more about Kekoa Coaching, visit their website.