The Academy playing philosophy is based on retaining composed possession of the ball in an effective and progressive manner. Varying the tempo of our play as the ball moves through/around the thirds of the pitch.
Our philosophy encourages independent decision making, whilst maintaining a discipline in the team shape. Our players are expected to play with a competitive honesty and a mix of conventional and unconventional creativity.
Main characteristics include:
• Quick counter attacking when appropriate
• Supporting teammates and interchange of positions
• Technically efficient and adaptable
• A clear understanding of the team’s game style and plans
• An ability to win games in different ways if necessary
The Foundation Phase (FP) (under 9s – under 11s)
This is the phase at which most players join our Club, during which we provide them with the building blocks for their playing careers. The foundation of every young player’s development at Grimsby Town is ball mastery. Our philosophy is focused on developing key technical ball skills, creativity and spatial awareness. We work on developing decision making and basic tactical awareness.
Preferred playing formations: 6v6 (1-2-2-1) 7v7 (1-2-3-1) 9v9 (1-3-3-2)
Youth Development Phase (YDP) (under 12s – under 16s)
YDP phase provides a natural progression from the FP, with continual development of the key technical ball skills and tactical knowledge already established. The emphasis on independent decision making becomes greater in the YDP along with the introduction of playing positions and an increased emphasis on the player’s tactical contribution, particularly at under 15’s and 16’s.
Preferred playing formations: 9v9 (1-3-3-2) 11v11 (1-4-4-2)

Professional Development Phase (PDP) (under 18s – under 21s)
The PDP provides a natural progression from the YDP with a greater emphasis on the ability to ‘find a way to win’.
The Professional Development phase will prepare the players technical, tactically, psychologically & physically, to make the biggest step of their careers into the 1st team domain. The players will develop a bigger tactical awareness playing a variety of systems.
Preferred playing formations: 11v11 (1-4-4-2, 1-4-2-3-1, 1-4-1-4-1, 1-4-3-1-2, 1-4-3-3, 1-3-4-2-1)
The Academy will educate players on different playing styles in various ways including:
1. Discussions between players and coaches on a team, individual and unit basis
2. Coaching sessions designed to develop understanding in specific tactical situations (e.g. Phase of play)
3. Use of video clips in performance analysis sessions/workshops (u18s only)
4. Watching first team games
5. Observation of live TV games leading to group discussion
6. The development of Phase specific strategies
7. Player and parent induction / presentations
The coaching philosophy at Grimsby Town is to create a positive learning environment, while coaching within the technical syllabus relative to the age and ability of the players. Coaches will adopt a holistic approach whilst implementing the coaching programme.
The Academy will strive to create a positive learning environment that helps develop each individual player across the four corners (Technically, Tactically, Physically and Psychologically/Socially).
A positive learning environment will be achieved through: Positive communication & reinforcement, building motivation and self-esteem, promoting values and fair play and differentiation.
Positive communication & reinforcement
• Verbal communication will be relevant to the age group
• Utilise feedback to check understanding
• Awareness of how information is passed on
• Awareness of non-verbal communication; facial expressions, body position
• Mixture of communication styles; verbal, visual, written, demonstrations, video analysis.
Building motivation and self esteem
• Encourage to be creative and take risks without fear of failure
• Praise practice and effort
• Ensure continued enjoyment
• Develop intrinsic motivation through positive feedback, encouraging effort over success
• Sessions should be enjoyable and challenging
• Goal setting used to ensure clear target and players are motivated to achieve
Promoting values and fair play
• Educate for football and life
• Provide clear values and philosophies
• Prioritise development and not winning
• Players always required to play within the laws of the game
• Play with sportsmanship and respect towards all
• Players encouraged to take responsibility
Coaches will allow for a variety of learning styles and will utilise the following methods
• Audio – verbal instructions, question and answer
• Visual – Tactics boards, analysis, video, youtube
• Kinaesthetic – On pitch training, opportunity to practice

Coaches in the Foundation Phase will predominantly use ‘Guided Discovery’ as a means of achieving the pre-determined learning outcomes for each session / game.
Coaches in the Youth Development Phase will predominantly use ‘Question and Answer’ as a means of achieving the pre-determined learning outcomes for each session / game.
Coaches in the Professional/Senior Professional Development Phase will predominantly use ‘Command Style’ as a means of achieving the pre-determined learning outcomes for each session / game.


• Shirts tucked in / socks pulled up
• Shake hands before and after training and games
• Greet and welcome all newcomers and visitors
• Clean boots for training and matches
• On time, never late
• Be an ambassador for yourself and the Club
• Always hard working
• Always Honest
• Respectful to all