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Selection Statement

General Players must be in full time education in a DfE-registered institution which is affiliated to the Hertfordshire Schools’ FA (HSFA)

The Institution must have its main address within in the boundaries of the District/County (there may be certain instances when this will not apply, e.g. when a child is being home-educated).


The selection of each County Squad is the responsibility of the management team appointed annually by the HSFA, together with other HSFA officials where appropriate.


Team managers are usually qualified coaches and/or experienced PE teachers who work as a collective in reaching final selection decisions.

Continued . . .

The selection criteria for a squad for the season as a whole or for any particular match are based on the management team’s judgement and perception of a player’s abilities, attitude/conduct (including factors such as punctuality and reliability), athleticism, decision making, fitness levels, commitment (including attendance at training sessions) and the need for team balance.

Following the trials, successful players will be notified by e-mail, and the full squad published on the HSFA website, Twitter and Instagram accounts shortly afterwards. For girls who are involved in RTCs, their selection to the squad will be shared with the RTC who have an obligation to release players for County Schools’ Football provided that they are notified of fixtures and players affected at least 14 days in advance of a County Schools’ game. Regrettably it is not possible to offer individual feedback about selection decisions. The decision of the selectors is final.

Once a team or squad is selected, attendance at training is compulsory. No requests for release from training to play in club matches will be considered. Injured players are encouraged if possible to attend. If players cannot attend, the management team must be notified 24 hours before the training session. If a continual absence from training occurs consultation will take place between player, parents and the management team as to their commitment to the team.

Age specific considerations:

  • At Under 13 level and below players can expect ample and fair time in representative matches - this applies over the county season as a whole, not to each individual match.

  • At Under 14 and above in Inter-County competition matches selection and playing time may be made on the ‘best team’ basis although over the season as a whole every effort will be made to involve the whole squad – the extent to which this is possible will depend on the management team’s judgement and perception as outlined above.


The HSFA operates with squads of 20-25 (plus reserves where appropriate), although this number may vary slightly. When an entire squad is available or competition rules restrict the numbers that are able to be selected, certain players may be ‘rested’. Every effort will be made not to “rest” players for consecutive matches unless injured or not available. Selection for matches in knock-out competitions will be made on the ‘best team’ basis.

Players represent Hertfordshire with the support of their school. If a school requests that a player be withdrawn from the County Squad, the HSFA will agree to that request. The welfare of players is of paramount importance to the HSFA. If you have any safeguarding concerns during or after the trials, please contact the HSFA Welfare Officer, Mr Andy Braithwaite at


Conditions of entering trials:

Each season, very many players take part in the HSFA trials process. Inevitably, with the most squads comprising over 20 players, the majority who commence the process will at some point be disappointed. This disappointment will be shared by their parents/carers and the schools/colleges they represent. The HSFA fully understands that disappointment, but clearly it is not possible to select everybody and ultimately selection decisions are a matter of opinion and will be made by neutral selectors, free from parental or school/college/club influences.

It is unacceptable for HSFA personnel to be subjected to abusive comments or criticism, either in person, on the phone, on social media or by e-mail in relation to squad selection. It is therefore a condition of participation in the HSFA trials process that players, parents/carers, schools/colleges and clubs abide by and accept the selectors’ decisions. If this condition is not acceptable to any of the aforementioned parties, players should not be nominated and should not take part in the trials process.


Selection Process:

In order to select the players for the squad the following will apply:

  • Players must be nominated by their schools/districts on the official nomination form (there may be certain instances when this will not apply, e.g. when a child is being home-educated or when management teams have been in individual contact with parents)

  • Players’ parents/carers must complete and sign the official Consent Form.

  • The HSFA shall administer the selection process.

  • A minimum of two selectors are to be at each trial.

  • The management team and other HSFA officials shall be the main selectors. Other selectors may be invited by the HSFA as appropriate

  • The HSFA reserves the right to include in a squad players who for legitimate reasons have not been able to take part in the trial process.

  • HSFA officials actively and regularly watch school, district and club football and alongside the trial process will consider selection based on player performances in familiar surroundings to the individual which they are comfortable with.


Trials Specific Information:

  • Dates for trials will be published on the HSFA website and affiliated schools in the catchment area will be notified by e-mail of these dates and locations. This will include information about the equipment each player needs, the start time of the trials and the expected end time.

  • As a minimum each player trialling will have 60 minutes of play and there will be a minimum of two selectors present in order to ensure that there is sufficient observation time to inform selection decisions.

  • When trialling for each year group, players in the preceding year’s squad will need to re-trial.

  • The number of trials to be held will be determined by the number of nominations received.

  • Each trial shall consist of match play but trials may also incorporate skill drills.

  • At the conclusion of the final trial a squad of 20-25 players plus reserves will be announced.

  • Every endeavour shall be given to trialling players in their preferred positions.

  • Selectors reserve the right to trial players in other positions.

  • Selectors shall consider all aspects of the game including (but not limited to) physical ability, skill, tactics and attitude.

  • Selectors shall reach decisions by consensus wherever possible.

  • When selecting one player before another, selectors shall make an “on balance” decision, based on all the attributes and abilities shown by the players.

  • When selecting the final squad, selectors shall consider the balance of the squad in terms of positional play.

  • Injured players may be given time to trial by being exempted from early trials or by being included in squads provided the timeline is sufficient to enable adequate preparation after selection.

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