Chalfont St Peter say coach went against their ethos

Bucks Free Press: Kids football: Is it about winning or taking part? Kids football: Is it about winning or taking part?

CHALFONT St Peter AFC have sacked their U10s coach Justin Byrne because his sports philosophy is centred on winning rather than participation.

Some parents complained that their children were not being given a fair opportunity in the A team, prompting a forthright response from the 42-year-old Australian.

In an email to parents, he said: “I am only interested in winning. I don’t care about equal play time or any other communist view of sport.

“Those that are not as good need to work harder or demonstrate more during training, or change sports.

“As someone who spends a huge amount of time working with graduates trying to find their first job I can safely say you are not doing your son any favours by suggesting the world is fair or non-competitive.

“Everything they are likely to do in life will be competitive so my view is get them used to it.

“I do think the A side has the better players. Fact. Better may mean more skilled or more dedicated or more determined.

“We have about 25 registered players. If we don’t have a B team, the majority of the squad will not get to play in competitive matches.

“Finally, if some of the boys are saying ‘I prefer rugby’, that is great. Rugby is a far better sport.

“It produces well-disciplined young men who are respectful and team focused. It rarely gets political and rarely involves supporters beating each other up.”

However, Byrne did admit that he would continue to pick his son while he was in charge as that had been the main reason for him becoming a volunteer coach two years earlier.

The U10s have been very successful under Byrne, but the club say his approach goes against their ethos.

Spokesman Steve Fowler said: “The club was made aware by parents that their children were unhappy with the way the team was being run.

“There was an exclusive nature and the best boys were always being given a chance to play.

“Justin then sent out that email, which is totally at odds with the ethos of Chalfont St Peter FC.

“We think every child should be given the chance to play and improve so we really had no option but to ask him to step aside.

“We’re not about not winning. We want to win, but we want to win giving everybody an equal opportunity.”

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