Club aims and ethos

Berkhamsted Raiders has grown from its beginnings in 1996 as a collection of individual teams run by individual managers to a community organisation providing football for around 1,000 children in Berkhamsted and surrounding areas.

The Club is a registered Charity which has the following objectives:

  • To promote community participation in healthy recreation by providing facilities for playing football.
  • To advance the education of children and young people.

At Raiders, we play competitive football but we measure our success by the enjoyment and involvement of children from our local community, not just by winning Leagues and Cups. Our philosophy can best be summed up as:

“Combining excellence in the community with excellence on the pitch”

As a club, we encourage all parents to support good play, and sportsmanship, irrespective of which team is playing and we praise effort and performance more than results.

The club will provide football for as many children and young adults as possible.  No child will be prevented from joining the club on grounds of ability.  This is a fundamental commitment as an FA Charter Standard Community Club.  The Club gives priority to children living in the Berkhamsted and Northchurch community and those attending local schools, irrespective of ability.

Each member will be encouraged to develop to the best of their ability in terms of football skills, athleticism, fitness, and tactics, and also as coaches and referees.  All teams will play every game with a desire to win but within the “spirit of the game” as well as to the rules.  Good sportsmanship will be considered an essential part of Raiders membership and for all teams, regardless of the competition being played.

Raiders supports a “soccer for all” philosophy, but we are still keen to build the strength of our sides and develop an A team (known as the Reds) at all age groups that can win League and Cup medals. For each age group, Raiders runs a Red team that is selected on ability and is aimed at the strongest players.

The players who make up our squads change on an annual basis as children develop and mature, as players join the club and as formats move from 5v5, to 7v7 to 9v9 and finally to 11v11.  We encourage movement between teams within an age group. Children may play in a different team each year. The Club has a Squad Selection Policy which all players and parents are expected to “buy in” to when joining the club.

An FA Charter Standard Community Club

As an FA Charter Standard Community Club, we operate to the highest standards set by the FA for youth football clubs. We take the FA Charter and Community Standards very seriously, and all players, managers, coaches and spectators are expected to adhere to our codes of conduct and to the FA Respect guidelines.

We are 100% committed to supporting the FA’s plans for the development of youth football, and have led the way in implementing the proposals within the FA plan.

Codes of conduct

The Club has Codes of Conduct for Players, Coaches, Parents, Senior Players, and Club Officials. The Codes of Conduct for Parents and Players are included in the Appendix to this Handbook. Make sure that you and your children read them!

We also have a Safeguarding Children Policy, Protection Policy, an Anti-Discrimination Policy, an Anti-Bullying Policy, an Internet Safety Policy, a Purchasing Policy, a Squad Selection Policy and Process, Photography Guidelines, a Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure, Goalpost Safety Guidelines, and guidance on the use of social networks, email and SMS with youth players. These are all available on the Raiders web site.

FA Respect

As an FA Charter Standard Community Club, we expect the highest standards of conduct from our players, parents and supporters. We are passionate supporters of the FA Respect campaign. We ask that you keep this in mind as you support your Raiders team. Always remember that football is there for the enjoyment of the kids, whether they win or lose.

Trans People in Football

Raiders is an inclusive community football club and we value all our members regardless of gender. We are proud to have trans and non-binary players within our club and are committed to supporting them to enjoy their football experience and development.