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Deeping St James mum's anger over son, 5, being kicked out of Deeping Rangers Soccer School for not being 'good enough'

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A mum said her five-year-old son was turfed out of his Saturday football school - for not being good enough.

Lindsey Toyne, 38, signed up Archie Russon-Toyne, five, to the weekly soccer school at Deeping Rangers FC last year, and the little lad loved having a kick about with his pals.

But she claims coaches told her he couldn't attend the kick about anymore - because he "wasn't good enough".

Archie Russon-Toyne
Archie Russon-Toyne

Lindsey said Archie and two other youngsters were deemed "not sufficiently talented enough" to be part of the kick about for Year 1 pupils.

She claims not only won't they be allowed to play in the five-a-side matches, but they also aren't allowed to attend the weekly training sessions.

Little Archie had tears in his eyes when Lindsey broke the news, but hasn't given up on his beloved sport.

Deeping Rangers FC said facilities are limited and staff "understand that it is disappointing for a parent and a child not to make a team".

Psychology student Lindsey, from Deeping St James, said: “It’s disgusting to stream them at this age.

“They’re five and it’s supposed to be fun.

“Archie is a good football player, but they only have two teams of ten, so now he thinks he’s not good enough.

“Why not just keep them on and rotate them?

“A lot can change after five. I don’t think you can pick out football talent this young.

“Plus we’re all talking about kids sitting in front of computers and how we need to get them out playing sports and eating well.

"Then a kids football club reject five year olds and tell them they aren’t good enough - what impact will that have?”

Archie joined the Deeping Rangers Soccer School in September after he grew too old for a nearby local toddler football club.

In November 2020 Lindsey heard coaches would be "talent spotting" at the weekly Saturday morning sessions - which cost £2.50 - but thought nothing of it.

She was shocked when she received a text message from the team organiser on June 8 which said: "Thank you for your support.

“As you are aware we’ve been assessing the children to see who will form the claret team for next season.

“Unfortunately your child hasn’t made it.

“if you have any queries please contact the club.”

She said of the 25 children who attended the sessions, three - including Archie - were dropped and two left before selection.

She said she believes they were trying to whittle it down to two five-a-side teams, each with ten members who switch over every ten minutes.

The rejected footie lovers won’t get another shot at being in the club until they are nine, Lindsey believes.

Archie now passes the 2,000 seater stadium where he used to train twice daily on his way to and from school.

She said three of his close pals made the cut - leaving the lad feeling left out and rejected.

“I worry more about the social aspect," said single-mum Lindsey.

“He’s going to feel left out of all the football club talk.

“Why would they leave out three? It’s disgraceful.

“I’d understand more if there were 50 and the club just didn’t have the facilities for that number.

“Archie loves football and goes out with his ball after school every day.

“You shouldn’t have to suffer rejection at five.”

A spokesman from Deeping Rangers FC said: “Soccer School for Year 1 children is a drop-in session open to all children regardless of abilities for the first year of training.

“We send clear messaging from the start to ask for parent volunteers to run a maximum of two under 7 age squads for the following season.

“The club currently only have enough facilities for two teams at U7 per season.

“Each squad can only have 10 per team when they go to play in the local league.

“Past experience has shown that non registered players (and parents) lose interest in being around the playing squad and are advised to find another local club to keep their interest and involvement in local junior football.

“The lack of a local artificial grass pitch impedes DRFC from offering season round football for non-squad players.

“Details of other local clubs are sent out.

“Following FA coaching directives, the coaches have difficult decisions to make when choosing the set number of players.

“We consider a number of factors including social, psychological, physical and technical elements of each player.

“Ability is a factor during the selection process, and also where the kids go to school.

“This is a very difficult situation for the new volunteer coaches to handle, and it is done with long discussions with experienced and qualified coaches.

“Without volunteers, normally parents, willing to step forward and undertake the coaching roles we would not be able to offer ANY football to the young players.

“The coaches are then required to obtain the required coaching accreditations from the FA.

“We pride ourselves at the club for our clear and constructive communication so parents are as informed as they can be.

“We understand that it is disappointing for a parent and a child not to make a team and have sympathy for them."

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