Chippenham Town Youth FC’s secretary, Terry McCosh, has called for more silent support weekends in youth football after an FA trial.

The FA launched their landmark National Silent Support Weekend on 5-6, November to try and “reduce pressure on youth players at grassroots level”.

During the weekend both coaches and spectators were encouraged to refrain from talking or shouting and instead support the players through applause.

Mr McCosh, who coaches several Chippenham youth teams, would like to see the initiative brought in more regularly.

“Personally, I’d like to see it about every six to eight weeks”, he said.

“It was amazing how many of the coaching staff came back to me and said it made them think differently as a coach.”

He added that behaviour at football matches made the weekend necessary.

He said: “Behaviour at football matches is not as good as it should be. It’s not a football problem it’s a society problem, but it comes out on a football field.

“People are bottled up all week and then go screaming and shouting and some of the things said to the children… they don’t hear the words they hear the venom.

“They don’t have people at the back of the classroom screaming and shouting at them, so why do we do it on a football field?”

Mr McCosh feels that without the pressure of shouting parents and coaches, children will be better able to learn and develop on the pitch.

He added: “As coaches we can overcoach. It’s almost like a game of Subbuteo and we’re telling players what to do and when to do it.

“One of the things I learnt many years ago is trying to coach players to learn for themselves so that they make the decisions, and they understand why they’re doing them.

“They’ll make mistakes… but they eventually get it and become good at it if they’re given the chance to make mistakes”.

The initiative has also been seen as a positive for grassroots referees. Last year, research by the Referee and Match Official Research Network found that 93% of grassroots referees had faced abuse.

Mr McCosh claimed that reducing noise from the touchlines alleviated the issues grassroots referees face.

“The referees I spoke to at the weekend loved it, it was the best weekend of their refereeing lives”.

So far the FA have not publicly committed to another silent support weekend, but Mr McCosh believes they are planning another one in March.