The FA's find players tool for clubs

New player recruitment tool now available

Want to recruit players for your club? Find out more about The FA's new & improved 'Play Football' search engine.

It can sometimes prove to be a challenge for a club to recruit new players or develop the size of squad now required to get through a season. Just finding 11 players for a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday morning can on occasions pose a real challenge.

If this starts to happen regularly then teams start to disappear, taking with them divisions and even whole leagues. There are however millions of people who still want to play and now for the first time The FA and County FAs can help to recruit players for your club. Whether it’s a cat like keepers, rock hard defenders, free scoring strikers or just someone to make up the numbers the FA’s improved ‘Play Football’ search engine will direct players to those clubs in their locality who are keen to recruit.

The FA’s ‘Play Football’ search engine is the best way for participants to research their local opportunities and get a comprehensive idea of what’s available. We’ve now improved the experience so that you can now; 

  • Search by format – adult male, adult female, youth, Just Play, Disability
  • Search by Day or time
  • Search by club name
  • Search by postcode or area name 
  • Guidance( search)  on playing standard so that you can find the right game for you
  • Access ‘Play Football’ on the FA or CFA websites or any partner organisation that wishes to host this search engine
  • View your search on a PC, Lap Top, tablet or mobile 

Instead of just getting a list of clubs – some of whom won’t be suitable – we want to provide all clubs with the opportunity to describe themselves – the background and history, the league that you play in, club facilities, teams that you run, training arrangements, fees, coaching, playing record, club ethos, social events etc. You can provide these details in the same way that you provide other key club details by logging onto the FA’s Whole Game System and completing your club profile in a simple text box.

It’s possible in your profile to list forthcoming events – trials, open days, club festivals and then remove these when the dates have passed. The ‘Play Football’ search engine will display any details you list in your WGS profile. 

What we also want to do is to translate someone’s search into a club enquiry so every club profile will include a ‘contact us’ box that if completed will send an email off to your nominated club contact. Doing it in this way is far more likely to result in new players turning up at your club.

What can you do to start recruiting players?

  • Go into WGS account and in the club details section provide a description of your club in 1200 characters that will convince newcomers to come and play for you ( all the normal rules about appropriate, accurate and truthful content apply) 
  • Keep your club profile updated. The FA will in its promotions and campaigns be directing people to use ‘Play Football’ if your details are months or years out of date it doesn’t show the club in the best light.

When can I do this from ? 

Clubs are invited to complete their club profile using  their ‘Whole game System’ log in. If you don’t know how to access the WGS please contact us. If large numbers of clubs submit their playing profiles then we have the opportunity to create a comprehensive and authoritative source of local opportunities 

How do I upload my club profile? 

Just follow these three easy steps; 

1. Firstly log into your WGS account. Click on the Club Secretary tab. 

Whole Game System login screenshot

2. On the next screen – click on the details icon on the left hand side. 

 Whole Game System Club Dashboard

3. Now click on the club profile arrow. A text box will appear and you’ve got 1150 characters to tell potential players or parents about your club. 

Whole Game system club profile screenshot

What does a club profile look like? What should we put in it?

The main thing to do is to try and put yourself in the position of someone researching local club opportunities. What information will they be looking for? Probably the club’s background and history, the league that you play in, club facilities, teams that you run, training arrangements, fees, coaching, playing record, club ethos, social events etc. Secondly your recruitment should reflect the character, situation and ambitions of your club. Be honest as misleading people as to what they can expect will only backfire in the long run. 

Can we include club photos and crests?
Not for season 2017/18. If we get sufficient response then this can be added in future seasons. 

Responsibility for Appropriate Content 
All clubs contributing content are reminded that FA regulations apply and the posting of inappropriate content can result in a club or individual misconduct charge. 

Technical Queries

Should you incur any problems completing your club profile on the Whole Game System please contact us at

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