The Magic of Football: How five-a-side is growing in England

Football is a sport like no other. It has the power to dazzle, disappoint, educate and connect people.

For many, the joy of football comes from just playing on a pitch with our mates. Beyond the bright lights of the professional game, this is where the sport can shine. It is where camaraderie is formed, tactics learnt, and emotions heightened.

As a result, small-sided football has never been more popular in the UK. With over 1.5 million players and 30,000 teams, the game is increasing in accessibility and in the opportunities it provides.

5-a-side makes up a large proportion of the amateur game. The fast-paced nature of the sport means that it constantly challenges both your fitness levels and your skill. With most leagues taking place in the evenings after work or school, it also provides a chance to get together with your friends and join an environment that is both highly competitive and fun.

Goals (Goals Soccer Centres) is at the forefront of the 5-a-side game. With over 500 pitches across 46 FA- accredited facilities, they are largest operator of dedicated 5-a-side clubs in the UK. Whether you want to organise a friendly or a birthday party, or join one of the many competitive leagues, there really is something for everyone, regardless of age, gender or skill level.

As the amateur game increases in popularity, the coverage of it must itself keep up. Over the past few months, Goals have joined forces with CrowdScores, a live scores football app, to bring 5-a-side results straight to your phone.

CrowdScores now covers every league in every Goals centre across the country. As well as providing live scores and tables, there are also top goalscorers, leagues, predictions and ability to set up alerts. So, you can get a notification for Sergio Aguero scoring and then five minutes later an alert for your own team. It is through coverage such as this that interest and participation in the 5-a-side game will continue.