Football Crazy by Tony Bradman – Planning Overview

Written by Dan

Last updated

Do you ever wish there was an entertaining way to get students engaged and enthusiastic about reading? If so, Football Crazy by Tony Bradman might be the perfect book choice for your classroom! This exciting story follows a group of friends who form their football team as they attempt to win every match.

Not only is it filled with humour and fast-paced action, but its underlying message about teamwork and friendship helps kids learn valuable life lessons. To help you maximise this potential in your lesson plans, read on for a comprehensive overview of how to best utilise Football Crazy by Tony Bradman in your teaching practice.

Football Crazy Storyline

Danny, Jamil and Lewis, three best friends who are crazy about football, can hardly believe their luck when legendary coach Jock Ramsey agrees to train their team, the Rovers. This might finally be their chance at winning something big! But Coach Ramsey is no pushover – they have to train every night and even on Saturdays. It’s a lot of pressure for three boys who love kicking around in the park. Will Danny, Lewis and Jamil handle the stress and stay passionate about football positively?

Football Crazy Themes


The critical theme of loyalty is seen throughout the story as Danny, Jamil, and Lewis face challenges together and team up to work hard for their coach. The boys demonstrate a strong loyalty towards one another, working together and supporting each other even in difficult situations.


The theme of perseverance runs through the story as the boys are tested with rigorous training sessions under their demanding coach. They learn that achieving their goals takes effort and determination, demonstrating sheer grit to overcome tough times.


Teamwork is an essential theme in the story as Danny, Jamil, and Lewis unite to form a cohesive unit under their newly appointed coach. They show how important it is to be a part of something bigger than yourself, learning that strength comes from working with those around you instead of against them.

Characters From Football Crazy


Danny is one of the main protagonists in the story and can be seen as the driving force behind his team’s success. He is a leader on and off the pitch, motivating his teammates to do their best when times get tough. He has an unwavering commitment to his team, showing strong loyalty and support towards them.


Jamil is another core protagonist in the story. He is a friend and confidant to Danny and Lewis, providing much-needed comfort and support during difficult times. Jamil shows resilience even when facing challenges, constantly pushing himself to do better despite any obstacles that come his way.


Lewis is the third member of Danny and Jamil’s friend group. He often hesitates and doubts but eventually finds the courage to face his fears head-on. Despite this fearfulness, Lewis remains a loyal team member through thick and thin, proving himself worthy of having Coach Ramsey by his side.

Teaching Opportunities

This story provides an excellent opportunity to explore the themes of loyalty, perseverance and teamwork with students. It can be used to show the importance of these qualities in achieving success and how they can help build strong relationships between people. The story also demonstrates other important values, such as respect for authority and determination. Through this narrative, teachers can encourage students to explore these virtues and develop character traits to propel them towards meaningful goals.

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1: Exploring the Themes of Loyalty, Perseverance and Teamwork


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of loyalty, perseverance and teamwork.
  • Appreciate how these qualities help to achieve success.
  • Have a better understanding of other values, such as respect for authority and determination.


Introduce the narrative to the students by providing background information about Danny, Jamil and Lewis and how they use each of these qualities to triumph over complicated challenges. Also, give some examples from real-life experiences that can illustrate each quality.

Main Teaching Points

Discuss the qualities of loyalty, perseverance, teamwork, respect for authority and determination in more detail. Focus on what examples each character displayed throughout the story to show these traits. Please encourage students to reflect on their experiences and those from the narrative to apply them in real-life scenarios. Additionally, discuss why it is essential for people to have strong relationships with one another based on these same values.


Ask students questions about what they have learnt during this lesson and encourage them to share their feelings towards these topics with classmates, such as what motivated them or discouraged them at any point throughout the story. Emphasise the importance of self-reflection when applying knowledge related to these virtues in everyday life situations.

Key Questions

  • What did Danny do that demonstrated loyalty?
  • How did Jamil demonstrate his resilience?
  • Why was it essential for Lewis to overcome his fear?

Lesson Plan 2: Analysing Situations through Self-Reflection


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Analyse different situations using self-reflection techniques.
  • Understand how self-reflection can help shape one’s character traits.


Provide an overview of self-reflection and explain how it can be applied when making decisions or evaluating experiences from both inside and outside school life. Also, explain why reflection is essential when forming new ideas or tackling complex tasks that arise daily within our lives.

Main Teaching Points

Use examples from Danny, Jamil and Lewis’s journey throughout the book for students to identify areas where self-reflection is necessary when making decisions or responding to challenging situations presented before them throughout their lives. Emphasise how self-reflection can help build strong relationships with others and shape a person’s character traits over time if taken seriously.


Ask students questions about what they have learnt during this lesson, such as how self-reflection helps us become better versions of ourselves or examples where it has been helpful when working together as a team or solving problems alone etc.

Encourage open discussion amongst peers because this will also provide an opportunity for learning on a deeper level by engaging different perspectives relating other people’s experiences to our own situation/experiences (both inside & outside school).

Key Questions

  • What are some examples where you could use self-reflection?
  • How do you think self-reflection helped Danny make decisions during challenging times?
  • How do you believe Jamil used reflection positively while working with his friends/teammates?

Lesson Plan 3: The Power of Determination


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of determination.
  • Appreciate how this quality can help one to overcome fears and achieve success.
  • Develop strategies for tackling complex tasks and reaching meaningful goals.


Introduce the students to the concept of determination by providing examples of people who have used it to succeed in life and real-life scenarios demonstrating its importance. Show them how they can apply these same principles when faced with their challenges on a day-to-day basis.

Main Teaching Points

Discuss how Lewis was able to overcome his fear through determination and perseverance. Emphasise that although difficulties may arise, if we don’t give up on our dreams or fail to take action, we can still succeed in whatever endeavour we pursue.

Please encourage students to think about what matters most to them and what goals they want to achieve to develop an effective plan for reaching those objectives.

Show examples from other real-life scenarios or people such as famous athletes or entrepreneurs who have used determination to succeed etc.


Ask students questions about what they have learnt during this lesson and encourage them to share their feelings towards determination, such as why it is necessary or how it has impacted their lives before/after class etc. Share any personal experiences you have had on related topics & provide further insight into why developing determination (even small amounts) can go a long way when attempting challenging tasks or goals.

Key Questions

  • What did Lewis do differently when faced with his fear?
  • How did Danny use determination while trying to save Jamil?
  • What are some examples of how you could use resolution in everyday situations?

Books with Similar Themes

  • Danny, Jamil & Lewis by Brian Ciaramella
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
  • Wonder by RJ Palacio
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl

Website Resources

Barrington Stoke:  This website provides information about the book, including a summary and reviews. It also details how to purchase the book and offers other related materials, such as audiobooks and book clubs for parents and teachers.

Scholastic: On this website, you can find information about the story, from an overview of its plot to some facts about the author himself. It also includes a discussion guide for teachers or readers who want to use the book in classrooms or discuss it with friends or family.

Brownsbfs: This website provides a more in-depth look at the book’s synopsis. It offers several promotional deals when buying this title from its store, such as free shipping or discounts on orders over a certain amount of money spent.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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