THE Irish Football Association has announced a consultation process for the implementation of a small-sided games strategy throughout Northern Ireland.
The process will involve consultation workshops which will give volunteers involved in youth football the chance to give feedback to the Irish FA on the small-sided games proposals which include reducing the number of children playing the game from 11-a-side, to 5, 7 and 9-a-side teams.
Irish FA Head of Grassroots Football, Lee Carroll said: “Small-sided games have been successfully implemented in countries across the world such as Spain, Holland and Germany.
“The small-sided games have been the bedrock of these countries providing kids with the opportunity to develop their skills at a young age.
“We have to make sure we move forward together and develop football.
Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill said: “The implementation of small-sided games is vital for the success of football in Northern Ireland.
“We need to ensure our children can increase their technical ability and small- sided games, from an early age, will help to achieve this.
“It is important that all those involved in football in Northern Ireland grasp the importance of small-sided games and therefore I fully endorse this.”