THE Irish Football Association has today 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.
“One of the Association’s key strategic pillars is to qualify for a major tournament over the coming years and the introduction and implementation of the small-sided games concept is one of the main building blocks in making this objective a reality. More and more countries are adopting the key concept involved in small-sided games such as a smaller pitch and reduced numbers of players from the traditional 11 v 11. It is important that those involved in youth football have the opportunity to discuss the small-sided games concept so that football can move forward together with everyone’s input.”
Northern Ireland manager 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 the consultation workshops.”
The consultation workshops will take place at the following venues:
09/10/12 The Dub (QUB Playing Fields), Malone Road, Belfast 7.00pm-9.00pm
11/10/12 Castlereagh Council Offices 7.00pm-9.00pm
15/10/12 Ballymoney FC Social Club 7.00pm-9.00pm
16/10/12 Coleraine FC, Academy Suite 7.00pm-9.00pm
18/10/12 Limavady, Roe Valley Arts & Culture Centre 7.00pm-9.00pm
23/10/12 Downpatrick Cricket Club, Strangford Road 7.00pm-9.00pm
24/10/12 Newry Council Offices, Monaghan Row 7.00pm-9.00pm
25/10/12 Bangor Town Hall, the Craig Room 7.00pm-9.00pm
29/10/12 Shamrock Park, Portadown (Boardroom) 7.00pm-9.00pm
01/11/12 Lisburn Leisureplex 7.00pm-9.00pm
05/11/12 Bawnacre Centre, Irvinestown 7.00pm-9.00pm
06/11/12 Da Vinci Hotel, Londonderry 7.00pm-9.00pm
07/11/12 Loughrey College, Cookstown 7.00pm-9.00pm