Mossley Mill to host IFA workshop on small-sided games

Irish FA Grassroots Development Officer, Steven Livingstone pictured with some budding young footballers.
Irish FA Grassroots Development Officer, Steven Livingstone pictured with some budding young footballers.

THE Irish Football Association has announced a consultation process for the implementation of a small-sided games strategy throughout Northern Ireland.

A consultation workshop will take place at Mossley Mill (in the Linen Suite), Newtownabbey on Monday, October 8 from 7pm to 9pm. You do not need to register to attend the event – just come along on the night.

The 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 five, seven and nine-a-side teams.

Steven Livingstone, Irish FA Grassroots Development Officer for the Newtownabbey area, said: “Small-sided games have been successfully implemented in countries across the world such as Spain 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 versus 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 added: “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.”