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.”