Small-sided games consultation workshops

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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.

Keith Gibson, Irish FA Grassroots Development Officer for Craigavon 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.”

The consultation workshops will take place at the Shamrock Park (Boardroom) from 7.00 to 9.00pm on October 29.