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Monday 12 Feb 2018
Over 1500 boys and girls play football at weekly small-sided games

Over 1500 young footballers took part in the North Down and Ards Irish FA McDonald’s small-sided games programme on Saturday morning.

Venues in the area welcomed over 150 teams who competed from under-6 to under-12. Teams such as Abbey Villa, Castle Juniors and Portavogie Ladies took part in hour-long small-sided games in a round-robin format.

The main objective of the programme is to develop new football skills and to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle among boys and girls aged from six to 12. 

The boys and girls play football in what is called a ‘development over scores’ environment, which makes for an enjoyable experience for kids of ranging abilities. 

Irish FA grassroots development officer Kyle Spiers was on hand to ensure everything went smoothly at Bangor Aurora, Londonderry Park, Spafield, Bangor Sportsplex and Abbey Villa FC. 

He said: “The North Down & Ards small-sided games programme has grown from a small number of teams playing on two grass pitches at Bloomfield playing fields to the largest weekly sporting event within the Ards & North Down council area.

“This has only been possible with the support of all the local football clubs. Each club has a representative helping to shape the programme along with the coordinators that help with the smooth running on a Saturday morning.

“I would like to thank everyone involved, including supporting family members, and our local council and Serco for the quality facilities that enable us to host the teams.”

Check out the below photos from across the area: