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Monday 26 Feb 2024
Youth football consultation gathers pace

The second phase of the Irish Football Association’s largest ever consultation has reached the halfway stage.

The association’s Youth Football Review aims to develop a framework which will revolutionise youth football for boys and girls in Northern Ireland.

The first phase was an online survey which attracted a huge number of responses – just over 23,000.

Phase two of the consultation is engagement with stakeholders through a series of roadshow events, the first of which was staged on 12 February.

There have been eight roadshow events to date, and the next event is this evening in Derry-Londonderry.

Jordan Reid, Development Project Manager with the Irish FA Foundation, said the events have been “very positive” so far and encouraged interested parties to attend one of the seven remaining sessions taking place over the next couple of weeks.

This evening’s event in the North West is taking place at Ulster University Magee (Room MU125) in Derry. It will run from seven o’clock until nine o’clock.

“I would encourage everyone to come along to hear about the survey results and other research and to discuss the Irish FA’s draft proposals on the way forward for youth football in Northern Ireland,” said Reid.

“We want to hear from people so they can have their say about the future of youth football here,” he added.

The framework will consist of four key pillars - active game, environment, education and governance – and will guarantee an active game that generates maximum enjoyment and technical development for every child. It will also provide a clear outline of how the youth game will be played across the mainstream pathways for both boys and girls.

Feedback from the survey - it was conducted back in the autumn - included calls for a safe and quality learning environment, the need for a focus on skills and player development rather than a win at all costs mentality, and improved behaviour on the sidelines.

Roadshow events have already been staged in Belfast (two), Irvinestown, Lisburn, Coleraine, Newry, Castlecaulfield and Newtownards.

The remaining events are being staged in:

Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon – Lurgan Town Clubhouse – 28 February

South and East Antrim – Antrim Forum – 29 February

South West – Mountjoy United FC (Omagh) – 4 March

Newry Mourne and Down – Down Leisure Centre, Downpatrick – 5 March

Online – 6 March

North East – Ballymena Showgrounds – 7 March

If you are interested in attending a roadshow event please register via this link: