Irish FA Youth Football Strategy – Summary Document 2021/25

Irish FA Youth Football Strategy – Summary Document 2021/25

Football is Northern Ireland’s most played sport with around 50,000 young people participating regularly (Hargie et al., 2015; DCAL, 2009). The Irish Football Association (IFA), however, has never had an over-arching Youth Football Strategy.

As a result, development initiatives within the IFA’s youth football provision, although often excellent, have been piecemeal, led by individuals acting within their own remit often without regards for the wider IFA youth developmental needs. The IFA has recognised the need to address such issues in its Strategic Plan 2013-2018, specifically the need for a fit for purpose Youth Football Strategy. Such a Youth Football Strategy is required to revitalise the culture of the youth game, drive participation up in a strategic manner in clubs and schools, and to develop clear pathways for young people to become involved and stay involved in the game.

It is important that the IFA not only provides football for all but that it puts in place strategic systems which will develop young boys and girls, whatever their background or ability level, and nurture them to reach their full potential. This document showcases the strategy that will be delivered by the Irish FA from 2021 to 2025 to promote, foster and develop youth football for all in Northern Ireland.

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