IFA Trip To Denmark To Bring Home The Bacon

IFA Trip To Denmark To Bring Home The Bacon

The IFA are sending two delegates to Denmark to bring home the bacon!

Spa’s Mark Hughes and Annacloy’s Seamus Heath are heading off on a four-day trip to Denmark to study their Veterans football programmes.

Next week’s fact finding mission as guests of the Danish FA will hopefully let Mark and Seamus see first-hand their excellent programmes that they hope to replicate in Northern Ireland.

Seamus Heath with
If Carlsberg did veteran’s football it would probably be the best football in the world: Seamus Heath with Mark Hughes heading to Denmark to study the advanced approach to veteran’s soccer. 

Denmark is at the forefront of Veterans football within Europe with leagues, international teams and social & health programmes linked into their overall football strategy.

The ten years of volunteering by Mark and Seamus to build veterans football throughout Northern Ireland has certainly not gone unnoticed at the IFA’s committee level and both are delighted to represent the Ifa abroad. Chairman of Northern Ireland Veterans football, Seamus Heath is looking forward to the trip and said: “After playing and living in Finland for nine seasons during the Eighties and Nineties, I can already get a feel for the Scandinavian way and how they think about their people.

“They take their sport, health and living very seriously and we are excited about seeing how they tie it all together.”

IFA development manager and former international Ian Stewart believes such a trip is important for Veterans football as it moves forward. He added: “From receiving an e-mail ten years ago from the English FA to veteran’s football now in Northern Ireland is just unrecognisable.

“I know from the database that Mark and Seamus have over one hundred and fifty registered players from forty year old Paul McCleave to seventy-two year old Terry Nicholson which is just fantastic” Ian said.

Veteran’s football is in a very unique place at the moment in Northern Ireland with its development growing by the week.

From a six team league ten years ago in Newcastle to now having a base in Ballynahinch and four international teams at the age groups of over 40’s, 34’s, 50’s and 55’s, as well as satellite centres in Belfast, Banbridge, Newry and Derry it has now become more than just football.

The official IFA Veterans teams encourage people who feel they want to get involved to contact us for a venue that suits them.

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