McDonald’s And The Irish FA Calling All Down District Clubs

th June will receive a complimentary pair of tickets to this year’s Community Shield. In April, McDonald’s and the Irish FA unveiled a new Community Partnership, with Small Sided Games Centres, a key part of the new four-year grassroots football programme, and the Centres see children from under-7 to under-12 age groups competing in five, seven and nine a-side game formats. [caption id="attachment_24443" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Ian Stewart, IFA McDonald’s Small-Sided Games Development Centre Co-ordinator is calling on any clubs that have not applied for a place to do so. (Photo by Marie-Therese Hurson/Harrison Photography)"][/caption] The Tullymore, Newcastle and Downpatrick Small Sided Games Centre will take place in September.  Commenting Ian Stewart, IFA McDonald’s Small-Sided Games Development Centre Co-ordinator said, “Small Sided Games Centres provide an excellent mechanism for player development as the smaller game format allows children more time on the ball, increased decision-making experiences, more opportunities to score goals, improved communication skills and generally more freedom to express themselves.  This approach ensures that young players are given the best possible opportunity to develop well-rounded skills. “I’d like to encourage any clubs that have not signed up to one of the Small Sided Games Centres to do so.  To apply please contact your local Grassroots Development Officer or myself; contact details are available at” McDonald’s new Community Partnership with the Irish FA is designed to enhance the structure of the game and deliver a lasting legacy for grassroots football.  The new initiative sees McDonald’s drawing upon best practise from its Community Partnerships with the other three UK Football Associations while also incorporating outcomes from its grassroots football summit which was held in Northern Ireland in October. “Our partnership with McDonald’s has put structures in place to significantly develop grassroots football for instance  through the introduction of a quality charter mark, and by becoming involved clubs will receive tailored support encompassing coaching, player development and good governance measures.  Clubs will also be eligible to play at halftime displays during Northern Ireland home internationals and each club will receive a complimentary pair of tickets to this year’s Community Shield.“ The new four year agreement is an extension of the Community Partnership that has developed grassroots football in Northern Ireland since 2002 which has created over 500 qualified coaches, provided curriculum coaching in schools, hosted a series of football festivals and provided kit and equipment to local football clubs.]]>