Three FFA Summer Soccer Schools take place around the country
Cork's Carrigaline United, Knocklyon United FC in Dublin and Carlow's New Oak Boys FC all hosted Summer Soccer Schools for Football For All players in their respective areas.
Carrigaline’s camp organised by the club’s FFA coordinator Bryan McCarthy started proceedings in July and was a great success running alongside the club’s mainstream camp. Ten players attended over five days, ably assisted by a team of six coaches including the FAI’s Munster Football For All Coordinator Nick Harrison.
Next up was Knocklyon United where Mick Kennedy organised a three-day camp for 20 players, he was assisted by a team of coaches and the FAI’s Leinster FFA Coordinator Chris McElligott. FAI Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn also visited Knocklyon to see the work done by the 20 players at the camp.
In Carlow, Ken Lacey from New Oak Boys FC, the Local Sports Partnership and Carlow FAI Development Officer Garry Coady organised another 3-day camp for a 26 local children hoping to start on their football for all journey with the club in the coming months.
With a range of ability levels at all the camps, coaches designed activities that were inclusive to all and in many cases were able to employ a one coach to one player ratio to ensure children were able to take time-outs as needed or work on a different technique before joining back in with the main group when they were ready. Days were shortened to 3 hours and plenty of breaks were scheduled to maintain energy and interest levels. Some siblings were involved with the coaching as were older FFA Youth team players, wanting to give something back to the FFA clubs that gave them their start in the game
Coordinators Bryan, Mick and Ken were delighted with the success of the camps and felt it was so important to make the opportunity available after the months of lockdown. Ken Lacey said; “We were delighted to be in a position to host the camp and hope in the near future to become an official FAI Football For All club for Carlow and the surrounding area. Despite the rain on day one this did not stop the players from getting involved, great to see the attitude of players who just wanted to play”.
FAI Summer Soccer Schools coordinator Trevor Scanlon and FAI Grassroots Development manager Gerry Reardon helped in making these camps possible in what were very difficult circumstances. From risk assessments to health declarations and daily cleaning routines, camps this year were a challenge but all the coaches and players should be congratulated on all the work they did to make them a possibility.
The players can now look forward to starting regular training with their FFA clubs in the coming weeks and the hope of matches to come in the near future.