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Heads UP! FAI Club and League Newsletter

New rules implemented to ensure safety of children

The Football Association of Ireland has welcomed new legisaltion that makes Garda Vetting a legal requirement for all those working with children and/or vulnerable persons.

The FAI is committed to ensuring that children can participate in all football activities in a safe environment. And from April 29, 2016, it is now a legal requirement to ensure every person is Garda vetted prior to commencing in any role in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity which involves children and/or vulnerable persons.

To assist in this process, every person Garda vetted through the FAI will receive a Garda vetting letter. The individual should provide their organisation (e.g. Club/League/National Body/Provincial Association) with a copy of this letter. It is a criminal offence to allow a person to commence any role with your organisation if they will be involved or have access to children and/or vulnerable persons without this letter.

Garda vetting is not a substitute for safe recruitment but provides another element in determining a person’s suitability to work with children and/or vulnerable persons. The FAI recommends that your organisation does not solely rely upon vetting checks but should also seek to determine an individual’s suitability for a position through normal recruitment processes including interviews and reference checks. The safety and welfare of all children is paramount.

For more information visit http://www.fai.ie/domestic/safeguarding/garda-vetting

A chance to see the Boys in Green off in style

It won’t be long now before we’re all cheering on the Republic of Ireland at EURO 2016 but you can be there to see them off in style at Aviva Stadium before then.

Martin O’Neill’s team take on Netherlands on Friday, May 27 in what is a crucial warm-up game for this summer’s major tournament. It will be an epic clash of two teams with different points to prove.

Ireland enjoyed fantastic support during the qualifying campaign, but now they need another push to help them prepare for three Group E games – and hopefully a few more knock-out games – in France.

Netherlands will be a tough opponent for O’Neill’s side with many recognisable faces in their squad, including Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay, but that is exactly what Ireland want ahead of EURO 2016.

Tickets are available from €30 with children tickets only €10, student tickets at €20, and family tickets at €70.

Click here to book your tickets now

*booking fees apply

Make money for your club with Irish Football National Draw

We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2016 Irish Football National Draw.

The Draw has taken place over the last three years and has been a huge success to date. 2015 saw more clubs involved and tickets sold than ever before. Close to €1 million was raised for clubs and leagues across the country. In total, 427 clubs and leagues took part last year and we expect that number to grow in 2016.

The Draw is designed to provide a risk free and effective fundraising option for all clubs and leagues. Clubs have done very well out of the Draw with one club reaching €17k profit from it. The concept is very simple:

1) The FAI organises all prizes, printing, licenses, the final draw, etc.
2) Clubs purchase tickets from the FAI for €1.50 each
3) Clubs sell the tickets for €10 each
4) All money from all tickets sold is kept by the club – €8.50 profit on every ticket sold

Prizes
Once again there is a huge range of great prizes including 4 brands new Ford Fiesta Cars, free power for a year from SSE Airtricity, a trip for two to the Champions League final from Three, a weekend for two in Copenhagen from Carlsberg, a Home Cinema System from Aviva, a trip for two to an away world cup qualifier and many many more. More than €200,000 worth of prizes are on offer.

How to get involved
Tickets will be available to order from Thursday 5th May. Just visit the website: www.fai.ie/draw Click on “Order Tickets” and take it from there. Once your order is received tickets will be sent directly to you.

Your club will have from then until the end of October to sell your tickets. The draw will take place in the Aviva Stadium on November 23rd 2016.

Best of luck and happy fundraising to all clubs and leagues that take part!

Sports Direct.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools are back!

Now that the good weather has arrived there are a couple of things to do: get ready for EURO 2016, pick up some sun screen, and ensure your son/daughter or nephew/niece is part of the Sports Direct.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools.

With more camps then ever before stretched around the country, the most popular summer programme for kids is coming back from July to August. And it’s only €65 for 6-14 year-olds to take part in the week-long camp, where they will have so much fun that they will want to do it all over again.

Last year saw over 26,500 children take part in camps, where each participant received an exclusive kit, football, backpack, and certificate. But these camps are about much more than that because children make friends in a fun environment which is controlled by fully qualified coaches who are all Garda Vetted.

The clubs who host the camps also benefit with over €700,000 given out last year. No wonder Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has given his backing to the camps and Ireland Women’s National Team star Katie McCabe signed up to be the female ambassador. Everyone wants to be involved in these fun, friendly camps. So what are you waiting for?

For further information visit www.summersoccerschools.ie

Become part of the team behind the team

Remember Darren Randolph’s long ball? Remember Shane Long’s shot flying past Manuel Neuer? Remember where you where at that historic moment?

If it wasn’t in the Aviva Stadium then you missed one of Irish football’s greatest nights as Martin O’Neill’s team toppled World champions Germany. The atmosphere was special that night and again when the Republic of Ireland overcame Bosnia & Herzegovina in the Play-Offs.

To be a true supporter is to be part of the team. The players need that support to drive on and it is one of the reasons why the Ireland team did so well in a difficult qualifying group to reach EURO 2016. Put simply: When we get together, it all comes together.

So here is your chance to make sure that you never miss out on supporting the team as the new FAI Season Ticket offers five games, including three crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

If that wasn’t enough, here are some other benefits:

  • Invitation to open training session at Aviva Stadium
    Exclusive promotions on FAIShop.com
    Free admission to Aviva Stadium tour
    10% off CityJet fares
    Pre-sale on selected club matches
    Opportunity to win ball boy/girl and flagbearer places

Find out more at www.faiseasontickets.ie

Pathway to the elite level opens up

The path to the top of the European and World game has been opened up by some of Ireland’s best officials in the last few years.

This summer sees Mayo native Damien MacGraith travel to EURO 2016 as part of a select group of officials and Tipperary’s Emmet Dynan will officiate at the European Under 17 Championships, while Wexford’s Michelle O’Neill ran the line at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The progression of these Irish officials – and many more – proves that those who start out on FAI Referee Beginners courses can go all the way to the elite level. So it’s good news that new courses are coming to Louth, Dublin, Cork, and Roscommon between May and July.

To become an active referee you must be over the age of 16, however you can undertake the course prior to reaching this age. Following successful completion of the course you will, subject to Garda Vetting clearance, be allocated to a League (usually Schoolboy/Girl) within your area and eligible for appointment to games within that League. The number of appointments and level of games you receive will be at the discretion of the Leagues Referee Allocator.

There is also a requirement to undertake an Irish Sports Council approved three-hour Child Welfare Awareness workshop, this is a compulsory requirement for all FAI Registered Referees, however you can commence Refereeing as soon as you receive Garda Vetting clearance and undertake the workshop later.

Here are the dates and venues for the courses:

Louth: Oriel Park, Dundalk, May 7, 8
Dublin: FAI National Training Centre, May 14, 15
Cork: Midelton FC, May 27, 28, 30
Roscommon: Roscommon and District Football League, Lecarrow, July 17, 18.

To book a course click here

Get ready for this summer’s big game

It’s the champions of Europe against the champions of Scotland. It’s the Aviva Stadium. It’s July 30th. And it’s going to be this summer’s unmissable game.

The International Champions Cup tournament comes to Ireland for the first time as Barcelona take on Celtic at the Aviva Stadium and you can be there to witness these two massive clubs face off in a marquee game.

One of the most iconic clubs in world football, Barcelona are synonymous with success having won five Champions League titles, four UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups, five UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups, 23 La Liga, and 27 Copa Del Rey titles. Luis Enrique’s team boast some of the world’s best players in Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez, and they are currently joint top of La Liga as they attempt to successfully defend their crown as the best team in Spain.

Celtic are also in pursuit of a back-to-back title triumph as they sit top of the Scottish Premiership with an eight-point lead. The Glasgow club are chasing a 47th League title, while they have also lifted the European Cup – becoming the first British club to do so in 1967.

The International Champions Cup will bring these two greats of European football together for a unique clash at the Aviva Stadium as part of a competition that sees some of the world’s best clubs compete on four different continents.

Tickets are on sale from May 3 through Ticketmaster.ie

The West Coast talent factory

There are many different avenues to explore on the road to development in football and County Galway has been given another one in the shape of The Academy.

Set up to help pupils/players aged between 16 and 18 years old, the initiative intends to improve each player’s development on and off the pitch by meeting their educational needs but also helping them to transfer that knowledge to games through tactical awareness, improved fitness, and excellent technique.

With Galway WFC head coach Don O’Riordan (pictured above) onboard, the project has a good grounding with an aim of improving each player over a two-year period – boys and girls – so that they can successfully make the next step in their careers.

For more information contact gerard.bane@gretb.ie

On your bike for the right reasons

Planes, trains, boats, and bikes…yes you can get to EURO 2016 on your bicycle. And even better news is that you can do it to aid a really worthwhile cause.

Supported by the FAI, the Mustard Seed Euro Cycle Challenge aims to raise enough money to build a school in Zimbabwe while also sending supporters to France to cheer on the Boys in Green at EURO 2016.

The challenge is to get on your bike at Aviva Stadium and pedal all the way to Stade de France, Paris to collect a match ticket for the Republic of Ireland v Sweden game on June 13. Accommodation, meals, insurance, and return flights are all covered in this unique package.

Sign up now at www.dublin2paris.com

Sign up to the next generation

One of the most productive nurseries for Irish football is opening its doors again with registrations now open for the 2016/17 FAI / ETB courses.

With eight centres based around the country (three in Dublin, three in Cork, one in Limerick, and one in Mayo), the course combines football development with academic qualifications as every graduate earns a FETAC Level 5, which enables them to secure full-time and part-time employment.

Responsible for supplying over 100 players to the SSE Airtricity League in recent seasons, the course has also helped several players advance in their careers abroad – including Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Matt Doherty and Peterborough United’s Chris Forrester, both of whom were recently called up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad – and aid the progression of star female footballers into the Continental Tyres Women’s National League.

The new batch of courses are open to male and female footballers who are interested in developing a potential career in football or in the sports and leisure industry.

To find out more information visit www.fai.ie/domestic/take-part-programmes/fai-etb-football-courses

School is most definitely not out

Children always want to a reason to be active, so the FAI Lunch-Time League helps them to get exercise and have fun with friends during normal school days.

It is the work of FAI Development Officers, like Jason O’Connor in Limerick, who help to run these programmes with such efficiency that children forget that they are even playing in the schoolyard and quickly picture themselves scoring a goal at the Aviva Stadium.

The initiative recently visited Colaiste Chiarain secondary school in Limerick and their lunch-time turned into the Annual Principal’s Cup for 1st and 2nd Year students. With the help of school completion officer John Kelly, the event was a huge success with live commentary from teacher Mr Hayes and all of the school’s students coming out in support.

Now in its second year, the FAI Lunch-Time League / Principal’s Cup 2016 proved to be a fantastic success. Taking to the stage in this year’s competition were Erasmus and Cicero. It was end to end with shots flying in on both goals from all angles. A penalty arose from a hand ball in the box, the crowd held their breath but oh no a miss. Moments later the same player redeemed himself by marking the opening goal of this year’s show piece. A frantic last five minutes followed climaxing with a equaliser and sending the game to penalties much to the crowd’s delight. After a trilling penalty shootout Cicero emerged as the winners. Not a bad way to spend a lunch break!

Help your club cater for every player

There is no doubt that some clubs go above and beyond to provide for as many players – regardless of age, gender, or disability – and this is something which the FAI fully supports.

Park Rangers AFC in County Waterford definitely tick that box as evidenced by their recent Football For All Blitz, which saw 120 children and young adults with disabilities from all over Munster take part in a fun-filled day.

The blitz attracted several clubs, including Killarney Celtic, Carrigaline United, Midleton FC, Cahir FC, and Limerick FC, and the efforts of the volunteers helped to make it a memorable experience for each of the players who went home with smiles from ear to ear and trophies to recognise their participation.

The FAI would like to encourage more clubs around the country to get involved with Football For All programmes as this represents the essence of catering for every type of player.

For more information contact Oisin Jordan, Football For All National Coordinator, at oisin.jordan@fai.ie

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Author: Jonathan
I'm the Leagues PRO. You will often meet me Pitchside with my camera getting photos for our site and social networks.

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