The FAI Festival of Football and AGM will take place in Cork this August, the first time the event has taken place in the City.
Since 2007 the FAI has brought it’s AGM to different parts of the country and built a major celebration of the sport around it.
Previous Festivals have taken place in Kerry, Mayo, Monaghan, Wexford, Clare, Donegal, Wicklow, Westmeath, Sligo/Leitrim, Tipperary, and Kilkenny.
FAI President Tony Fitzgerald, FAI CEO John Delaney, Republic of Ireland managers Martin O’Neill and Colin Bell, as well as Development Officers Dave Bell and Stephen O’Mahony were present for launch at Cork County Hall.
“I’m delighted that the FAI will be bringing the Festival of Football and AGM to Cork this year,” said Delaney.
“Grassroots football is the foundation that we build everything else on and Cork is one of the most impressive counties when it comes to development, administration and volunteer work at grassroots level.”
“There is fantastic footballing heritage in Cork with administrators like Donie Forde and Pat O’Brien, top class coaches like our current Ireland Under-17 head coach Colin O’Brien, and, of course, excellent players like Noel Cantwell, Roy Keane, Denis Irwin, Denise O’Sullivan, Megan Connolly and David Meyler.”
“A huge part of the Festival of Football is celebrating what has been done, recognising achievements, but also looking ahead with developments such as the Centre of Excellence in Glanmire. It is an exciting time for football in Cork.
The Centre of Excellence will form part of an expected FAI submission once the Government opens up its Large Sports Infrastructure Fund in the coming months. This will provide access to €50 million in funding for which the FAI has identified Glanmire and Dalympunt Park in Dublin as its initial key projects.
“Since 2007 we have been able to visit different counties as part of the Festival of Football roadshow and it is a great way to connect with those making a difference in the development of our game. We look forward to visiting Cork in August for the Festival of Football and also our AGM.”
Among the events planned for the week-long Festival of Football are over 30 club visits by former Republic of Ireland internationals, well-known footballing personalities, FAI personnel, high-profile coaches, with SportsDirect.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools camps also taking place across the county.
The FAI Coach Education Department will run a festival in tandem for the week to offer a unique opportunity for parents and aspiring coaches to complete introductory level coaching courses and workshops, while football fun days will also take place throughout the county.
The FAI will make equipment, funds, match tickets and services available to clubs in Cork to mark the county’s hosting of the 2018 FAI AGM.
Around 250 delegates representing every League and divisional association in Ireland are expected to attend the AGM, while a Delegates Dinner will be hosted on Friday, August 17 where a number of national awards will be given out including to the FAI club of the year.