Meath will become the 13th County to host the FAI’s annual Festival of Football in the run up to this year’s Annual General Meeting of the Association on July 27th.
The Festival has been running since 2007 and will see former international players and managers visiting all 38 clubs across the county to see how football development at grassroots level is taking place and having an impact.
FAI Festival Fun Days will take place at four of the clubs while Sport Direct FAI Summer Soccer Schools will take place at four more.
The Festival is being supported by Meath County Council and the Meath Sports partnership who co-fund the position of Football Development Officer held by Barry Ferguson who will play a key role in coordinating the week of activities.
“The support I receive from the 38 clubs spread across the county of Meath has been phenomenal,” said Ferguson.
“I know how much hard work they put in to grow the game and how excited they are to host the Festival of Football and the AGM in Meath in July. It promises to be a very special week for football in the area.”
“I am delighted that Meath has been chosen to host the 2019 FAI AGM and the Festival of Football,” added Meath County Council Chairman Tom Kelly.
“It is a great opportunity for young people in the county to be among people from international football and to feel inspired to take part in the sport.”
Many of the programmes to develop youth football will be highlighted during the week, as well as the work of many of the different ways in which inclusivity and ‘Football for All’ are delivered within the community.
The Festival has been criticised in the past for being there to provide photo opportunities for former CEO John Delaney, unlikely to be playing an active part this year, but it does serve to bring a focus and a spotlight to the work that goes on away from the brightest lights and that deserves praise in itself.
Whether this year’s activities come close to matching the serious debate which will be staged and have to be resolved by 250 delegates to the AGM is another matter.