FAI brings its Festival of Football to Tipp for first time

Former soccer stars among those to attend events at clubs around the county

FAI brings its Festival of Football to Tipp for first time
Eamon Laceyelacey@nationalist.ie'thenationalist

A spectacular festival of football will kick off in the county this Sunday.

Tipperary will host the FAI bandwagon, fresh from the success of Euro 2016, for a week long celebration of football.

Thirty clubs throughout the county are on the FAI itinerary.

Ray Houghton and John Aldridge are among the football legends expected to attend coaching clinics, pitch openings and medal presentations during the week.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is also expected to make an appearance at some stage during the week.

On Sunday the FAI bus will visit Burncourt Celtic, Donohill, Cullen Lattin, Rearcross, Tipperary Town and St Michael's.

On Monday the FAI will visit

Clodiagh, Thurles, Killavilla, BT Harps, Holycross, Peake Vill ,and St Kevin's/Two Mile Borris.

On Tuesday the bus will visit Wilderness Rovers, Carrick United, Mullinahone, Killenaule, Moyglass United, Clerihan and Clonmel Celtic.

On Wednesday the bus will visit Moneygall, Ballymackey, Cloughjordan, Borrisokane and Nenagh.

On Thursday the FAI will call to Arra Rovers, Lough Derg, Newport Town, Cahir Park, and Clonmel Town.

Tipperary County Council chairman

Seamus Hanafin, FAI boss John Delaney and FAI Development Officers James Scott (Tipperary North) and David Lenane (Tipperary South) attended the FAI launch of the festival held in Nenagh recently.

“I’m delighted to bring the Festival of Football and AGM to the county where I grew up for what promises to be a memorable week that showcases the great work being done in football development in Tipperary,” said Delaney.

This will be the first time that the Festival of Football and AGM has visited Tipperary following previous years in Kerry, Mayo, Monaghan, Wexford, Clare, Donegal, Wicklow, Westmeath, and Sligo/Leitrim.

The FAI Coach Education Department will run a festival in tandem for the week to offer a unique opportunity to complete introductory level coaching courses and workshops, while football fun days will take place in Nenagh, Cashel, Cahir, Carrick on Suir and Thurles.

The FAI will make equipment, funds, match tickets and services available to clubs in Tipperary to mark the county’s hosting of the 2016 FAI AGM.

Around 250 delegates representing every League and divisional association in Ireland are expected to attend the AGM and will arrive in Tipperary ahead of the Delegates’ Dinner in the Hotel Minella, at which the FAI will announce its Aviva Club of the Year as well as presenting the following national awards: the John Sherlock Service to Football award, Noel O’Reilly Coach of the Year, the Jeremy Dee Services to Women’s Football award and the FAI Communications.

The two clubs in Tipperary Town, Tipperary Town FC and St.Michael's will set the ball rolling for the celebration of football.

Tipperary Town FC will open their new sports field on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday 24, in conjunction with the FAI Festival of Football Tipperary 2016.

Events will commence at 7pm on Saturday evening where there will be an over 30s match. On Sunday the gates open at 4pm and event’s include 1st team and B team matches, boys and girl's U14 /5-a-side, Tipperary town school girl's U16 V Cashel U16 and the MooreHaven penalty shootout.

Other entertainment includes: on-site kids face painting, kids bouncy castles, a BBQ and live music. .

On Sunday evening the eagerly awaited football match that kicks off the FAI Festival of Football to the County of Tipperary will take place in Cooke Park in Tipperary town. The Irish Masters Team visit Cooke Park ( 7.30.) tol play a selection of past players from St. Michaels AFC as well as former players who played in the TSDL League over the years.

The Irish Masters Football team, which is jointly supported by the FAI and PFAI, helps to highlight health and well being amongst players who have recently retired from the professional game and encourages them to stay active and involved in sport.