The Football Association of Ireland officially launched its 2017 Festival of Football on Friday and Annual General Meeting which will take place in County Kilkenny from July 16 to 22.
The launch took place in the Parade Tower in Kilkenny Castle in the presence of Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny Matt Doran, FAI President Tony Fitzgerald, as well as FAI CEO John Delaney, Republic of Ireland Manager Martin O’Neill, Ireland WNT Head Coach Colin Bell and FAI Football Development Officer Darren Murray.
“I’m delighted that the FAI will be bringing the Festival of Football and AGM to Kilkenny this year. It is always a fantastic week that showcases the excellent work being done at Grassroots level to develop football,” said Delaney.
“Sporting traditions are extremely strong and well-known in Kilkenny, but we hope to highlight the superb work being done on a daily basis by officials, administrators, coaches, volunteers and players throughout the county.
“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 Kilkenny in July for the Festival of Football and also our AGM.”
This will be the first time that the Festival of Football and AGM will visit Kilkenny following previous years in Kerry, Mayo, Monaghan, Wexford, Clare, Donegal, Wicklow, Westmeath, Sligo/Leitrim, and Tipperary.
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 Kilkenny to mark the county’s hosting of the 2017 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, July 21 where a number of national awards will be given out.
Republic Of Ireland Manager Martin O’Neill was in KCLR studios yesterday and commented on the launch which you can listen to below.