IAFA Junior Academy Open Training Session, October 2015
On Saturday October 31st 2015 the IAFA Junior Academy held an open training session at their training base, Mountview Fortlawn Community Centre, in Clonsilla, Dublin. The session was attended by 16 young Irish amputees, as well as, a number of distinguished guests. Mateusz Widlak, President of the European Amputee Football Federation, Simon Baker, Chairman of the Irish Amputee Football Association and Secretary of the EAFF, Steve Johnson, Great Britain Amputee Football Association, Oisin Jordan, National Coordinator of the FAI's Football for All Programme, and Neil Hoey, Graduate of the IAFA Academy and Senior IAFA International, all attended the session to check up on the progress being made by the Academy. From just 3 members in January 2014 the IAFA Academy has grown from strength to strength in a very short space of time. The current squad includes amputees of all ages, from 6 to 15, from all parts of the country. The Academy driven by the player's parents and coaches, Mandy King and Aidan Steers, has been a roaring success and plans are already in place to make 2016 their best year yet. The IAFA Junior Academy hope to host the first ever European Junior Amputee Football Training Camp next year, inviting young Amputee Footballers from all 12 EAFF member nations to attend the event.
Neil Hoey, who made his senior International debut for the IAFA against Turkey at September's Amp Futbol Cup in Warsaw, Poland, was presented with a special International Cap at the event. The Cap was awarded to Neil as the first member of the Junior Academy to successfully make the transition to Senior International. Everyone at the IAFA are proud of Neil following this outstanding achievement and look forward to watching him in action for the IAFA Seniors in the future.
The IAFA understands that the youth of today will be the future of the Association. Our young players, some of whom had never played football before, are being prepared by our Juniors coaching staff to one day make the step up to the senior International squad.
Training sessions are held twice a month at Mountview Youth and Community Centre, Clonsilla, and are led by our team of certified coaches. Training sessions are held at Mountview's All Weather Pitch or Indoors in their Sports Hall.
Junior players are taught technical skills through training drills and fun games. From how to run on crutches, to passing, dribbling and shooting, our young amputees learn every aspect of the game.
Training sessions are open to children of all ages. Our 5-7 year olds and 8-11 year olds are learning the basics of the game, having loads of fun doing so, while our 12-15 year olds are perfecting their skills preparing to make the transition to the senior International squad.
New players are always welcome. If you would like to get involved, come to see a training session or find out more about the IAFA Juniors, contact us through our website or find us on Facebook.