The county’s new Football Association of Ireland development officer has given details of some of the programmes that will be rolled out.
Shane Barr from Gweedore took over the position in June and explained the FAI’s plans.
“We have 19 development programmes we run throughout the year which range from Summer Soccer School, Soccer Sisters, Futsal, School Programmes, to Emerging Talent and Football for All,” Barr said.
“We also deliver various initiatives that are funded by the Peace III “Level Playing Field Programme” throughout the county. At present we are running Late Night Leagues every Friday night and there are over 120 participants including youth, ladies and men sections.
“The main objectives is to establish new networks between various communities, as well as reduce anti social behaviour, and to see these initiative first hand really shows the impact it has on communities, which reiterates the huge importance of Peace III.
Barr went on explain the ever-increasing role that girls have in football in Ireland today.
“Girls football in Donegal is making great strides and the numbers participating in the clubs, summer soccer schools, and the community is very promising,” he said.
“We will look to further increase these numbers and look at linking more of the girls to clubs, especially those who have massive interest in football.
“We recently ran a Two-Day Girls Festival and it was a huge success, where we linked all participants to local clubs in their respective areas.
Barr noted that the most important link on the chain is coach development, as that in turn will have a spin-off to the players.
“Its great to see throughout Donegal the work that have been carried out in terms of facility development, volunteering and community work, as well as coaching structures and club philosophies,” he said.”
“Clubs are ambitious and are always looking to improve various aspects of their infrastructure, which is excellent to see and can only benefit football in county Donegal as a whole. “Over the next year, we will be emphasising coach education and the importance of getting as many coaches on the FAI Coaching Pathway.
“With coaches undertaking these courses, not only will their knowledge and coaching skills will be enhanced, the clubs and even more so the players will in turn reap the benefits.”