NI football Masters Festival next week

Michael Boyd, Irish FA Director of Football Development.
Michael Boyd, Irish FA Director of Football Development.

Twenty teams from across Northern Ireland are set to descend on the Mid Ulster Arena in Cookstown on Wednesday June 3rd for the inaugural Northern Ireland Masters Festival.

Organised by the Irish Football Association, the event which is being held as part of UEFA Grassroots Week, is aimed at players aged 35+.

Each 7-a-side game will be 12 straight minutes and will be played using the Small-Sides Games rules (which includes no off-side).

In the men’s section, teams from the Irish FA and the Northern Ireland Football League will be joined by Real Socialdads (Lurgan); Gerry and the Pacemakers (Cookstown); Belfast Barca (East Belfast); Larne Masterz; Inter Row Z (Newtownabbey); NI Vets (County Down); Unatletico (Stewartstown); Unreal Madrid (Lisburn); Mighty Ducks (Ballinamallard); Newington (West Belfast); North Down and Ards; Derry and Strabane; Causeway Giants (Limavady) and Downpatrick FC.

In the women’s section, four teams will be aiming to be the winners of the first ever Northern Ireland Masters Tournament – NI Masters Blue, NI Masters Green, Women’s World United and Donegal Select.

Not only is masters’ football about enjoyment, but there is also the social and health aspects associated with the game – and next month’s event in Cookstown will aim to promote these factors along with encouraging more people to get involved in the game.

Following on from the festival, the Irish FA plans to roll out a Regional Masters Games Programme which will culminate with a National Masters Festival. For further information please e-mail ian.stewart@irishfa.com.