Football For All


Football For All provides the opportunity for children of all abilities to take part in a competitive team sport. With 3,500 members around the country, the programme has gained popularity over the years.

When Lourdes Celtic FC in Crumlin started “Lourdes Dyspraxia” in 2009, there were only eight children taking part, but soon the numbers grew, as did the variety of abilities. Martin Mates, the FFA coordinator with Lourdes Celtic FC told NewsFour “Abilities varied from Dyspraxia, Autism, Down Syndrome, Aspergers, and due to this we changed the name to Football For All to give children of all abilities a chance to play football.”

“I am proud to say we have over 35 children registered as FFA players with over 25 every week attending coaching sessions in our state-of-the-art facilities at Sundrive Park… These sessions help to improve these children’s football skills and social skills, and give them a chance to be part of a major junior football club, Lourdes Celtic FC.” There are currently seven clubs offering Football For All to 4-16 years olds in the Dublin area alone, with even more nationwide and in the UK. “Our Dublin teams regularly compete against each other and this gives the children a chance to play and compete at an advanced level.”

The Football Association of Ireland has thrown its considerable weight behind the initiative, with two Development Officers dedicated to ensuring that it is as easy as possible for players of all abilities to access the sport. “We have received great support from the FAI and their assistance in running these events and supporting FFA is endless.”

On the 23rd of May there will be a tournament for FFA clubs held in Mallow, attracting teams from around the country. This will be Lourdes Celtic FFA’s second outing to the event.

If you are interested in the Football For All programme, call Martin Mates on 087 670 6988

By Aimée Mac Leod