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Irish FA Launches Strategic Plan for 2013/2018

Wed 27th Nov 2013 | Football Governance

The Irish Football Association (FA) has launched its Strategic Plan for 2013-2018 outlining six long term objectives across three areas - International, Domestic and Grassroots.

Speaking of the launch, Irish FA Chief Executive, Patrick Nelson said: “Much thought and planning has gone into the document and it is the Association’s most comprehensive attempt to put down in one place what we as the governing body of football in Northern Ireland hope to achieve.  It is our blueprint for success in the next five years, and our roadmap to the continuing fulfilment of our vision to promote, foster and develop football for all in Northern Ireland.

“In an era of change for both Northern Ireland as a society and for the game, both professional and grassroots, we believe that the objectives and actions we have set will allow the Irish FA to be adaptive and responsive to changes to the game, and our stakeholders.”

The Association consulted extensively throughout Northern Ireland on the six objectives and principles, and to develop the content of the Strategy Plan.  Special meetings of the Irish FA Board and Council were held to develop a frame of reference for the Strategy Plan, from which developed the six long term objectives.  The Irish FA then consulted on these objectives with the four Divisional Associations, alongside the Northern Ireland Boys’, Schools’ and Women’s Football Associations.

The Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters’ Clubs represented the fans; while teams competing in the Irish FA Premiership and Championship leagues gave their views on the plans for the future of the domestic game.   The Association is also appreciative of the elected representatives who have formed the Northern Ireland Assembly – All Party Group on Football to support football and ensure the power of the game is recognised across government policy.

Irish FA President, Jim Shaw said: “At 133 years old, the Irish Football Association is the fourth oldest governing body in the world.  From the start, the Irish FA has always been about organising football for people, and ensuring that a simple field game could flourish and grow into the ‘beautiful game’ we know today.  The Irish FA’s first vision was a simple one: ‘To promote, foster and develop football in Northern Ireland.’  Without this clear purpose, no organisation could have succeeded for as long as the Irish Football Association has done.

“We are excited to have developed a five year strategy that will take us forward into a period that will see extensive changes to football in Northern Ireland.  Yet despite these changes, to us, football remains a simple business, and our vision remains a simple one: ‘To promote, foster and develop football in Northern Ireland.’

“Leading the development of the sport from grassroots to an international level the Irish FA faces the same issues as any football association around the world; and we can make the same contribution to the disadvantaged and marginalised in our own communities and help our society prosper. Therefore, if we lead our national team to glory but leave behind the communities, fans and volunteers that surround our grounds then we will have failed.  We believe that football has a power that stretches beyond the while lines that confine a ball to a pitch.

“Brazil we may not be, but we are Northern Ireland; and we believe that football gives joy to our fans, and can bring our communities together.”


The six areas are:


•             Qualify for a major tournament

•             Deliver a National Stadium

•             Foster a balanced, flourishing senior domestic game

•             Create a healthy domestic game at all levels

•             Reach beyond the game

•             Build a culture of lifelong participation in football



Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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