THE country might have ground to a halt as a result of the recent bad weather, but for four thousand kids around the country, it was more or less business as usual thanks to the FAI hosting of Futsal modules throughout the country.
At Gormanston, 600 kids at under seven, eight nine and ten were able to avail of the superb indoor faility where four games could be played simultaneously.
"We're delighted with the way the whole programme has worked out," said FAI Development Officer Paul Keogh.
Sixty teams from the NDSL and Drogheda Schoolboys League were able to get some valuable football practice in while others were idle.
Futsal the official 5-aside version of football produced plenty of goals, skills and smiles with the winners being all those that took part.
Added Keogh: "The benefits of the introduction of futsal into the playing calendar were there for all to see. No weather issues, comfortable surroundings, and more touches for the boys and girls. The fact there were no three points at stake also added to a better skill learning environment. What was really positive was the feedback from the parents, coaches and players. This is the second year the NDSL have supported this venture and it is also great to have added the Drogheda league"
FAI National Futsal co-ordinator, Derek O'Neill had this to add: "It's a fantastic to have children as young as six and seven playing this skilful part of football, particularly in the cold of winter when so many pitches fall foul to conditions.
"We are delighted with the feedback we have receivedfrom all over the country and believe this type of game is going to have huge benefits for Irish youngsters. For those interested and to really appreciate the module I would welcome them to come to Gormanston and see it for themselves."