ROI Soccer Supporters Clubs worldwide invited to Supporters Conference

Tom O'Shea, FAI Regional Manager for South, with all the latest soccer news

THE Football Association of Ireland is looking to invite representatives of Republic of Ireland Supporters Clubs around the world to attend a Supporters Conference in Dublin on March 26. As part of the FAI's involvement in The Gathering 2013, the Association is reaching out to all supporters clubs to come together at an event in the Ballsbridge Inn on Tuesday, March 26th - the day of Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria at Aviva Stadium.

This event will see representatives of the official ROI Supporters Clubs (RISSC) join with newly formed supporters clubs to discuss matters of mutual interest which the FAI hopes will help those clubs grow in the years to come. FAI Regional Manager Gerry Reardon has been delighted with the response so far.

"We've already had representatives confirmed as attending from supporters clubs including London, Midlands UK, Huddersfield, Dublin, Derry, West of Ireland, Edinburgh, Vancouver, 'You Boys in Green' and the 'FAI Inclusive Supporters Club'," he explained.

"We are also looking to engage with the established clubs and will be seeking interest from new groups of supporters from around the globe. With the growth of the Diaspora worldwide in recent years there are still a number of clubs out there who are off the radar or a number of loose affiliates that haven't organised themselves yet which we may be able to assist.

"It'll be a get together first and foremost where clubs can share their knowledge then we can explore ideas around good practice to hopefully improve and develop further partnership work between fans and the Association. We will also explore the possibility of a worldwide Republic of Ireland Supporters Club confederation."

If you are a member of an Ireland Supporters Club that has yet to be contacted or are in process of forming a club and would like to do so or would like to register your interest in the congress contact Republic of Ireland v Poland, February 6

The FAI has announced a partnership with Tourism Ireland, the Polish Football Association (PZPN), Dublin City Council, Irish supporters represented by You Boys in Green and the Polish Supporters' Association.

The partnership comes ahead of the Three international friendly match against Poland in Dublin on February 6th and aims to recreate the special bond that existed between Polish and Irish supporters during EURO 2012. Added to the events of the summer, Polish people already make up the largest foreign national group living in Ireland so the connections and friendships between the two nations have never been stronger.

The initiative is supported under The Gathering Ireland 2013 and will encourage Irish supporters including the 30,000 who visited Poland during the summer to invite their Polish friends to Ireland for the match. The match will also be an opportunity for the many thousands of Polish people who spent time in Ireland but have now returned to Poland to make a visit for old times' sake.

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