FAI Coaches Association

The Football Association of Ireland is the national governing body for the game of football in the Republic of Ireland and oversees the development of football in the country, from increasing participation levels to training coaches and developing players.

The Coaches Association was launched in 2011 and aims to put forward and demonstrate the FAI’s Football Development Philosophy to coaches at all levels of the game that are looking to develop their knowledge and skills, and want access to the current trends in coaching.

Website Features

Online resource of session plans updated regularly with input from coaches at all levels, youth through to international, and FAI development officers. Tips and advice delivered through interviews, video analysis and articles, covering areas such as –

Technical – Session plans designed to improve players conditioning as well as passing, receiving, and movement skills.
Tactical – Improving player’s dribbling, and transition to defend ability.
Fitness – Strength and Conditioning

Access to a world class session planning software as used by many English Premier League clubs, as well as International Football Associations, where you can plan, tailor and upload your own sessions.
Reports and analysis from coaching academies around Europe.
Coach Education – If you are interested in moving up the coaching ladder, we have full details of all FAI Coach Education Courses coming up around the country in 2013, from Kick Start 1 to UEFA A,B, Pro Licenses.
Current coaching tips and methods from Ireland, and around the globe.
€44.99 per/annum


Session Plans are also available for free. Please click on the following link for further information



County by county breakdown of Coach Ed courses can be located at http://coaching.fai.ie/index.php/education


Grassroots Futsal - Children

With football being the most common sport played in Primary and Secondary Schools, implementing quality Futsal Programmes in schools will play an integral role in developing a "culture" of Futsal in Ireland going forward.

The largest impact area in establising Futsal will be with the clubs and leagues of the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland (SFAI). As such, leagues will be encouraged to develop Futsal activity across all age groups with particular emphasis on the important developmental windows associated with the 7 to 10 year old age group.

Further areas of Futsal development will focus on the National Community Games and the expansion of the FAI Inner City Futsal Programme in an effort to broaden awareness of the game in local communities.

To improve your skills in Futsal please click on the icon below to link you to the FAI's Futsal Drills Section:

What are small-sided games?

They are football games with fewer players competing on a smaller-sized field. They are fun games that encourage players to have more contact with the ball because fewer players are playing in a smaller playing area. SSG have a definite developmental impact on younger football players.

Why change to small-sided games?

It makes the game of football a better experience for children. More touches on the ball, more opportunities to make decisions, more actual play. Players will be more active due to playing both attacking and defensive roles and will become all-rounded and understand the importance of team-mates and playing and working together.

Do other countries play small-sided games?

Small Sided Games are played and endorsed throughout Spain, Brazil, England, The Netherlands, Scotland, Germany, France, Korea and USA, to name a few. The idea of Small Sided Games is not new.

Benefits of Small Sided Games

A significant amount of research has been conducted in countries where Small Sided Games are prevalent, which overwhelmingly highlights the following benefits:

  • More touches of the ball by all players throughout all areas of the pitch
  • More shots on goal
  • More efficient use of facilities, given there can be multiple games on one standard-size field
  • Repeated decision-making experience
  • The ball is in play far more often
  • The emphasis is on player development rather than winning or losing
  • Better success rate leads to improved quality of play, self-esteem and player retention
  • The game is easier to understand
  • Freedom of expression – no positions in early stages
  • Less perceived stress on the players
  • Less perceived pressure from coaches and parents
  • Parents more likely to volunteer for SSG game leader roles
  • Children enjoyed the progressive and sequential game formats.

Small Sided Games Resource