FAI Schools Primary 5s Programme opens for 2024

Thursday, November 9, 2023


The 2024 FAI Schools Primary 5s Programme was officially launched this week.


The fun five-a-side football programme for boys and girls in 4th, 5th and 6th class has gone from strength to strength and now stands as the largest Grassroots Football Programme of its kind in the Republic of Ireland.


Last year saw a record number of schools participating, with 1,802 involved, amounting to our biggest participation rate of 41,384 students. Particularly pleasing has been the increase in the number of girls participating with over 43% of participants now female. Another area which has seen huge growth is the Football For All section, with 33 Football For All schools taking part in 2023, a 50% increase since it’s inception in 2022. 


Similar to last year’s model, all registered schools for the FAI Schools Primary 5s Programme will be provided with a digital resource pack to host their own five-a-side tournament prior to their entry into County Final qualifier days. The digital resource pack will contain video tutorials, competition format guides, and score sheets to assist teachers with running their own five-a-side tournament before the lucky students are selected to represent their school in the County qualifiers.


The emphasis of the FAI Schools Primary 5s is placed on fun, inclusivity and fostering a passion for physical activity. The in-house tournament will provide all school children to take part this year prior to teachers selecting their squad(s) to represent their school.


Winning schools from the County qualifiers then have the opportunity to compete in their Regional Finals with a view to competing at the National Finals Day on May 29th , 2024 in the Aviva Stadium.


A new addition to this year’s programme, will see the introduction of a new online registration and payment system. The teacher will simply enter their school roll number and in turn the system will automatically populate the relevant details which will make the process more user friendly. 


FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: ‘’The Primary School 5s continues to benefit thousands of children by encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle through the brilliant medium of kids playing football within their own schools which is of course something we really want to support. We are committed to giving all teachers (especially at primary school level) all the help and support they need to be part of the programme and for everyone to experience the game of football, which in many ways is the simplest game for young boys and girls to enjoy together.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those involved; those in FAI Schools, our own FAI staff and principals and teachers in the schools for rolling out this programme to ensure it continues to grow and for giving the children a safe and encouraging environment to play football’


FAI representative for Football for All, Colm Young stated:  "We welcome the continued inclusion of the Special Schools in the FAI Schools Primary 5s. Building on the success of previous years, our wonderful talented players, once again have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the football pitch. We have seen huge growth over the years in the provincial qualifiers of this section and this has only been possible with the continued help and commitment by the FAI Schools and the FAI."


Robert Moran, FAI Schools Chairman noted: “The Primary school five-a-side competition now stands as one of the key pillars in the growth of the game at an early age. The success of the programme has seen a year on year increase in numbers of students participating which will demand greater investment of resources to meet the growing popularity. With plans afoot to further expand the Football For All programme in the competition. It’s unparalleled in terms of opportunities for all school going children, regardless of size, location or makeup of the establishment. It is a truly inclusive programme that we are keen to further develop in the coming years’


Register for the FAI Schools Primary 5s Programme by 5pm on Friday, January 26, 2024 at https://faischoolsprimary5s.ie/



For more information:

Please email primaryschools@fai.ie


Schedule of Events: #Primary5s



Dublin Finals:                   April 29 & 30, 2024 Belvedere FC, Dublin

South Leinster Finals:    May 1, 2024, Evergreen FC, Kilkenny

North Leinster Finals:    May 1, 2024, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath

Mid Leinster Finals:        May 2, 2024, Killeshin FC, Laois



Munster Finals:                March 6 (Football for All), May 15 (Girls) & May 16 (Boys) 2024, Cahir Park AFC, Tipperary

Leinster Finals:                May 15, 2024, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath

Ulster Finals:                    May 15, 2024, Bailieboro Celtic AFC, Cavan

Connacht Finals:              May 15, 2024 (Girls & FFA) & May 16 (Boys) 2024, Solar21 Park, Castlebar, Mayo



National Finals:                May 29, 2024, Aviva Stadium, Dublin