Busy period of IFA events in Ballymena area

Photographed on Saturday morning at the Showgrounds were these youngsters who took part in the IFA small-sided games programme. Included is sponsor McDonalds representative Tanya Hunter. INBT 41-901H. See page ??? for more details on IFA-backed initiatives taking place in the local area.

Photographed on Saturday morning at the Showgrounds were these youngsters who took part in the IFA small-sided games programme. Included is sponsor McDonalds representative Tanya Hunter. INBT 41-901H. See page ??? for more details on IFA-backed initiatives taking place in the local area.

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Former Ballymena United manager Kenny Shiels will make a return to the town next month to hold a coaching masterclass.

The McDonald’s-sponsored event is one of a number of Irish Football Association-backed events, aimed at improving grassroots football in the Ballymena area, inside the next number of weeks.

The first of them got underway last weekend with the launch of the McDonald’s small-sided games programme which will run on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings at the Showgrounds 3G pitch.

The ever-popular IFA Nutty Krust Halloween Holiday Camps take place during the mid-term break.

The event will take place at Clough playing fields on October 27-28 and then at Ballymena Showgrounds on October 29-30.

Kenny Shiels, who has gone on to enjoy success as manager of Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland under-17s, hosts his coaching masterclass on Sunday, November 1, at the Michelin Athletic Club (1-3pm).

Later in November, there will be an IFA Level One coaching course, held over three successive Sundays, again at the Woodside Road venue.

Well-known local man Ian Getty has been tasked with co-ordinating these events as the IFA aims to build upon the legacy of local grassroots coach Wesley Gregg, who sadly died earlier this year.