Report from Leinster LGFA | Photos from Julie FitzPatrick
On Saturday 15 June, almost 600 players descended on Portlaoise GAA for the Leinster LGFA U13 Development Day. The weather was kind and the sun shone for a fantastic day of football in County Laois. 29 teams representing 9 Leinster Counties were in action across 6 pitches. With 179 clubs represented in total, those in attendance were treated to a magnificent spectacle of skill, teamwork and camaraderie.
The focus of the LGFA Development Academy Programme is player development and the Development Day was structured to help focus on skill development, allow maximum participation and ensure the day was a positive experience for all involved.
Teams had the opportunity to play in 4 games over the course of the day, which were divided into 3 rounds. During the first round of games, a random condition was applied to the first half of the game to promote the effects of movements, space and other players. They allowed players to recognise the purpose of the skill through its effect on the game or situations within it as well as maximise participation. Conditions included ‘a kick pass must follow a hand pass’ to promote players moving into space and ‘3 points for a ‘point’ and 1 point for a ‘goal’’ to encourage players to go for points.
During the second round of games, the half time team talk had to be given by the players to encourage players to reflect on their own performance, identify what worked well and what could be improved in the second half. For a lot of players, this was the first time they had the autonomy and responsibility to review their own performance at half time and proved to be a real confidence boost and learning opportunity for players. It was fantastic to see the opportunity being embraced by coaches across the board, with one team even giving the responsibility to the players for making substitutions for the second half and found that the team played even better having been given that opportunity and ownership! Teams then played a third round of games which were full rules.
Throughout the day, all teams were being marked on a series of criteria reflecting how well they were ‘living by’ the LGFA Key Values of Integrity, Inclusiveness, Encouraging, Respect, Pride, Leadership, Innovation, Fairness and Dynamism. Referees and pitch coordinators completed an evaluation form after each game.
Whilst one team from Wicklow came out on top, there was no doubt that all teams contributed to a fantastic atmosphere on the day and congratulations must go to all teams involved. A huge thank you must go to all coaches and mentors who have been involved with the Development Academy teams and who embraced the ethos of the programme. Finally the day would not have been possible without the wonderful referees, pitch coordinators and volunteers on the day, and a huge thank you to Portlaoise GAA for their wonderful hospitality. Congratulations again to all teams involved:
- Carlow (1 team)
- Dublin (3 teams)
- Kildare (8 teams)
- Kilkenny (2 teams)
- Laois (2 teams)
- Louth (4 teams)
- Meath (5 teams)
- Wexford (2 teams)
- Wicklow (2 teams)