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Meath to host Football Association of Ireland AGM and Festival of Football for the first time

A Royal welcome assured across the county in July

International team managers Mick McCarthy and Colin Bell visited Trim Castle and the Knightsbrook Hotel today to officially launch the 2019 Football Association of Ireland AGM and Festival of Football.

The Royal County will host both events for the first time at the end of July, culminating with the Association’s AGM at the popular Knightsbrook hotel on Saturday, July 27th.

All 38 clubs in Meath will receive visits from FAI management, former internationals and coaching staff during the week long festivities.Clubs will also benefit from financial aid and coaching assistance as Meath becomes the 13th host of the Festival of Football which launched in 2007.

This year’s Festival is supported by Meath County Council and the Meath Local Sports Partnership.Speaking at today’s launch in Trim, County Council Chairman Tom Kelly said: “It promises to be a fantastic week of football and I’m delighted that Meath has been chosen to host the 2019 FAI AGM and the Festival of Football. It is a great opportunity for young people in the county to be among people from international football and to feel inspired to take part in the sport.”

Ireland managers Mick McCarthy and Colin Bell also spoke to media and the football family at the launch.

McCarthy said: “This is my second reign as Ireland boss and my first time to be involved with the Festival of Football. I am very much looking forward to returning to Meath at the end of July and promoting our sport in the county.”

Bell told the launch: “Football is growing across Ireland and the Festival of Football is a huge part of that growth. I have enjoyed being part of the Festival since I started work with the FAI and I know I will enjoy this year’s event in Meath.”

Former Ireland Under 21 international Barry Ferguson has worked as Regional Football Development Officer in Meath since 2015, a position jointly funded by Meath County Council and the FAI.

“The support I receive from the 38 clubs spread across the county of Meath has been phenomenal,” said Ferguson.“

I know how much hard work they put in to grow the game and how excited they are to host the Festival of Football and the AGM in Meath in July. It promises to be a very special week for football in the area.”

NOTES RE 2019 FESTIVAL OF FOOTBALL VISIT TO MEATH• This is the first time Meath has hosted the FAI AGM and Festival of Football• 38 Club visits planned by former Republic of Ireland senior men’s and women players• International team managers Mick McCarthy and Colin Bell will also visit clubs• All clubs visited will receive financial aid and club assistance as Meath hosts the 2019 AGM

• FAI Festival of Football Fun Days will take place at four clubs across the county during the week • Sports Direct FAI Summer Soccer Schools will take place in four clubs during the Festival of Football

• Mick McCarthy and Colin Bell will be Guests of Honour at the FAI Delegates Dinne

r• National Football Awards will be presented at the Delegates Dinner in the Knightsbrook Hote

l• Over 250 delegates from every League and Divisional Association will attend the AGM

• The FAI Festival of Football was launched in 2007• The FAI Festival of Football has visited Kerry, Mayo, Monaghan, Wexford, Clare, Donegal, Wicklow, Westmeath,     Sligo/Leitrim, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Cork

• The Mid-Meath League was founded in 1980

• The League became the Meath and District League in 1984• The North East Football League, incorporating the Meath and District League, was formed in 2014

• The Meath Schoolboys League was founded in 1985

• The North East Counties League, incorporating the Meath Schoolboys League was formed in 1991• There are currently 38 football clubs in Meath with some teams playing in Dublin leagues

• Meath County Council have joint-funded a Development Officer for the county with the FAI since 2008• Barry Ferguson, a former Ireland under 21 international and Bettystown resident, has been the Development Officer for Meath since 2015

• Dunboyne native Darragh Lenihan became the first Meath player to be capped by the Irish senior men’s team when he made his debut against the USA in 2018

• Bohermeen native and Dundalk star Gary Rogers is on course to break the record for the most League of Ireland appearances by a goalkeeper

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