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Football Fun in Newtownabbey with support from NI goalkeeping coach Roy Carroll

Former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Roy Carroll has been passing on tips to Newtownabbey’s next generation of footballers.

Roy was at the Valley Leisure Centre for the start of a McDonald’s Fun Football Centre programme.

Delivered in partnership with the Irish FA, the free sessions provide children between the ages of five and eight with the opportunity to try football for the first time.

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Roy, who is now goalkeeping coach for the men’s senior international team, said: “The Fun Football sessions are a really great way for kids to learn the fundamentals of football. They get to kick a ball around and have fun, simple as that.”

Roy Carroll, former Northern Ireland goalkeeper and Karl Wilkinson, franchisee operations manager, McDonald’s, at the McDonald’s Fun Football Centre at Valley Leisure Centre.

A dozen venues across Northern Ireland will host the first batch of the free four-week sessions this year. They kicked off at Valley Leisure Centre on March 3

Legendary Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings, a McDonald’s Fun Football ambassador, said: “Through the years I have witnessed first-hand the significant impact that McDonald’s Fun Football has had, and continues to have, on the lives of young people in Northern Ireland.

“Fun Football introduces children and families from all communities and backgrounds across Northern Ireland to interactive coaching sessions and events. Young boys and girls can learn about our great game in a fun, relaxed and inclusive environment.”

Des Lamph, franchisee at the McDonald’s restaurant at the Abbey Centre in Newtownabbey, said: “Our partnership with the Irish FA on the McDonald’s Fun Football programme is so important to us, and highlights our commitment to fostering the development of football for all in Northern Ireland.

“We are extremely proud that, through the McDonald’s Fun Football programme, more than 75,000 children across Northern Ireland have benefitted from 250,000 hours of coaching, games and fun.”

Parents can register their children to one of the centres on the Irish FA’s website: www.irishfa.com/funfootball

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