Belfast Telegraph

Do more to keep kids to Northern Ireland Football League

By Graham Luney

So what have you made of the new Northern Ireland Football League?

It seems to be business as usual at our clubs but the biggest challenge facing the organising body is a financial one – can they find the cash to keep this product moving in the right direction?

When I was at the official launch of the new organisation, two things in particular left a positive impression on me.

Firsty, the video presented by the BBC's Gary McCutcheon and Nial Foster was an outstanding production featuring sublime finishes that underlined what a fantastic product we have. Secondly, it was pleasing to see the young players showcasing their skills on surrounding pitches at Newforge.

These youngsters represent the future of the game as players and supporters.

The Irish League needs to embrace them or lose them.

Linfield and Portadown offered free season tickets for under-16s and under-15s respectively.

But I think clubs could do more promotion work in primary schools.

The need to welcome more fans through the turnstiles has never been greater and these kids need to be brought into the fold before richer clubs capture their hearts.

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