Dromara Village FC, were joined by a special guest recently, as former Arsenal, Tottenham and Northern Ireland goalkeeping hero Pat Jennings made a surprise appearance to McDonald’s Sprucefield.
He joined coaches at an event to celebrate the success of the McDonald’s IFA Foundation Mark Scheme, which has seen over 2,100 kits distributed across Northern Ireland this year.
After handing out the new kits to Dromara Village FC, Pat spent time with the club to share his tips and techniques on building a strong grassroots football club.
In total 38 grassroots clubs across Northern Ireland have received a brand new adidas kits as part of the McDonald’s IFA Foundation Mark Scheme. Run in partnership with The IFA and their official kit supplier adidas, the community programme aims to raise the standards of grassroots football for young aspiring footballers by giving IFA Foundation mark clubs with a junior team the chance to order a new strip every year for the next four seasons.
This month also brought the launch of McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards, offering communities the chance to nominate their grassroots footballing heroes.
McDonald’s Head of Northern Ireland Football, Pat Jennings said: “Dromara Village FC is a fantastic club which has the support of volunteers that clearly have a passion for football.
“It is great that the club can offer so many young people the opportunity to play football.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of grassroots football for both the men’s and the women’s game.
“It is vital that we look to support grassroots volunteers and clubs as much as possible,” he added.
“This is the first year of the McDonald’s IFA Foundation Mark Kit Scheme and we are thrilled with the respose that it has received following its launch in August.
“The sense of unity and team spirit young players get from their new kit is exceptionally rewarding and it was great to see the smiles on the faces of the Dromara Village FC players.”
Sprucefield McDonald’s franchisee John McCollumn who supports Dromara Village FC through the McDonald’s community football programme, said: “Dromara Village FC is a great example of a grassroots football club which provides young people in the local community with the opportunity to feel part of a successful team.
“These clubs make great efforts to provide high quality training, which is so crucial in developing talent for the future.
“It’s important that businesses like McDonald’s support them and help to create the best possible experience for young aspiring players.”
To find out more about how McDonald’s and The IFA support community football, please visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/BetterPlay.