Feile competitions... Good or bad?


I was at some of the competitions for girls and boys football over the last 2 weekends, and while I think there is merit in introducing proper competitive football/hurling at some age, I do think 13 is a bit too young to heap these pressures on these boys and girls.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the pressures come from the mentors and parents, and the kids pick up on it, I just feel, we could be losing players by the disappointments and the sadness crested in losses and the reaction of the supporters. I personally don’t relish the prospect of my own kids playing this competition (yet) as a parent, and even with my coaching head on, I still feel we’re alienating a lot of kids by the pressures applied during this competition. When I coached a kids team over 13 years ago through feile, I didn’t feel this way, but then again, I don’t think we applied any pressures on the lads above the normal game pressures. It’s certainly change now, it’s practically a cauldron of pressure on the kids. It has to have some negative effect, in the long run.

Have any of you any thoughts? Or am I just an over protective parent?


All my least favourite memories of my time on CCC2 relate to the Feile and to our experiment with U13 and 14 championships. And while Brigids won the hurling AI in 2012, which I was heavily involved with, what happened in the Camogie that year was awful. Adults clearly in the wrong appealing a decision and denying the two teams in the final the chance to play in Croke Park.

So many dreadful stories.

Clubs would never agree but I’d get rid of it in a heartbeat.


I think you’ve summed up the way it’s going with juvenile sport. It lost the festival of football/hurling feel. It was described in our club as a blitz. My lad was dissapointed overall. Some clubs have taken it further with u15s allegedly wearing GPS vests in league matches. We played the whole thing down and it took a lot of the pressure off. But to sum it up, some coaches/mentors/parents think it’s an AI final they are involved in


Have to agree that it’s all gone too far at this stage, with the Feile being talked about from under 8’as the holy grail of under age competition.

As you say at the end of the day it’s a blitz and needs to return to being treated as such, way to much emphasis and pressure put on a competition that could be over for the players in a couple of hours.


You can blame rugby for most of it . It’s where all this bullshit comes from


Maybe if clubs submitted names from all U14 teams and a panel was drawn from a hat it would get back to the original idea/ ethos and blitz nature.


Good, I thought I was alone!

I spent this morning in Croker with my eldest lads team participating in the Leinster council go games, now that’s what promotion of the games is all about. We played Castleknock and An Gael Oige. All the kids had a fantastic time. We have hundreds of photos and videos… That’s the way forward IMO. All bursting with pride etc etc

The transformation to 13 year old winner takes all mentality is failed. Feile needs to maybe stay on, but IMO needs a change of promotion, maybe a more kid friendly tact??


Did the GoGames 4 years ago. Fantastic marketing tool. Memories for life - for the kids too! Mind you dunno if I could’ve gone there this morning!

The intense competitiveness could easily be taken out of Feile with a simple measure as above. Imagine … asking some managers to enjoy it …


A simple change could be that only u14 players are allowed to play, no u13s. One of the saddest things I saw at Feile was a mother and son both crying after he was dropped in favour of an u13 player for the Feile. i


God forbid!!! In fairness, I understand what you’re saying, I’ve seen it dozens of times. When I coach/manage however, I let the kids do the talking (unless it gets out of hand) on the match pitch. It’s all about letting the artists express themselves!! :slight_smile:
Encouragement is the key, correct encouragement is the wise key!


Yeah that simply shouldn’t happen. Mentors should be hung up by the Smart Touches …


Wouldn’t work in some smaller clubs though, We often struggle for numbers in a certain age group around now, so kids of a certain age may be required to step up!


I see your point but many clubs are using the top u13 players because they are better and not because of lack of u14 players. I suppose clubs should not allow this but it happens all the time.


I take on board people’s points here and I don’t think coaching at this age should be all about results but I do think the felie is a great competition. Clubs should always priorities league but a one off weekend is something for the lads to look forward to. It’s their championship if league isn’t going well you can forget about it for a few weeks.

For my own club we lost a lot of players to soccer at this age group bit managed to get them back for feile and you would hope now that you might start attracting them back playing more. I don’t think a cup game would have had that pull.

Soccer teams at this age group are competing in tournaments in Ireland and Europe against top clubs. Kids have a competitive nature so and I think 13/14 is old enough for them to deal wins and looses.


Can the parents deal with losing though ? That’s the issue . Too many of them try to recreate their own football careers through their kids .


[quote=“TheLoneRanger, post:15, topic:1933”]Too many of them try to recreate their own football careers through their kids .

Ain’t that the truth … though that’s worse in soccer …


If coaches are pressuring kids at this age that it’s all about winning then the club needs new coaches


I think too much is made of the Feile alright. It’s one weekend and people go nuts over it. There’s been a few rows over the years in our club over kids not getting enough game time in it.

Also, a lot of kids seem to see it as some kind of end-game as well and quit after it. I think there’s often a bit of a ‘Feile hangover’ after it, particularly if the team doesn’t do well, and the kids pick up on it.

Events like The Go Games festival in Croke Park and Camán to Croker are far more enjoyable.


I’d get rid of Féile too if I had the chance. Replace with an intercounty type blitz.My club played that type in Na Fianna last year in hurling and it was fabulous. There’s another U12 football tournament hosted by Newry Mitchells, and I have never heard a negative report about this particular blitz.


Totally agree but unfortunately Croke Park isn’t open long enough to cater for all club.