Dundalk Schoolboys League representative coaches attended a 3v3 seminar on Soccer Intelligence at the Oriel Active Centre in Oriel Park last Saturday, hosted by former Ireland and Arsenal player John Devine.
Devine was part of the Arsenal team in the early 1980s that had seven regulars who were either Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland internationals.
He played 13 times for Ireland between 1979 and 1984 and also played with Norwich City and Stoke City and IK Start in Norway and is now a UEFA Pro Licence Coach.
The seminar was an insight to an alternative option to the 7v7 game regarding player development at younger age groups. A practical demonstration was held using the players from the Dundalk U12 representative squad.
The Soccer Intelligence Guided Discovery Development Programme is a unique programme because it combines mini soccer games three v three along with the guided discovery coaching method of questions and answers between the coach and the player.
This unique combination is the foundation for the development of soccer intelligence and awareness in players, and along with the technical development especially in young players, it has proven to be highly effective and also enjoyable for the coach and the players.
Non-competitive means scores are not kept and points are not won, the emphasis is on passing, control, dribbling and awareness.
Devine is currently the Director of Football for the South Dublin Schoolboys League and they have already introduced the 3v3 format on a pilot basis at U8 level.
The response has been a huge success in the South Dublin League. From a starting point of six teams they now have 30 teams playing the 3v3 format.
Devine is trying to introduce the 3v3 development games programme to every league in the country and the feedback he has received has been extremely positive.
Spain and Germany introduced a non-competitive model programme for players between the ages of 7 and 10 based on this concept over 12 years ago and they have certainly reaped the dividend now at senior level.