Clare goes to Iceland and it wasnt for the shopping

By · September 26, 2010 · Filed in News

The N.I contingent

Breodblik (Iceland) v FC Jussy France

Clare Charles one of the coaches in Mid Ulster was priviliged to attend the latest UEFA Study Scheme in Iceland of all places.  Along with coaches and players from Glentoran, Linfield, Donegal Celtic and the hard working Jackie Blyth from the IFA womens department the crew was completed and headed off for a packed four day trip.  The Icelandic FA hosted the event in Reykjavik and members of the Italien and Cypriot Football Associations were also in attendance.  The trip included seminars outling the structure and position of womens football in all the attending countries with special focus on the Icelandic set up.  There were visits to two clubs in the Icelandic top womens division and the chance to see a first leg womens champions league match.  Unrelated to football the group were also treated to a visit to the Blue Lagoon; a naturally heated geothermal spring which means you can bathe in water of 37 C in any weather oh and its supposed to be really full of good nutrients for your skin too!!  Naturally we all came out of this looking years younger so this was one of the highlights of the trip.  So what can we say about the football... Well personally I felt we were not a million miles away from the Icelandic set up.  They are a small country 300,000 population but they have about the same amount of womens teams as we do.  The difference:  They start from age 6, I think we are trying to achieve this, they train at least 4 times per week, again some of our teams are working towards this.  There was a big difference in that the womens game is treated equally to the mens in both the FA and the clubs but this has been as the result of hard work.  It might all sound like we are miles behind but believe it or not the Italiens and the Cypriotts are further behind.  We are going the right way but we just need to keep chipping away.  I really liked what I saw of Iceland, I hope I learned a few things and it was also great fun.  So "Takk" (thats thanks in Icelandic)  to the people who made it possible.