Local car dealership Jacksons and the Isle of Man Football Association are delighted to announce a three-year extension of their ‘Driving Youth Football Forward’ partnership on the Island.
Since 2019 Jacksons has supported all areas of youth football on the Island. This involves development programmes including the midweek Jacksons U18 Football League, the growth of junior girls’ football provision and off-island travel support towards the 220 young players in the IOMFA Centre of Excellence program aged 10-18. The arrangement has also supported the IOMFA Junior Football League, that has over 1,800 junior players, as young as six, competing each weekend during the season for their clubs at venues across the Island.
A number of IOMFA Centre of Excellence trips have taken place over the last three years. Competing against high quality teams from the UK is an important area in football development and can provide lifelong memories for the players.
The IOMFA Development Office has several exciting enhancements to core junior football development areas in order to continually improve experiences for local players. Among other focus areas, as part of these plans, the IOMFA Centre of Excellence program will re-name as ‘The Isle of Man FA Academy’. The Academy, as a result of the continuity of the Jackson’s partnership, will provide even more junior representative football opportunities for players along with additional coach development support for coaching staff. Small start-up grants to help newly formed junior teams in the IOMFA Junior Football League and additional school competitions are also being planned.
IOMFA Football Development Manager, Lewis Qualtrough, said: ‘The support from Jacksons has been incredible! Keeping grassroots football developing and growing from strength to strength is a big operation. Countless hours are spent by volunteers at our clubs and within the development programs ensuring that football remains attractive to young people and for the sport to remain the largest participation activity on the Island. I’m delighted with what has been achieved by the football community over the last three years and with Jacksons continuing to work with us, football will keep progressing forward.’
Jacksons Head of Business, Darren Moore, and sister company Motor Mall Head of Sales, David Cavanagh, were delighted to confirm the ongoing and enhanced sponsorship for the next three years. Darren Moore commented: ‘Often the unsung heroes of Manx football, the incredible work the Isle of Man Football Association does every day is something we are very proud to continue to support. As a Group that only operates in island communities, we understand the importance of supporting the communities we all live and work in. Our sponsorships and support are always focused on at least one of our three main priorities; the next generation, physical and mental wellbeing and community events. This sponsorship ticks all three boxes and we are very excited with the IOMFA’s plans for the next three years, especially in “Driving Youth Football Forward”.’
David Cavanagh of Motor Mall was equally excited: ‘As a lifelong football fan and player, I’m really looking forward to working with the IOMFA over the coming years. As well as the financial support, Motor Mall is donating two cars for the coaches to use and a Minibus for the island’s junior teams. Our focus is on supporting youth football, and now that is more inclusive than ever with the work IOMFA does with both boys and girls. The new Academy is another fantastic initiative and I’m sure will help develop our players of the future’.