Corrib Celtic FC

Corrib Celtic FC stands as a community-oriented Sports Club, committed to embracing the rich diversity of our local area. Our presence has seamlessly woven into the fabric of Annaghdown / Corrandulla, touching the lives of numerous residents. We take immense pride in establishing the club on the bedrock of inclusivity and healthy competition, with a strong emphasis on engaging children in sports throughout their formative years. By championing diversity and fostering an inclusive environment, we have successfully expanded both the quantity and variety of our teams.

To provide an opportunity for youth to develop and grow in our community through participating in sport. Our goal is to foster a welcoming, enjoyable, safe and competitive environment which will assist in the social and physical development for children of all skill levels.


  1. The name of the Club shall be CORRIB CELTIC F.C LIMITED, hereinafter referred to as “the Club”.
  2. The name of the Club will be known in the abbreviated form as CORRIB CELTIC F.C.
  3. The Club is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital.
  4. Copies of the Memorandum and Articles of the Club are available to the members of the Club for inspection subject to suitable notice being given.


The Club will be affiliated with: GALWAY & DISTRICT LEAGUE.


The Club colours shall be black and white shirts black shorts and Black/white socks.


  • The objectives of the Club shall be to provide association football for all our teams and such social recreational pursuits as may be deemed desirable by the Committee within the Club and surrounding district. It will encourage good discipline and sportsmanship at all times. The club will seek to compete at the highest possible level and will endeavour to facilitate the provision of the best playing amenities and equipment available to us, in line with the growth of the club.
  • The Club is committed to providing opportunities for everyone to participate in football regardless of their gender, race, nationality, colour, religion, or ability. We are working towards involving our community.
  • The Club follows the F.A.I. Child Protection Policy. We have a Child Protection designated person who will ensure at all times these guidelines are strictly followed.


  • Membership of the Club shall be open to all persons interested in the pursuance of or furtherance of the objectives of the Club whether as a playing or non-playing members. Members under the age of 18 years shall be junior members. Every member of the Club shall be entitled to vote at any general meeting. For members aged under-18 their vote will be passed to a parent with similar voting rights. But only one parent or guardian of any one junior member of the Club shall be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Club unless such parent or guardian is a member of the Committee of the Club or except where such parent or guardian is a member of the Club in his/her own right.
  • The Secretary and the register shall keep a register of the members of the Club and an up-to-date duplicate copy shall be maintained on the Club premises.
    In the event of non-payment of subscription by the 1st of January in every year the termination of the membership shall be at the discretion of the Committee.
  • A member wishing to resign shall give notice to this effect in writing to the Secretary such notice to be accompanied by a payment of all Club dues at that date.


  1. The annual subscription of the Club shall be fixed annually by the members at the AGM.
  2. The Club year shall run from the 1st day of June in any year until the last day of May in the next year.
  3. Subscriptions shall be payable not later than the 30th September in the Club year for which subscriptions are due.


  • The Officers shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Child Protection Officer, all of whom shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. Other posts may be created by a majority vote at an Annual General Meeting.
  • Team managers all of whom shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting shall also automatically be on the general committee.
  • The General committee shall consist of 9 members who include the Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and team managers.
  • A discipline committee shall be formed to include a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary and two co-opted member to discuss disciplinary matters and enforce appropriate fines.


The Chairperson shall carry out the following responsibilities:-

  • Be a figure-head for the Club
  • Attend official functions as required
  • Call and chair meetings in line with the constitution

The Secretary shall carry out the following responsibilities

  • All correspondence with Football Authorities and Leagues.
  • Arrangements for and minutes of meetings
  • Confirmation of fixtures, results, match cards and forms
  • Arrangements for Insurance
  • Co-ordination of press reports as required by team managers

The Treasurer shall carry out the following responsibilities

  • Maintenance of records of all receipts and payments
  • Honouring all invoices received
  • Preparing end of year accounts for review at the Annual General Meeting.
  • Prepare quarterly budget forecasts
  • Control and maintenance of centrally held club equipment
  • Maintenance of club records and statistics

Team Managers (or other appointed officials) shall carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Follow the CHILD PROTECTION POLICY (where applicable)
  • Honour fixtures as required by competition organisers
  • Select players and inform them of arrangements
  • Collect fees as appropriate, maintain records and pass moneys to the club treasurer on a regular basis
  • Complete match cards and pass to club secretary / Referee on day of match in time for deadlines to be met.
  • Ensure that the fabric of the club and it’s equipment is respected all times
  • Attend committee meetings and the relevant courses available
  • Ensure that the clubs events are conveyed to all members /Parents


The Club shall be controlled by a Committee which shall consist of the Officers and Managers of the various teams in the Club and any other person who from time to time may be elected by the Committee. No member of the Committee has more than one vote except for the Chairperson. The General Committee shall meet from time to time as agreed and the proceedings at such meetings shall be duly recorded in a minute book. A quorum of the General Committee shall consist of 4 members one of who must be the Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer. The Chairperson shall have a casting vote at all meetings.


A Emergency general meeting may be convened at any time by the Committee and shall be convened within 21 days from the receipt by the Secretary of a requisition in writing signed by not less than 30 members entitled to vote (the expression ‘member’ shall include one parent or guardian of a junior member) or not less than one fifth of the total number of the Club including junior members specifying the object of the meeting for any of the following purposes:

  • To consider and if approved sanction any duly made alteration of the rules
  • To deal with any special matter which the Committee may desire to place before the members including the expulsion of a member
  • To receive the resignation of the Committee or to remove any member or members there of from office and to fill any vacancy or vacancies caused thereby
  • To deal with any special matter which the members requiring the meeting may desire to place before the Club.
  • Notice convening an Emergency General Meeting shall be sent to the members not less than 7 days before the meeting and shall specify the matters to be dealt with.


  • The Committee shall have power to expel any member who shall offend against the rules of the Club or whose conduct shall in the opinion of the Committee render him unfit for membership of the Club. Before any such member is expelled the Secretary shall give him 7 days written notice to attend a meeting of the Committee and shall inform him of the complaints made against him.
  • No member shall be expelled without first having an opportunity of appearing before the Committee and answering complaints made against him or unless then two thirds of the Committee then present vote in favour of his expulsion.
  • No member whose membership has been terminated under this rule or who owes money to the Club shall be introduced by any other member as a visitor to any part of the Club premises. For excessive disciplinary problems on the football field, a player may be asked to go before a disciplinary committee, and will be given 7 days written notice to attend. Failure to attend may result in the player’s membership being cancelled.
  • The Committee will also have the authority to automatically suspend a member, Manager, or player who brings the Club into disrepute.


  • A General Meeting of the Club shall be held every year not later than 31st July to transact the following business:
  • To receive and if approved to adopt a statement of the club’s accounts to the end of the proceeding year.
  • To consider and if approved sanction any duly made alteration of the rules.
  • To appoint the Officers and other members of the Committee.
  • To appoint an Auditor or Auditors.
  • To deal with any special matter which the Committee desire to bring before the members and to receive suggestions from members for consideration by the Committee.
  • A balance sheet of the accounts for the previous year will be audited and signed by an independent Accountant and will be available to members at the AGM.


  • The property and assets of the Club shall be vested in the General Committee. The General Committee shall have the power to appoint such committees as may from time to time be deemed necessary and shall receive reports of such sub-committees at its meetings. At least one member of every sub-committee so appointed shall be a member of General Committee. The General Committee shall have power to fill such vacancies as may arise in its constitution between Annual General Meetings. The General Committee shall have power to declare a seat vacant should a member be absent himself from two consecutive meetings without an explanation deemed to be satisfactory.
  • The General Committee shall have power to appoint team members who shall be answerable to the Committee. The General Committee shall have power to decide in which competitions and in which leagues teams shall participate due regard being given whenever possible to the wishes of all team managers.
  • The General Committee shall have power to decide on all financial and administrative matters relating to the Club’s affairs other than as set out specifically in these rules.
  • The Committee shall have power to elect Members of other Clubs to use and enjoy the premises and facilities of the Club as visitors for any period. Such visitors shall not be entitled to vote at any meeting of any members.


The Committee shall have the power to alter the rules but no such alteration shall take effect until the same has been confirmed at the Annual General Meeting or an Emergency General Meeting convened for the purpose.


The Committee shall have power to make Bye-laws for regulating the conduct and affairs of the Club provided the same are not inconsistent with these rules.
Such Bye-laws shall be posted in some conspicuous part of the Club premises
and shall be binding on all members.


  • A resolution to dissolve the Club shall only be proposed at a General Meeting and shall be carried by a majority of at least three-quarters of the members present.
  • The dissolution shall take effect from the date of the resolution and the members of the Club Committee shall be responsible for the winding up of the assets and liabilities of the Club.
  • Any surplus assets remaining after the discharge of the debts and liabilities of the Club shall be transferred to another Club, a Competition, the Parent County Association or The FIA for use by them for related community sports.


Remember that members play organised sports for their own enjoyment; they are not there to entertain you.

  • Be on your best behaviour. Do not use profane language or harass physically or verbally abuse players, Manager, coaches. Referees or linesman.
  • Applaud all good play by your own team and the other team.
  • Show respect for your team’s opponents. Without them there would be no game.
  • Never ridicule or scold a player for making a mistake during the game.
    Condemn the use of violence and verbal abuse.
  • Respect the referee and linesman’s decisions. Remember he is only human with the same feelings as you and like you sometimes makes an honest error.
    Encourage players always to play according to the Laws of the Game.
  • Read the Laws of the Game to gain a better understanding what you are looking at and commenting on.
  • You should always encourage players and never coach them as that is the Manager’s role. This will cause confusion/conflict between managers/players/supporters.


  • Play by the Laws of the Game
  • Never argue with the Referee or Linesman’s, Respect there decisions at all times
  • Control your temper and use your energies for playing better football
  • Play well for yourself and your team, your team’s performance will benefit and so will your own.
  • Be a good sport. Recognise all good play, whether by your team or by your opponent’s team.
  • Treat all players as you yourself would like to be treated. Do not bully or take unfair advantage of any player.
  • Remember that the aims of the game are to improve your skills and feel good. Do not show off.
  • Co-operate with your coach/manager, team mates and opponents.
  • Learn the Laws of the Game and you will be a much better football player.
  • Ensure you have the right apparel; remember shin guards are compulsory in all games.
  • When playing only take notice of your manager and not parents or spectators, as you will be playing to a game plan that others are not privy to.
  • Players are expected to attend training sessions at times detailed by your manager; failure to do so could result in you not being able to play.


  • Ensure either you or your representative attends committee meetings or meetings called for special purposes.
  • As the team Manager you, by your actions and conduct, set the example for your players, parents and spectators. Set a good example at all times.
  • Read the players, spectators and parent’s codes and understand what is being asked of all participants of your sport. Actively promote the codes.
  • You are responsible for the players health, welfare and safety particularly the very young players, during the period they are under your control from the arrival of the first child, to the (usually late) collection of the last.
  • Ensure that each player is correctly dressed with the necessary safety equipment, shin pads etc. before being allowed to play (Referees can send off the player off the field until correctly dressed).
  • Get treatment for an injured child (player) immediately. There are no exceptions.
  • Never, either physically or mentally, push any player beyond their abilities. The game is of minor consideration when compared to the player’s future health and well being.
  • Never condone unacceptable behaviour by doing nothing. To do so can be seen as encouragement to the guilty and leaves it for the next Manager to rectify.
  • Always be prompt, courteous and correct when dealing with the League officials, opposition Managers, Referees and Linesman. Confirm venues, times and dates etc. as early as possible and at reasonable times during the day.
  • Read understand and be aware of your responsibilities as laid down in your League handbook. Remember, and remind all concerned that bad behaviour is punishable by the League, which can lead to heavy fines and/or suspension of the Club.
  • Check that you have the necessary equipment, documentation, and first aid box before you leave for the match, or training.


  • The guidelines are based on the national guidelines as outlined in the following documents.
  • Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport, Irish Sports Council, 2000.
  • Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, Dept. of Health & Children 1999
  • Our Duty to Care, Dept. of Health & Children 2002
  • Football Association of Ireland Code of Ethics & Best Practice

Mission Statement

The work of The Club is based on the following principles that will guide the development of sport for young people in this club. Children and young people’s experience of soccer should be guided by what is best for the child or young person. The stages of development and the ability of the child should guide the types of activity provided within the club. Adults will need to have a basic understanding of the needs of young people, including physical, emotional and personal.

Integrity in relationships

Adults interacting with young people in soccer should do so with integrity and respect for the child. All adult actions in soccer should be guided by what is best for the child and in the context of quality, open working relationships. Verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse of any kind is unacceptable within soccer.

Quality atmosphere and ethos

Soccer for young people should be conducted in a safe, positive and encouraging atmosphere. A child-centred ethos will help to ensure that competition and specialisation are kept in their appropriate place. Too often unhealthy competitive demands are placed on children too early and results in excessive levels of pressure on them and as a consequence, high levels of dropout from sport.


All children should be treated in an equitable and fair manner regardless of age, ability, sex, religion, social and ethnic background or political persuasion. Children with disability should be involved in sports activities in an integrated way, thus allowing them to participate to their potential alongside other children.

Fair Play

Fair play is the guiding principle of the Irish Sports Councils Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport.

It states that “all children’s sport should be conducted in an atmosphere of fair play”. Ireland has contributed and is committed to the European Code of Sports Ethics, which defines fair play as: “much more than playing within the rules”.

It incorporates the concepts of friendship, respect for others and always playing with the right spirit. Fair play is defined as a way of thinking, not just behaving. It incorporates issues concerned with the elimination of opportunities, excessive commercialisation and corruption.
(European Sports Charter and Code of Ethics, Council of Europe, 1993).


A balanced approach to competition can make a significant contribution to the development of young people, while at the same time providing fun, enjoyment and satisfaction. Coaches/managers should aim to put the welfare of the child first and competitive standards second. A child-centred approach will help to ensure that competition and specialisation are kept in their appropriate place.

Corrib Celtic FC provides soccer activities and opportunities for young people through participation in club level, regional/provincial level and through our national teams.

Corrib Celtic FC is committed to safeguarding children and by working under the guidance of our Corrib Celtic FC Safeguarding Policies our volunteers working with our young people, throughout the organisation, seek to create a safe environment for young people to grow and develop.

The Club is committed to ensuring that all necessary steps will be taken to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people who participate in soccer. This Policy document clearly demonstrates the importance placed by The Club on the protection and safety of children and young people who participate in soccer.

All children and young people who participate in soccer should be able to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment. While doing so they should be protected from any form of abuse be it physical, emotional, sexual, neglect or bullying. The responsibility for protecting children lies with all adults involved in this club and in soccer in general.

The Club recognises and accepts its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, emotional or sexual harm and from neglect or bullying.

These clear policies, practices and procedures in addition to relevant training programmes will ensure that everybody in The Club knows exactly what is expected of them in relation to protecting children and young people within soccer.

It is vital that children and young people who participate in The Club activities are able to do so in a safe, enjoyable and quality environment.

In pursuit of this goal The Club will:

  1. Advise all members of The Club (coaches, players, parents and spectators) of their responsibilities in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people who participate in soccer.
  2. Operate within the recommended Football Association of Ireland codes of conduct and best practice guidelines.
  3. Appoint a Club Children’s Officer in line with Football Association of Ireland requirements.
  4. Provide a child protection and welfare module in staff induction and development programmes.

The aims of The Clubs Child Protection Policy are:

  • To develop a positive and pro-active position in order to best protect all children and young people who participate in soccer, in order for them to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment.
  • To provide appropriate guidance and advice to all club members (players, coaches, volunteers, spectators and parents) in all matters concerning child welfare and protection.
  • To demonstrate best practice in the area of child welfare and protection.
  • To promote ethics and best practice standards throughout soccer.

The key principles underpinning this Policy are that:

  • The welfare of the child is the first and paramount consideration.
  • All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse of any kind regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse/poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. It is essential that we work in partnership with children and young people and their parents/carers. The HSE has a statutory responsibility to safeguard and protect the welfare of children and The Club is committed to cooperating fully with them in accordance with procedures as outlined in “Children First” National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.
  • The Club will cooperate fully with the Football Association of Ireland National Children’s Officer, Gardai and Health Boards in any investigation of child abuse in soccer.
  • The Football Association of Ireland’s regulations in regard to child welfare and protection are defined in the rulebook as:

Rule 95. The Protection and Welfare of Children

In line with recent legislation and Government Guidelines (The Child Care Act 1991 and The Protection for Persons Reporting Abuse Act 1998) in relation to child protection and welfare, it is mandatory that all National Associations, Divisional Associations and Affiliated Leagues should operate to Football Association of Ireland recommended codes of conduct and best practice guidelines.

  1. Any act, statement, conduct or other matter, which harms a child or children, or poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children, shall constitute behaviour which is improper and brings the game into disrepute.
  2. Breaches will become a disciplinary offence.
  3. Any Member or Participant who is the subject of a Statutory Inquiry in relation to any child welfare concern must stand down from all soccer activities pending the outcome of that inquiry and any subsequent internal disciplinary proceedings.

The Club through confirming this policy document has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that children and young people can participate in all soccer activities with their safety and welfare being of paramount importance.

It is essential that this document represents a process of continual improvement in the area of child protection and welfare in soccer.

It is the responsibility of all adults involved in soccer to actively promote safe and best practice standards whilst being ever vigilant and aware of their responsibilities to children and young people in their care.

Procedure for dealing with Child Abuse Concerns or Allegations

It is important to note that the investigation of suspected child abuse is the responsibility of the Statutory Authorities (Gardai, HSE) and should not be undertaken by Children’s Officers or any other Club/League. All allegations of child abuse must be referred to the Statutory Authorities.

When an allegation is received it should be assessed promptly and carefully. It will be necessary to decide whether a formal report should be made to the HSE and this decision should be based on reasonable grounds for concern.

The following examples would constitute reasonable grounds for concern:
  • A specific indication from a child that they were abused;
  • A statement from a person who witnessed abuse;
  • An illness, injury or behaviour consistent with abuse;
  • A symptom which may not in itself be totally consistent with abuse, but which is support by corroborative evidence of deliberate harm or negligence;
  • Consistent signs of neglect over a period of time. Ref. Children First
Step One

Any allegation of abuse must in the first instance be brought to the attention of the Chairperson of the Club. Should the Chairperson be unsure whether reasonable grounds for concern exist s/he can informally consult with the local HSE duty social worker. S/he will be advised whether or not the matter requires a formal report.

Coaches/volunteers may be subjected to erroneous or malicious allegations. Therefore, any allegation of abuse should be dealt with sensitively and appropriate support should be provided for staff/volunteers including counselling where necessary.

Step Two

Should the Club become aware of an allegation of abuse of a child or children by a coach/volunteer during the execution of that coaches/volunteers duties, the Chairman will privately inform the coach/volunteer of the following?

The fact that the allegation has been made against him/her;

The nature of the allegation.

Step Three

The coach/volunteer should be afforded an opportunity to respond. The Chairman will note the response and pass on this information when making the formal report to the HSE.

The report to the HSE should contain observations, dates, times, locations and contexts in which the incident occurred or suspicion was aroused, together with any other relevant information.

In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious risk and the Chairperson is unable to contact a duty social worker, the Gardai shall be contacted.

Under no circumstances will a child be left in a dangerous situation pending intervention by the Statutory Authorities

Step Four

Our Chairperson, if reporting suspected or actual child abuse to the Statutory Authorities will first inform the family of their intention to make such a report, unless doing so would endanger the child or undermine any statutory investigation.

Step Five

All subsequent actions following an allegation of abuse against a coach/volunteer will be taken in consultation with the HSE and An Garda Síochána. An immediate meeting will be sought with these two agencies for this purpose. The Football Association of Ireland National Children’s Officer is also available to provide support and advice.

Step Six

Under Football Association of Ireland rules, any coach/volunteer/manager who is the subject of a statutory investigation into alleged child abuse is required to stand down from all soccer activities until the investigation is completed. Therefore the FAI National Children’s Officer must be informed immediately of any formal notification to the Statutory Authorities.

When a person is asked to stand down it should be made clear that it is only a precautionary measure in keeping with standard procedures/guidelines and will not prejudice any later disciplinary proceedings.

The coach/volunteer concerned should be advised that the procedures being undertaken are in accordance with statutory requirements. He or she should be treated with respect and fairness, and also be assured that all information will be dealt with in a sensitive and confidential manner.

Step Seven

The Club will carefully consider the outcome of the statutory investigation and will then assess if there are any outstanding disciplinary issues in relation to their internal rules or infringements of the Football Association of Ireland best practice guidelines. It must be remembered that the fact that the alleged abuser has not been prosecuted or been found guilty does not mean that they are appropriate to work with young people in the future.

Internal Club disciplinary proceedings can only be initiated after the Statutory Authorities have completed theirs.

Club Disciplinary, Complaints and Appeals Procedure (Covers all matters other than suspected child abuse which has to be referred to the Statutory Authorities See 10.6)

While many concerns can be dealt with in an informal manner to the satisfaction of all concerned, it is advisable that detailed records are maintained in respect of all complaints and that all parties are advised of the formal complaints and appeals procedure. All reasonable efforts to resolve matters should be exhausted at local level before accessing the appeals procedure.

Step One
Any person who has a complaint or concern should bring it to the attention of the secretary under the relevant rules of the body concerned.

The complaint or concern should be in writing and should outline all relevant details and other parties involved in line with procedure.

Step Two
The complaint or concern should then be brought to the attention of the appropriate person in line with club rules who will convene the disciplinary committee/panel (best practice would advise that this committee/panel would consist of three members) unless the complaint or concern relates to a child abuse matter or criminal offence that meets criteria for formal reporting to the statutory authorities.

Where there are potential contentious issues, due consideration should be given to ensure the independence of the disciplinary committee/panel and therefore, it is advisable that members of the disciplinary committee/panel should not be Offices/Directors of the body concerned as lack of independence is often cited as a ground for appeal.

(The Chairperson of the Club should not sit on the Disciplinary Committee)

Step Three

The disciplinary committee/panel should furnish any participant with details of the complaint being made against them and afford them the opportunity of providing a response either verbally or in writing. In the event of a complaint against a child, the parents/guardians should be informed and advised of the process.

Step Four

The disciplinary committee/panel should then hear the case of all parties involved and decide if a rule or regulation has been infringed.

Step Five

The disciplinary committee/panel should then inform in writing those involved of their decision and any sanctions if any that are to be imposed. This notification should be in writing, setting out the reasons for the sanction. (Written notification should be forwarded to parents if the proceedings involve a participant under eighteen years of age)

Step Six

Any party unhappy with the findings of the disciplinary committee/panel can appeal the decision in writing to their respective superior body as per rules. Clubs, leagues, divisional associations and other football bodies should review their rules to ensure they contain a provision that facilitates an appeals procedure in this respect.

Step Seven

The appeal body should then rehear the case and all evidence, should be considered. The appeals body should have the power to uphold or reject the appeal or to vary alter or set aside any sanction imposed by the disciplinary committee/panel.

Written confidential records in relation to disciplinary proceedings should be safely and confidentially kept on file (procedures should clearly define the possession of such records in the event of election of new officers)

Anonymous Complaints

Anonymous complaints can be difficult to deal with, however they cannot be ignored. All complaints relating to inappropriate behaviour/poor practice should be brought to the attention of the Chairperson of the Club. In all cases the safety and welfare of the child/children is paramount.

All complaints should be checked out and handled in a confidential manner. It is important to record all such complaints and actions taken. Specific advice on dealing with anonymous complaints can be got from your local HSE duty social worker or alternatively the Football Association of Ireland National Children’s Officer.


Rumours should not be allowed hang in the air. Any rumour/s relating to inappropriate behaviour/s circulating in the club should be brought to the attention to the Chairperson and checked out promptly. All ensuing information should be handled confidentially and with sensitivity.


Confidentiality is about managing information in a respectful, professional and purposeful manner. It is important that the rights of both the child and the person about whom the complaint has been made are protected. Therefore, appropriate confidentiality will be maintained in respect of all issues and people involved in concerns about the welfare of a child or bad practice within the club.

The following points will be borne in mind:

  • A guarantee of confidentiality or undertakings regarding secrecy cannot be given, as the welfare of the child will supersede all other considerations
  • All information should be treated in a careful and sensitive manner and should only be discussed with those who need to know
  • Information will be conveyed to the parents/guardians of a child about whom there are concerns in a sensitive way
  • Giving information to others on a “need to know” basis for the protection of a child is not a breach of confidentiality

Recruitment Policy

The Club will take all reasonable steps to ensure that coaches, managers and volunteers are suitable to work with children and young people.

All coaches, managers and volunteers are required to complete an application/self declaration form, giving the names of two referees who will then be contacted. Written references will then be verified and kept on file.

All coaches/volunteers subject to Garda clearance (when available)

All appointments are subject to approval and ratification by the committee of The Club

All coaches, managers and volunteers will be subject to a sign up procedure in which they undertake to abide by The Club rules and FAI codes of conduct and good practice. (Appropriate confidentiality will be maintained in regard to all application and reference forms)

Once recruited, The Club will make all efforts to support and manage coaches, managers and volunteers ensuring that no person is expected to work alone.

The Club Coach, Manager, Volunteer Education & Support Policy

The Committee of The Club are indebted to our coaches, managers and volunteers who give freely of their valuable time in providing a stimulating, challenging, supportive and fun soccer experience to children and young people in the Club.

The Committee will endeavour to support these coaches, managers and volunteers in their work by providing an environment where all activities are carried out in a safe, fun manner at all times conducted in the spirit of “Fair Play”.

The Club will make all efforts to assist all new volunteers, managers, coaches in whatever way they can.

The Club will provide an induction pack to all new volunteers/coaches who will familiarise them with Club rules, policies and procedures and expected codes of behaviour for children, coaches and parents/spectators.

Specifically in relation to those with no soccer background, the Committee have introduced a “Buddy” system whereby new members will accompany one of our existing coaches for a (decide on a time frame) period during which they can familiarise themselves with the Club and its members adult and children and introduce them to some basic training routines and practice models.

The Committee of The Club recognise the value of having appropriately qualified personnel in the club, and therefore will endeavour to support any of our coaches in the coach education process.

At no time will any coach, manager, volunteer be expected to work or deal with any problem alone and they will be assured of Committee assistance and support at all times. Also, coaches, managers and volunteers are encouraged to share ideas, expertise and support other club personnel in any way they can.

Substance Abuse Policy

In The Club the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco shall be actively discouraged as being incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity.

Coaches/managers should not smoke when taking a session or drink alcohol before taking a session.

In relation to our under-age teams The Club shall endeavour to organise receptions and celebrations in a nonalcoholic environment and in a manner that is suitable for the age group concerned.

Where this is not possible, the Club will comply with the Football Association of Ireland directive that under no circumstances whatsoever can any person under the age of 18 years consume alcohol and any and all appropriate steps should be taken to ensure that this policy is strictly adhered to.

Our coaches/managers/committee shall act as role models for appropriate behaviour and refrain from drinking alcohol at such functions

Club Children’s Officer/s

The appointment of Club Children’s Officers is an essential element in the creation of a quality atmosphere in any club. They act as a resource to members with regard to children’s issues and also ensure that children have a voice in the running of the club and can freely talk of their experiences.

Government guidelines advise that a children’s officer should be appointed by all clubs and this should be done in accordance with recommended selection and recruitment procedures. The appointment of this person should be carried out in consultation with juvenile members and their parent/guardians.

The League/Club Children’s Officer should have the following functions:

  • To promote the Code of Ethics & Good Practice
  • To influence policy and practice and to prioritise children’s needs
  • To ensure that children know how and whom they can report their concerns to within the club. Information disclosed by a child should be dealt with in accordance with the Department of Health and Children’s Guidelines “Children First”
  • To encourage the participation of parents/guardians in club activities
  • To co-operate with parents to ensure that each child enjoys his/her participation in soccer
  • To act as a resource with regard to best practice in children’s soccer
  • To report regularly to the Club Management Committee
  • To monitor changes in membership and follow up any unusual dropout, absenteeism or club transfers by children or coach/volunteers

Club/League Children’s Officers do not have the responsibility of investigating or validating child protection concerns within the club and have no counselling or therapeutic role. This responsibility lies with the HSE and Gardai.

Guidance on the Use of Photographic and Filming Equipment

Many people use cameras and video equipment at soccer activities and the vast majority, do so for perfectly legitimate reasons. However there is evidence that people have used sporting events to take inappropriate photographs and video footage of children and young people in vulnerable positions.

The Club has adopted a policy in relation to the use of images of players on their websites and in other publications.

Where possible we will try to use models or illustrations when promoting an activity and avoid the use of the first name and surname of individuals in a photograph. This reduces the risk of inappropriate, unsolicited attention from people within and outside the sport.

Rules to guide use of photography:
  • If the player is named, avoid using their photograph.
  • If a photograph is used, avoid naming the player.
  • Ask for the player’s permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is to be used to represent the sport. A player’s permission form is one way of achieving this.
  • Ask for parental permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is to be used to represent the sport. A parental permission form is one way of achieving this.
  • Only use images of players in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use. The content of the photograph should focus on the activity not on a particular child

Create recognised procedures for reporting the use of inappropriate images to reduce the risks to players. Follow the child protection procedures, ensuring either the designated person or, if necessary, the health boards and/or Gardai are informed.

Amateur photographers/film/video operators wishing to record an event or practice session should seek permission/accreditation with the team manager/coach and/or event organiser of session. The Club will display the following information prior to the start of an event to inform spectators of the policy:

“In line with the recommendation in The Club Code of Conduct, the promoters of this event request that any person wishing to engage in any video, zoom or close range photography should register their details with the organisers. Children and young people should only be photographed or filmed with their permission and/or the permission of their parents/guardian”.

When commissioning professional photographers or inviting the press to an activity or event we will aim to ensure they are clear about our expectations of them in relation to child protection.

Professional photographers/film/video operators wishing to record an event or practice session should seek accreditation with the event organiser/team manager by producing their professional identification for the details to be recorded.

We will then:

  • Provide a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour
  • Issue the photographer with identification which must be worn at all times
  • Keep a record of accreditations
  • Inform players and parents that a photographer will be in attendance at an event and ensure they consent to both the taking and publication of films or photographs
    Not allow unsupervised access to athletes or one to one photo sessions at events
  • Not approve/allow photo sessions outside the events or at an athlete’s home
Videoing as a coaching aid
  • Video equipment can be used as a legitimate coaching aid.Permission should first be obtained from the player and the player’s parent/carer.
  • Clubs should also be aware of the dangers of permitting camera phones in dressing rooms and should apply appropriate safety rules.
  • Anyone concerned about any photography taking place at events/matches or training sessions should bring their concerns to the attention of the committee/team manager/coach children’s officer.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are often given to children for security, enabling parents to keep in touch and make sure they are safe. Young people value their phones highly as it offers them a sense of independence. In addition mobile phones allow quick and easy contact, which can make a safe and efficient way to carry out club business. However such technology has also allowed an increase in direct personal contact with young people, in some cases used to cross personal boundaries and cause harm to young people. Therefore, we need to encourage responsible and secure use of mobile phones by adults and young people.

Therefore club personnel should advise children:
  • If you receive an offensive photo, email or message, do not reply, save it, make a note of times and dates and tell a parent or designated person within the club.
  • Be careful about who you give your phone number to and don’t respond to unfamiliar numbers
  • Change your phone number in cases of bullying or harassment
    Don’t use the phone in certain locations; inappropriate use of your camera phone may cause upset or offence to another person, e.g. changing rooms
  • Treat your phone as you would any other valuable item so that you guard against theft

As a coach/manager remember:

  • Use only group texts for communication among players and teams and inform parents of this at the start of the season
    It is not appropriate to have constant communication for individual players
  • Don’t use the phone in certain locations; inappropriate use of your camera phone may cause upset or offence to another person, e.g. changing rooms

Travelling Guidelines

  • When travelling with young people coaches/volunteers of The Club should:
  • Ensure that there is adequate insurance cover
  • Not carry more than the permitted number of passengers
  • Ensure the use of safety belts
  • Keep to the rules of the road
  • Avoid being alone with one player; if with one player you could: put the passenger in the back seat, drop off at central locations, get parental permission for transporting children on a regular basis and clearly state times of pick off and drop off.
  • When travelling by coach there must by at least one Adult for every 8 underage players.

Touching Guidelines

All managers/volunteers of The Club are advised that:

  • Any necessary physical contact should be in response to the needs of the child and not the adult
  • It should be in an open environment with the permission and full understanding of the player
  • It should be determined by the age and developmental stage of the player. You should not anything that a child can do for him/herself
  • Coaches should not treat injuries out of sight of others. Use a “Two-Deep” (two personnel, or two players) supervision system. Only personnel who are qualified in administering First Aid or treating sports injuries should attempt to treat an injury.
  • The comfort level and dignity of the player should always be the priority. Example: Only uncover the injured area, and cover private areas of the athlete’s body.
  • Any doubts of a medical nature should be passed on to a suitably qualified medical person.
  • Coaches should not play injured players.
  • Comforting/congratulating players is an important part of the relationship between coaches and players.
Guidelines for this type of touch are:
  • Limit touching to “safe” areas, such as hand-to-shoulder. It should not involve touching genital area, buttocks, breasts, or mouths.
  • Make your intention to congratulate or comfort clear to the player.
  • Respect a players discomfort or rejection of physical contact.
  • Be sure that touching occurs only when others are present.
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact and never engage in inappropriate touching

Guidance on the use of Sanctions

Discipline in Soccer

  • Discipline in soccer should always be positive in focus, providing the structures and rules that allow players to set their own goals and strive for them. It should encourage players to become more responsible for themselves and their actions and therefore more independent.
  • Discipline should be a positive reinforcement for effort. It should encourage the development of emotional and social skills as well as skills in soccer. Players have to be helped to become responsible for the decisions and choices they make within soccer, particularly when it is likely to make a difference between playing fairly or unfairly.
  • There is no place in soccer for fighting, bullying, over aggressive or dangerous behaviour.
  • At all times, players should treat others in a respectful manner. They should never bully, interfere with or take unfair advantage of others.
  • The use of sanctions is an important element in the maintenance of discipline. However Coaches/Managers/Volunteers and Administrators should have a clear understanding of where and when particular sanctions are appropriate.
  • It should be remembered that effectively controlled organisations and successful coaches/managers/volunteers are characterised by the sparring use of sanctions. The age and developmental stage of the child should be taken into account when using sanctions.
  • Sanctions should always be fair, consistent and applied evenly, and in the case of a persistent offence, should be progressively applied.

The following steps are suggested:

  • Rules should be clearly stated and agreed
  • A warning should be given if a rule is broken
  • A sanction (use of time out for example) should be applied if a rule is broken for a second time
  • If a rule is broken three or more times, the child should be spoken to and parents/guardians involved if necessary
  • Sanctions should only be used in a corrective way that is intended to help children improve both now and in the future. They should never be used in retaliation or to make coach/manager/volunteer feel better or more powerful
  • When violations of the team rules or other misbehaviours occur, sanctions should always be applied in an impartial and fair manner
  • Sanctions should never be used as threats. If a rule is broken, the appropriate sanction/s should implemented consistently, fairly and firmly
  • Sanctions should not be applied if the coach/manager/volunteer is not comfortable with them. If an appropriate action cannot be devised immediately, the child should be told that the matter will be dealt with later, at a specified time and as soon as is possible
  • Once a sanction/s has been imposed, it is important to make the child feel s/he is a valued member of the team again
  • A child should be helped, to understand if necessary why sanction/s are imposed
  • A child should not be sanctioned for making errors whilst playing soccer
  • Physical activity (e.g. running laps or doing push ups) should not be used as a sanction as to do so may cause a child to resent physical activity which is something that s/he should learn to enjoy throughout his/her life. Remember Soccer has to be Fun if participants are to continue playing
  • Sanctions should be used sparingly. Constant criticism and sanctioning can cause participants to turn away from Soccer   
Adapted from the Irish Sports Councils Code of Ethics & Good Practice for Children’s Sport (2005)

Useful Links

Fai Child Welfare Policy

Parental code of conduct

FAI Social media policy

Coaching Courses

All coaches/managers in The Club have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the players with whom they work as far as possible within the limits of their control. Therefore coaches should seek to create a safe and enjoyable environment in which to play and train.

In this respect:

  • Adequate supervision must be maintained at all times. Best practice advice would advocate adult: child ratios of 2 Leaders to every 16 children (1:8), but no coach, manager or volunteer works alone.
  • Regular safety checks should be carried out in relation to premises, training facilities and equipment. Ensure that the FAI Goalpost safety policy is strictly adhered to at all times
  • The Club safety rules should be adhered to at all times
  • Parents/guardians should be informed of the starting and finishing times of training sessions and matches.
  • A first aid kit should be available at all training sessions and matches and injuries should be recorded, with a note of action taken in relation to each one. Never play injured players.
  • Parents/Guardians should be notified of injuries/illness which their children incur while participating in any The Club soccer activity.
  • Records of attendance should be maintained
  • Ensure the use of any recommended safety equipment