Over 120 young football players participated in their first organised football event over the last few weekends at Greenwood Academy in Irvine.

As part of a brand new 4 v 4 football initiative organised by the Scottish FA South West Region, the teams will come together on a monthly basis where they will play numerous games in the format, which best suits the development of young players.

The feedback from the coaches has been first class and all the players get lots of touches on the ball and a chance to score plenty of goals.

Organiser Alan Sloss stressed: “It is key that the players are left to make their own mistakes and can play in a relaxed way that replicates the informal football played in the street and parks in the past .

"The parents and coaches have been great so far and we hope that they continue to support a positive ethos that we are trying to develop and refrain from the hyper–competitive approach that sometimes affects the children’s game.”

Ayrshire’s recognised clubs, many of them involved in the Scottish FA Quality Mark scheme, provided the new groups of players, and they all recognise that the 4 v 4 format is a great way of building a good level of skill and a real love for playing the game that will last these youngsters for a lifetime.

The 4 v 4 games are played on the excellent third generation synthetic pitch at Greenwood and the teams use the custom built 4 v 4 goals that were provided by the South West Region, through a partnership with the Scottish Government's Cashback for Communities programme.

All teams in attendance should be congratulated for the standard of play and the dedication to making sure that the young stars of the future get the best possible football education. Well done everyone!

For further information, or if you would like to enter a team into future 4 v 4 festivals, please contact the South West Regional Office on 01294 317430 or contact southwest@scottishfa.co.uk