Funino is the future!

Oct 22, 13 Funino is the future!

Ireland is evolving and so are the methods of the many coaches around the country, but of all the small sided games programmes, FUNINO is the most creditable and the best format for developing the game of football.

If you have heard of Funino you can download the ‘Ultimate Mini Game with Four Goals’ programme at the bottom of this article. Funino is the most excited game in the world and the only one designed to unlock creativity and game intelligence. Developed by the Horst Wein, a University Lecture and former German and Spanish Olympic Hockey Teams Coach. His methods have been used for over 20 years by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, for 7 years by Australian Football Federation and now the Mexican football Federation has published the first volume of “Futbol a la medida del nino”.

“There was once a time when street football and free play was the norm. Then we become adults wanted to control it , make it organised and forgot the child in all of us” UEFA B Coach Mark O Sullivan

What makes this even more relevant is an Irish man called Dermot Dalton of is helping Wein re-write his methods, which are now being used by the North Dublin School Boy League. The programme which is designed for 7 to 9 year olds is currently being employed by six Professional Clubs in the German Bundesliga. A game that can be used for older players in training and even up-to and including professional level.


This is a game for young players to discover the magic of The Beautiful Game with a programme designed especially for them:

  • Experience the “renaissance of street football” in the 21st century.
  • Be the best coach you can be, creating a player-centred environment where young talent flourishes.
  • Introduce your players to game intelligence while establishing their technique, in a player-centred, game-oriented programme.
  • 32 official  games
  • 24 Preparatory/corrective games
  • 20+ important game variables

Horst Wein’s training programme for 7-9 year olds is based on his proven game of Mini-Football, now called which is the abbreviation for “ Futbol a la medida del Niño” or “football designed for children.”

The programme is the result of 27 years of innovation, practice and continuing improvement and is part of the Horst Wein Youth Football Development Model, which is the official textbook of the Spanish Football Federation since 1993 and is used by FC Barcelona, Athletico Bilbao and many top clubs around the world. This breakthrough approach to inducting young children into the game of football obviously has an emphasis on FUN so that children come to fall in love with the game from the earliest ages. It has been called the “Revival of Street Football. “


Last Monday saw the official Funino programme launch at the NDSL headquarters. 20 mini pitches inside a full 11 aside pitch for a group of boys and girls age 8 and 9. A total of 85 kids turned out to experience the programme first hand. This is another great leap by the NDSL in trying to re-structure the grassroots game, who are the first league in Ireland to introduce this format. The training will continue every Monday from 6 to 7pm for u9s and 7 to 8pm for u10s and spaces are still available.

The Benefits of the 3v3

  • The two wide goals at each end encourage young players to use the wings in attack and open up the play.
  • Playing with 2 goals stimulates greater reading and understanding of the game, including peripheral vision, perception and decision making skills before executing any actions.
  • Stimulates, more than any other traditional football game, intelligence, perception, imagination and creativity.
  • Sufficient space and time allows children to read the game and play constructive football and to develop basic communication skills.
  • More time and space, better reading of the game and better decision-making and skill execution means less mistakes.
  • Due to the fact that the same basic game situations appear again and again (i.e. the 2v1 situation) the young players learn very quickly.
  • In FUNino, 8 and 9 year olds enjoy more touches on the ball, treating it as their best friend. No long clearances or wild and dangerous kicks can be seen in which players “violate the ball”.
  • Players attack and defend in a triangular formation for better communication and collaboration. Positioning in the field is easy.
  • Allows an all round development of all participants as there are no fixed positions in a team which would avoid too early specialization. Everybody has to attack as well as to defend, using the whole pitch.
  • Usually there are lots of goals and goalmouth action.
  • Each player scores more than one goal per game.
  • All the players get to experience a starring role in this dynamic game.
  • All 3 players, including the weaker ones, play a critical role in this game and are involved mentally and physically throughout the game. Nobody can hide!

We, at The Beautiful Game, believe that our proven youth development model can achieve a number of important goals at the same time:

  1.  All children get to enjoy the game of football as children (and not as mini-adults) as the game(s) are tailored to their needs.
  2. Children have the opportunity to reach their full potential, whatever that is, through an optimal development model, including a player-centred approach, that is games-oriented (rather than drills) and a guided discovery coaching style (rather than the traditional instruction style).
  3. As the model is more inclusive and fair than the traditional elitist model, there are many social and character/lifestyle benefits emanating from this approach.


There will be a one day Funino course held the NDSL on Saturday 2nd November and Sunday 9th November. T

Saturday 2nd November 2013

9am – 4.30pm


Sunday 10th November

9am – 4.30pm

Oscar Traynor Centre, Coolock

€90 (including printed Funino manual)

For further details on Funino contact or call Dermot on 086 8513339.

Download the FUNINO BROCHURE OCT 2013


I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. Thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Facebook comments: