All footballers will know that one of the hardest tricks in the book is the “Top Bins Challenge”. Used as a way of showcasing precision and accuracy in shooting by netting the ball by hitting the top corner, players and fans alike are taking social media by storm.

The social media craze which involves people trying to shoot a football into a small target started during the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, one young football fanatic from South Belfast is taking his skills to pitches across Northern Ireland having visited Mourneview Park on Tuesday night.

Archie (9), who is a self-proclaimed Linfield fan started honing his skills at the age of 5 in the family garden. Speaking to Glenavon FC dad Russell said “I would often come home from work to find the wheelie bin being used as a practice net or a few buckets lying around the garden – often with a ball in them.

Now putting those skills to the test, the young boy, together with his Dad is travelling across Northern Ireland, taking the Top Bins Challenge to some of the provinces most iconic grounds. Having already visited nine grounds, Mourneview Park was honoured to host the budding young footballer on Tuesday night where he was welcomed by Chris Chambers, Under 20’s Manager, Daniel Dillion from the Under 20’s squad and Grounds man David McClure. And to top it all off, Archie was treated to an access all areas tour.

“To get access to Mourneview Park was so exciting as it’s only the second of the twelve premiership grounds we have got to play at. We understand that staffing and timings don’t always work for people, but we are very grateful to the staff for allowing us in. 

“To visit the home of the Lurgan Blues home and get a tour of behind the scenes was brilliant. You always see the changing rooms from outside but to be given a tour of the grounds was unreal. 

Explaining how the idea came about Russell said, “we originally started off with the idea of visiting the 12 premiership grounds but given that it is off season, access to some has been difficult so we had to open up the possibilities to visiting other grounds. I suppose for us it’s as much about profiling the grounds as well.

“The first video we put out of Archie’s visit to Portstewart FC received so much attention, I even had friends from Scotland contact me saying what a unique opportunity it was to get behind the scenes so to speak.

“Usually, it takes about an hour to capture the footage and for Archie to do the challenge. We never set a target as in how many shots he takes, it’s not about that. He’s a kid and we don’t want to add any pressure. He’s just a wee boy with a passion and we want to nurture that.

The nine-year-old who plays as a Central Midfield for his home town club Tullycarnet FC has been a football fan since the age of 2. Archie also plays for Playing for the Future. The Playing for the Future Academy which runs in association with Club Sport NI, is delivered by UEFA Pro and A Licence coaches.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for kids like Archie to come together and grow and develop skills under a structured training programme”

Much to the young boys’ delight, his efforts has already caught the attention of NIFL who made a surprise presentation following his visit to Lisburn Distillery.

“It came as quite a shock. It was after the Lisburn Distillery video that David Kerr who works for NIFL followed Archie’s social media and made contact to arrange a phone call. I spoke with David the next day just telling him about our challenge and he said how NIFL would help share the content and then he arranged to bring a ball over and meet Archie. I suppose it goes without saying Archie was over the moon”.

Archie’s Scoreboard

Archie vs Portstewart FC 1-0

Archie vs Donegal Celtic 1-0

Archie vs Cliftonville 1-0

Archie vs Ballymacash Rangers 0-1

Archie vs Lisburn Distillery 1-0

Archie vs Bangor FC 1-0

Archies vs Knockbreda FC 0-1

Archie vs Dundela 1-0

Archie Vs Glenavon 0-1

With visits to Crusaders, Welders and Ballyclare Comrades in the pipeline, young Archie is hoping to be able to visit all the Premiership League grounds with a special interest in Windsor Park.

“I suppose if there was one pitch it would be very special for Archie to score at, it has to be the home of the Irish Cup final Windsor Park”.

Russell, keeping on the right side of Glenavon jokes, “but Mourneview Park is a very close second. The grounds always look amazing on TV and to receive the level of hospitality we did on Tuesday night might just have us come back time and time again”.

You can follow Archie’s success on YouTube by clicking here or on his Instagram Page. (Both accounts are parental controlled)