About the FAI / ETB Player Development Courses
The FAI in partnership with Education and Training Boards throughout the country and supported by the European Social Fund operates Local Training Initiatives that provide a unique blend of educational and football development for talented young footballers and aspiring coaches.
The renowned programme enables interested participants to achieve their potential and, in many cases, to develop a career in professional football. The programme also prepares participants for a career in the sports and leisure industry as well as encouraging them to improve their level of education and reach their potential in this regard, thus enhancing their job prospects and opportunities.
The Player Development courses now take place in venues in Clondalkin, Cabra, Irishtown in Dublin, Limerick, Castlebar, Blarney, Carrigaline, Dundalk and Waterford. The Sport Development and Coaching Course takes place in Tallaght.
Football player development has been a major feature on the courses with more than 100 trainees progressing to the SSE Airtricity League in recent seasons with graduates including Katie McCabe, Matt Doherty, Enda Stephens, Alan Browne and Daryl Horgan who have carved out full time professional football careers in the UK.
The player development courses offers participants the opportunity to experience a full-time professional coaching environment while continuing with their education. There are several progression routes for learners, with learners progressing to third level education, vocational training, footballing scholarships in America and full-time professional football in both Ireland and abroad.
Of course, not everybody will make the grade to a pro player - but the course will help players to find their level and hopefully continue to enjoy the game. When the Course is complete, the participants can identify other opportunities in the sport and leisure industry to explore which hopefully that will lead to meaningful careers where they can focus and move on as a more developed and rounded individuals.
As part of the academic side of the programme, learners will complete a QQI Level 5 in Sport & Recreation studies plus an ITEC Gym Instructors Diploma, Pool Lifeguard and FAI Coaching Certificates.
The CAO points accumulated on this programme has allowed numerous learners to progress to Third Level Institutions in Ireland and the U.K. FAI / ETB programme graduates have continued to add to their educational development in a variety of degree courses delivered in UCC and UCD and more often in the Institutes of Technology in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Carlow where sports themed degree courses are very popular choices.