Football Training programme
Trainees have the opportunity of participating in a full-time football training programme delivered alongside the classroom based academic programme.
Coaches delivering the football training programme are FAI and UEFA qualified to a high standard (Minimum UEFA A and in many cases UEFA Pro License) and have a solid background in professional football in Ireland and/or abroad. As such, they are in an excellent position to offer advice and assistance to trainees who may be seeking a professional football career or indeed to those trainees who just want to reach their own potential in the game.
Football training includes three to four sessions on the pitch per week and an individual gym-based strength & conditioning training programme. In addition, players usually train and play with their own clubs outside of course hours. FAI coaches are keen to cooperate with the player’s club coaches to ensure players stay in optimum physical shape to fulfil their club commitments.
Each course countrywide also participates in a football competition called the Bobby Smith Cup (named after a former FAI coach on the programme) and these matches take place midweek during the academic term. A representative team comprising of players from the courses countrywide is assembled each year and it is expected that this team will participate in high profile matches every year designed to attract the interest of representatives from professional clubs in Ireland and the UK.
There have been many trainees from the FAI / ETB courses who have progressed to professional football contracts with over one hundred players currently playing in the League of Ireland being graduates of the programme. Indeed, many others have progressed to full time professional careers in the UK