Girls Emerging Talent

Girls Emerging Talent

League Academies:

The aim of our League Academy Programme is to provide an opportunity at local level for the best players within a league to train together in a structured environment on a weekly basis. The Academies are run at the following age-groups - U15s, U13s & U12s and provide the first step on the Elite Player Pathway for our most talented players. Academies must adhere to criteria as laid down by the Football Association of Ireland in order to qualify for grant-aid.

The League Academy programme runs from January to June and has steadily grown over the last number of years. There are now twenty-four Leagues participating in this programme (approx. 1,300 girls). Each League Academy have the option of entering the Annual Gaynor Tournament, an inter-League Tournament which takes place in the University of Limerick in the summer. The best players from this tournament are selected and invited to participate in the Girls Centre of Excellence Programme.

Centres of Excellence

The Centres of Excellence Programme is the first step on the Elite Player Pathway for girls and caters for those born in 2006 & 2007. The aim of this programme is to further raise the technical ability of elite players through the provision of further training and lifestyle development at regional level which will ultimately prepare them for the next step, International Football

The Centres of Excellence take place over a 20 week period from August - December in eight regions nationwide with each centre staffed by local FAI Football Development Officers, who follow a coaching syllabus as set out by our High Performance Director.

The current locations are:







Mayo / Sligo


For further information please contact our National Coordinator for the Girls Emerging Talent Programme:
Email: / Tel: 087-1250476

Gaynor Tournament

The Gaynor tournament is considered to be the premier tournament for underage girls in Ireland. It takes place at the impressive facilities in University of Limerick with the 2020 tournament scheduled for July 27th – August 2nd.

The tournament itself is divided into three age groups. U12; Four regional tournaments take place every year around May/June time with the four regional winners qualifying for the national finals which takes during the Gaynor tournament. The Mayo Schoolboys/Girls Youth League were victorious in the 2019 competition overcoming the challenges of the North Eastern Counties Schoolboy/Girls League, the Tipperary Schoolboys/Girls Southern and District League and the Galway and District Soccer League. U13 and U15; In 2019, both the format and the age groups changed from the traditional u14 and u16 age groups. The age groups were changed to u13 and u15 to fall in line with the introduction of the u17 Women’s National League. A qualifying competition was also introduced, and all participating leagues divided into four groups play off against each other between January and May with their finishing placings determining their seedings for the tournament itself. The Sligo/Leitrim Underage Soccer League were victorious in the u13 Gaynor Tournament in 2019 with the Cork Women’s and Schoolgirls League capturing the u15 title.