Erasmus+ Study Groups


Erasmus+ Study Groups


Erasmus+ is a European fund providing opportunities for learning and collaboration for countries across Europe. The FAI has obtained funding through Erasmus+ within different European Funding programme areas including; Mobility and Learning, and Collaborative Partnerships.

Erasmus+ Mobility and Learning is a key action under the Erasmus+ banner. The action sets out to provide opportunities for individuals to improve their skills, enhance their employability and gain cultural awareness. Funds are allocated to support this journey from planning through to fruition, knowledge gained on these trips is then brought back to the FAI and shared with our networks.

The Football Association of Ireland benefits from Erasmus+ funding to aid the development of staff, and learners in the field of football. The participants are given the opportunity to study, experience and learn from some of the top Football Associations in Europe and their clubs. Since 2015, FAI staff and learners have travelled to countries such as England, Scotland, Spain, Slovakia, Germany and Portugal. This unique experience has provided the opportunity to develop different programme areas throughout the Association such as, Coach Education, Club Development, Disability Football, Futsal and Women's Football.

Collaborative Partnerships is an action by Erasmus+ that offers the opportunity to develop, transfer and implement innovative practices in different areas relating to sport and physical activity between various organisations and actors in and outside sport.

The FAI are one of six partnering organisations working to pilot a social inclusion model and collate results with our other six partners, with the UK Football Trust as the project lead. The overall aim is to set up an effective practice model to address the following three areas:

  • Reduced anti-social behaviour and youth offending
  • Improved educational attainment and attendance
  • Reduction in the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET)

The FAI is one of the partners conducting a practical football programme implementation for the project. This involves the roll out of a Street League in a targeted disadvantaged area. This started in January 2017 in the North East Inner City area of Dublin. Under the direction of FAI Manager Gerry Reardon, the programme is coordinated by local Development Officer Tommy Carberry and rolled out with partners from Dublin City Council and local youth organisations. There are seven groups playing in a weekly football league where fair play and respect is rewarded. Each group is also involved in education workshops and social actions - a community element where each group volunteers in their area working towards a healthy sustainable community. The results of this pilot will be compared and contrasted with our five other partners.

2016 UEFA U-19’s European Finals - Germany
A small group of six FAI staff members from Coach Education and Under 19 Management team traveled to Germany to attend the final rounds of the UEFA U-19’s European Finals 2016.The objectives of this mobility was to learn and study the systems of play used by our European neighbours at the final stages of a tournament and to compare and contrast how they varied and compared to our own. The team set out to critically analyse styles of play, attack, and defense and transition play.

Valencia Academy and Football Club - Spain
A group of 16 coaches travelled to the Valencia Academy and Football Club in Spain. The coaches on the trip were selected from FAI Futsal Hubs and ETB course staff and hold a variety of coaching positions up to underage international roles and pro-license holders.

The objective of the trip was to learn and study the Academy and Club structure from a professional club and one of the leading clubs in the world. The team attended various presentations on Long Term Player Development Model, Valencia CF Model of Play and Training etc. The team also attended games and training sessions hosted by the club.

Sport Lisboa e Benfica - Portugal
A group of 12 coaches took part in a Coach Education trip to Sport Lisboa e Benfica. The coaches on the trip were selected from the development officers, Education Training Board course staff and Project FUTSAL staff who hold a variety of coaching positions.

The aim of the trip was to experience club structure and youth structure of a high level club; to observe their training sessions, learn about their game model, youth football model and sports psychology.

Scottish FA
In April 2016 six FAI staff took a trip to the Scottish FA (SFA) to study their expertise in three areas; Club Development, Disability Football, and Women’s Football.

The team received presentations at Hampden Park, Scotland’s national stadium, by the SFA on a few of their key programmes with particular emphasis on Club Development. The team also got the opportunity to attend national training sessions that were occurring during their stay.

English FA
A team of eight coaches from coach education backgrounds, travelled to the UK to attend the Launch of the England DNA playing and coaching seminar. The coaches on the trip were selected from key contributors to FAI Coach Education and high performance units.

The launch of the England DNA playing and coaching philosophy at St George's Park, the new home of English football was highly anticipated by the football community. This aim of the DNA philosophy is to help clubs and coaches at all levels of the game learn more about the vision for future England teams and players and the ways of working being developed to ensure consistency and connection between all our age-group teams and impairment specific development and senior squads. The DNA consists of five core elements; who they are, how they play, the future England player, how they coach and how the support.

2016 UEFA U-19’s Women's European Finals - Bratislava
A group of 12 coaches from three of our Women’s National League Clubs, along with coaches from our Underage International Squads travelled to Bratislava in July to attend the semi-finals and final games of the 2016 UEFA U19’s European Championships Final Tournament. The aim of the trip was to of enhance the understanding of professional competition and best practices before, during and after competition for our elite athletes.

During the trip our coaches were assigned match analysis tasks which included analysing each team, their units and the individual players. Players’ capacities were also looked closely at, as were the trends in all three matches. The group used various different techniques for analyzing the matches, such as; video analysis, group discussion, critical evaluation of game aspects, statistical analysis and much more.