Andy Reid launches FAI/Fingal Transition Year Course
The course (which is run by the FAI in conjunction with Fingal County Council) sees 20+ players mix their academic subjects with FAI coaching courses, along with modules in Fitness Instruction, Media Skills, Mental Health and Personal Development, as well as football training and strength and conditioning work.
Since the course began, 11 students have represented Ireland at underage levels. This year has seen some of the former students make their first-team debuts for SSE Airtricity League clubs.
Reid spoke to the students in Corduff Sports Centre and was impressed by what he saw of the course.
"Courses like this are very important for players at this age. For players that go on to have a professional career and for those who don't, education is really important," said Reid.
"I never had the opportunity to take part in a course like this before I joined a professional club. For the students to be able to study on a course like this is brilliant.
"I've worked with Denis Hyland in the Republic of Ireland Under-18 set-up. The students are in a fantastic environment."
Course Co-Ordinator Denis Hyland was delighted to have Reid come and meet the students after Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill visited the Corduff last month.
"It was brilliant to have Andy here to help launch the Course. He spoke very positively to the students about the hard work that's needed to succeed.
"Fingal County Council have been excellent in helping run the course. Each year we have added modules to the course, including a Mental Health module this year. Without Fingal County Council's support, we couldn't run this course."
Former Republic of Ireland international Andy Reid with students, from left, Killian Phillips, Ben O'Brien, Daniel Wilson and Ben McCormack during the FAI and Fingal County Council Transition Year Football Development Course at Corduff Sports Centre in Dublin - SPORTSFILE