FAI announces partnership with Maldron Hotels
The sponsorship will see Maldron Hotels - who have 14 key locations around the country - support the Emerging Talent Programme and will provide funding for coaching, training and kit for players.
In existence since 2006, the Emerging Talent Programme is the entry point to the FAI's Elite Player Pathway as it brings the best players from 32 schoolboy leagues together for specialised sessions.
With 12 regional centres of excellence around the country, the Emerging Talent Programme offers weekly training, detailed coaching and developmental support to players as they start out on their journey along the Elite Player Pathway.
Graduates of the programme have gone on to forge successful careers in the game with 11 players earning caps for the Republic of Ireland men's senior team, while 19 players in the U17 squad currently competing at the UEFA European Championships came through the programme.
FAI CEO John Delaney welcomed the partnership by saying: "The Emerging Talent Programme has proved to be hugely successful for the development of elite players, so it is fantastic to have the backing of Maldron Hotels for such a worthwhile initiative.
"When you consider that over 350 players who have been involved with the Emerging Talent Programme have been capped at underage level for the Republic of Ireland, it shows just how pivotal the programme is to nurturing the stars of tomorrow.
"We look forward to working closely with Maldron Hotels over the coming years to promote Irish football all around the country and, hopefully, celebrate the emergence of the next Robbie Brady."
Maldron Hotels CEO Stephen McNally said: "Maldron Hotels is delighted to sponsor this hugely successful programme for the next three years. Young talent needs structure and opportunity to excel and this programme benefits young people from communities all over Ireland, providing wonderful experiences and opportunities to grow and develop their talents."