FAS / FAI Youth Soccer Training
The FAS/FAI Youth Soccer Training Courses provide a unique blend of educational and football development for talented young footballers, male and female, in Ireland who are currently unemployed. The programme enables footballers who have left school and are interested in developing a potential career in football or the sports and leisure industry, an opportunity to enhance both their football skills and education level.
While everyone who does the course will benefit by a marked improvement in their own football progress, a number of participants have done particularly well. In 2008
15 trainees played International football at various levels with 3 ex-trainees graduating to play at U21 Level. 50 players signed for League of Ireland Clubs with 12 of these players playing for the 1st Team.
In 2008, 85% of course participants found employment in sport and leisure, including 6 full time professionals with League or Ireland Teams. 10% of participants went on to complete 3rd Level Education mainly targeting sports science and sports managements courses.
An attractive feature of the FAS/FAI programme is the emphasis placed on the educational development of the students. The education programme co-ordinates and delivers this aspect of the programme which consists of theory and practical sessions in the areas of health, fitness, business and computers.
Students are prepared for FETAC qualifications in health and fitness and if a certain standard of performance is achieved during this phase students then prepare for the ITEC Gym Instructor Diploma. 2008 saw 50 Students successfully complete the ITEC Diploma. Qualifications such as these allow students to secure full or part time employment in fitness centres, teach their own classes on a freelance basis or work as fitness consultants to teams.
The football aspects of the programme are looked after by FAI qualified coaches. The three to four hours coaching a day, which is expert and progressive, is supplemented by a fitness programme that would be equivalent to full time training. Weekly matches and regular gym work are also part of the programme. The course participants will also take part in Kick Start 1 and 2, the first two steps on the way to becoming a qualified coach.