New FAI-ETB course launches in Waterford
A large attendance gathered to celebrate the launch of the new Waterford course which included key members of the Waterford & Wexford Education & Training Board as well as a strong representation from the FAI and Waterford Football Club who have a number of their underage players participating on the course.
Course Coordinator, Paddy Carey spoke of the opportunities which the course offers young players not only from a sporting and academic point of view but also from a personal development angle. Kevin Lewis, CEO of the WWETB spoke of the attraction of sport and football to engage young people with education and of the innovative partnership which the FAI and WWETB had formed which demonstrated this ability to attract learners and was evidenced by the large number of applications received for places on the course.
FAI CEO John Delaney expressed his delight at being able to launch this new FAI-ETB Player Development course in Carrignore. John acknowledged the critical role played by ETBs countrywide in cooperating with the FAI to form real and tangible partnerships to deliver programmes which make a huge difference in the lives of so many young people every year.
The FAI in partnership with a number of Education and Training Boards throughout the country operate Local Training Initiatives that provide a unique blend of educational and football development for talented young footballers. The renowned FAI-ETB Player Development programme enables interested participants to train full time while also availing of a sport themed education programme.
The programme enables young players to achieve their potential and in many cases, to develop a career in professional football. It also prepares participants for a career in the sports and leisure industry as well as encouraging them to improve their level of education and reach their potential in this regard, thus enhancing their job prospects and opportunities.
There were many other WWETB representatives and FAI Development Officers in attendance to offer encouragement to this new group of young players.
Player development has been a successful feature of the courses with more than 100 trainees progressing to the SSE Airtricity League in recent seasons. Other course graduates including Kevin Long, Matt Doherty, Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan and Enda Stevens have all featured in recent senior Republic of Ireland squads. Indeed, current Women’s National team captain, Katie McCabe also graduated from the programme in recent years alongside a number of other senior women’s players such as Roma McLaughlin, Amanda McQuillan and Stephanie Roche.
The courses are headed up by FAI Coordinators with UEFA A and UEFA Pro License qualifications and who have come from a professional football background. So, young players will have access to top class training in state-of-the-art facilities and sound career advice if becoming a professional footballer is their ambition.
For further information, see www.fai.ie/fai-etb-courses