Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has launched the FAI-ETB Player Development Course applications for the upcoming academic year.
In collaboration with Education Training Boards, the FAI-ETB Courses offer young male and female players an opportunity to combine their education and football development in a one-year programme working with FAI UEFA Qualified Coaches, in a full-time professional environment with daily pitch and gym sessions.
Learners also complete the QQI Level 5 Major Award in Sport & Recreation Studies, along with an ITEC Gym Instructors Diploma, Pool Lifeguarding and FAI Coaching Certificates up to National D Licence level.
The QQI Level 5 Major Award can provide learners with up to 390 points for CAO applications.
Graduates of the course have enjoyed a variety of progression routes into third level education, employment in the sport and recreation industry, scholarships to the USA and full-time professional football.
Speaking at the launch, Kenny said the course is vital for Player Development in the country.
“Enda Stevens, Matt Doherty, Kevin Long and Daryl Horgan have all come through the FAI-ETB Courses around the country, and have played for Ireland in the past 12 months.
“Ireland WNT captain Katie McCabe was a student on the course too, and it’s great to see the increase in women applying for the courses too.
“The courses are located around the country and it’s a brilliant chance for players to gain qualifications when leaving school, while improving on the pitch too.”
The courses have also provided young players returning from the professional game in England the opportunity to gain valuable academic qualifications while continuing their development as players.
More than 100 learners have progressed to the SSE Airtricity Premier and First Division and Women’s National League in recent years.
With the advice and guidance of the experienced FAI staff all learners can reach their potential as both players and students.
The FAI-ETB courses were established in 2004, and now operates nine Player Development Courses in Dundalk, Limerick, Castlebar, Waterford, Blarney, Carrigaline, Clondalkin, Cabra, and Irishtown and a Sports Development and Coaching Course in Tallaght.
The 2021-22 FAI-ETB programme is scheduled to commence in late September and trainees may be eligible for a generous training allowance.
Applications are now being accepted at www.fai.ie/fai-etb-courses and at www.fetchcourses.ie. Applications will close in August.