Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has launched the application process for the next Player Development Course, jointly hosted by the Football Association of Ireland and several Education & Training Boards countrywide.

As a manager who worked with six graduates of the FAI-ETB course during his time with Dundalk, the national team boss happily acknowledges the benefits of the programme which runs in ten centres across Ireland.

With integral support from the Education Training Board, the FAI-ETB Course offers young male and female players an opportunity to combine their education and football development in a manner that will benefit their career choices in professional football and in the sports industry.

Graduates of the course include Ireland internationals Katie McCabe, Enda Stevens, Matt Doherty, Kevin Long, Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan.

Dundalk stars Sean Gannon, Darren Meenan, John Mountney, and Chris Shields also credit the FAI-ETB course as a major factor in their successful careers.

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny said: “The FAI-ETB programme is hugely valuable for young Irish players in their player development pathway as they work towards a career in professional football.

“The experience of the FAI coaches and the support of the Education Training Board offers the players on the course an invaluable insight into our game as they continue their education.”

The FAI-ETB programme was established in 2004 and now operates in Castlebar, Dundalk, Limerick, Waterford, Blarney, Carrigaline, Clondalkin, Cabra, Irishtown and Tallaght with UEFA-Qualified FAI coaches guiding the players on their pathway to professional football.  

Trainees also complete the QQI Level 5 Major Award in Sport & Recreation Studies along with an ITEC Gym Instructors Diploma, Pool Lifeguard and FAI Coaching Certificates up to National D level.

The course is suitable for young players returning from the professional game in England with limited education and graduates can earn CAO points to progress to Third Level courses.

The 2020-21 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.

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