Coaching and Fitness Course at Irishtown stadium

Irishtown Stadium

You’re young; love football; play sport. Would you like a career teaching in it too? Yes please. That might be the profile of one of the next young hopefuls being taught in the FÁS/FAI Youth Soccer Training course in Irishtown Stadium, supervised by FAI coach Gerry Davis.

Every year nearly 30 participants attend this one-year course which teaches much more than football. Although based around the fulcrum of football training and football coaching badges, there is a busy schedule that will embellish the graduates with an armoury of qualifications by the time they leave.

Participants come through a selection process, which had 120 applicants at last count, which includes football trials and an interview. “Not everyone has to be great at football but at least capable in it,” explains Davis. “They also get a range of training here.”

This includes football coaching badges up to Youth Cert level, ITEC Fitness Trainer accreditation that is recognised globally, ECDL computer training, a lifeguard award, FAI disability tutoring, all endorsed by FETAC level 5 accreditation. “This means they can apply for college courses if they wish, like business or computers,” emphasises course tutor Paul Doody. “All college courses usually have an allocation for FETAC graduates,” adds Davis.

This gives graduates of the course great options when they leave. Not all have to be footballers. Many former participants went on to degrees in business or computer training.

The course is a pathway to college, fitness qualifications and coaching qualifications, as well as preparing many graduates for football employment.

Many players from the course go on to football clubs. “About 20% of elite League of Ireland players have come from these type of courses,” says Davis. “There are three of these in Dublin, three in Cork, one in Limerick, and one in Castlebar.”

One such graduate, Sean Gannon, a local from Ringsend, now plays for League of Ireland champions Dundalk FC, and previously for St Patrick’s Athletic (champions in 2013) which gives him an enviable honour of achieving two league of Ireland winners’ medals in the last two years.

At present, there are five Ringsend participants on the course who will be hoping for a mixture of football success and fitness or coaching career ahead of them. Those not on full-time footballing contracts at least have the training to be a football coach or a fitness instructor.

The next intake process starts in May/June when applications for the course open up. If wishing to apply, you can go to your local FÁS office and ask about getting on the course. The football trials will usually occur by August and the course starts in September.

Gerry Davis is also available for enquiries on 087 2830470.

By Ferg Hayden