Academy coaching re-structure

As we approach the return to football the Academy would like to announce exciting new changes we have made to our coaching structure from next season onwards.


The Academy have decided to appoint head coaches at each age group from Under 12 to Under 20 wherein as the players move through the age groups they move on to a new coach each season.


Head of Youth Development Derek Sharpe explains the reasoning behind the move;


“This is something I have thought about for a while as it can be very difficult for volunteer coaches to keep pace with developing players from Under 6 all the way to Under 18. I think there are a number of major benefits to the player using the new model; each season is a fresh start for the player and the coach, they will learn under a range of different styles, approaches and personalities and more opportunity for player movement between squads. As well as aiding a player pathway through the club I feel it also offers opportunities for coaches to specialise in age appropriate coaching, more time to progress in coaching badges at the appropriate levels and increased communication between coaches within the club”.


“This method although new to the club, is widely practiced in both the Republic of Ireland and in England and I feel that with the support of coach mentoring and coach education workshops we can offer an excellent opportunity to both players and coaches in the local area”.


The head coaches at each age group are as follows:


Ciaran Cassidy (Under 12)

Mark Beacom (Under 13)

Mark Emerson (Under 14)

Ally Irwin (Under 15)

Barry Anderson Coulter (Under 16)

David Alonso (Under 18)


Derek added “I am also delighted that all the existing volunteer coaches have agreed to stay on with their groups, as they have developed positive relationships over many years with the players, provide a familiar face to the players as they progress to different head coaches and are highly thought of by all within the club. I am excited by the changes and I think this has been furthered when over the period of the last 8 weeks nearly 20 coaches gave up their time on a weekly basis for online coach education workshops.”

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