Launch of Full-Time Academy for Young Players

Posted : 3rd September 2021 at 17:21:30


Linfield Football Club is pleased to announce the launch of its first Professional Academy for young Players age 16-19, giving talented footballers a life-changing opportunity to develop into top professionals.

The Academy is part of the club’s recently announced five year Strategic Plan, moving the club into a full-time football environment.

The structure of the Academy, combining training, coaching, strength and conditioning, diet, nutrition and sports psychology with education qualifications, mirrors some of the highest profile clubs in the rest of the UK.

Starting in September 2021, the Linfield Football Club Academy is open to the most highly skilled footballers in Northern Ireland age 16-19 who will become full-time football scholars. Combining education with training alongside first team players, coaches and the Manager, David Healy, the programme aims to help develop the best young football talent at the club, maintaining their position at the pinnacle of local football and improving performance and progress at a European level.

Commenting on the launch of the initiative, Chairman Roy McGivern stated:

“This is an exciting development for Linfield Football Club and the new full-time Academy and Scholars Scheme is one of the key objectives in our new Strategic Plan.

We want to see the best young players developed at the club and to provide them with real opportunities to progress both as footballers and from an educational perspective.”

Club Manager David Healy added:

“I am also excited by this development and I welcome the chance to include our new scholars in first team training which is an exceptional opportunity for these promising young players.

It is clear that Linfield Football Club is entering a new and exciting period in its proud history and I see the full-time Academy as an essential part of that.”

The aim for selected Academy Scholars will be a pathway into Linfield’s first team squad or to secure a move to a higher level in England or Scotland.

General Manager Pat Fenlon stated,

“On top of providing outstanding training and other opportunities to break into the world of professional football here in Northern Ireland and beyond, the Academy also offers academic qualifications that will last a lifetime.

Football is transformative and we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can at Linfield FC to support our young players and encourage them to stay part of our family here at Windsor Park and move into our first team. We’re also helping to further their education at the same time and gain real qualifications, no matter where life takes them.”

The Academy qualification offers coaching qualifications to promote a future in professional football and provides UCAS points, ensuring players considering University or USA Scholarships as a fall-back are also catered for, along with the chance to gain additional qualification including A-levels.

The two-year programme has been designed by former Northern Ireland International and World Cup Player, David Campbell using his experience with Premier League Academies in England. David Campbell was presented with the prestigious British Citizens Award at Westminster Palace for the multi-award-winning work he has created in football education.

The first selection of players for the new Linfield FC Academy has taken place with Scholars starting in September 2021. Further recruits will be enlisted as the Academy develops.

Pictured in the Pacemaker Press photos below are team manager David Healy along with the first four recruits Matthew Williamson, Josh Archer, Ewan McCoubrey and Jack Montgomery.

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