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Tuesday 07 Apr 2020
Programme aims to provide a voice for young people in football

The Irish FA Foundation’s first ever Young Leaders Programme is up and running.

The programme, supported by UEFA GROW, aims to provide a voice for young people in football and support the development of young leaders. And it will also help the foundation to gain more insight into what young people want from the beautiful game.

Participants - they are aged 18 to 24 - will receive a variety of continuous professional development opportunities covering football-related topics which are provided by Irish FA staff and external stakeholders. 

Empowering young people is something that we really believe in and we want to help develop the leaders of the future

The programme’s starting 11 come from different areas of the game, with players, coaches, referees, performance analysts and physiotherapists all represented. 

In the line-up are: Aaron Rainey, Ben Faulkner, Eoghan Taggart, Jason Sloane, Joel Davey, Jonathan Harbinson, Lauren Clarke, Lewis Cowan, Nathan Woolsey, Niall McCann and Samuel Cartwright.

Rather than let current circumstances halt the start of the initiative, the group got together using Microsoft Teams for an online introduction event. 

Gavin Nelson, the Irish FA Foundation’s Club and Community Development Officer, said: “Empowering young people is something that we really believe in and we want to help develop the leaders of the future. 

“We have some great young people involved in the project and I’m really excited to see how they develop through our leadership programme.”

Gavin added: “It would have been great if the young people had been able to meet in person at our inaugural event, however we responded to present circumstances by being agile and arranging the online meeting instead. And it worked really well.”

For further information on the Young Leaders Programme please contact gavin.nelson@irishfa.com