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Tuesday 20 Jun 2023
JD Academy boys enjoy training camp in Portugal

U15 and U16 players at the Irish FA JD Academy are taking part in a week-long training camp in Faro, Portgual.

During the camp, which is the pivotal part of the Elite Player Development Pathway, the team will play several games against Portuguese opposition. 

Head of Irish FA JD Academy Andy Waterworth said the games will be "vital" preparation for players involved in internationals later in the year. 

“This camp will provide a great opportunity for players to be exposed to a full-time footballing set-up and aid them in taking their next steps in football,” he said. 

 “The matches are a great chance to polish tactical elements of the game. I think it’s also important for players to be exposed to different cultures and this is a great way to do that. 

“A full backroom staff is also with us out here which just adds to the full-time footballing experience these players will receive.” 

With senior men’s team manager Michael O’Neill including Irish FA JD Academy graduates in his recent squad, Waterworth believes this bodes well for the future of football in Northern Ireland. 

“Seeing Callum Marshall and Dale Taylor in our senior men’s squad should show our younger players our clear pathway. A senior international call-up is never too far away.”