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Tuesday 30 Apr 2024
Showcase to highlight elite player development work

A showcase event is being staged in Belfast early next month to highlight the Irish Football Association’s work in developing young elite players.

The JD Academy Way Showcase Event - it is being held at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on Tuesday 7 May - will look at how the Irish FA’s Elite Performance Department helps young players to develop. 

There will be a particular emphasis on the Irish FA JD Academy, the association’s full-time residential football academy based at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus.  

And there will be a special focus on how technology is used to manage and measure player performance. 

The association’s football academy develops emerging talent at school years 11 and 12 (U15 and U16) and its main objective is to produce better players through a mixture of sporting, school and life skills education. 

The JD-sponsored National Performance Programme feeds in to the academy. NPP involves the recruitment of circa 60 players from across Northern Ireland at U14 level and the best of those players are invited to attend the JD Academy. 

The showcase event at the National Stadium on 7 May, which will run from 6pm until 8pm, is an opportunity for youth development coaches across Northern Ireland to learn more about the association’s elite player development methods and pathways.

It will also look at the Elite Player Development Game Model and highlight coaching good practice within clubs, while coaches attending the event will be invited to take part in an interactive pitch session at Midgley Park and post-session analysis. 

STATSports, the world’s leading GPS performance technology company, and the Irish FA have worked in partnership for many years, and STATSports has been an official partner of the association since September 2020. 

At the event next month Connor Clancy from the Newry-based company will look at the benefits of measuring and managing the performance of players within individual coaching sessions and wider coaching programmes. 

The showcase is also an Irish FA Coach Education continuing professional development (CPD) event, with an opportunity to gain CPD credits. To register through Coach Education please email

Anyone interested in attending the event must register their interest using the link below.