Limerick Football Academy going from strength to strength

Limerick Football Academy going from strength to strength

The Friends of Limerick Football will hold a fundraising "Race Evening" at the Woodlands Hotel Adare on Friday March 11. All proceeds will go towards the running costs of our Gaelic Football Academies. On Monday last the fundraiser was officially launched by Mayor of Limerick Mr. Liam Galvin, in front of a large crowd.

The Limerick Football Academy, currently in its second year is tasked with developing the best young footballers in the county. Since its establishment in the autumn of 2014, it has gone from strength to strength. The Academy is the first of its kind for football in Limerick. Coaching is held every Saturday morning in the Limerick Institute of Technology, with separate sessions for each development squad (U-14, U-15, U-16 & U-17). Each team trains for 1 hour and 45 minutes, with the sessions broken into two parts, a technical/football component (1 hour and 10 minutes) and a strength and conditioning element (35 minutes).

LIT has provided the academy with the use of three pitches, gym hall, fully equipped gym and lecture theatres. The response has been excellent, with in excess of 200 boys from all over the county in attendance most Saturday mornings.

The academy aims: To identify the leading young footballers in the county and ensure their involvement in the academy; to develop these footballers in a positive, innovative and professional environment; to increase the profile and perception of football in the county and encourage increased participation.

Muiris Gavin and Paul Kinnerk are leading the football academy and have done since its introduction.

Muiris highlights the importance of the Academy in ensuring the long term development of Limerick football: “This academy isn’t about any one individual or any one team. It’s about securing its continuation for future years so that we can put in place the necessary structures and have the available resources to allow us to continuously compete with the other higher profile counties. By doing this not only will we be competitive but we will also ensure that we have a continuous conveyer belt of talent coming through to make the step up to play U21 and eventually senior football with Limerick.”

Paul, a National League medal winner with Limerick in 2013, is one of the country’s leading coaches. His points to the quality of coaching provided and the potential and opportunity to bring Limerick Football to a new level.

“With this academy there’s a real community feel to it. The players, and us, are exceptionally lucky to have such a vast amount of experienced coaches being involved in the academy set up at the moment. A lot of these coaches have inter-county experience representing their county at minor, under 21, junior and senior level. All of the coaches have really immersed themselves into the academies and this is playing a massive part in generating such a vibe in LIT on Saturday mornings”

The current Minor Football squad is also participating in this fundraising event. Many of these players, who are in the process of preparing for their respective Munster Championship campaign, would have been in this academy when it first commenced nearly 16 months ago.

The academy mentors have extensive experience as players and coaches, and in this context we are delighted with the active participation of so many former and current Limerick players. Darragh Droog has been doing fantastic work with all squads in developing their strength and conditioning, while Colette O’Grady and Gerry Philips have worked tirelessly in the background and on Saturday mornings to make sure everything goes according to plan.

The academy receives ongoing support and goodwill, including from county Bord na nÓg, Noel Hartigan in Coaching and Games, county board, football board and from the players and parents whose support is obviously crucial to us reaching our goals.

However, as Muiris points out to, the sustainability of the academy depends on funding. This fundraising event will go a long way towards providing this much needed funding and we look forward to widespread support of clubs and supporters throughout the county, be it as race sponsors, by becoming a patron of the academies or by purchasing tickets which are being sold by players, mentors and county board officers.

Additional information can be obtained from the Assistant Secretary of the Football Board Jacqueline O’Connor at 086–067 0091. Jacqueline will be delighted to answer any queries you may have.

Management Teams involved with the Football Academy

U-14- John Keane; Denis O'Keeffe; Mike Meade; Eoin Hogan; Richard Bowles; Sean McAuliffe; DJ Collins; Kevin Denihan; Peter McKenna; Daniel Quirke; U-15- Billy Lee; Ollie Coffey, Pa Keane; Pa Ranahan; Mike Fitzgerald; Diarmuid Carroll; Andy Lane; Seamus O'Donnell; Seoirse Laffan

U-16 – John O’Grady; Stephen Lavin; Dave Lavin; Conor Fitzgerald; Alan Finnegan; David O’Connor; Anthony McCarthy; Mike Meade; Sean Kiely

U-17 - John Ryan; Liam Fahey; Barry Donnelly; Stephen Fox; Liam Patterson