Birkbeck College hosts free Irish football debate tomorrow night
Birkbeck concludes its year long series of roundtable debates on Thursday 6 December at 6pm with on the challenges facing Irish football.
Ireland has long enjoyed a very successful record of producing talented young football players many of whom have gone on to enjoy successful playing careers in English football, the high point arguably being the 1997-1998 period. Under the managership of Brian Kerr, the Republic of Ireland won the bronze medal in the 1997 World Youth Championship.
In 1998 the national team won the UEFA European U16 and U18 championships. The squad included players who went on to be household names including: Richard Dunne, Robbie Keane, John O’Shea, and Damien Duff. This success demonstrated that, despite Ireland’s small population size, it was possibly for a well-organised and coached Irish team to compete at the highest level.
However, whilst the recent wonderful result by the Republic of Ireland U-21 team against Italy demonstrated again Ireland’s capacity to produce great playing talent, the challenge remains as to how this process can be made more consistent and sustainable over time. This is a challenge that Ireland shares with other countries; witness the English Premier League’s substantial investment in youth development through its Elite Player Performance Plan; and the English FA’s investment in the National Football Centre at Burton on Trent.
This discussion brings together three very experienced figures,Pat Walker, Niall Harrison and Seamus Kelly, from the world of football development to debate how the organisation of Irish youth football development might be taken forward. A key focus of the discussion is a comparison between the best practice currently in existence in Ireland, with that in England and in Scandinavia.
To attend email Sean Hamil firstname.lastname@example.org