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Academies / Schools of Excellence 2012

The way forward for Development Squads in Football and Hurling was discussed at a recent Coaching & Games Committee meeting, chaired by Deirdre Donnelly and attended by Ferghal O’Connor, Benny McManus, Brian Treacy, Ciaran Carey and Peter McGinnity – Anita Rasdale could not attend.

It was strongly recommended that there should be a change towards working with the top 25 players in each age-group, players leaving P. 7/U12 through U13, U14, U15 and U16. The U17 Squad would be integrated with the County Minors.

The door would never be closed to players who developed late.

This would involve a number of changes – not all possible in one year.

A group of players leaving Primary School would be identified by Primary School tea

chers, the County Coaches and club mentors. Despite the difference in the School year and the U12 Club year these players would form the basis of the next year’s U13 School of Excellence. They would then progress the following year, as a group, to the U14 School of Excellence, the following year to the U15 Academy and ultimately, as basically the same group, to the U16 Academy.

This would mean eventually not running the U13 & U14 Development Camps but working with the selected players instead.

In 2012 the proposal would be:

  • to identify a group of 25 players who have just finished Primary School,
  • to hold an U13 Development Camp in Lissan 9th July to 11th July and select 25 players from this Camp,
  • to invite a group of selected U14s – from last year’s U13 Camp and the U14 FL, Feiles and U14 FC – to these 3 days at Lissan and work with them as a group to prepare for games,
  • to select only one panel of 25 players for the Ulster U15 Blitzes and work with them in March and April,
  • to select a group of 25 players from last year’s U15 Squad to work as our U16 Squad in 2012,
  • that the U17 football squad would compete in Ulster Council Blitzes with the Co. Minor manager, Simon Bradley.

This approach is intended to lead to a more focussed use of our resources and a more integrated ap

proach to such topics as Attitude, Commitment, Skills, Strength & Conditioning, Fitness Testing, Nutrition, Mental Preparation etc

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