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Academic theory

Cliftonville Strollers were part of the action at the NI Football League’s inaugural Academy League Development Day on Sunday.

Hosted at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus, the occasion acted as a precursor to the introduction of two new development leagues for Under 16 and Under 18 teams, which commence next weekend.

Over the next few years, the Academy League aims to create an environment that encourages youth development in Premiership clubs through improved support and meaningful partnerships, including:

  • Development days and workshops to support player & coach education
  • A scholarship programme that combines formal education and additional training
  • Ability for players to play up and down age bands
  • The development of recognised Academy criteria in a Northern Ireland context
  • Better partnership with key stakeholders in youth football