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Elite Youth League initiated

Cliftonville Football Club are pleased to confirm our participation in an historic collaboration to inaugurate an Elite Youth Football League.

A collective effort among the Reds, Crusaders, Linfield and Glentoran, the initiative aims to raise the bar for youth football in Northern Ireland and provide a streamlined pathway for aspiring talents looking to make their mark in the sport.

The newly formed invitational league, set to launch for the 2024/25 season, is to feature between eight to 10 of the country’s premier academies, spanning age groups from Under-12 to Under-15. This alignment seeks to create a more competitive and challenging environment for players, fostering their development throughout the season.

A primary objective of this initiative is to establish a stable and effective pathway for young athletes transitioning into the Northern Ireland Football League. By bringing together the best academies, the league aims to nurture and harness the potential of emerging talents, providing them with a comprehensive foundation for future success in the sport.

The visionary approach of the league organisers also envisions the inclusion of a cross-border competition, offering young players the opportunity to test their skills against counterparts from different regions. Additionally, an Inter-League Cup is being considered, adding an extra layer of excitement and prestige to the already ambitious project.

Academy Directors from Cliftonville, Cliftonville, Glentoran, and Linfield express confidence that this strategic overhaul of the current youth set-up will significantly enhance the prospects for budding footballers. The long-term vision is to create an environment that maximises players’ opportunities for a successful career in football.