This initiative is a key component of the club’s new youth philosophy which aims to facilitate every Bohemian FC player to reach his own potential – whatever level of football that takes him to.
“There is a perception out there that players need to be in England by their mid-teens if they are going to make it as a professional footballer,” said Lisa Fallon, Head of Player Development and Recruitment at Bohemian FC.
“But many players come back due to home sickness and not being able to adapt to living away from friends and family and often that experience kills the game for them.
“We want to show that players can stay here in their home environment, finish their education and also receive elite level training so they are not missing out.”
Lack of money is no longer an excuse for clubs to stay away from strong and progressive youth development policies, according to Fallon.
“Our players are getting top-quality coaching and it’s costing the club nothing, just some time and energy, a bit of initiative and the commitment to make it happen,” she said.
Gavin Finn, Operations Manager at Swan Leisure Centre, said: “We have managed to break down the barrier of lacking facilities and professional training and provide low-budget organisations with elite training.
“We are delighted to be able to work with Bohemian FC and provide access to our top-level facilities and staff expertise. It’s an exciting initiative to be part of and we are looking forward to proving in the long term that with access to elite training and facilities, we can produce top-level athletes who can compete at international level.”
The players are eating healthily and are properly fuelled and hydrated for the training thanks to Superquinn in Walkinstown who are providing food and drink, free of charge, a “huge contribution” according to Fallon.
“People just bought into it straight away and Superquinn asked me, what do I need? The lads are getting healthy breakfasts, hot meals at lunch-time and snacks to sustain them during morning and afternoon sessions,” she said..
“Grassroots football is crucial to the future of the game here and we just have to take it seriously. If there’s no money then we have to find other ways of making things happen.”