Where now for Irish football?

Niall Quinn has raised his head above the parapet to offer his opinion on what direction needs to be taken to secure the future of Irish football.

Quinn believes that Ireland’s best plan is to create an Academy of Excellence here in Ireland to train our best and brightest because our best young players are no longer making the grade at the big English clubs. Up to the mid nineties the youth teams of the top clubs in England were littered with the brightest talent from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Now it is a far more international affair and the effects have been seen on the international teams of the ‘home nations’.


This academy is a fine idea, a new facility staffed by coaches who have the highest qualifications would take in players at the age of 8 or 9 and develop the technical side of their game before they leave at 15 or 16 for English clubs. This would give our young player the tools to make the grade at the top clubs. How exactly does Niall Quinn envision the FAI paying for this?


The League of Ireland is struggling to keep its head above water. The FAI rely on Denis O’Brien to pay the wages of it’s international manager. The payments on the Aviva Stadium is a major drain on the finances of the association and we haven’t even touched on the economic climate in the country.

The harsh reality is that there just isn’t the money in the game in Ireland and unless someone like Quinn and his friends from the Drumaville, who invested so much money running the English club Sunderland FC, have recovered from the financial crisis sufficiently as to have the money to bankroll this enterprise then it will remain just that. A fine idea.


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