The Youth Development committee (YDC) of Longford Town FC were delighted to welcome FAI High Performance Director Mr. Ruud Dokter to a meeting at City Calling Stadium this week.
The purpose of the meeting was to review the recently updated Longford Town FC Youth development policy in light at the new ground developments at City Calling Stadium. In welcoming Mr Dokter to City Calling stadium and Longford chairman of the Longford Town FC Youth Development committee Paul Bayliss stated that the aim of the youth development programme at the club was to educate young local players to progress to representing the club at national level. Paul briefly outlined the current situation at the club with regard to underage coaching and teams. Mr. Dokter having reviewed the new LTFC development programme, was very complimentary about the work being carried out at the club. In a positive light he commented that in order for any club to successfully progress “You need a philosophy for the club, an adapted style of play, then each team, irrespective of age, should be in a process of education to play a certain way… All coaches have to believe in the philosophy; then the structures need to be solid and good communication is key. The head of youth development has a huge role to play”.
The Longford Town FC YDC are currently working hard to put the practices and coaching in place to develop players from the local area to represent the club in the inaugural year of the national under 17 league which will commence in 2015.
It is apparent that the key to further success in developing local players is to provide highly qualified coaches for all teams and at all age groups from under 10 upwards. In recent times there has been no formal training for coaches facilitated in Longford. Mr. Dokter suggested that he would look into the possibility of organizing an FAI facilitated coaching course to be held at City Calling Stadium in the near future.
Michael Farrell and Seamus Murray outlined details of work being carried out on new underage pitch and training facility at the stadium. Phase one is now nearing completion and will be ready for use next season. Further funding will be required to complete phase two. Mr Dokter suggested that all at the club should “be very proud of the stadium and facilities as it is essential to have proper training and playing surfaces in order to develop players”. It is great credit to all involved at the club that City Calling stadium has been selected to host upcoming under 17 international games in September. In his parting statement Mr Dokter stated that he is more than willing to facilitate a coaching seminar for all coaches working in the Longford area both at LTFC and schoolboy league level. It is envisaged that this session will take place at City Calling Stadium in September. All clubs in the area will be notified of details nearer the time.
In closing the meeting Chairman Mr Bayliss thanked Mr Dokter for attending the meeting and providing the club with some guidelines on how to further develop underage structures at LTFC. Paul suggested that although the development of underage structures at the club is in its infancy, much progress has been made in the last couple of years but also acknowledged that there is still a long way to go. The good news is that more elite young players are staying at local clubs with a view to playing in the national leagues at under 17 and under 19 level wearing the RED and BLACK!