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Belfast Met teams up with Irish FA to expand successful Football Academy


Belfast Met has announced a partnership with the Irish FA Foundation to expand our highly successful Football Academy.

This exciting partnership will see Belfast Football Academy students undertake an Irish FA Foundation Coach Education Programme, alongside its existing Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sport (equivalent of 3 A-Levels).

The Belfast Met Football Academy was established in 2012 and is the leading football academy in Northern Ireland.

Cardiff City Northern Ireland International, Gavin Whyte, and Linfield’s Northern Ireland Under 21 International, Jordan Stewart, are among the players to have graduated from the Academy.

It offers talented young male and female footballers, aged 16-18 years old, a two-year full-time education programme combined with top class coaching, strength and conditioning and sports science support.

The Irish FA Foundation Coach Education Programme will include the Irish FA’s Grassroots Introduction to Coaching Award and the Level One Coaching Award, as well as the Level One Coaching Disabled Footballers Award, Futsal Level One Award and the Referee Level One Award.

Students will also develop their coaching skills and knowledge with paid work experience opportunities across the Irish FA Foundation’s network of coaching camps and schools’ programmes.

Jonathan Heggarty, Director of Curriculum & Learner Success at Belfast Met said: “Our football academy offers students an excellent opportunity to gain a highly valued qualification that is an equivalent to three A-Levels, as well as receiving a comprehensive programme of coaching, strength and conditioning and sports science support, and the chance to compete at the highest level in one of the academy representative squads.

“The Coach Education Programme expands the academy’s offering by providing students with the necessary coaching qualifications and hands-on experience to pursue a career in football coaching or indeed refereeing.”

Darren McWilliams, Football Academy Co-ordinator at Belfast Met said: “We are delighted to partner with the Irish FA Foundation to offer a bespoke Irish FA Coach Education Programme as part of our syllabus for the Football Academy.

“This unique partnership with the Irish FA strengthens our position as the leading football academy in Northern Ireland and the perfect destination for any young footballer keen to progress their playing, coaching and academic credentials.

Jonathan Michael, Irish FA Foundation Schools and Futsal Manager said: “The Irish FA Foundation is delighted to be working with Belfast Met and their Football Academy. Students will gain additional qualifications in football that they can use to support their academic work and give them a skill set that they can use going forward in their studies or working life.

“As part of our youth strategy we have put an emphasis on college football and enhancing employability skills which this programme will help deliver. I wish the students well for this academic year and trust they will enjoy and benefit from the programmes we deliver.”

For more information on The Belfast Met Football Academy click here

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