Irish Grassroots Football

FAI Appoint another Dutch man as New high performance director.

It seems like the FAI have finally got someone who might take an interest in the grassroots structure, I suppose the 4v4 game ties into this man’s appointment. Let’s see what changes come August 1st, certainly looks positive.

Following the exit of Wim Koevermans last year, the FAI has announced another Dutchman in the role of High Performance Director. Highly-respected Dutch coach, Ruud Dokter, has been appointed FAI High Performance Director, it was announced on Friday.

Dokter has a vast amount of international experience and, after what the Football Association of Ireland described as an “extensive worldwide recruitment process”, the 57-year-old will take up his position on August 1.

Who is he?

After a playing career with SC Makkinga, GRC Groningen and VV Helpman, Dokter became part-time coach of Groningen’s youth teams before becoming part of the KNVB’s coaching set-up where he has filled a variety of senior positions at men’s under-21, U18, U17, U16 and U15 levels as well as the senior women’s team.

Dokter will oversee the Irish non-senior international men’s programme, the women’s senior and underage international programme, coach education and player development. This will include the Emerging Talent Programme as well as the Academy in Abbotstown where the first phase is currently being developed.

Speaking about his appointment, Dokter said:

“My first priority will be to cultivate relationships with those people who invest so much time in nurturing young Irish talent, provide a good sense of direction and influencing everyone to work together. “Ireland has a fine footballing tradition and I want to build on that, using my experience to optimise the development of the coming generation of elite players.”

John Delaney, FAI chief executive, said: “Ruud will be working closely with all of the affiliates involved in Irish football with an emphasis on coaching and the development of our elite player pathway.”

See also FAI website


Coaching Coaching Clinics Irish Grassroots Football

Great Opportunity to watch and learn from our youngest talent

Whilst down at the Glaway Cup I bumped into some of Ireland’s best young coaches and I was delighted to find out that this Sunday (August 14th) the FAI’s the 1996 (u16s) International Elite Camp will be opened up to aspiring coaches.

The camp will run from Sunday the 14th to Wednesday 17th August and is completely free to anyone who wishes to attend. Training sessions are open to all coaches but you must REGISTER with the FAI before hand.

You can do this my contacting Niall Harrison by email at

Niall Harrison and the coaching staff will discuss with all observers the aims and objectives of the Elite Camp, you will get a first hand look into how a youth International team trains, works on functions of the game and prepares for competitive matches. You may not get a chance to meet the players, but you will get a chance to speak to the coaches and ask questions about the sessions, drills and anything the squad worked on that day.

Coach John Morling will present an Educational Presentation on logistics/procedures and that is just one of many presentations over the 4 days.

Observing Coaches Timetable

Sunday August 14

11.15am; Introduction to the aims and objectives of the Elite Camp for all observing coaches

11.45am; Player arrival at AUL complex and meet with staff

12.30pm – 1.30pm; Training session 1-Attacking (Defensive & Middle third)

14.00-5pm; Meet with coach for Q/A

6.15-7.15pm; Training Session 2-Attacking (Middle third & Final third)

7.30pm; Meet with coach for Q/A

8.45pm; Educational Presentation 1- John Morling (Logistics/Procedures) @ The Clarion Dublin Airport Hotel

9.30pm; Meet with presenter for Q/A

Monday August 15

10.30am-11.30am; Training Session 3- Defending (Strikers & Midfielders)

11.45am; Meet with coach for Q/A

4.30pm – 5.30pm; Training Session 4-Defending (Midfielders & Defenders)

5.45pm; Meet with coach for Q/A

8pm–845pm; Educational presentation 2- Colin Dunleavy (Diet, Nutrition, etc)

Free time

9pm; Meet with presenter for Q/A

Tuesday August 16

10.30am-11.30am; Training Session 5-Set Pieces/Individual work

11.45am; Meet with coach for Q/A

8pm-8.45pm; Educational Presentation 3-(Guest Speaker Professional Experiences)

Wednesday August 17

11am; MatchTeam A v Foreign opposition

1pm; MatchTeam B v Foreign opposition

Note: If you would like to attend any of the above sessions you must contact the FAI, the open Training sessions are open to all coaches but must register with Niall Harrison prior to session commencing. You will not be aloud into the venue unless you pre-register with Niall.

For more information contact

Niall Harrison

Football Association of Ireland (FAI)

Emerging Talent Programme National Coordinator

Ireland Under 15 Head Coach