15 in Navan, Co. Meath

Welcome to the NECSL Academy

This page aims to provide NECSL Clubs, Players and Parents with a better understanding of the FAI Program for elite young footballers, provide an overview of our program and highlight the current structures in place for identifying talented players within our League.

What is the FAI Emerging Talent Program?

The NECSL FAI Emerging Talent Programme is an FAI Program run for NECSL Clubs and Players. The Program helps identify and develop talented young players within the NECSL with a view to helping them progress onto the Regional, National and potentially International stage in due course.

The FAI Emerging Talent Program is a structured programme of development, which mirrors best practice in European and World standards, at League, Regional and National level to assist clubs and leagues

Emerging Talent Programme Aims

  • To provide emerging talent with the opportunity to train within their own area in a more structured and quality environment
  • To provide a higher quantity and quality of players for National and International teams
  • To improve the quality of players across all levels of the game within the NECSL
  • To identify, develop, monitor and evaluate players in the Under 11-15 age groups
  • To enable emerging talent to develop all of their capacities to their potential
  • To provide emerging talent with a more challenging level of training and development

The NECSL Emerging Talent Program operates in line with FAI revolving door policy, meaning players can be invited into the program throughout the year to evaluate their suitability to the program.

Boys & Girls Emerging Talent

The aim of the NECSL Emerging Talent Programme is to provide an opportunity at the local level for the best players (Boys & Girls) within our league to train together in a structured environment on a weekly basis.

The Program is run at the following age groups within the NECSL and provides the first step on the Elite Player Pathway for our most talented players.



  • Under 16
  • Under 14
  • Under 13
  • Under 12



  • Under 14
  • Under 13
  • Under 12
  • Under 11


NECSL ETP Squads participate in Interleague Games and sometimes tournaments throughout the year, and every year our U14 Boys & Girls will participate in the annual Kennedy Cup &  Gaynor Cup in University Limerick.


Both the Kennedy & Gaynor Cups are national competitions that are run by the SFAI. The competition consists of representative teams from all 26 schoolboy/girls leagues from around the country.

Progression Pathways

Throughout the Year the best players from our NECSL Emerging Talent squads are invited into participate in the Boys & Girls Regional FAI Centre of Excellence Programme.


Our regional FAI Centre of Excellence operates out of Kingscourt in Cavan, and is composed of the best players from the Emerging Talent Programs of the NECSL, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan leagues. Likewise, all other leagues throughout the country feed into separate FAI Centre’s of Excellence within the different regions.


Boys & Girls: Centres of Excellence


The Centres of Excellence Programme is the second step on the Elite Player Pathway for Boys & Girls. The aim of this programme is to further raise the technical ability of elite players through the provision of further training and lifestyle development at regional level which will ultimately prepare them for the next step, National and then potentially International Football. The concept is simple: get the best players in the country together to receive elite level coaching to aid their development.


  • Boys & Girls Pathway to International Football:

Talent Identification

Talent identification events called “Open Training Sessions” are designed to give NECSL Club Players the chance to train with existing NECSL ETP squads and to also provide ETP coaches the opportunity to evaluate players in realistic and challenging environments.


Open Training Session Objectives

  • To support Coaches and ETP staff in identifying high potential players
  • To assist Coaches and ETP staff in the selection of squads
  • To keep track of and monitor high potential players within the League.


Open Training Session Structure

  • Every player who receives an invite to attend the ETP Open Training Session will be invited in for three Sessions.


  • After the third session, players will be either invited into the main squad, or they will be advised that they’ll be monitored further with their club


  • Players will be notified of their involvement within 7 days of the last Open Training session through SPOND (Communication App)



**Please Note, Players can only be invited into Open Training Sessions by an Emerging Talent Program Coach.


Open Training Session(s) are held throughout the year and Coaches will be attending Club games throughout the season evaluating and identifying players for the Program.


NECSL Clubs can recommend players for the Program on a continuous basis by completing the Player Identification form below. This form is to be completed by Club officials and Juvenile Secretaries and we would ask that Clubs only put forward players they feel are of ETP standard. Once put forward, our Coaches will get out and see the player(s) in a Club game and may in turn invite the Player in for Open Training Session(s) at a later date.

Rules & Codes of Conduct


  • All players invited into the NECSL Emerging Talent Program must agree to abide by the rules of the program as set out herein.


  • Where a player is under the age of consent his Parents/Guardians must undertake to ensure that the player observes all the rules of the NECSL ETP as set out herein.


  • Players eligible for membership of the NECSL ETP must first be a fully registered player of a club in membership of the North Eastern County Schoolboy & Girls League.


  • There is no exception to the above rule.


  • Membership of the NECSL ETP begins once a player is invited into the program, either for an Open Training Session or into a squad


  • Players who are invited into the NECSL ETP are bound by the rules & code of conduct, likewise, so are Parents.


  • An NECSL ETP player or players can be asked to leave the Program without any reason.


  • 80% attendance (Games, Training, Education & Team events) is the mandatory requirement for players, to be considered for the following Term.


  • Players released from the Program (having completed one term) may be provided with a Player Development feedback letter. This feedback is provided on a once off basis and cannot be elaborated on any further.


  • Players released from the Program due to poor attendance, a discipline issue or any other situation deemed unbefitting of the NECSL ETP will not be provided with a Player Development Feedback Letter.


  • All grievances and or complaints in relation to any aspect of the NECSL ETP must be made in writing and emailed to the NECSL ETP Director of Football and NECSL ETP Coordinator. Email: ETP@NECSL.ie


  • Grievances and or complaints that cannot be resolved by the NECSL ETP (Rule 1.11) can in turn be made in writing and addressed to the Honorary Secretary of the NECSL.


  • Membership entitles all players regardless of race, gender, color, or creed to be always treated with the utmost respect.


  • The NECSL ETP enforces a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to staff being disrespected on or off the pitch, as well as online or across social media. Any members, non-members, or Clubs found to be in breach of this rule will be removed from the program and a complaint raised with the NECSL.


  • Players who are invited into the NECSL ETP will be encouraged to attain the highest standards both on and off the football field.


  • All NECSL ETP players and staff must aim to always achieve the highest possible standards.


  • Both players and staff must show the proper respect to their peers, match officials, opposing players and the public.


  • No member of the NECSL ETP, be they players or staff, should behave in a manner which could bring the name of the NECSL ETP into disrepute.


  • The NECSL ETP Committee reserve the right to add, delete and/or amend these rules in the interest of all concerned and the good name of the NECSL ETP


  • Being a member of an NECSL ETP does not entitle players to be selected for games, competitions nor are they guaranteed specific game time within the Program.


  • Coaches must be informed as early as possible if a player is not available for training or another Event.


  • Bullying of any form will not be tolerated in The NECSL ETP, if proven the perpetrator will be removed from the NECSL ETP.


  • The NECSL ETP are asked at different stages of the year to put forward players for FAI regionals. The NECSL ETP reserves the right to choose these players as it sees fit and without the need to provide explanation.


  • The NECSL ETP are entitled to select players and squads to suit formations, and in so doing, may move players out of their preferred position, and as such can make this decision at any stage throughout the year.


  • The NECSL ETP are required by the SFAI to name a maximum of 18 players for Interleague Games and SFAI Tournaments. In some instances, this may lead to squad players being left out of match-day cards, of which the NECSL ETP reserves the right to select and announce these squads as they see fit.


  • Only NECSL ETP Players and Staff are allowed inside the fence during Training, Games, and other events in the MDL.


  • Players who refuse to participate in or attend Games will be released from the Program.


  • Term refunds are assessed on a case-by-case basis, however, are only applicable within three weeks (or three events) from term start dates and are not applicable if Players have previously received ETP Training Gear.


  • Players cannot proceed to the next term unless previous Term fees are paid up in full.


  • The NECSL ETP reserves the right to recruit, promote, and in some instances, remove ETP Coaches/Assistants and/or Personnel from their positions without the need for explanation to any third party.

NECSL Players Code of Conduct

  • Players must respect the rights and dignity of each person and treat all equally within the context of the sport.


  • Players must adhere to all guidelines laid down in the NECSL ETP rules and code of conduct.


  • Players must develop an appropriate working relationship with the coach based on mutual trust and respect.


  • Players must accept responsibility for their own behavior and performance


  • Players must co-operate fully with specialists (e.g., other coaches, officials, sports scientists, doctors, physiotherapists) in their own interest.


  • Players must always adhere to the positive aspects of the sport (e.g., fair play) and never condone violations of the laws of the game or behavior contrary to the spirit of the laws of the game or relevant rules and regulations or the use of prohibited substances or techniques.


  • Players must consistently display high standards of behavior.


  • Players must appreciate the importance of striving to win, not winning itself.


  • Play by Laws of the Game.


  • Always accept the referee’s decision.


  • Play with control. Do not lose your temper.


  • Play for yourself and your team


  • Be a “good sport”. Applaud all good play whether by your team or the opponent.


  • Respect your opponent. Treat all players, as you would like to be treated. Do not “bully” or take advantage of any player.


  • Co-operate with the coach, teammates, and opponents.


  • Remember that the goals of the game are to have fun, improve your skills and feel good.


  • At the final whistle applaud and thank your opponents and the referee for the match.

NECSL Parents Code of Conduct

  • I will not force my child to participate in soccer.


  • I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.


  • I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.


  • I will learn the rules of the game and the rules of the NECSL ETP.


  • I will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, officials and spectators at every game and practice.


  • I will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player or parent such as booing and taunting, refusing to shake hands or using profane language or gestures.


  • I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and well-being of players.


  • I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.


  • I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, color, creed, sex or ability.


  • I will teach my child that doing one’s best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or their performance.


  • I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.


  • I will never ridicule my child or other participant for making a mistake or losing a match.



  • I will emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. I will also de-emphasis games and competition in the lower ages.


  • I will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the players ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win.


  • I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game and will take time to speak to coaches at an agreed upon time and place.


  • I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during matches and training.


  • I will as a parent be personally responsible for the behavior of any person that I have invited to matches or training.


  • Set a good example by applauding good play on both sides.


  • Do not place emphasis on winning at all costs.


  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from soccer.


  • As a spectator, do not use profane language or harass referees, coaches or players.


  • Do not publicly question the referee’s judgement and never their honesty.


  • Recognize the value and importance of volunteer referees and coaches, they give of their time and resources to provide recreational activities for young people.


  • Encourage in your child an appreciation of mutual respect for team-mates and opponents.


  • Be mindful that you as a parent are personally responsible the behavior of any person you have invited to all NECSL ETP activities.


  • Be on your best behavior and lead by example.


  • Applaud good play by the visiting team as well as your own.
  • Show respect for your Teams opponents. Without them there would be no match.


  • Condemn the use of violence in all forms at every opportunity.


  • Verbal abuse of players or referees cannot be accepted in any shape or form.


  • Players or referees are not fair targets for ignorant behavior.


  • Encourage young players to play by the Laws of the game

Contact Us

General Queries
shane b
Shane Barrett
ETP Director of Football
Paddy Mulreid
Paddy Mulreid
ETP Coordinator
Mark Jacob
Mark Jacob
ETP Boys Development Officer
paddy allen (2)
Paddy Allen
ETP Girls Development Officer
Jonathan Purvis
Jonathan Purvis

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