Cork City recruits young girls from 10 to 16 for the academy

The programme is for players looking for an extra session a week to improve their game
Cork City recruits young girls from 10 to 16 for the academy

Cork City Women FC's Áine O’Donovan at a recent coaching session in Innishvilla with some of the club's U10 and U11 players last year.

CORK City FC’s Women have officially announced that they are on the lookout for young talented footballers to join their academy.

The club is currently looking for players aged between 10 to 16 to register their interest by filling out a form that can be found on their official (@CorkCityFCWomen) Twitter page.

City’s underage system looks to develop players and aims to give them the best chance of playing at their highest level through high-quality training sessions and matches.

“The academy is for players in Cork and also the Munster region, who are looking for an extra session or two a week,” says Áine O’Donovan, who is the head of the academy.

They are trained by Cork City women’s coaches, make new friends, learn new things, and the benefit for us is there are then talented players in the club environment.

“For the leagues — the likes of the Cork Schoolgirls League and the West Cork League — they get to see their players training at the highest level possible week in, week out so it works for ourselves and the leagues involved really well.

“The applications will be open until we start, which will hopefully be in about two weeks’ time, we are just dependent on restrictions and stuff like that because of Covid.

“But I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve been with City for the past eight seasons and this year I’m the head of the academy so it will be a new challenge for me, but I’m absolutely really looking forward to it.”

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In recent times, City’s academy has produced players like Éabha O’Mahony and Zara Foley, both of whom have been involved with the Republic of Ireland’s seniors while they also helped the Leesiders reach the FAI Cup final last year.

But the first player to progress through the ranks was Áine’s sister Kate, who then helped the club win the FAI Cup in 2017.

“I think this is her sixth season involved with Cork City and she had one year of the academy so yeah, she was our first ‘academy graduate’ as we like to call her.

“She started it all off, as we say, and after that, there has been more and more coming through each year.

“There are girls that have come through this academy and are currently involved with our U17s, who won their league last year, U19s and senior squad.

“The majority of the players in our senior squad have come through the academy so it is a really good pathway.

“There is a stepping stone there from the age of 10 that you could be involved with Cork City FC and by 15 or so you could be wearing their jersey and playing competitive games at U17 level.”

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