It marks a very significant milestone in the history of both Bray Wanderers & St Joseph’s Boys AFC with the launch of SJ.B (St Joseph’s / Bray) Academy.
The formation of SJ.B Academy is a direct result of the new underage League of Ireland structures introduced by the Football Association of Ireland as part of the Player Development Plan, and further enhances the long standing and successful partnership between St Joseph’s Boys AFC & Bray Wanderers.
Phase One of the Academy is nearing completion with the redevelopment of the SJ.B Academy Training Ground in Carrickmines. This is a dedicated training & development facility and will accommodate the first team & all underage Academy teams (U13’s – U19’s).
The facility comprises of a fully floodlit grass pitch, a fully floodlit goalkeeper training area, two fully floodlit small sided training pitches, dressing rooms, a medical room, a gym area, a performance analysis suite & meeting rooms.
‘The vision of SJB Academy is to identify, recruit, develop & retain well rounded young players with the ability to play professional football with Bray Wanderers under the guidance of highly motivated, highly qualified coaches. Also, ensuring that participation in the Academy will “Create Value for Our Players Futures” beyond the duration of their time in the Academy in terms of Education and Employment,’ says Niall O’Driscoll, secretary of St Joseph’s Boys.
‘Through the Elite Development Programme we want to attract the best young players and support them in all aspects of a player’s technical, tactical, athletic, educational and social development. Our ultimate objective is to develop well rounded, highly educated, talented young footballers that progress up the development ladder,’ he says.
John Delaney, CEO of the FAI, was on hand as the guest of honour to launch the SJB Academy. He says: ‘I want to congratulate both St Joseph’s Boys and Bray Wanderers. It is a credit to their commitment to underage football that they have established the first dedicated underage football academy following FAI guidelines.’
Denis O’Connor, Chairman of Bray Wanderers says: ‘The partnership between St. Josephs Boys and Bray Wanderers, two of the most progressive clubs in Ireland, has already yielded results in preparing a clear pathway for all young elite players. We are jointly committed in our endeavour to provide the best elite youth structure in Ireland incorporating Football, Education & Social Development.”