Irish Football Parents Conference

What is the Irish Football Parents Conference all about? Listen from 52’00”


December 14, 2019


Dublin City University Nursing School Building (Room HG23)




  hours  minutes  seconds


Irish Football Parents Conference

Are you a parent or guardian of a young person with ambitions of pursuing a career as a professional footballer?

If your child has that potential then getting the right advice can be difficult. Seeking to maintain a balanced approach to their education and personal development can be a challenge.

The Irish Football Parents Conference will help provide parents with objective information which can help avoid some of the pitfalls which have prevented other young footballers from achieving their ambitions in the game.

This conference will feature:

  • first hand experiences from former international players (male and female)
  • the perspective of clubs, coaches and parents of current professional footballers
  • the latest academic research into the challenges of a career in the professional game.

The event will be split into three sections:

Part 1 – Football development insights

Research findings into player development pathway in football in the UK, at underage international level & Underage LoI. What the statistics show us about the challenge for young players.

Part 2 – The relationships between the parent, player, coach and the game

Education & career decision making reality for Irish underage international footballers; How players can balance their sporting ambitions with educational aims; The relationship between parents & the coach in the elite pathway.

Part 3 – Lived experiences from when the game becomes a career
Former internationals Gareth Farrelly & Áine O’Gorman together with ex-U21 cap Kieron Brady give a first hand experience of the high and lows of a football career;

Ian Herding (Southampton FC Performance Education & Life Care Officer) outlines the lived experience of current players at a UK club & the interactions clubs have with the players’ parents;

Parents of current professional footballers & female underage international player give their perspective of having a child in that system

There will also be a Q&A with some of the speakers at the end of the session.

The Organisers

This group includes current and former football coaches, academics and teachers. This event has been organised in conjunction with the Irish Football Research Group (Supported by Waterford IT), Futsal Ireland and Optimeize.

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Confirmed speakers include:

Gareth Farrelly (Former Ireland, Everton, Aston Villa & Bohemians player and manager)

Kieron Brady (Former Sunderland & Ireland U21 international) Visit:

Áine MacNamara (Elite Performance expert) Visit:

Ian Herding (Southampton FC Performance Education & Life Care Officer)

Ian Byrne (The Time Coach, Health & Performance Expert, DCU lecturer) Visit:

Dr Vincent O’Flaherty (Rugby Players Ireland as Player Development Manager for Women’s XVs and National Sevens Programme). A graduate of IT Sligo (Bachelor of Business Studies), UCD (Higher Diploma in Education) and Maynooth University (Certificate in Child Protection), Vincent also completed a PhD in Dublin City University. Vincent’s PhD focused on the career decision making of Irish underage international footballers. This research examined how players were supported during their career transitions and how they balanced their elite football development and academic pathway. Vincent worked with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for eight years focusing on welfare, education and football regulation. Vincent also worked in a variety of areas such as child protection, agent/scout registration and policy development. As part of his role, Vincent provided advice to players and their families on the transition to the UK.

Áine O’Gorman (Women’s International). Former Ireland WNT captain, winning 100 caps. The Wicklow native has played for Stella Maris, Peamount United, Doncaster Belles and UCD Waves. She is back at Peamount and remains one of the top female footballers in the country. She will give her perspective on the challenge of playing at the highest level for female players.

More speakers to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Media Coverage

Irish Examiner – Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Irish Sun – Friday, November 29, 2019

The – Saturday, November 30, 2019

Irish Daily Star – Monday, December 09, 2019

Off the Ball (Podcast from 52:00) – Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Irish Independent – Thursday, December 12, 2019

2FM’s Game On – Thursday, December 12, 2019

Irish Times – Saturday, December 14, 2019

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Irish Football Parents Conference (€25):

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