To coincide with the relaunch of our Academy ahead of the new 2021 season, Dundalk FC, in cooperation with The Unit, has put together this promotional video to highlight the importance we place on developing players for our first team.

Over the winter, we have implemented structures that will create a pathway for all of the best players in Dundalk and the surrounding areas to progress and develop into first-team players.

“Academies are the lifeblood of football clubs and this video is symbolic of our promise to the youth of Ireland and the world that Dundalk FC is committed to developing young men and women as football players and as productive citizens of the world,” said Lilywhites chairman Bill Hulsizer.

Sporting director Jim Magilton, who spent seven years as the Elite Performance Director of the Irish Football Association, knows first-hand how important an academy structure is to a successful club.

“As a football club, there’s no greater excitement than discovering a prospect in the youth ranks, a talent that has all the potential to make a real difference in the first team for years to come.

“There are many factors that determine that but what is always present and consistent is that those who flourished all had the correct management, system and environment in place to allow them to shine.

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“We are excited about the future and we look forward to the next generation of Dundalk players coming through and carrying on that proud tradition.”

New academy manager Stephen McDonnell will have full responsibility for the club’s underage set-up. The O’Hanlon Park native started his career with Dundalk Schoolboys League club Quay Celtic and has experienced what it is like to pull on the Dundalk shirt and play in front of a home crowd.

“This is an exciting time for young talented footballers to be part of the Dundalk FC Academy,” said McDonnell. “We believe that we have recruited top people and coaches who will only aid with the development of the next crop of talented players at our football club.”

First-team coach Filippo Giovagnoli also possesses a wealth of knowledge in working with and developing young players. As the director of coaching at the Metropolitan Oval Academy in New York, the Italian was responsible for player and coach development, training curriculum, style of play, and interaction with the US Federation and Met Oval’s affiliate clubs.

“Having a strong youth academy is the way to building a strong club that will sustain itself by producing and developing players for the first team,” said Giovagnoli.