THE FAI has confirmed that it is in the process of creating six new positions, mainly related to revenue generation opportunities.
Two marketing assistant positions are currently being advertised and will focus on new business development. The Association is also recruiting for a club and league administrator who will work closely with its clubs, the FAI Coaches' Association as well as current and future sponsors on activation programmes. Two people are also being recruited to work in customer service, specifically on ticketing and new business opportunities aligned to the association's CRM system.
Additional FAI / FÁS Centre launched in Cork ON the football side, the Association has launched an additional FAI FÁS centre in Cork (Carrigaline) taking on two new recruits including former League of Ireland player, Stuart Ashton who will work alongside Niall O'Regan at the centre. Stuart's recruitment brings to thirty seven the number of current Association staff members who were former professional players, following the recent appointment of Shaun Maher to the FAI FÁS course in Cabra.
Internally, the Association now counts seven qualified UEFA Pro Licence holders, 58 UEFA A licence holders and a further 22 UEFA B licence holders within its employee work-force.
The FAI/ FÁS courses have proven extremely successful in assisting people to find employment in sport. Success rates from the courses have been significant, with a 75% progression rate in employment and education this year. Thirty eight trainees have progressed to third level institutes nationwide, with twelve alumni on college scholarships in the US at present. Eight course graduates are currently playing football in England, most notably Enda Stevens, who is now a regular at Aston Villa.
Former international players Colin Healy and Roy Keane are among past graduates from FAI/FÁS courses.
There are strong connections between the courses and the Airtricity League and Bus Éireann Women's National League with 94 FAI / FÁS trainees playing for national League clubs Houghton and St Ledger present Football For All caps THE FAI has awarded international caps to 115 players from 10 international Football for All squads who competed during 2012. Over 500 international caps have been awarded to Football for All international teams since 2006.
The men and women who earned these caps had them presented by Sean St Ledger and Ray Houghton in Dublin's City hall in a ceremony attended by Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Clare Byrne, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, FAI President, Paddy McCaul and FAI Chief Executive, John Delaney as well as representatives of the various organisations who worked with the FAI's Football For All programme.
This year's caps included those awarded to the first ever Irish Powerchair team to compete in a FIPFA World Cup as well as the three Special Olympics squads who earned medals in Athens.
The FAI has been operating Football for All programmes for ten years and was the first National Sports Governing body to do so. The programmes have been very successful and today involve over 3,500 players across all programmes nationally. The Football for All programme has been supported since 2012 by the National Dairy Council and involves close cooperation with disability sports governing bodies and disability organisations across all of Ireland.
Local authorities, including Dublin City Council, are also heavily involved through co-funded development officers who work for the FAI.
The last year has been full of important developments for the FAI's Football for All programme, including the establishment of the Irish Amputee Football Association, the establishment of the Association of Irish Powerchair Football, a first National Football For All festival involving clubs in Tallaght stadium, the setting up of Football for All programmes at community clubs in 20 locations nationwide and the introduction of a descriptive commentary service for visually impaired fans attending international matches.
Republic of Ireland international, Sean St Ledger, who was attending the event for the first time, said: "I am really happy to be here this evening to help present these international caps. Representing your country is a real honour and the men and women who have played on the FAI's Football for All international teams should be proud of their achievements. I'd like to congratulate everyone involved in the programme for their work in ensuring that everyone has access to the sport." This is my last article of the year so I would like to wish you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.