Wednesday 21 February 2018

Clubs must embrace Dokter's elite u-15 plan

Republic of Ireland High Performance Director Ruud Dokter (right)
Republic of Ireland High Performance Director Ruud Dokter (right)
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

THE suggestion that FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter (right) wants to introduce an elite league at U-15 level for League of Ireland clubs is an intriguing development.

It's the kind of plan that, politically, is likely to encounter as many obstacles as a horse in the Grand National, but it's a vision that Airtricity League members need to embrace.

The lack of a pathway from a top schoolboy team to the highest level of football in the country is a peculiarly Irish problem, with the majority of clubs only too happy to pluck the best from the Dublin nurseries for next to nothing rather than making a serious effort to develop their own.

With the current system embedded for decades, Dokter will find it hard to instigate change but it's a battle worth fighting.

Irish Independent

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