Academy partnership launched with Whitehead Eagles Juniors

Feb 1, 2024 | All News, Club News, Youth & Academy

We are delighted to announce a promising, long-term partnership with neighbouring academy club Whitehead Eagles Junior Football Club.

This collaboration is designed to bring mutual benefits to both clubs at the academy level. It will involve the exchange of resources and ideas along with the implementation of player pathways and opportunities for professional development for coaches.

Whitehead Eagles’ youth academy has been actively contributing to the community for nearly 50 years, providing coaching and football programmes for children from Whitehead and the surrounding areas.
Currently providing opportunities for approximately 200 kids aged five to 18, the club prides itself on serving as the gateway for youngsters to engage in football, fostering not only an understanding of the game but also the development of their skill sets and personal growth.

Speaking about the partnership, Whitehead Eagles Juniors Chairman Nigel Tilson, who is also Head Coach of the 2012 team at the Eagles, stated:

“In the past we’ve had several players from the Eagles make the move to Larne FC’s academy structure. Larne, whose teams generally compete at a higher level across all age groups, allow kids from our teams to continue their development and growth.

“While we will collaborate in various aspects, the primary focus is on the kids. We can assess with a player whether they are ready to step up to a higher standard of the game. If that is the case, we can either recommend them to Larne or open a discussion with Larne.

“Alongside the two-way player pathways which will develop via the partnership, our players will benefit from opportunities to play in games programmes, holiday camps and additional sessions, creating more opportunities for contact time on the ball, which I have no doubt will positively support their development over time.”

Larne’s Head of Youth Development Jeff Hughes commented:

“We aim to assist as many clubs as possible. We want to support talented kids from the wider Larne area who may otherwise go unnoticed, helping them stand out and progress their game, whether at Larne or elsewhere.

“It’s crucial to provide top-level coaching to kids within the wider area, not limited to Larne town. This partnership enables us to extend our reach into the Whitehead area and support the fantastic work which the Eagles’ coaches have been doing for many years already.

“The collaboration also provides an opportunity for the club’s coaches to advance their coaching badges, which we hope will contribute towards a further enhanced experience for young players and an elevated standard of football across both clubs.”

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