Local Elections | Use your voice

With local and European elections scheduled for June 7th, we have an opportunity to champion the cause of Irish football, particularly the League of Ireland, and we need your help.

We are urging all supporters of Shelbourne FC to engage with local politicians and advocate for increased funding for the League of Ireland and our academies.

The future of Irish football is in the grassroots and in particular youth football, the development of players at League of Ireland academy level is fundamental to the advancement of the game at elite and national team level.

Over the years the number of Irish players plying their trade in the UK and across Europe has been in decline.

The difference in training and contact hours between Irish and English clubs is staggering and puts our players at a distinct disadvantage. 

Comparison of training hours between Irish clubs and English counterparts:

  • U-14 level: Irish clubs vs. Category 3 English clubs – 6 minutes difference per week (annual variance of 4 hours).
  • U-15 level: Irish clubs vs. Category 3 English clubs – 100 minutes difference per week (annual variance of 70 hours).
  • U-17 level: Irish clubs vs. English professional ladder’s lowest rung – 450 minutes difference per week (annual variance of 315 hours).

Investment into the academy system is urgently needed. Estimates suggest that an annual investment of €10 million is required to push our academies to the next level.

  • Ireland: 10 full-time staff across 24 academies.
  • Poland: 376 staff across 16 clubs.
  • Portugal: 315 staff across 7 academies.
  • Croatia: 190 staff across 10 clubs.

Here’s how you can make a difference:

Reach out to your local politicians by email and when they arrive at your door, urge them to prioritise funding for League of Ireland academies and facilities in the upcoming elections.

Spread the word among your fellow Shels supporters and football fans. Vote for those who have meaningful answers to the questions posed on the future of Irish football.

We all have a part to play in building a better future for Irish football. Let your local election candidate know that this is an issue that matters to you.

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