Following an extensive review of Shamrock Rovers Football Club Academy, we are pleased to announce a restructure of our set-up which, we feel, will allow us to remain the number one professional football Academy in Ireland. 

Following a robust recruitment process, Simon Friel will be joining the club as Director of Academy Operations. Simon joins us from Carlisle United where he held the role of Academy Manager. Simon was central to Carlisle United maintaining its status as a Category 3 Academy, having implemented the standards as set out by the Professional Game Academy Audit Company (PGAAC) in England. 

In the absence of any equivalent standards in the League of Ireland, Shamrock Rovers F.C. will look to implement a similar approach over the coming season. Simon’s knowledge of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), Coach the Coaches Protocols and his studies through the Elite Academy Manager Program will add significant value to the football club.

The Academy strategic review also leads to Aidan Price undertaking the role of Director of Academy Coaching working directly alongside Simon. 

Aidan has a strong history with the club having won both First Division and Premier Division titles and has worked within the Academy since 2016 in a variety of roles. Aidan, who holds a UEFA Pro Licence and is currently a participant in the European Club Association (ECA) Academy Manager program, has significant knowledge of the Academy and elite young player landscape in Ireland and has successfully built strong reciprocal relationships with a number of top European Academies. 

Both Aidan and Simon will report to club CEO, John Martin.

Speaking about this hugely important development at the club, CEO John Martin said “The restructure of the Academy is an acknowledgement that the scope of the operation has grown significantly since it was first launched. Throughout the recruitment process, it became clear that restructuring was the optimal solution for the club. Through our junior development academy, DDSL sections, Partner & Affiliate clubs, National League teams, Education / S&C / Performance Analysis Departments, and facilities management in Roadstone, the club has grown exponentially. The new structure will allow for a greater focus on all areas within the Academy as we look to continually improve into the future.”