John Delaney (Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland)

“Members of Bray Wanderers Football Club and St Joseph’s Boys AFC, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. 

It is a great honour to be here this evening to launch the The Academy, which sets out to provide for a top class elite youth structure, through identification, recruitment, player development and retention.

The vision of both parties, with FAI support, sets out to create value for players of the future, and to add to their football skillsets by supporting in education and their future development.

By setting out a strategic plan for the development of players on and off the pitch, the SJB Academy is committing to meeting the demands of modern day Elite Underage Development.

This academy will adhere to a number of the key pillars in the FAI’s Player Development Plan with particular focus on Player Development, Facilities and the SSE Airtricity League.

Bray has put a huge emphasis on growth in their recent plans and it is a credit to people like Eddie Cox, Gerry Mulvey, Denis O’Connor and Martin O’Connor for wanting to reach a higher level.

The marriage of Bray and St Joseph’s brings together two great names, under one fantastic plan, and brings two strong entities to one great Academy.

St Joseph’s are known throughout the country as one of the best clubs for producing quality players and we’ve seen the likes of Paul McShane, Andy Keogh and Alan Judge all become Republic of Ireland internationals in recent years.

It is a credit to all of the coaches and volunteers through the years that they continued to maintain high standards. With people like Tommy Tallant, Niall O’Driscoll, Nigel Fitzpatrick, Christy Dodd, Anto Whelan and, of course, Will Clarke running the club, they have stood out as one of the standard-bearers for youth football. And this link-up with Bray showcases their ambition to keep on improving.

The ambition of the SJB project is impressive, when you see a mission statement which declares it will “become the best under age development footballing environment in Ireland”.

A commitment to construct a professional structure has been built on player centricity, honesty, and teamwork, under a positive environment here at the SJB Academy.

Of course, all great plans need strong leadership and the emphasis on developing leaders at all levels is a recipe for future success.

It is also heartening to hear that the academy will be built on the basis of trust and respect, and a determination to earn the trust and respect of everybody.

The ongoing development of underage football and the constant improvement of the SSE Airtricity League are key priorities for the FAI, and this partnership will enhance football at all levels developing young players to a top standard to play in our best league.

The facilities here with two full-sized floodlit pitches, floodlit training areas, a major refurbishment of clubhouse and dressing rooms, medical unit, showers, gymnasium, and meeting rooms are great foundations for the development of Under 19s, Under 17s, and Under 15s, and in the near future Under 13s.

This dedicated academy is something that both St Joseph’s and Bray Wanderers can be proud of, and is something that we in turn at the FAI can point to when it comes to developing similar facilities around the country, as an example of what can be achieved.

I would like to thank Niall O’Driscoll, Tommy Tallant, Will Clarke and all at St Joseph’s Boys as well as Denis O’Connor and Gerry Mulvey, along with everyone at Bray Wanderers.

Finally I would like to wish everybody connected with the SJB Academy the greatest of success as it makes its way into a very exciting future.

Go raibh mile maith agat…”  

Study & Protect – Supporting the Next Generation of Athletes with SJB Academy

SJB Academy are delighted to announce their 3 year partnership with Study & Protect, the new specialist educational insurance platform.

SJB Academy is a partnership between St. Josephs Boys and Bray Wanderers, two of the most progressive clubs in Ireland.  They are jointly committed in their endeavour to provide the best elite youth structure in Ireland incorporating Football, Education & Social Development.

Study & Protect, an umbrella product for education insurance under the O’Driscoll O’Neil brand, are committed to supporting the development of youth players.  Chris Anako, the Business Development Manager from Study & Protect, explains why they are happy to be in partnership and support a programme that assists the holistic development of young adults.

“Participation in sport is not only important for your physical health but for your mental health too. SJB Academy are dedicated to developing a culture of excellence both on and off the pitch. They will provide each player with an education support programme and career mentoring programme to help prepare them for a profession outside of football. It is this aspect that makes Study & Protect proud to support such a prestigious programme.”

The vision of SJB Academy is firstly identifying, recruiting, developing & retaining well rounded players with the ability to play professional football with Bray Wanderers under the guidance of highly motivated, highly qualified coaches.  Also, ensuring that participation in the Academy will “Create Value for Our Players Futures” beyond the duration of their time in the Academy in terms of Education and Employment

O’Driscoll O’Neil CEO, Niall O’Driscoll advises that they have been involved in the growing European & International Education markets for more than 25 years.  He states that Study & Protect and SJB Academy are a “perfect fit” as both organisations are dedicated to creating an Elite Development Programme that is attractive to the best young players and one which will service all aspects of a players technical, tactical, athletic, educational and social development with the ultimate objective of developing well rounded, highly educated, talented young footballers that progress up the development ladder.

Study & Protect would like to wish all members of SJB Academy the best of luck as they begin their programme.

Study & Protect

Congratulations to Cian Walsh

Date: 13/5/2017 Congratulations to Cian Walsh from our U17 Academy team on his inclusion in Bray Wanderers first team squad