Brendan Kennedy : Director of Coaching & Junior Academy
Our Academy has quickly become the choice for parents in Dublin 15 who desire that their children receive the best possible football education between the key ages of 4 and 6 years old.
Brendan has also enjoyed an excellent playing career. Both he and his brother Mark (34 Caps for Republic of Ireland and now 1st team coach at Ipswich town) played football for St.Mochta’s FC and, with their father having also been involved, Brendan can claim an association of over 30 years with the club.
Brendan has a long history of working with young players and works with the top young talent in Ireland as a senior coach with the FAI’s Emerging Talent Program. Since his arrival at SMFC in 2010 Brendan has driven our Academy to hugely high levels of professionalism and achievement. Impressively, in 2012, within 2 seasons of Brendan coming on board, our top Academy graduates of that year entered the DDSL’s highest league for 2012/2013. Membership in his first season here rose from 20 registered trainees to 65. Brendan has also recruited a fine team of Academy coaches whose whose professionalism is constantly noted.
Stmochtasfc.com recently met with our Academy director Brendan Kennedy and he answered questions about the academy, coaching and Ireland. In part one, Brendan talks about the Academy and in Part 2, next week, we discuss Coaching and his role as Ireland Under 18 & 19 goalkeeper coach.
This is your fourth year as Director of Coaching and Junior Academy, are you happy with the progress ?
The progress the academy has made is phenomenal. We started our first season with 2 coaches and only 2o players from 3 - 4 different age groups training at the same time. In our fourth year we currently have 77 players registered in the academy. We have 1o academy coaches, 3 different age groups all receiving a one hour training programme with separate coaches dedicated to each group. The academy presents our schoolboy section with a minimum of 2 teams, 24 players, and 4 coaches to play at Under 8 non competitive football each season. We have started 7 new teams, 98 players and 17 parents who have been coached through the academy system since we began the academy programme in 2010. That's a huge amount of progress in a short space of time. O Neills sponsoring the Academy illustrates how well the academy is doing and how professional it's run. It's great for the academy and the club.
What is the coaching philosophy of the academy ?
Our philosophy for both the club and academy is simple. We want all our players, parents and coaches to enjoy their football in a fun, friendly, and educational environment. Fun and development is foremost and results are the last thing we worry about.
What is the youngest age children can start training from ?
We start our football education for players at the age of 4. This is the first entry level in the academy system. Our club now has a very strong football structure that allows us to provide football for all players from 4 - 18 years of age and also two senior teams after Under 18's.
Are girls welcome to join ?
Yes, we recently had our first girls join the academy, Ella and Katie were the first two girls to join the academy. We have three girls now aged 7 in the academy. We couldn't fit them into teams as the Under 7 teams were formed when they joined. I would certainly like to see more girls join and the academy is not exclusive to boys. Girls football in Ireland is exceptional with an abundance of talent in the country.
How are the academy sessions structured ?
Academy sessions are structured with two very important aspects of coaching. To have FUN and to make our training sessions INTERESTING for our players. We do build a players technical skill set into our drills. The players are learning different skills but they wouldn't be aware they are. The emphasis in the academy is all about working with a football from the time the player starts training until the academy session finishes. We concentrate on teaching the players to pass, dribble and shoot. The players will also play a lot of small sided matches during the coaching sessions.
What factors contribute to a successful academy ?
I believe to have a successful academy, you need a good structure, planning, coach education, player development and a football pathway for all the players to follow. All our coaches hold the minimum level of coaching certificate to work with young talented players. Parents will know that our academy has the right coach to work with the children. A huge factor to run a successful academy is the backing of the chairman and the clubs committee. I've no doubt the St. Mochta's academy would not be where it is today without the unbelievable support of the club committee and chairman. I'm very lucky to have such positive support and belief from the club to allow me to mould the academy the way I think is best for our players.
Can parents get involved ?
The Academy is always looking for parents to get involved in the club. Because of the friendly and stress free atmosphere the academy provides, the academy has helped 17 parents to become coaches within the club. The academy coaching system allows anyone, no matter what experience they have to become a coach. All of the 17 parents that have progressed into the club, have completed kick start 1 and kick start 2 coaching courses. The club has covered the cost for any coach who would like to complete there coaching courses.
What should parents expect from a child's first year in the Academy ?
The expectation I hope a parent would want is, did your child have FUN ? If the child has had fun, then they will want to return every Saturday. We hold a very proud academy record of not having one player leave our academy once they have joined. That's not a bad statement in four years. This would tell me that our players have lots of FUN and this is why our attendance every Saturday morning is 40 - 50 players.
Does the academy play friendlies against other academies ?
The academy plays approximately 10 friendlies each season. I try to organise a friendly once a month. Our 4 year old players don't play any friendlies as I feel they are too young for structured football. They do hold a regular training session instead. Our 5 and 6 year old players play a friendly every month. We also run our annual end of season academy tournament for the out going Under 7's in the last week of May. Last season we had 18 teams and 220 players involved. Each player will receive a congratulatory certificate with their name on it after every friendly match. This is our way so saying well done on completing a match day, no matter what the score is.
Do the club have a good relationship with other academies ?
Yes, our academy has a fantastic relationship with a lot of other academies. We have built up these relationships through our friendly matches as we regularly play other academies both at home and away.
I think our academy tournament shows how well respected we are by the number of teams and players that attend this friendly competition.
What's the most satisfying part of the job ?
This is the simplest one to answer. The most satisfying part of running our academy is seeing our players turn up every Saturday morning with huge smiles on their faces and raring to go and play football. It's amazing to see how the players progress throughout the year, watching them develop their football skills and watching how they perform in the academy friendlies. It's always extremely hard to see the players leave the academy, especially as some of them are with us since 4 years of age. When they do leave and play Under 7, it means our schoolboy section is getting stronger every year.
Part 2 Next Week
St. Mochta's FC 1- 0 Leixlip United15/09/2014
LSL Division 1John Reilly scored his first goal of the season with a header after a beautiful cross by Aaron O' Brien on the right after he linked up with Glen Crowe. Reilly's goal in the 22nd minute was the only goal of the game.
Leixlip left Porterstown Road regretting two missed penalties. The Saints were reduced to ten men on the hour mark, when Luke Harrison was sent off. A sloppy back pass by Karl Somers was pounced on by the Leixlip forward and Harrison brought him down. Warren Fee saved the penalty and he made a fantastic save on the follow up. Fee was up rapidly to make a save and he had an excellent game. His was assured and confident and dealt with some dangerous deliveries into the penalty area. The second penalty was awarded in the 78th minute when Lancaster made a rash challenge in the penalty area and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot for the second time. United's penalty went high over the crossbar.
Saints, Manager Brian Mc Carthy was relieved and delighted with the win, " It's another win on the board and we rode our luck giving away two penalties. Warren made a superb save for the first one, we were a bit flat today and a break in games can do that, but we dug it out and played some excellent football at times."
It was a quiet first half with not many chances. O' Brien forced the Leixlip goalkeeper into a save in 30th minute and both sides were restricted to shots from distance. O' Brien's effort was the last chance of note in the first half. Glen Crowe went close with a volley that just flew past the top corner in the 57th minute. Two minutes later Leixlip were awarded the first penalty and Harrison saw red, Craig Sheridan dropped back and went in centre half beside Dean Thomas. Fee made another top class save six minutes later when he dived low to save a good effort after Leixlip got in behind the Saints defence with a terrific move. Crowe hit the post in the 68th minute and the Saints continued to give the visitors some problems on the break. With twelve minutes remaining Leixlip missed a second penalty and they were deflated after that. The Saints had chances to kill the game off, Martin O' Neill had a shot that went wide late in the game and Lancaster was denied by the goalkeeper when he was through on goal after a quick break. The goalkeeper did well to pounce as Lancaster tried to round him. The Saints held on to win and it's another three points.
It won't be our best performance of the season, but that's what great sides do, win when they are not at their best. Two weeks without a league or cup game didn't help. It was a hard fought win and the goal was of the highest quality. The win moves the Saints up to fourth in the table. It's a very good positive start. We would take two home wins and a point on our travels in the first three games.
There was a minutes silence before the game for Bernard O' Keefee our former chairman who passed away on Friday. Our thoughts are with Bernard's family and friends at this very sad time.
Team : Fee, Kelly, Harrison, Thomas, Smith, Lyons ( Deegan 64 ) C. Sheridan - C, K.Somers, Reilly, O' Brien ( Lancaster 54 ), Crowe ( O' Neill 79 )
Subs : Wilson, O' Neill, Lancaster, Deegan, Hughes.
Leixlip United Preview11/09/2014
LSL Senior Division 1After two weeks without a game, it feels like the season is only starting. The Saints opening two games of the season saw the team pick up four points. Last time out the Saints came from 2-0 down to beat St. Francis at home 3-2. Dean Thomas scored a superb free kick and David Somers scored two. Somers has scored 3 goals in two league games.
A bye in the cup left the Saints with no fixture last week. Bangor Celtic provided the opposition in a friendly on the Tuesday before the free weekend. The Saints won 2-1 with Somers on the score sheet again netting a double.
Manager Brian Mc Carthy has added more personnel to the squad with Stephen Deegan joining from Cherry Orchard and Gary Monaghan makes a move from Phoenix. Deegan is a midfielder and Monaghan will add pace and more fire-power to the forward line. St. Mochta's FC welcome Stephen and Gary to the club.
Leixlip United have played one league game, a 2-1 home defeat to Glenville.
We've had some great games against Leixlip in recent years and we look forward to welcoming them to Porterstown road on Sunday.
Kick Off is at 11.00am.
Our shop will be open selling tea, coffee, soup and snacks.
Malahide United 1 - 4 St. Mochta's FC07/09/2014
Under 10 A : DDSL The Saints opened their league campaign with a fantastic performance away to Malahide United. Man of the match Alex Cobzaru scored twice in a 4-1 win. The conditions were perfect in Malahide with the sun shining and the pitch immaculate.
The Saints got off to a flying start with Alex Cobzaru opening the scoring in the second minute of the game with a beautiful finish that found the back of the net. Two minutes later it was 2-0 when Nedas Navickas slotted the ball home after a terrific move. The Saints were playing superb football and it was a long way back for Malahide in the 7th minute when Alex Cobzaru scored his second of the game making it 3 - 0 with another very well taken goal.
It was a thrilling start by the Saints. Zac McGrath was excellent and his vision and passing was neat and very effective and he caused Malahide plenty of problems. Matthew Cassidy won some vital tackles and never gave the ball away. Matthew has started the season with plenty of confidence. Malahide never let their heads drop and always tried to play football. The hosts pulled a goal back in the 19th minute with the help of a deflection. Saints goalkeeper Joshua Calamai had no chance. The young goalkeeper had a fine game and his handling and distribution was top class. The Saints continued to attack and Jaimie Tucker was a constant threat and his link up play was very good. Saints skipper Ben Good was involved in everything and he had a very solid game.
Kian McCarthy made it 4 - 1 in the 27th minute with a brilliant strike. Malahide kept going and looked to claw their way back into the game, but the Saints were solid with Omar Abusaadeh and Darius Lipsiuc winning tackles and passing the ball extremely well. Josh Costello and Ethan B Howard worked hard for the team and both players used the ball with intelligence and always finding a team-mate.
The Saints held firm to win the game and it was always going to be difficult for Malahide after the Saints blistering start. It was a very enjoyable game played by two sides who like to play good football. It's a great start for this very talented side.
Player Profile : Liam Deegan04/09/2014
Under 12 DDSL
Liam winning the ball with a header in the mini leagues.
Team you support ?
Favourite player ?
Favourite stadium ?
What position do you play ?
A place you would like to visit ?
What football boots do you wear ?
What trophy in football would you most like to win?
Favourite tv show ?
Match of the Day.
Favourite movie ?
Shaun of the Dead.
Favourite music ?
Best Thing About playing for St Mochta's ?
Playing football with my friends.
Funniest team mate ?
Who would you most like to meet ?
Have you ever met anyone famous ?
Who's the greatest player in the World ?
Your favourite game ?
Against Leixlip when i scored the winning goal. It was a great day and game.
I love football because... ?
It's my favourite game.
San Siro Milan.
James Darcy obtains FAI Youth Cert04/09/2014
Congratulations to James Darcy our Under 16's coach who has successfully completed the FAI Youth Cert coaching badge. We know how much hard work and dedication goes into achieving these credentials. Well done James and everyone in the club wishes you the best of luck in the future.
St. Mochta's FC will continue to assist coaches to attain the best qualifications possible in order to enhance coaching methods for our members of ALL ages. "In the Community, for the Community".
O Neills Academy Report03/09/2014
Brendan Kennedy : Director of Coaching & Junior Academy We had 47 players training on a beautiful Saturday morning on Porterstown Road. After only 3 weeks we now have over 55 players registered in the Academy. The club already is beginning to see two new squads emerge and develop for Under 8 next season. It is truly phenomenal to see so many talented young stars wanting to be part of the best football academy in Dublin 15. We also got 4 new coaches starting next week and we can now boast of a coaching staff of 10 specifically for academy football at St. Mochta's. It's an unbelievable start to the academy season with all the new players and coaches. Every season the academy plays friendlies against other academies and our first one for the 2014/15 season will be very soon. Places are still available in our academy. All the details are in the picture below and you can also check out our Academy page on the website.
65th Anniversary Club Fund Raiser Night02/09/2014
Friday 3rd OctoberAll are welcome to join us for this amazing landmark celebration. Join us in the Clonsilla Inn on Friday 3rd October to see the amazing King Of Swing Sunshine Radio's Tom Cole Junior.
Tom Cole Junior will perform alongside the legendary Gerry O'Connor trio classics from favourite artists such as...SINATRA * TONY BENNETT * DEAN MARTIN * NAT KING COLE * LOUIS ARMSTRONG * and many many more great crooners.
+ DJ MATT Till Late
Friday 3rd October - Doors 8.30 pm - The Clonsilla Inn
Arrive Early For Seats Folks !
Tickets only € 10 ( limited numbers available )
Tickets available at the Clonsilla INN.
Info and Booking Call John 0861656587 Or Vinny 0874196927
PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY BY OUR FRIENDS THE CLONSILLA INN PUB, CLONSILLA ROAD, DUBLIN 15
2014/15 Registration Fees26/08/2014
St Mochta’s Football Club requires players each year to pay registration fees, which covers the costs of league registration fees, referee fees, socks, short etc. The registration fees for the 2014/2015 season are listed below
- U8’s & U9’s (coming out of Academy) €220 (which includes tracksuit and t-shirt)
- U9’s, U10's, U11's and U12’s €195
- U13's €200
- U15’s and U16’s €210
- U18’s €230
NB – If a family has more than one child there is a discount of €50 per each additional child.
- 16th August 2014
- 13th September 2014
- 11th October 2014
- 8th November 2014
- Option A: Once off payment of the full fee
- Option B: Two payment option – 1st payment due on 16th Aug and 2nd payment due on 11th Oct
- Option C: Four payments – Due on above payment dates
If fees are paid in full by 13th September 2014 a 10% discount will apply.
This season money will only be collected on the above dates at our office in St Mochta’s complex on the Porterstown Road. There will also be all weather training fees payable for the winter season and this will be collected weekly by the manager(s) of the team.
NB – ALL PLAYERS MUST BE REGISTERED AND PAID UP-TO-DATE AS OTHERWISE CHILDREN WILL BE UNABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN GAMES AND TRAINING. THIS WILL BE ENFORCED THIS SEASON.
This year we have worked very hard to ensure that we have kept fees increases to an absolute minimum. However, due to rising costs and expansion of the club's infrastructure we have found it necessary to apply some modest increases. These increases are between 2% and 5% depending on the age group of the child. We face increasing costs in relation to electricity, fuel, maintenance, coaching expenses, insurance, coach kits, team kits, league fees, referee fees, materials, tools, seed and many other items. We also need to fund our expansion which includes the building of new playing areas and the improvement of existing areas (including recent major investments in drainage, pole forking, spraying etc.).
The gap between fees taken in and expenses paid out is ever increasing and increasingly needs to be bridged by ever more numbers of fund raising events. This is a huge strain on volunteer committee members and coaches alike. We deeply appreciate your understanding in this regard and while fees are marginally increasing we believe our club consistently offers by far the best value in Dublin 15 and beyond. Please also note that if fees are paid by 13th September a 10% reduction in fee is offered which more than offsets the small fee increase. Also note that 2nd & subsequent children from the same family receive a €50 discount.