Ambitious Blanchardstown club Corduff FC, have installed Daniel English as their first-ever Director of Football as they set out to develop on the field and in the community.
The forward-thinking club, who run teams from under-8 to senior level, cater for all levels of ability, but have designs on becoming one of Dublin’s elite schoolboy clubs.
English, a former coach with Trim Celtic, Cherry Orchard and Shamrock Rovers, has set out a vision to establish Corduff on a par with the likes of St Kevin’s Boys and Crumlin United within two years.
“My role is to set out a vision for Corduff Football Club,” English tells the Dublin Gazette.
“We want all kids, from eight years old and up, to play the same brand of football.
“My job is to develop a coaching guide to assist the coaches.
“We have academy classes for kids from three to six years of age every Saturday from 1-2pm, so [we want to] get new kids into that who are starting to play football.
“We want to create a pathway for the coaches at the club and putting the coaches through the FAI coaching courses, to get them all to a minimum level of the national framework. That’s my key role.”
The elite vision fits into a broader ‘football for all’ philosophy that aims to further embed the club in the local community and provide recreation as well as a path to top-level sport.
“I’m in there six days a week looking after all the schoolboy clubs, like the Sheriff running the Goonies, but it’s about more than just a pathway for the elite players.
“Every kid gets a chance and doesn’t get treated differently regardless of ability. The idea is that you’d have a couple of teams at every age group.
“There’s three under-9s teams. You have As, Bs and Cs and they’re all colour-coded to red, blue and green.
“Some are still learning and we’ll always work with them – we want to cater for everyone.”
Corduff is one of the fastest-growing parts of Dublin and the club has grown in tandem to become one of the DDSL’s top sides.
Among dozens of youth internationals, players who have moved to professional deals overseas include Yassine En-Neyah (Nottingham Forest) and Jean-Yves Poame (Sunderland).
A more recent partnership with Shamrock Rovers offers a pathway to elite national league football with one beneficiary, Giddeon Tetteh, starring for Ireland under-15s this week in Mayo.
The mutually-beneficial partnership, sees Rovers offer coaching support to Corduff’s players and coaches, while the League of Ireland side provide a route to elite national football.
“We have one Shamrock Rovers coach come in a month and helping the guys. They help the coaches put on coaching sessions but it’s more so for the kids.
“If they are good enough, they can play in the Shamrock Rovers national league teams, all going well.
“I’ve set myself a goal that, within the next two or two-and-a-half years, we will be up there in the category of elite clubs.
“To be a football club but also to be able to take forward the community side of it and make it a kind of ‘football for all’.”