Academy Charter






Academy Charter Document (which has been circulated to all Academy players and parents)


Aims and Objectives

The aim of Belvedere Football Club is to improve the moral, social and physical welfare of the young people under its care, mainly through the promotion of association football. While staying within this principle, the aim of the Belvedere Underage Football Academy is to pass on our love of football to young children and equip them for a healthy childhood where they can enjoy playing football, fulfilling their potential to the maximum and developing important life skills. The coaches will encourage kids of all abilities to develop at their own pace in a fun environment.

The Belvedere Underage Football Academy is a safe environment where 4-7 year old boys and girls are encouraged to have fun, express themselves, develop their fundamental movement skills and learn the basics of football. All our coaches are Garda vetted volunteers and specialise in coaching children of this age group. All are FAI qualified coaches and have attended coaching courses specific for our age group. Many of them are also past Belvedere players who have fond memories of their own teenage years playing for the boys in blue.

We use age appropriate games that focus on the ABC FUNdamentals of Agility, Balance and Coordination. As well as improving their skills, including touch, passing, control and shooting etc, the kids spend time on their foot-work with fun games involving ladders, hoops and hurdles. The sessions end with small-sided games where the kids enjoy putting what they have practised into action and scoring lots of goals. The academy also encourages healthy eating by giving each player a piece of fruit and a fruit drink at the end of each session.

The Academy takes place every Saturday morning at the Clontarf All Weater Complex (behind Clontarf Road Dart Station) between 9.30 and 12 noon.


Discipline is an important requirement in the Academy and revolves around teaching the children to respect their fellow players, coaches and parents. In line with the club's Code of Conduct, we don't allow bullying of any form in the Academy. Due to the very young age of the players, parents are asked to explain these rules to the children and help to enforce them.

We encourage the players to bring their own water bottle to help hydration and we provide fruit at the end of their session to encourage healthy eating habits. Parents are encouraged to further promote these habits during the week and refrain from bringing sports drinks and junk food which are unsuitable for young children.     

Given many of our four year olds may not even have started school yet, attending the Academy can often be their first experience of a sporting / team / teaching environment. We do coax them to learn to follow instructions from coaches as they progress within the academy. Parents are asked to facilitate and encourage this process as much as possible. 


Academy Structure …  Early Stage

In 2011, Belvedere Football Club reached an incredible milestone by celebrating its 40th anniversary. In this time the club has developed over 200 players who have earned international honours from underage to senior level. Ten of our former players have senior international caps, with Wesley Hoolahan one of the more recent ones. Numerous others who have enjoyed careers both at home and further afield, as well as coaches who have earned success domestically and on the international stage.

In addition to these footballing success stories, the club has played a huge part in the lives of so many others. The years of hard work has earned the club a reputation throughout the country and overseas as one of Ireland’s most prominent schoolboy clubs. In recent years, however, the underage football scene has become ever more challenging with competition from so many clubs with similar ambitions.

While the past 40 years have been a great success by any standards, in order to stay ahead of the game there was a need to set out a clearly defined plan for the future. The Academy is the beginning of a development plan that will provide a blueprint of setting out the club’s goals and objectives and how the club aims to achieve them. Helping the next generation of Belvo players to develop.

In establishing a technical plan for the club and it’s players, it is necessary to understand the different stages of a players development.


Early Stage

Academy to Under 8’s: Introduction to the Game, Basic Techniques, Co-ordination


Learning Stage

Under 9 – 11’s: Learning the Game, Small Group Play, Appreciation of Space,

Development Stage

Under 12 – 14’s: Develop Game Understanding, Positional Play


Competitive Stage

Under 15 – 17’s: Competitive Play, Understanding Team Roles, Physical Conditioning



Early Stage






(6-8 yrs)

Ball Mastery

Both Feet

Inside/Outside Foot



Running with Ball


Receiving Technique


Combine Skills





Basic Speed




Within the academy, we have divided the Early Stage into four distinct groups, distinguished by appropriate development milestones for the players in each. Older players in the club have benefited from passing through this structure and it is our template for achieving the aims outlined above. Children develop at different rates so we only begin to group the players specifically by age when they are approaching 7 years old.  


Group 1 ( mainly 4 year olds or children starting).

Promote fundamental motor skills such as jumping, hopping and running. Become comfortable with the football at their feet. Kick the ball with the inside of their favoured foot. Learn to react to the coach’s instruction and remaining within the allocated group space.

Group 2 (mainly 5 year olds)

Perform more advanced actions on the ball. Do the basics more instinctively. Learn to pass to teammates in a game context. Kick the ball with more force. Learn to tackle opponents.

Group 3 (mainly 6 year olds) 

Be proficient at dribbling the ball and changing direction with the ball. Learn to kick the ball with the "lace" part of the boot. Learn to make decisions in game situations. Play 1v1 games to foster confidence. Begin to understand team positions and shape. End-of-season outings against other clubs academy teams.

Group 4 ( 7 year olds) 

The final stage in their football career before the world starts keeping scores! Performing all the basics with confidence - dribbling, passing and shooting - and making decisions as to when each skill is appropriate in a game context. Know their position in a team shape. Play Academy tournaments representing Belvedere. Show the discipline required to progress onto a Belvo Under 8 team.


Link into Belvedere teams and the Learning Stage


Learning Stage






(9-11 yrs)

Ball Mastery

Quick Turns

Receiving on Move

Receive to Turn

Passing on Move

Movement to Receive

Defending Technique


Combine Skills

Aware of Space

Small Groups


2v1, 2v2

3v3, 3v2, 3v1

2v2 Defending


Develop ABC’s






Under 8 and 9 Teams

Our objective is that all academy graduates will progress to play two full seasons on Belvedere's Under 8 and Under 9 teams in the Dublin District Schoolboy League's non-competitive 5-a-side divisions. These teams have a squad of 12 players and train for one hour once or twice every midweek with matches on Saturdays or Sundays depending on the division entered. While perfecting the skills learned in the Academy and performing all the basics with confidence - dribbling, ball control, passing and shooting the players will be made aware of team shape and the relevant positions.

Under 10 Teams 

When the players are approaching age 10, after four or five years of good quality, age-appropriate coaching with us, we hope many of the Academy graduates will be accomplished enough to progress from Under 9 non-competitive teams to play elite, competitive 7-a-side football with the club from Under 10 onwards. This will be a move where more emphasis will be put on Defending, Teamwork, Awareness on the pitch etc.

This will then progress into the development and competitive stages later in their Belvo careers.


What is Required of Parents / Guardians 

  • Please ensure your child arrives on time as it minimises upset on players and coaches.
  • Parents / Guardians are ideally required to stay for the duration of your child's session or at aminimum to arrange to have some adult present and responsible for your child.   
  • Please ensure your child arrives with a water bottle and shin guards.
  • Please ensure your child is adequately dressed for winter sessions with a warm long-sleeved top or rain jacket and woolly hat. We do cancel academy sessions if it is too wet but we very rarely cancel sessions due to cold weather because adequate clothing will protect children. If sessions are cancelled, parents will be notified via text and on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • If you ever have any questions about your child in the academy, don't hesitate to approach any of the academy team, preferably after academy sessions have ended.                     
  •  As part of the clubs Child Welfare we have a booklet on the Codes of Conduct required by Parents, Players, Managers/Coaches. The booklet also covers topics like Child Protection, Definition of Child Abuse, Guidance to Promote Good Practice and an Anti-Bullying Policy. Copies of this booklet will be given to each Player/Parent.



The resources required for the club to have this robust, long-term Academy structure in place are quite significant. We ask that parents ensure registration is completed and the annual academy fee of €125 is paid as early as possible during the Academy season which begins at the start of July and finishes at the end of May. This is important so that your child is insured under the clubs insurance policy. If you have difficulty paying all or part of the fees, please don't hesitate to approach any of the academy team who will ensure you are facilitated in confidence.

One of the biggest resources required to run a successful club are committed volunteer coaches. Often this role is fulfilled by parents and we welcome and encourage any parent who wants to become involved in coaching. All coaches must be Garda vetted and will progress through the clubs coaching support programme which includes FAI coaching qualifications for coaches in the academy or those running teams. It's not necessary to have played the game to coach and if you only want to assist rather than lead, there's a role for everyone. 

More information

For more information about The Academy you can call or WhatsApp Brian or Cameron on 086 3677606 or 0851767965

If you are interested in sponsoring The Academy give us a call on 086 0522878

  • © 2022 Belvedere Football Club
  • 35 Ashington Rise Navan Road Dublin 7 Ireland
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SFAI U15 Evans Cup Winners 2005