Robbie helps students kick off careers in football
It was back to school for footballer Robbie Brady yesterday as he joined 25 transition-year students who will get a chance to spend a year living like professional players.
The event was a chance for Robbie to pass on advice to the up-and-coming footballers in Corduff Community Centre in Blanchardstown.
Robbie, from Baldoyle, was there to help launch a new football course.
The one-of-a-kind programme helps them to develop football skills while also meeting their educational needs.
The 25 will mix academic subjects with coaching courses and fitness studies.
They will also do a fitness instructing course and will work with their old primary schools for one day a week in teaching PE.
Ireland international Robbie won the nation's heart when he scored an 84th-minute goal against Italy in the group stages of the Euros during the summer, making him one of Irish sport's most recognisable faces.
Denis Hyland, a development officer with the FAI, said the programme will help students to balance sport and education.
"The course allows them to live in a proper football environment for a year while also meeting their educational needs," he said.
"They're at an age when some young players head abroad to join professional clubs. This programme allows them to reap the same footballing benefits and a lot more while remaining at home with their families and putting something valuable back into their local communities."