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Raheny Rookies Youth Academy

Our Academy takes place on Saturday mornings , from 11.30-12.45pm, on the RSA Astro Pitch in St. Annes Park.

Open to boys and girls aged between 4-6 years old.

This season we have appointed Paul McAtee, a UEFA A Licence coach, to run the Academy and to be in charge of youth player development.

Paul, originally from Belfast, played at the highest level in the country with spells at Irish League clubs Cliftonville FC, Distillery FC and Ballyclare Comrades FC in tandem with a spell at Arsenal FC. Paul was part of the Cliftonville squad which won the Irish League in 1998. Paul started his coaching journey during his playing career and has coached in the DDSL, at the top level of the Leinster Senior League with Bangor Celtic FC, now Bangor Greenhills FC, and recently was the head coach of Shelbourne U15s in the underage League of Ireland. Paul also brings experience of previously being a player scout for Manchester United for a number of years.

He will bring all this experience to the Academy where children are introduced to football in a fun environment. The focus is on the children being physically active while being introduced to football actions such as passing, receiving, dribbling and shooting.


The children are split into groups of 8-12 and they participate in various activities. Some of these are small sided games of football and others are fun activities. Some groups will play more football than others but it depends on the ages and levels of engagement. The important thing is that everyone has fun. All of the football games at the Academy are small-sided. 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 games provide the best opportunities to allow the children to enjoy having the ball at their feet resulting in more involvement in the game, more successful actions, more fun and more learning. 

The year before the children move to U8, more games are introduced in the Academy but again the largest game is 4v4. Children move from the academy at under 8 to play games against other clubs. To prepare the players for this step there will be an extra midweek training session 6 months before the start of the U8 season to introduce them to 5v5 games.


If you are interested in joining please click on the "Register Now" button below.

Academy Contact(s):

Aidan O'Looney


Laura O'Looney


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