Elite Dublin schoolboy clubs to benefit from proposed rule change at FAI agm
Ongoing row prompts new talks on busy day of transfers in Airtricity League
Ciaran Kilduff makes loan move from Shamrock Rovers to Cork City until the end of the season. Photograph: Inpho
The ongoing tensions between different strands of the underage game has prompted a move at this year’s FAI agm on Saturday week to double the distance young players can travel in order to play for a particular schoolboy club.
The current limit of 49 kilometres was introduced so to prevent a small number of elite, almost exclusively Dublin-based clubs trawling the country for the most talented players.
These clubs, generally associated with the Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL) have generally positioned themselves to be a stepping stone to England or Scotland for aspiring young professionals. But there have long been concerns about the pressure attempting to play for them places on players in their early to mid-teens who live outside the capital.
Problems have persisted between the DDSL and the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland with keen competition between clubs for the best young players and the compensation payments they can attract if they move to big English clubs.
Talks about the situation were continuing last night but the proposed doubling of the distance over which clubs can cast their net for young talent to 100km would represent a significant victory for the DDSL and its affiliates if it is passed.
Airtricity League leaders St Patrick’s Athletic, meanwhile, agreed contract terminations with a number of fringe squad players yesterday prior to leaving Dublin for Luton, the first leg of their journey to Lithuania for tomorrow night’s Europa League tie against Zalgiris.
Dundalk have also signed Francis McCaffrey, a Belfast-born midfielder who was recently released by Hull City.
But the most prominent switch on what was a busy second day of the league’s summer transfer window was Ciarán Kilduff’s loan move from Shamrock Rovers to Cork City until the end of the season.