NEW PREMIERSHIP ACADEMY DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE LAUNCHED

The NI Football League is delighted to announce the launch of a new Premiership Academy Development League due to commence for the 2018/19 season.

This exciting development comes after a season of consultation with clubs and key youth football stakeholders and will focus on two older age groups of youth football at Under 16 and Under 18, while encompassing the existing Under 20 Premiership Development League.

NI Football League Managing Director, Andrew Johnston said, “During the consultation of our 20/20 Vision strategy it was clear that our Premiership clubs wanted to develop an Academy League that focuses on Player Development and a pathway to senior football within Northern Ireland. Recently we have witnessed the emergence of some superb young talent in the Premiership and we want to enhance this further through an Academy League.”

“We feel this is an important step for the medium to long term sustainability and development of our clubs and the NI Football League itself. Through the new Academy League, we aim to create an environment that encourages youth development in our clubs through improved support and meaningful partnerships with all those interested in youth football.”

Notes:
1. The ADL is subject to formal approval from the Irish Football Association
2. Membership of the Under 18 & 16 ADL for the 2018/19 season (Year 1) will consist of the 12 teams who competed in the 2017/18 Danske Bank Premiership, as agreed by the NIFL Premiership Management Committee
3. Membership after Year 1 will take cognisance of Promotion & Relegation from the Danske Bank Premiership, but all clubs will have to meet enhanced criteria
4. After Year 1 membership of the ADL will not exceed 14 clubs