Soccer Scholarship Programme Information

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Learning through soccer

What is the Football Development Programme

The scholarship gives young people (boys and girls) the chance to receive an education (Junior Certificate & Leaving Certificate)  while progressing their football skills.

We are delighted to announce that Shelbourne Football Club are partnering with Larkin Community College from September 2022. This new three year educational initiative will link football and fitness.

A group of 23 first year students – girls and boys – who are a healthy mix of gender, ethnicity, talent and passion have been selected to spearhead the three-year programme that will capitalise on their love of football, using coaches and facilities provided by Shelbourne FC. The scheme will also have the support of the extensive mental and social health programmes already in place at Larkin Community College.

The initiative harks back to a project launched in 2001 by the inner city Dublin school and the Reds which then had the aim of keeping young people in secondary school. The new programme, while sharing the academic motivational objectives of its predecessor, has the added responsibilities of strengthening the integration of girls and boys from many different nationalities. Students may also study Physical Education as a Leaving Cert. subject in the Senior Cycle.

The Larkin / Shelbourne FC partnership is being funded by private sector donations and is being managed by a board of educators, business leaders and Shelbourne FC supporters.

Shelbourne FC will assume responsibility for the coaching and football development of the students. The young people who are part of the project are not obliged to join the club or any of its under-age teams. The promotion of pathways into careers in sports and fitness will be a defining feature of this football development programme.

Damien Duff, Shelbourne FC Head Coach said: “Sport can be such a positive force in a young person’s life, it can help teenagers develop vital skills that will stand to them later in life. From a health and wellness perspective it’s so important for not just physical health but the mental side as well, this is a very important partnership for the club.”

Our first year students are only here a month and have already demonstrated to us their commitment to the football programme and to their school work by showing up on time, in full uniform every day. Tomorrow we have our first, first year assembly and it is wonderful to see the amount of football scholarship students with perfect attendance or close to it. 

The skills that thry learn on the pitch although they might not see it now are also applicable in the classroom, teamwork, communication, managing myself, being creative, and staying well to mention but a few. These skills also form the basis of the Junior Cycle programme. 

They show up every morning bright and early for yoga, demonstrating to us, how determined and motivated they are to succeed and how their passion for football is transferred to the classroom in how they interact and support each other.

Huge thank you to our funders and friends. Thank you to Evanne Kilmurray for persuading us to reimagine the football programme and working so hard to bring us together to make it happen. 

Thank you to Sean Spillane for bringing the original idea to the school and running it so successfully for many years.

Thanks to Micheal Darragh McCauley for getting our students up at the crack of dawn and providing them with yoga training.

Thanks to Lisa Doogan who is running the programme. Thank you to Dave O'Connor for joining us as a partner in education. Thank you to the committee and particularly to our Chair Micheal McAteer.  Thank you to our parents for trusting us with your children and thank you most importantly to the students on the programme. 

Launch of Partnership with Shelbourne FC -September 2022

School facilities

  • Brand new All weather pitch and indoor hall
  • Fitness centre including treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines, skiers, bike etc.
  • A personalised weights program
  • A full size fitness studio including spinning bikes.
  • Personalised nutrition program linked with the home economics program


Learning through Soccer Past pupils

  • Conor Clifford (Chelsea - captain of the youth team that won the FA Youth Cup & Dundalk)
  • Brandon Miele (Newcastle & Shamrock Rovers)
  • Graham Burke (Aston Villa & Shamrock Rovers)
  • John Sullivan (Hamilton Academicals & Bray Wanderers)
  • Kameron Ledwidge (Southampton)
  • Jessica Ziu (West Ham & Ireland)

This only mentions a few players that have succeed on the Larkin CC scholarship program. We have a large amount of players with a range of League of Ireland debuts with various clubs across the country.




Well done to former student Graham Burke on receiving an Irish senior international call up. Graham came through our schools prestigious soccer scholarship programme.

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Well done also to past  pupil and former scholarship star Kameron Ledwidge who is also representing Ireland this week. The side will qualify for the under 17 Euro Quarter finals if they avoid defeat against Bosnia tomorrow. #greenshoots #FAI #larkin4life

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