Ballyclare Comrades announce exciting new full-time football partnership

Ballyclare Comrades FC are delighted to announce their partnership in an exciting new venture to provide 16-19 year olds with a platform to be involved in full-time football.

We have linked up with Rangers Soccer Academy, Parkhall Integrated College and NI Goalkeeping Institute to allow 16- to 19-year-old students to achieve a BTEC National Extended Diploma in Sport at level 3, which is the equivalent of three A levels. These are exciting times as the club continues to expand its provision into the local community.

This partnership approach with Rangers Soccer Academy will allow students to receive top quality coaching as players, technical and tactical development and strength and conditioning. It will also offer top quality coach education in relation to becoming coaches and top quality guidance in crucial areas such as performance analysis and the wider business aspects of sport. It will draw upon the vast array of expertise and experience through Rangers Soccer Academy’s coaching platform and individuals in key positions within the club. The programme will be based around the key values of the club: relentlessness, excellence, aspiration and diversity, and will demonstrate the commitment of the club in working closely alongside an integrated college within Northern Ireland.

The partnership approach with Parkhall Integrated College will provide exciting opportunities at local club level for students as players, coaches, performance analysts or strength and conditioning trainers and provide a clear development pathway here within Irish League football.

Manager, Paul Harbinson – “We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide the local pathway element to young aspiring footballers, sports scientists, physiotherapists, game analysts etc. As a club, we have worked tirelessly to expand into the community to provide opportunities to everyone within the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough, and this is another part of that process.

Level 3 education has been a part of the development plan for the club for the future and when given the chance to work with Parkhall Integrated College, Rangers Soccer Academy and the Northern Ireland Goalkeeping Institute, we felt this would provide young people with the best possible package of support to further their own development.

Football has become a major industry across the world, and we hope that using this as a vehicle, we can help local young people to develop future careers across that sporting industry.”

Phil Cowen (Senior Soccer Academies Executive and Scout at Rangers Soccer Academy) – “Rangers Football Club, through Rangers Soccer Academy, are delighted to be part of this innovative and exciting partnership. We plan to offer academy curriculum coaching to all players and are fully committed to delivering a programme for students which is second to none”

Trevor McCann (Chairman of Ballyclare Comrades FC) – “The industry of football is moving fast and we at Ballyclare Comrades FC are keen to keep ahead of the ever moving curve. This opportunity to offer our club as a local football pathway in Partnership with Parkhall Integrated College, Rangers Soccer Academy and Northern Ireland Goalkeeping Institute is one which we are delighted to be a part of.”

Michael Dougherty (NIGK) – “It is very exciting to be part of this exciting new venture. Through this we have the potential to continue to develop the best goalkeepers throughout Northern Ireland. The opportunity to be part of these new initiatives involving the school, the football clubs and the GAA clubs is fantastic.

For more information and how to apply, please follow this link: