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Bob & Berts Coffee partner with Ballyclare Comrades Academy

Ballyclare Comrades Academy are delighted to welcome Bob & Berts Coffee in supporting our ‘Promoting Sporting Engagement Scholarship’ initiative for Ballyclare Comrades Academy.

The support of Bob & Berts will enable young people to connect, keep learning and be active through the medium of football in order to develop their football skills as they progress through the club and with the support of Bob & Berts many children will be able to participate in football at Ballyclare Commrades that may otherwise be unable to do so.

Bob & Berts are excited to be included at the start of this devlopmental venture at Ballyclare Comrades Football Club and share the vision of supporting emotional health and wellbeing through community and sporting engagement.

As an Academy we are at the early stage of a journey and hope to work in partnership with Bob & Berts to leave a legacy for the Ballyclare community and beyond.

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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:

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Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup

Ballyclare Comrades FC notes the recent speculation in the local press regarding participation in the 2020/21 Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup. We would like to advise our supporters that it is our intention to compete in this season’s competition, subject to being granted sufficient preparation time by the Northern Ireland Executive. Our last 32 clash away to Warrenpoint Town is provisionally scheduled to be played on Saturday 1st May 2021.

Manager Paul Harbinson states: “We asked the players for their opinion and, overwhelmingly, they want to get back playing. We have talked long and hard about their mental health and the fact they need that release of being together again. They are crying out for a date to get back training again. Of course, there is also a sense of reality about competing in the Irish Cup. I have assured the players that there will not be a lot expected of them. If conditions are right and we’re given the proper amount of time to train and prepare, we will look forward to the challenge of competing in this year’s Irish Cup.”

Naturally, we are still disappointed that we did not get to compete in a league programme this season due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we feel that participating in the Irish Cup will be a good way to bring our club back together again ahead of the 2021/22 NIFL Championship season starting in August, when we hope that we will be welcoming fans back through the gates of Dixon Park once more.