The club objective is to play football at the highest level possible, across every age group & across every league entered in to. The club will achieve this by utilising a style of football that is attacking & skilful in its nature. The club will continually endeavour to facilitate matching player’s talent with the appropriate level of challenge & participation. A player centred approach will be employed by all coaches & managers. There will be a focus on performance & development rather than results. Players will be encouraged to make their own footballing decisions in an effort to increase learning. The club also recognises that fun & social inclusion is important for all teams regardless of league or ability.

Long Term Player Development Pathway

Active Start Stage - Ages: 2, 3 & 4 Soccer contributes to the well-being of children by engaging them in the sport, while teaching them basic movement skills. At this introductory level, the objective is to get moving, keep active & have fun, in a safe, low pressure, positive learning environment. Fundamentals Stage - Ages: 5, 6, 7 & 8 At this stage, individual player development is paramount. Players at this stage are totally self-centred & the primary focus should be on individual, technical ball mastery. Coaches should create a stimulating learning environment where the atmosphere is one of freedom and fun." A "positive coaching" philosophy is vital at this stage. Learning to train stage - Ages: 9, 10 & 11 The effect of the role-model is very important at this stage. Children begin to identify with famous players and successful teams, and they want to learn imaginative skills. Skill demonstration is very important, and the players learn best by “doing.” Training to train stage - Ages: 12 & 13 Awareness of tactics within the game becomes an important facet of the learning process.

Players tend to be self-critical and begin to question more, but they are also beginning to form a strong commitment to the team. Training to compete stage - Ages: 14 & 15 Athletes who are now proficient at performing basic and soccer-specific skills are working to gain more game maturity as they learn to perform these skills under a variety of competitive conditions. Players must have a sound understanding of the game principles and concepts Training to win stage - Ages: 16+ The majority of the player's social, physical, technical, tactical, and psychological qualities are now fully established, and the focus of training has shifted to optimisation of performance. The focus at this stage is on the maximisation of all capacities, in an effort to produce good people as well as good footballers. Active for life: Retention & Recruitment stage - Ages: All The recruitment and retention of players, coaches, referees and administrators is key to the ongoing development & long term future of Mount Merrion Youth F. C.

The club will be fielding 60 teams this year from under 8 through to under 21, and we currently have in excess of 950 players registered. This makes us one of the largest junior soccer clubs playing in the Dublin area for boys and girls.