Updated: Feb 5, 2020
It was a long but fun summer jam packed with Randolph Academy camps, but in the background the team at the academy were working hard in the build up to the official launch of the Randolph Goalkeeper Academy.
For just about a year, the academy had primarily focused on football camps, with multiple taking place across venues at term breaks throughout the year. The numbers were growing and everyone was talking about the rise of the fastest growing football camps in Ireland. Kids & parents were travelling from all over the country to attend the camps and the feedback we were getting on repeat was - Goalkeeper specific training - it was a hot topic and it was the goal from day 1, we just needed some time to get the ball rolling *excuse the pun.
Due to the demand we knew a big free session event would be the way to go and so we booked a pitch at the Sport Ireland grounds in Abbotstown for about 80-100 kids. As soon as we launched the details of the free goalkeeper session for kids, 100 places filled in just a couple of hours. So we released 100 more, and 100 more and 100 more until we registered over 600 kids to attend! YES! The demand is there and we knew we were on the right track.
It was a sunny thursday afternoon in August, with a short rain storm predicted for later on but nothing was going to dampen the spirits that day - over 400 kids turned up on the evening and double that in parents and friends! It was bedlam but we had the kids registered in no time and out onto the pitch.
In a matter of minutes they were in their groups and the coaches got to work - moving from station to station the kids got to experience multiple and in some cases very advanced methods of goalkeeper training. Each station had a training coach ready to give the kids a sneak preview of the level of coaching they could expect to see at the soon to be launched Goalkeeper Weekly Academy.
Darren Randolph, who had training that day with Middlesbrough, drove to Manchester to catch a flight to Dublin and landed just as the sessions kicked off, arriving at Abbotstown he got straight on the pitch and spent the evening watching and engaging, talking and immersing himself in the activities and fun.
It was official. The launch of Randolph Goalkeeper Academy was an overwhelming success, full of fun and packed with excited kids ready to get started in the most elite and high performance academy for youth goalkeepers in Ireland, run by Irelands Number 1 Goalkeeper.
In just a couple of weeks following the event there were over 100 goalkeepers signed up and ready to go in venues across Dublin and Leinster with the numbers growing steadily every week since. Its been an exciting time here at the academy and we have some big things in store for 2020! To see the growth and development in the kids and get the feedback from parents and clubs is the reason this began in the first place. Ireland has some incredible talent and this is a hub to nurture and inspire it!