A ‘Football Research Group’ has been established in WIT. The group consists of a mixture of Department of Sport and Exercise Science lecturers with a wide range of expertise in the areas of talent development and organisational structure in football, player migration, psychology, transitions and coaching; and also national and international experts in football research.
The group initially identified a lack of coordinated research being conducted on football in the Republic of Ireland and decided to bring together some of those involved in various pockets of research nationwide to aid the collaboration and dissemination of football research. The membership and focus of the group have expanded since its initial inception, to now include researchers with links to the Italian FA, and a range of English, Italian and German professional clubs. The group have already gained the prestigious position of being designated as the official research partner with the Croatian Football Association.
These links will also provide opportunities for WIT students with dissertation projects having already begun in partnership with external group members. The group aim to develop their numbers of Masters and PhD students into the future.
Drawing from a broad range of expertise within the football research community, future research areas of interest will include ecological approaches to talent development, youth development pathway analysis, migratory patterns within youth football, influence of place and date or birth on development, coaching research, psychosocial influences on talent development (e.g. parents, siblings), sports science applications to football, transition support within youth sport, strategic apex analysis and the impact of stakeholder relationships on talent development pathway formation.