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Why Northern Ireland has much to owe Ashfield High School for their continued production of international quality players

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Key lessons: Former Northern Ireland international and Ashield student Warren Feeney offers advice to the school’s emerging talent in the Glentoran academy at Harland and Wolff Welders’ new stadium. Photo: Colm O’Reilly

Key lessons: Former Northern Ireland international and Ashield student Warren Feeney offers advice to the school’s emerging talent in the Glentoran academy at Harland and Wolff Welders’ new stadium. Photo: Colm O’Reilly

Former Boys’ Model coach John McKeag and student George McCartney with the Malcolm Brodie Northern Ireland Cup won by the school in 1996

Former Boys’ Model coach John McKeag and student George McCartney with the Malcolm Brodie Northern Ireland Cup won by the school in 1996

Garnett Cromie (left) and Norman Whiteside before a Victory Shield clash with England in 1979. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

Garnett Cromie (left) and Norman Whiteside before a Victory Shield clash with England in 1979. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

A flashback to when Conor Devlin and Kenny Keys were in the Victory Shield squad and were pictured with senior players, David Healy, Colin Murdock, Stephen Robinson, Warren Feeney, Keith Gillespie and Steven Davis, who all graduated from schoolboy level

A flashback to when Conor Devlin and Kenny Keys were in the Victory Shield squad and were pictured with senior players, David Healy, Colin Murdock, Stephen Robinson, Warren Feeney, Keith Gillespie and Steven Davis, who all graduated from schoolboy level

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Key lessons: Former Northern Ireland international and Ashield student Warren Feeney offers advice to the school’s emerging talent in the Glentoran academy at Harland and Wolff Welders’ new stadium. Photo: Colm O’Reilly

There’s naturally been significant focus on the role clubs play in the development of young footballers but it should never be forgotten the impact schools have on their lives and careers.

Talent isn’t enough to be successful in sport. That ability needs to be nurtured and channeled in the right way.


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