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Brexit helping but facilities 'not good enough' to keep up with onus on Irish football - Keith Treacy

While the current focus may be on the potential end to Stephen Kenny's tenure and who might succeed him as Republic of Ireland manager, the long-term issue regarding player development pathways remains persistent.

In his post-match comments following Saturday's 1-0 defeat to the Netherlands, Kenny spoke of a "massive deficit in Irish football" which had compelled him to fill the generation gap quickly by introducing a significant number of young players to the senior international squad.

With Brexit meaning Irish players cannot move to UK clubs before the age of 18, youngsters are staying within the domestic scene for a longer period than ever before.

But the fact that the FAI have been seeking more than €860m in funding from the public and private sector to invest in facilities highlights the stark issues faced in boosting the production line of players at a time when the onus has shifted onto Irish football's shoulders and largely moved on from the reliance on English and Scottish clubs.

Speaking on the RTÉ Soccer Podcast, former Ireland international Keith Treacy, who is coaching within the St Patrick's Athletic youth ranks, outlined the urgency required to improve matters domestically.

"When Brexit came about, a lot of people thought, 'Great, our younger talents will have to stay in the country and we'll coach them and see the best of them' and they won't be able to leave until they're 18, 19," he said.

"On a human level that's brilliant. But we've all spoken about the facilities within the League of Ireland for years. They're not good enough.

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