SMFC Academy Update

SMFC Academy Update

With the 2023/24 now come to an end, Academy Director Allan McManus would like to provide SMiSA members with an update to summarise their season, and to thank members for their continued support. Over the past year, SMiSA have invested around £50,000 into the St. Mirren Academy, something we are extremely proud of! The SMiSA Board would like to thank Allan and the rest of the Academy Staff for their outstanding commitment to bringing through the next stars, and for making our Academy one of the best in the Country.

Check out Allan's update below...


Another season comes to an end for the first team and what a huge achievement to guarantee European football. What an unbelievable season for everyone connected with the club. The Academy still continues to run until the last week in June for all our younger players. The Academy program continues to grow year on year and we currently carry approx. 50-60 young players in our pre academy. The main academy now has 7 teams from U10-U16 years with playing numbers at approx. 110 players. Our U18s run in tandem with the first team season and this season we will have approx. 14-16 full time players. For the season ahead we will make some changes and adjustments to our program and look to create an additional games program that allows us to play additional matches during the week with that team being made up of our younger full time players and some of the first team players and boys who are out on loan.  This is another step forward in our joined up approach.


The manager has been a huge driving force in making sure that we are aligned in our thinking which gives our younger players a better knowledge and understanding of what is required at first team level. The standards and expectations for all of us go up as the first team continue to set the bench mark.  As an Academy we now have to live and breathe as a top 5 European club. We have some of the best staff in the country in my opinion and hopefully during the summer we will add to that in order to keep taking the Academy forward. As we are all well aware, as the Academy grows so does the expenditure.  We are very fortunate that the club continue to invest substantial amounts every year into the Academy and it continues to be an integral part of our football club. We are hugely thankful to the board for their continual support in the Academy as we are the Kibble who also continue to invest heavily in the Academy.  However, without the support and investment by SMISA year on year then the Academy simply could not function at the level that we currently do. I am very fortunate to have a fantastic relationship with SMISA and in particular Dougie McMahon who myself and Keith Lasley liaise with on a regular basis to make sure that there is constant feedback and dialogue on what’s happening at the Academy and how best we think the finance should be invested within the Academy. I have always made it clear that we have an open door policy at the Academy and are happy for people to come down and see what we do, watch our teams, and ask any questions on the Academy. Its important that people can see where the money is being invested.


This season the money has been spread over different areas from purchasing kit and equipment: new footballs which cost thousands of pounds, mannequins which are used in training and can be used by both Academy and first team. Some of the finance has/will go towards funding some of the trips that the players have been on. Last summer some of the players visited the Milk Cup in Ireland and a tournament in Manchester which we will revisit this summer. There has been works carried out to upgrade the portacabins and ongoing maintenance to the fencing surrounding the facility. This is a huge level of investment from SMISA and we are so grateful for that. As I highlighted earlier without this support then the Academy simply could not function at the level it does. For this continued level of investment, myself and all the staff are hugely appreciative of everyone connected with SMISA for all the support we have had and hopefully we will have going forward. It really is exciting times ahead for everyone connected with the club. Once again thanks to everyone at SMISA for your continued support.