Since its formation in 2006, Lisburn Distillery’s Academy has grown to boast over 130 players and 30 members of staff in its ranks.
In addition to playing at most age groups in the Lisburn Junior Invitational League (LJIL), the Wee Whites have a complete set-up from Mini-Soccer up to and including the clubs Youth Team in the Irish Youth League Section A to feed into Manager Tommy Kincaid’s first team squad.
In 2008 the LDFC Academy achieved its first major piece of silverware, when the Youth Team lifted the coveted Harry Cavan Youth Cup for the first ever time at Mourneview Park against Portadown. When Lisburn Distillery faced Portadown in the Co-Operative Insurance Cup (Irish League Cup) Final at the same venue on April 2nd 2011, ex-Harry Cavan winners such as Mark Patton, Mark Cooling and Scott Davidson were all in the first team squad after progressing through the ranks to see the Whites lift their first senior trophy in almost twenty years.
There has been individual success for many players involved with the academy who represented their County at the Milk Cup and also some players representing Northern Ireland at various age groups.
During 2010/11 the Wee Whites efforts, on and off the pitch saw the academy begin to make their mark in terms of silverware. The Under 17 team were crowned NIBFA Cup Winners defeating Cliftonville in the final, whilst the Under 15s were League and Cup winners in the LJIL.
In 2011/12 the Under 14s stole the show with a fantastic treble of their very own securing the LJIL League title as well as winning the cup and shield competitions. The team also went on to reach the final of the NIBFA Cup only to be beaten by Oxford Utd 2-1 after extra time.
All this cannot be achieved without a dedicated and committed list of staff, all of which are volunteers. The Academy is also extremely grateful to their sponsors and supporters who continue to enable these huge steps to be realised. The Academy’s mantra is that ‘The Futures Bright: The Futures White!’ Here’s to another great season for the Wee Whites!
Lisburn Distillery’s Head of Development is Tommy Kincaid, The committee that contribute to the day to day administration and management of the academy are:
Alan Craig: Academy Co-Ordinator
Ged Irwin: Academy Chairman & LDFC Community Relations Officer
Peter Mills: Academy Secretary
Terry Thompson: Finance Officer
George Bunting: Child Protection Officer
Terry Thompson: Academy Board Representive
John Duffy: Youth Team Rep to the IFA and County Antrim FA