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Barry Prenderville – Maynooth University Soccer Development Manager Upskills at Portobello Institute

BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology, Coaching & PE

Barry Prenderville – Maynooth University Soccer Development Manager Upskills at Portobello Institute

Barry Prenderville – Maynooth University Soccer Development Manager Upskills at Portobello Institute

Barry Prenderville is a former underage international soccer player for Ireland who has gained his BSc (Hons) in Sports Psychology, Coaching & PE (now BA (Hons) in Physical Education) at Portobello Institute.

Barry successfully completed his degree and also received an Outstanding Achievement award at his graduation ceremony at Croke Park in November 2023.

Barry has always been passionate about sports and always believed in the power and value of education. Like many learners who come back to education, he had regrets about his previous experiences, but he was determined to overcome that and follow his passion.

“As a child, I enjoyed sports and showed great promise and ability with most sports in which I took part. When I reached the age of 14/15, I began to focus on soccer.

“After joining Cherry Orchard FC at age 14 I soon gained recognition at representative level with the Dublin District Schoolboys League and the Irish Underage International squads.

“It was around this time I frequently travelled to the UK for trials with professional clubs. After finishing my Leaving Certificate at the age of 17, I moved to the UK and signed for Coventry City FC who then competed in the English Premier Division.

“I went on to have a twelve-year professional football career. Playing for Coventry City FC, Hibernians FC, Oldham Athletic FC, Shelbourne FC, St Patrick’s Athletic FC and Shamrock Rovers FC. Soon after finishing my playing career, I began working for the FAI while based at Maynooth University in 2008 and have done so ever since,” he said.

Barry is the Maynooth University Soccer Development Manager and he sees great value in the connection between sports and education, particularly looking back on his own experience.

“I have always valued education. Being offered soccer scholarships in various Irish third-level institutions when I finished my leaving certificate. It was a regret of mine in the subsequent years that I did not take up that opportunity.

“Knowing what I know now, leaving home to play professional football a few years older than I did after attaining a third-level degree may have proven to be beneficial to my football career.

“I chose to study Sports Psychology, Coaching and Physical Education at Portobello Institute. This combination of subjects was of great interest to me. Other providers did not offer these subjects combined as Portobello did.

“However, the primary reason for taking up the course at Portobello was the blended aspect. Most of the course lectures took place over the weekend every second week. With work and family commitments this suited my lifestyle and enabled me to take a full part in the course.

“My passion is sports. Sports Psychology and what motivates sports people. I also love coaching and all aspects of fitness and exercise. The degree in Sports Psychology, Coaching and PE at Portobello Institute allowed me to study and research all of the above subjects in depth.

“The best thing about studying at Portobello Institute was the people I met on that journey. My fellow students the camaraderie and rapport we built in the three years studying together. Also, the tutors on the course I found were very committed, helpful and supportive.

“I would recommend Portobello Institute to a friend. As mentioned previously I found staff and fellow students very supportive, encouraging, and willing to offer great guidance. As with most educational experiences and life experiences, you will get out what you put in,” he said,

Thanks to his hard work and determination, the combination of topics available at Portobello Institute and our blended learning delivery method, Barry now holds a qualification that reflects his passions in life, sports, coaching and psychology.

Following his graduation, Barry’s future looks bright from both a career perspective and for pursuing further studies.

“I feel very proud of myself. My academic performance over the three years of the degree surpassed my own expectations. This has given me greater confidence in my own capabilities relating to my current role and for the possibility of furthering my education in the future.

“I am working in the sports Industry and the degree I attained at Portobello Institute will give me the confidence to look for opportunities to progress within the sector,” he said.

Portobello Institute has a dynamic sports department with a range of top qualifications for the next step in your career.

If you are interested in any of our sports courses or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert sports advisor Brandon McLean, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0035


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