Ruud Dokter extends his contract with the FAI until 2020

The Dutchman joined the FAI in 2013

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Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

The FAI have announced an extension to the contract of High-Performance Director, Ruud Dokter.

The Dutchman, who joined the FAI in August 2013 from the KNVB, the Dutch Football Association, has signed a five-year deal with the Association which will bring him to the end of 2020.

Dokter will continue to work on the Player Development and Emerging Talent programmes - which were launched in 2015 and 2006 respectively - and further develop the foundations that have been laid to achieve long-term success from our most promising players.

"First of all I have to say that the FAI has been a great organisation to work with because it is an organisation working on development of football for the future," said Dokter.

"It is great working with the clubs and all of the affiliates and everybody in the football community. This is an exciting time for Irish football. It is important for me to say that in the two and a half years I've been here I feel that so much has been accomplished and I didn't hesitate for a second to renew my contract with the FAI.”

"There are many challenges ahead of us and we are focused on continuing to make improvements to the development of players in Ireland. We've achieved much already including rolling out the first two recommendations of the FAI Player Development Plan, improving the Emerging Talent Programme structures, and the completion of the FAI Women's Strategic Plan 2015-18.”

"We have also made continued improvements in Coach Education. The SSE Airtricity U19 and U17 League have proven to be successful and we will introduce the U15 National League in the coming years.”

"We have made great strides with our underage international teams with our U17 men's team reaching the UEFA European Championships in Bulgaria last year and they are preparing for the Elite Phase this year. It is similar with our Women's U19 and U17 teams, who both reached European Championships in the last two years and are also working towards Elite Phase qualifiers.”

"I see many opportunities for Irish football and I am looking forward to the coming years with the FAI."

Welcoming the announcement, FAI CEO John Delaney said: "We are delighted that Ruud will be continuing to work with the FAI. He has worked closely with all of the affiliates involved in Irish football on the development of our elite player pathway and it is vital that this good work continues.

"We want to ensure that the Player Development Plan is implemented so that our games continues to improve across all levels, from grassroots right up to the highest level."