Dr Liam Sweeney

Biography

Dr Liam Sweeney jointed Maynooth University in October 2023 as an Assistant Professor in Sport Science. Prior to joining Maynooth University, Liam held academic and research roles at Dublin City University (DCU), including as a Lecturer and as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Liam’s research interests include talent development, exercise physiology, sport performance, and physical activity. Liam completed his PhD at the School of Health and Human Performance in DCU between 2020-2023, which was funded by the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme. Liam’s PhD examined talent development in the Football Association of Ireland’s male player pathway. This PhD research undertook a mixed-methods approach, examining various aspects of player development, including physical, physiological and psychosocial elements of player development. Liam’s PhD thesis was titled, “Maximising potential through the pathway: An interdisciplinary and mixed-methods investigation of player development in Irish male football”, completed under the supervision of Dr Áine MacNamara and Dr Jamie Taylor. Prior to the completion of his PhD, Liam attained a first class master’s degree with honours in Exercise Physiology at the University of Galway, and a first class undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science with honours at the University of Bedfordshire. During his undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science, Liam won all three special student achievement awards; including the award for the highest overall dissertation grade in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, the highest overall final course degree grade, and the highest overall grade at the University of Bedfordshire Discipline of Exercise Physiology poster presentation and oral defence. During his master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, Liam was awarded the highest overall grade for his MSc thesis. In addition to his academic role, Liam continues to work in a number of research and consultancy roles with several sporting National Governing Bodies, including the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), the Irish Football Association (IFA), and the Swedish Football Association. 

Research Interests

Liam's research interests include talent development, exercise physiology, sport performance, and physical activity.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2023 Liam Sweeney; Áine MacNamara; Jamie Taylor (2023) 'International selection and competition in youth sport: pin the tail on the donkey or targeted intervention?'. Frontiers In Sports And Active Living, 5 (1298909). [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2023 Liam Sweeney; Jamie Taylor; Áine MacNamara (2023) 'Push and Pull Factors: Contextualising Biological Maturation and Relative Age in Talent Development Systems'. Children, 10 :1-20. https:// doi.org/10.3390/children10010130 [Full-Text]
2022 Liam Sweeney; Sean P Cumming; Áine MacNamara; Dan Horan (2022) 'The selection advantages associated with advanced biological maturation vary according to playing position in national-level youth soccer'. Biology of Sport, 40 :715-722. https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2023.119983 [Full-Text]
2022 Liam Sweeney; Sean P Cumming; Áine MacNamara; Dan Horan (2022) 'A tale of two selection biases: The independent effects of relative age and biological maturity on player selection in the Football Association of Ireland’s national talent pathway'. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 0 :1-12. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2022 Liam Sweeney; Áine MacNamara; Dan Horan (2022) 'The Irish Football Player Pathway: Examining Stakeholder Coherence Throughout and Across the Player Development System'. Frontiers In Sports And Active Living, 4 . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2021 Liam Sweeney; Dan Horan; Áine MacNamara (2021) 'Premature Professionalisation or Early Engagement? Examining Practise in Football Player Pathways'. Frontiers In Sports And Active Living, 3 . [DOI] [Full-Text]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/09/2021 Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship The Irish Research Council
10/09/2020 Highest graded MSc Exercise Physiology Thesis Grade, National University of Ireland, Galway National University of Ireland, Galway
19/07/2019 Highest undergraduate degree grade on the BSc (Hons) Sport Science and Personal Training course, University of Bedfordshire University of Bedfordshire
19/07/2019 Highest graded undergraduate dissertation at the University of Bedfordshire School of Sport Science and Physical Activity University of Bedfordshire
19/07/2019 Highest grade at the University of Bedfordshire School of Sport Science and Physical Activity undergraduate dissertation poster presentation and oral defence, Discipline of Exercise Physiology University of Bedfordshire

Teaching Interests

Liam's teaching interests include exercise physiology, performance coaching, physical activity, and talent development in sport.