Tonight, in St Mark’s fantastic facility`s, our underage season kicked off with our U/16 ladies’ football team sampling the new skill set initiative. Killian Quinn, the manager for the 2019 season, flanked by Paula Howlett and Mike Barnett, were on hand to welcome the ladies and give them an insight to what their training would entail over the next six weeks. Mike Barnett doubled up as coach and “Lead Coach” for the session.
Mike is fresh from another fabulous season in ladies’ football, in which he oversaw a successful, John West Feile N-Og campaign.
Games Coaching Development Committee member Mike, then proceeded to work along with Killian and Paula in showing proper techniques and form, for helping out with the drills. Afterwards Mike said he was very pleased with the application of the ladies and these sentiments were echoed by both Killian and Paula. Averil Campbell finished the session off with 15 minutes of flexibility. Averil`s commitment to the plan has been an inspiration and after every session her flexibility piece is a very rich addition, helping to top off a good training session, taking it to the next level. Flexibility is a vital part of these sessions and the expertise and knowledge in this area, that Averil brings, mean that our young Gaels leave the session fresher and more flexible, than when they arrived.
Next up, from 7-8pm were the club U/10s football and hurling players. Without a doubt, a very in tune football management team consisting of; Sean O’Hare as manager, Shane Carr (Football Chairman), and Johnny Rooney, These men have followed this very skilled set of footballers from U/6 up leading to a bond between both management and players as they move as one, joining this session was the Hurling management consisting of Averil Campbell and Colette Lock an equally dedicated management team who thrive in the training enviroment. Sean and Colette explained the concept of the “Club Athletic Development Programme” at the start of the session and introduced Lead Coach on the night, Liam Howlett. . This session passed with a slickness and style associated with the best a team can offer, the young men were giving the “A-skips” and “Carioca” drills, their best attempts and mastered many aspects of the skills in the course, on the night. Lead Coach Liam Howlett thanked Sean and his management team and Averil and Colette, for letting him partake in the session and passed on his delight to the young hurlers and footballers. Once again Averil passed on her knowledge and wisdom to the young men finishing off their session with great flexibility work.
8-9pm saw the turn of our Minor hurling and football teams, taking their first tentative steps into proper running techniques. John Daly, who is fresh from a 10-week working holiday, was as bubbly as ever and full of banter with the lads, proceeded to introduce his management team, consisting of Paul McKibben (Club Vice Chairman), Alan Davidson (current club and county senior player) and Colm Carty (in Australia).John warmly welcomed Lead Coach Conor Keenan (Games Coaching Development Committee member, Hurling Vice-Chairman and senior player). Between both men, the pathway for the Programme was explained, Conor and John both of similar nature in loving the craic and warming to the players went about the job of guiding the lads in the direction of proper technique. A very tuned in bunch of lads started mastering the skills at a quick rate and soon these men were slowing the drills down to a snail’s pace and mastering the technical proficiencies of each drill. Next up was Averil who, for a 3rd session running, took the flexibility session.
Hopefully the message being sent out from the “Games Coaching Development Committee” that “Quality supersedes Quantity” and “Technique achieves Speed” will resonate with these young Gaels. John and Conor both enjoyed coaching the new skills and are looking forward to the next 5 weeks of improving our players’ athletic abilities.
The night was now done and dusted. A 3-session night, encompassing 5 dedicated club teams in ladies’ football, men’s football and hurling.
A massive thanks to Mike, Liam and Conor for their leadership in each session. Further thanks to the club coaches of each team, who are the heart and lungs of a vibrant underage multi-coded club. These men and women give freely and unconditionally of their time to put others first.
To Colette, (Chairperson Hurling) and Averil, who doubles up as club coach and the programme’s flexibility coach, we can’t thank you enough for your help. These two ladies have cleared their calendar for the next six weeks to do registration and help wherever needed, such is their support to the promotion of underage sport in the club.
Tonight, wouldn’t have happened without the support of the Chairpersons of each section, namely; Shane Carr, Noreen Kelly, Colette Lock and Yvonne McFerran.
A special mention to Noreen Kelly, who facilitated the last “Coach the coaches session” by securing St.Dallan’s school gym. Noreen, the quiet but vital cog in the large machine that is the club, decided that, on the day she would facilitate all coaches needing to complete Access NI as part of Child Protection, by administering this end in the school. Noreen we can’t thank you enough for all of your help.
Games Coaching Development Committee