Nine outstanding volunteer coaches have been selected as finalists in the Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year Awards.
Representing their respective counties, the finalists were selected following public nominations submitted by club members across Ulster.
A panel of experts including All-Ireland winning Armagh manager, Joe Kernan, Ulster GAA PRO Michael Geoghegan and Irish News Sports Columnist Neil Loughran, whittled the entries down to the final nine.
An online public vote is now open to decide who the overall winner will be. As well as the title ‘Coach of the Year’, the person who tops the poll will receive free coach travel for their team and specially commissioned Coach of the Year gear.
The finalists are:
- Antrim – Padraig Hall, Gort na Mona
- Armagh – Barry Flynn, Carrickcruppen GAA
- Cavan – Ray Maguire, Laragh United
- Derry – Gregory McCormick, St Mary’s GAC Slaughtmanus
- Donegal – Claire Doherty, Buncrana CLG
- Down – Sean Gallagher, Newry Shamrocks GAC
- Fermanagh – Paul McGrath, Belcoo GAA
- Monaghan – Brendan McNally, Emyvale GAA
- Tyrone – Eilish O’Neill, Beragh Red Knights GAA
Encouraging people across the province to get behind the finalists and have their say, Translink’s Gerry Darcy said:
“This is the second time we have partnered with UIster GAA on these awards and the standard of entries was outstanding again. It is incredible to hear about the level of passion, dedication and commitment volunteer coaches show to their clubs. One of the common themes across the nominations was leadership – coaches who give their time so freely to their clubs are exemplary leaders in their communities and we are delighted to help recognise their efforts.
“Selecting an overall winner will be no easy task – so we need as many people as possible to help decide. Whatever your club or county colours, be sure to go online and cast your vote!”
Michael Geoghegan, Ulster PRO added:
“Once again, we have seen a superb response to our Translink Coach of The Year award. The role of the volunteer GAA coach is essential in the development of our players, from underage right through to adult level. We are delighted to recognise the shortlisted coaches from across the nine counties and wish them all well for the voting process.”
Commenting on the shortlist, Joe Kernan remarked:
“The judges were highly impressed with the great work of all of the county finalists. I would encourage all clubs and counties to go online and show their support by voting for the person they feel is most deserving of receiving this award.”
Voting for the Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year is now open at www.ulster.gaa.ie/coachoftheyearaward.
Voting closes at 11.59pm on Tuesday 27th November. The winner will be announced on Sunday 2nd December.