Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uladh

First Derry Coaching Conference

February 20th, 2008

derrycoachingconference.jpgThe first Annual Coaching and Games Development Conference, organised by Coiste Chontae Doire and sponsored by Chambers Coaches, will take place on Saturday 1st March 2008 in the St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt. This conference will aim to provide the most innovative workshops, which have been designed to better equip our coaches for the difficult task they face in striving to make their players the best that they can be. Combined with a range of highly skilled, professional guest speakers, this conference promises to benefit all who register to attend it.

Some of this year’s presenters include:

Willie Anderson – former Irish Rugby International. Willie won a total of 27 caps for his county over a six year period. Willie has enjoyed an illustrious coaching career having spells with Dungannon, Ballymena, Scotland RFU and currently with the Rainey. Willie has also spent time coaching at Loup GAC and should provide us with an excellent insight into coaching at an elite level.

George O’Connor – from the St. Martin’s club is County Wexford Director of Hurling, represented his county at senior level in both football & hurling, double All Star, midfielder in Wexford’s 1996 All Ireland win. George will present a practical outdoor session which should engage all coaches and managers of hurling & camogie teams.

Oliver Short – Crossmaglen – former player & manager of Crossmaglen Rangers GAC and Head of Junior School at St. Joseph’s Crossmaglen, Oliver is perfectly poised to deliver some thoughts on the secrets of the Crossmaglen success story.

Paddy Heaney – outspoken and often controversial journalist from the Irish News, Paddy will be presenting his views on the role of the media in the GAA and how clubs and team managers can make the most of their relationship with the press.

Darren McGeehan – representing Pride Sports, will give a presentation on the merits of synthetic surfaces. Is this the way forward for the GAA – especially in an urban environment? Can the synthetic pitch open the door for a wider playing season with a pitch which is always playable? How does the pitch compare to the spring of the turf in the heat of the summer?

Mickey Harte & Pete McGrath – need no introductions as the most successful Ulster All Ireland winning football managers. Speaking on behalf of SportsTracker, the innovative complete sporting analysis system – Mickey & Pete will extol the merits of a system to enable players, coaches, managers and clubs to collect and collate relevant team and individual performance data throughout the sporting season.

Des Jennings – Performance Lifestyle coach at Sports Institute of Northern Ireland. As an athlete Des played soccer for Newry City and Gaelic football for Armagh. As a sports psychologist Des has worked with the Armagh Gaelic football squad, Ulster schools rugby, NI Gymnastics and Irish Trampolining. In addition he has worked with individual athletes from a range of racquet sports. Des will be presenting his seminar “Inside the heads of players – do they need a firm hand or a hug?” with which surely every coach and manager of Gaelic Games can empathise.

Richard Ferris & Kevin Kelly – former Derry football and hurler players, have both vast experience in the field of youth development. Richard is currently full time Youth Development Officer for Glenullin GAC and was formerly Derry Football Development Manager. Kevin was full time Youth Development Officer for Clann na Gael in Lurgan before moving on to become Ulster Camogie Development Manager.

Tony Scullion (Derry) & Diarmuid Marsden (Armagh) – both are former football greats in their respective counties winning All Ireland medals and are coming together as part of the Ulster Council team to present their thoughts on the transfer of skills and drills from the training pitch into the match situation.

Mickey Moran – former Derry & Ulster football star, well known for his coaching contribution to Derry’s All Ireland football success in 1993. Former manager of Donegal and Mayo and currently in charge of the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Mickey will present an outdoor session which will be of great benefit to all coaches and managers.

The conference attendance is limited to 250, and places will be distributed on a first come first served basis. The cost of attending this one-day event is £10 per person, and you must pre-register by contacting Pauline in Owenbeg on 02877742990 or via email at

This conference will cater for all coaches, regardless of ability or qualification level, and we welcome anyone who is interested in attending to further their own personal development. We are opening this up to coaches in Derry before we go further a field. This is a considerable undertaking by the coaching and games committee therefore we would hope that every club in the county regardless of what code you play will aim to have at least five coaches at the conference.

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