Nine dedicated volunteer coaches from across Ulster have been announced as finalists in this year’s Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year Awards.
Now in its third year, a record number of public nominations were submitted by club members across Ulster.
A panel of experts including Manager of the Down Senior Football team, Paddy Tally, Ulster GAA’s Director of Coaching & Games, Eugene Young and Irish News Sports Columnist, Neil Loughran, shortlisted nine finalists, with the help of Translink’s Pat Maguire.
The shortlisted coaches will now represent their county in the final of the awards. The decision now rests with the public; voting is now open. The overall winner will receive free coach travel for their team.
The finalists are:
· Antrim – Paul Buchanan – Lámh Dhearg, Belfast
· Armagh – Rosie McMahon – Silverbridge Harps
· Cavan – Fiachra Sweeney – Castlerahan
· Donegal – Laurence McMullan – St Mary’s, Convoy
· Derry – Sean Mellon – Na Magha CLG
· Down – Sonia Kinsella – St Patricks, Saul
· Fermanagh – Brendan Rasdale – Derrygonnelly Harps
· Monaghan – Jaime Black – Latton O’Rahilly’s
· Tyrone – Paddy O’Neill – Derrytresk Fir An Chnoic
Encouraging people across the province to get behind the finalists and have their say, Translink’s Pat Maguire said:
“We’ve partnered with Ulster GAA on the Coach of the Year Awards for three years now and the standard of nominations is always exceptional. Volunteers are the lifeblood of clubs and to hear about the enthusiasm and commitment these coaches have shown to their clubs is inspirational. Translink is delighted to recognise these amazing finalists for all their effort and hard work. The task of selecting a winner is never easy – so this is your chance to have your say through the online vote!”
Paddy Tally, Down Senior Football Manager, Ulster GAA added:
“The development of young people in clubs across the country is thanks to those coaches and managers who donate countless hours to their clubs on a voluntary basis. This doesn’t just stop at youth teams but carries right through to a senior level. I am delighted to play my part in the Coach of the Year campaign, and congratulations to the nine coaches who have been shortlisted. Good luck for the final stages.”
Commenting on the shortlist, Neil Loughran, Irish News Sports Columnist remarked:
“As a judge for Translink’s Coach of The Year since its inception, I’ve had the opportunity to sit back and appreciate the hard work and dedication of club volunteers across the province. The hundreds of hours accumulated between our shortlisted coaches, clearly demonstrates the commitment required to run and grow a club. Now it’s time to thank them, by getting online and voting for your winner.”
Voting for the Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year is now open.
Visit ulster.gaa.ie/coachoftheyearaward to cast your vote.
Voting closes at 11.59pm on Sunday 24th November.
The winner will be announced on Sunday 1st December at the Senior Club Football Championship final.