Wednesday 16 January 2019

Coaches need to be positive!

MANY IN attendance at the Kennedy Cup may have found delight in the North Dublin Schoolboy’s League success in winning the competition outright.

It’s important to give credit where credit is due and for Karl Carpenter and Technical Director Mitch Whitty, Academy Director John Farrell, the officers of the NDSL, the players and backroom staff – it was a well-deserved success and the best team won the game on the day. No complaints at all!

It was a reward for dedication and commitment that started over four years ago when the genesis of this squad first came together at the OTCDC. It has been ‘tweaked’ along the way and last Friday they reached a wonderful climax to the Kennedy Cup programme when Paddy Roche’s goal ended the DDSL’s seven-year reign as champions.

You need to separate out however the fact that the DDSL were beaten – and many incorrectly gloried in their demise. The scenes that the NDSL players witnessed at the final whistle will be memorable but some of the DDSL players will quickly want to forget the taunts and insults that flew their way from a rabble who invaded the pitch. These are only kids and more security would not have gone astray.

Let’s not forget that the DDSL have been fine ambassadors and in John Devine the league have been fortunate to have acquired the services of a genuine gentleman of the game and someone who seeks to improve those under his wing.

He never wavered in his approach to the game and insisted that this was about development and not about results or trying to stop other teams from playing. It was about learning. Devine paid tribute to the Midlands Schoolboys League for having the belief in playing the DDSL in an expansive way and not trying to stop with a blanket ‘break us down’ defence.

His belief is that many leagues are doing nothing in terms of developing players simply because they are encouraging young kids to be negative by stopping teams from playing. Remarkably, when Cork were trailing in the semi-final, the Leesiders bench’s instructions were to ‘let them have it’ and there was little or no pressure put on the DDSL.

It would be grossly unfair to descibe it as ‘sour-grapes’ bacause the DDSL have been beaten, but Devine is insistent that preparing teams to stop others from playing is doing a great disservice to the game and the players’ development. Even when they trailed, the DDSL stuck to their belief of making the pitch as big as possible and attacking the space.

They could have gone ‘route one’ and utilised the pace of Colm Deasy but chose rather to stick to their honest held beliefs that football is about being creative and not being destructive. While some coaches may take a degree of satisfaction in the DDSL’s demise, the more intelligent of them might buy into John Devine’s philosophy and that arguably will produce a better quality player and a better quality tournament!

NICE TOUCH OF THE WEEK..South Dublin League assistant coach Tom O’Connor meeting Chris Darby of the NDSL as he was substituted to shake his hand and congratulate him on a wonderful goal and a fine overall performance.

Noel O’Reilly bursary awards

SAINT JOSEPH’S School for the Visually Impaired held their vocational awards ceremony on Thursday 16th June at the school on Grace Park Road, Drumcondra. Also awarded on the night was the Noel O’Reilly Bursary. The recipients of the award for 2011 were St Joseph’s vocational students Lauren O’Brien and Kieran Shanagher in the Space Camp Group. This the third year of the bursary which Belvedere F.C. awards in memory of the late Noel O’Reilly who worked for St Joseph’s School for over 20 years. The bursary will benefit the students who will travel to participate in a specifically designed Visually Impaired Space Camp with N.A.S.A. in Alabama USA for a week’s duration.

Noel’s partner Rose McAllorum made the presentation on behalf of Belvedere Football Club.

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