HomeFootballManchester to host Northern Gaelic Games this weekend

Manchester to host Northern Gaelic Games this weekend

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McNamara is thoroughly enjoying the role, operating with clubs and schools in Liverpool, Warrington, and Manchester. “Basically, I could be in up to three schools a day,” he says.

“On a Monday I’m in Liverpool coaching in secondary and primary schools. On Tuesdays I’m in Warrington, and on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I’m in schools in Manchester. Normally you’d have a bit of admin work too, planning things like this tournament, organising the Lancashire Féile team or maybe sorting underage blitzes for the Manchester clubs.

“It is a very multi faceted role. Ideally if I had a few more part-time coaches I’d be getting them into the schools too. At the moment, I’m doing a lot of the skills coaching myself with two other coaches, who are doing a lot for me.

“We have to organise every blitz from U7 to U17 and your league and championships. The Northern Games is our big event for the year. The Northern Games can be for clubs, who might not make the ABCs, but it is a big provincial event that they can aim for or compete in.”

Establishing and developing links between clubs and schools is crucial according to McNamara. “The way the school visits work is that at the start I’ll approach the clubs to get a list of schools their players are attending,” he says.

“Even if they have no players, it might be a school where they have potential to get players from. The clubs or I will approach the schools to get a foot in the door and we will provide the sessions.

“All the time throughout the sessions we will be promoting our clubs close to the school, letting the kids know this is going on all of the time. Some of the clubs will organise for the schools to play against each other in blitzes so they are getting game time.

“The aim of the schools coaching is to get more children into the clubs. It is starting to work, we are getting a few clubs, who have picked up players from schools tournaments.

“We are hoping that the Northern Games on Friday June 7 that all of the kids down there will have a great try time, have loads of fun, foster a love for the game, and hopefully join their nearest club. The clubs will be there to provide all the relevant information.”

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