Newry City AFC is currently participating in the McDonalds/IFA Foundation Club Mark programme. The aim of this programme is to support the development of clubs and to implement good practice policies and procedures within them. The scheme prepares clubs to successfully work towards the Excellence Mark.
Former Newry City coach Seamus Heath, who is now the Newry & Mourne District Grassroots Development officer for the IFA, said of the scheme:
“The McDonald’s foundation club-mark programme provides a clear and structured approach to improving and developing local clubs.
“The value based coaching section demonstrates to the clubs partners, parents and young people that your club is child friendly, safe and will develop all players as footballers and citizens.
“Mentoring of the coaches is providing both confidence and positive coaching to them as they progress on their coaching pathway while developing both themselves and the players.”
And speaking of the progress that Newry City AFC are making as a club, Seamus said:
“Newry have been through a difficult period over the last few years, having gone from an Irish premier league side to closure of their ground and collapse of all their teams. But things are really looking up for them now.
“It’s great to see top local coach and Newry City AFC manager Darren Mullen taking a keen interest in all the club’s programmes with his help, advise and words of wisdom to the clubs future players.
“Newry U15 Coach Colm Murphy, who is on the programme, is your typical volunteer who is the lifeblood of our sport and provides so much to his club. Colm is both a parent, coach and manager to one of the teams. Whilst working all day, miles from home, Colm plans his session, rushes home, collects his son and heads straight to training. Real football people!”
Newry first team manager Darren Mullen told newrycityafc.co.uk he is delighted with the work Seamus has been doing with the club:
“Seamus has been doing terrific work with our U15s for the past five weeks and they have certainly benefited from his quality coaching sessions. Not only are the lads improving but they are enjoying working with someone of Seamus’ experience. As a former coach at the club, he appreciates what we are trying to do and his help in this initiative is greatly appreciated,” Darren said.
He added, “The other teams within the club will also be taking part in some of his sessions and that can only improve their chances of progressing at the club. It also gives the existing youth coaches the chance to see different types of drills which can only be good for their development.”
Photos of Colm, Darren & Seamus with the Newry City U15 players during the Foundation Club Mark Programme