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Armagh and Crossmaglen legend Joe Kernan on board to join search for Ulster GAA's Coach of the Year

Translink group chief executive Chris Conway, Irish News sports journalist Neil Loughran, Ulster GAA coaching development manager Roger Keenan, Ulster Council PRO Michael Geoghegan and former Armagh manager Joe Kernan launch the 2018 Coach of the Year awards. Picture by Aaron McCracken

ALL-IRELAND winning manager Joe Kernan has joined forces with Ulster GAA and Translink to officially launch the 2018 Coach of the Year awards.

Now in its second year, the initiative celebrates the work carried out by volunteer club coaches across Ulster, recognising the lasting impressions they make on both individuals and communities.

The awards are free to enter and club coaches across every code and level are eligible. Players, parents, committee members and supporters have until Sunday, November 4 to put forward their entry.

Following public nominations, a panel of experts including Armagh and Crossmaglen legend Kernan, Ulster GAA PRO Michael Geoghegan and Irish News sports journalist Neil Loughran will select one finalist from each county to go forward to a public vote.

“Volunteer coaches are the backbone of clubs across the country,” said Kernan at the launch in Belfast’s Europa bus station.

“At every level and in every community, they are responsible for recruiting members, developing players, spotting leaders and promoting the skills of our games. As a former manager, player and lifelong GAA supporter, I’m delighted to be a part of these awards and encourage people from every county to put forward a person they think is deserving of the accolade before November 4 - so get nominating!”?

The overall winner will receive a prize which includes specially commissioned kit for themselves and free coach travel for their team, courtesy of Translink.

Encouraging everyone to get involved, Translink group chief executive Chris Conway said: “Following the huge success of this initiative last year, we are excited to partner with Ulster GAA for the second time on the Coach of the Year award.

“The aim is to publicly recognise and thank those grassroots managers, trainers and mentors whose tireless efforts often go unrewarded. Through our ongoing sponsorship of Ulster GAA, we have seen first-hand the work that they do and the invaluable contribution they make in counties across Ulster.

“We’re pleased help celebrate them in this way.”

To nominate, visit http://ulster.gaa.ie/coachoftheyearaward

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