GAA Football

Shortlist announced for Translink-Ulster GAA Coach of the Year

Pictured at the shortlisting day for the Translink-Ulster GAA Coach of the Year award are, from left, Neil Loughran (Irish News sports journalist), Sean Falls (Translink service delivery manager), Kieran McGeeney (Armagh manager), Michael Geoghegan (Ulster GAA PRO) and Tony Scullion (Ulster GAA coach)

THE nine-name shortlist for the Translink-Ulster GAA Coach of the Year award has been confirmed.

The initiative, designed to recognise those club coaches who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the teaching and development of Gaelic games, saw entries submitted from dozens of clubs in every county across Ulster.

Following a public call for nominations, an expert judging panel including Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney, Derry All-Ireland winner and Ulster GAA coach Tony Scullion, and Irish News sports journalist Neil Loughran had the tough task of selecting one person from each county to go through to the online public vote.

And the finalists are as follows - Antrim: Kevin Gough (St John’s); Armagh: Anthony Farrell (Derrynoose); Cavan: Brendan Connolly (Cavan Gaels); Derry: Ashelene Groogan (Ballinascreen); Donegal: Glen Campbell (St Naul’s); Down: Gerard Lenaghan (Aughlisnafin); Fermanagh: Eunan O'Flanagan (Devenish); Monaghan: Martin Burns (Killanny); Tyrone: Martin Curry (Eglish camogie club).

The winner will receive free coach travel for one year for their club and specially commissioned Coach of the Year gear.

Members of the public are now asked to get behind the finalists and vote to decide upon the overall winner.

“This is the first year of this award and the standard of nominations we received was exceptional, so whittling the list down to just nine was a tough task for the judges,” said Translink’s Sean Falls.

“It was clear from the entries that GAA clubs in communities across the province would not exist without the countless hours which unsung heroes such as these volunteer behind the scenes. It is wonderful for Translink to have the opportunity to help honour them in this way.”

Ulster GAA PRO Michael Geoghegan added: ''We have been delighted with the level of responses to our new Coach of The Year award, in partnership with Translink.

"Our coaches play a really central role in the development of our GAA players and we are delighted to recognise the nine shortlisted coaches from right across the province of Ulster. I would encourage our counties and clubs to get online and have their say by voting for their overall stand-out coach.''

Voting is now open at ulster.gaa.ie/coachoftheyear, and closes at 11.59pm on Sunday.

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