GAA Football

'Coach of the Year' finalists on cloud nine as shortlist is revealed

Pictured at the shortlisting session for the Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year awards in Armagh recently are, back from left. Ulster Council PRO Michael Geoghegan, All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan, Translink service delivery manager Gerry Darcy and, front, Irish News sports journalist Neil Loughran and Ulster Council coaching development officer Roger Keenan
Neil Loughran

NINE outstanding volunteer coaches have been selected as finalists in the Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year awards.

Representing their respective counties, the finalists were selected following public nominations submitted by club members across Ulster.

A panel of experts including All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan, Ulster GAA PRO Michael Geoghegan and Irish News sports journalist Neil Loughran whittled the entries down to the final nine.

An online public vote is now open to decide who the overall winner will be. As well as the title ‘Coach of the Year’, the person who tops the poll will receive free coach travel for their team and specially commissioned Coach of the Year gear.

The finalists are:

Antrim: Padraig Hall (Gort na Mona)

Armagh: Barry Flynn (Carrickcruppen)

Cavan: Ray Maguire (Laragh United)

Derry: Gregory McCormick (St Mary’s, Slaughtmanus)

Donegal: Claire Doherty (Buncrana)

Down: Sean Gallagher (Newry Shamrocks)

Fermanagh: Paul McGrath (Belcoo)

Monaghan: Brendan McNally (Emyvale)

Tyrone: Eilish O’Neill (Beragh Red Knights).

Commenting on the shortlist, Joe Kernan said: “The judges were highly impressed with the great work of all of the county finalists.

“I would encourage all clubs and counties to go online and show their support by voting for the person they feel is most deserving of receiving this award.”

Encouraging everybody to get behind the finalists and have their say, Translink’s Gerry Darcy said: “This is the second time we have partnered with UIster GAA on these awards and the standard of entries was outstanding again.

“Selecting an overall winner will be no easy task – so we need as many people as possible to help decide. Whatever your club or county colours, be sure to go online and cast your vote!”

Ulster PRO Michael Geoghegan added: “Once again, we have seen a superb response to our Translink Coach of The Year award.

"The role of the volunteer GAA coach is essential in the development of our players, from underage right through to adult level. We are delighted to recognise the shortlisted coaches from across the nine counties and wish them all well for the voting process.”

Voting for the Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year is now open at ulster.gaa.ie/coachoftheyearaward. Voting closes at 11.59pm on Tuesday, November 27 and the winner will be announced on Sunday, December 2.

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