18 May 2022

Gallagher feels it would be 'brilliant' for Derry if the GPOs plans come to fruition

The Derry manager spent time working in a similar role in Dublin

Gallagher feels it would be 'brilliant' for Derry if the GPOs plans come to fruition

Rory Gallagher in action for Dublin club St Brigid's against Longford champions Clonguish in the 2003 Leinster championship (Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

Derry senior football manager Rory Gallagher said it would be 'brilliant' if the county's new coaching plans could place GPOs (Games Promotion Officers) into the clubs.

Gallagher, who spent time coaching underage players Dublin club St Brigid's, also felt it would be better if clubs could 'produce their own' GPOs.

He won Dublin and Leinster senior titles with the club in 2003, before going down to An Gaeltacht in the All-Ireland series, the same year Loup lost to Caltra.

“If it can be pulled off it would be brilliant,” he said, when asked about the county's new coaching proposals, as drawn up by the new Games Development Committee.

“It was 2002 when I went down there,” Gallagher points out. “St Brigid's field six adult senior teams.  One of the prime reasons I was taken on was because Castleknock, Ciaran Kilkenny's club, was recently formed.

“A lot of it was going into schools, to get people out to play Gaelic games in their area,” he added.

Gallagher coached Paddy Andrews St Brigid's and Dublin footballer and saw Philly McMahon, Jonny Cooper, Diarmuid Connolly at first hand, in their teens during that era.

“This was this perception that coaches were going around every team (in the club). You helped out, you were trying to set up structures to improve the quality overall of football and hurling throughout the teams,” Gallagher explains.

In Dublin, there is a team for every year. U9, U10, U11...all the way up, as opposed to the two year spans in most counties.

“The big thing was getting mentors to take all those teams. Most clubs in Dublin had football and hurling, so a lot of the time the U12 football coach was maybe the hurling coach,” he added.

“If Derry can do it, it will be great. It would be great if clubs can produce their own GPOs, a coach with an allegiance to his own club, you are likely to get more out of it.”

ALSO READ - Damian Cassidy on Derry's new proposals.  CLICK HERE...

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