Carrick Rovers saw months of behind the scenes planning come to fruition last weekend with the visit of renowned Celtic FC Football Development Officer Willie McNab to the town to officially launch a Club Partnership Programme between the South Monaghan side and the Glasgow giants.
Mr McNab, who is also the U13 Celtic FC Academy Coach and is a main speaker at the upcoming Football Coaches Association of Ireland Conference in Dublin, arrived in Carrickmacross on Friday night and spent the weekend with the club visiting training sessions and games involving our young players in addition to delivering a Coach Education Session to Club Coaches and presentations on The Celtic Academy and the Club Partnership Programme before leaving on Sunday night.
The visit also marked the launch of the Celtic Development Academy Easter 2013 which will take place from Monday 25th March to Friday 29th when 4 coaches from Celtic FC will spend the week in Carrickmacross working with young players from the region. Places on this Academy are limited. This is an ideal opportunity for any aspiring young footballer in the whole North-East / North-Midlands area to receive top class professional coaching by coaches from one of the top clubs in world football and who knows, maybe put themselves in the shop window.
Willie McNab kicked off the weekends activities by visiting the Carrick Rovers Academy at Aclint on Saturday morning to watch the children from 6-10 in action. A damp morning failed to dampen the enthusiasm as the young children showed off their skills to their guest! From there it was on to Gortakeegan in Monaghan to watch the Carrick Rovers U11 & U12 sides in action in the 9 a side non competitive leagues.
Back to Carrickmacross and Mr McNab then gave a Coach Education Session to coaches from the club. The first part of the session saw a Presentation on the session itself in which Mr McNab outlined what he intended to do in the session which was based on Building Defensive Partnerships. Then it was out to the pitch where a large crowd had gathered to observe the session in action. The Rovers U14 players were to benefit from Mr McNabs coaching expertise and passion for the game as he delivered a top class 2 hour session which every one present could not have failed to have been impressed by. Afterwards Mr McNab hosted a most informative Question & Answer Session on Coaching in general which was very well received.
Onto Sunday and Mr McNab visited Cootehill where the CMUL U15 Squad were having a training session and then it was on to Carrickmacross again where invited guests, including sponsors and town councillors had gathered to be given a presentation on the Celtic Academy itself. This was followed by Carrick Rovers Celtic FC Club Partnership Coordinator Enda Tourish giving a brief background of how the Partnership Programme had been set in motion back in November and using the occasion to ask those present for their full support in ensuring that proper All Weather Floodlit facilities be put in place in the town to ensure that we can have maximum benefit from this partnership and that our children have the resources they deserve in order to develop.
Mr McNab then outlined his role as Celtic FC Club Partnership Coordinator and explained the workings of a Club Partnership between the clubs. Celtic FC are currently working with a small number of clubs in Ireland and the partnership is bespoke to these clubs and can be made up of the following elements
- Coach Education
- Working with playing squads
- Opportunities for players to go to Glasgow and work /train with the Celtic Youth Academy.
- Celtic Player Development Camps
- Talent ID Camps
- Trips and Tournaments in UK
- Residential Camps in Glasgow.
Mr McNab then was interviewed by LMFM radio before ending his visit on Sunday night.
Carrick Rovers would like to express our gratitude to Mr McNab for not only taking time to visit our club but also for the extremely professional and courteous way in which he conducted his business over the weekend, a true ambassador for the great club which is Celtic FC.
Carrick Rovers next step in the Partnership with Celtic FC is the Easter Camp which is open to the whole region. As part of their stay the 4 Celtic coaches will also engage in evening sessions with the various Carrick Rovers underage teams and if the past weekend is anything to go by we can look forward to this with enthusiasm!