Dalriada pupils put through their paces by top coaches

Dalriada pupils with Alie Wylie and Paul Gaston
Dalriada pupils with Alie Wylie and Paul Gaston

The Christmas holidays can be normally viewed as rest time for most pupils but this was not the case with Dalriada footballers as players from a number of age groups took part in a special “Coaching Workshop” on the school’s 3G pitch.

Alfie Wylie, Northern Ireland Ladies international manager and Linfield first team coach, delivered an excellent session for year 8,9 and 10 girls, focusing mainly on close ball control, multi-tasking within the game and general team play.

Kenny Shiels, Derry City manager and former Kilmarnock FC, Ballymena United and Coleraine FC boss, worked with the players from the highly successful Under-12 and under-13 teams.

This was an intense session on a number of topics including scanning, receiving and being positive in possession.

Football coordinator at the school, Ian Getty said: “This was an excellent opportunity for our younger age players to work with two of the top football coaches in the country and I have no doubt they all gained valuable experiences from Alfie and Kenny.

“We were delighted that almost 20 girls turned up for the Workshop with Alfie Wylie. We have planned to have Alfie back in school for a coaching programme in the next few weeks which will probably be a four or a five week programme aimed at year 8, 9 and 10 girls. The great thing is we are organising this because so many girls are asking for football and we are only to happy to provide it and the IFA are very keen as well.

“At the end of January we will hopefully have Jonathon Michael, the IFA “Futsal” manager, back for another coaching session. This fits really well into our own programme as some of our age groups have been playing Futsal during the games periods and we are very keen to continue to encourage this.

“The under-13, under-15 and senior boys league matches will begin at the end of January, beginning of February.

School Principal Mr Tom Skelton agreed saying: “We are deeply indebted to both Alfie Wylie and Kenny Sheils for giving up their time and coming to the school during the Christmas holidays to deliver some superb coaching sessions. Much praise should also go to the players who came along during their Chrismas holidays.”.