KENNY SHIELS has stressed the importance of developing young footballers and announced he will take a ‘hands on’ approach in coaching Derry & District Youth outfit, Derry Colts.
The Derry City manager has a wealth of experience in developing young players, having worked as N. Ireland Youth international coach and as Head of Academy coaching with the Scottish F.A.
“I’ve managed two professional academies, one in England and one in Scotland. And I’ve managed youth international teams so I have got that background.”Kenny Shiels
Shiels, who praised the work done by Derry Colts coaches, said it was his intention and that of his senior coaches, Eddie Seydak, Hugh Harkin, John Quigg and Gary Duffy, to have a more ‘active role’ in player development within the D&D youth.
“I have to focus on the first team but that’s another part of my job - making sure there are young players coming through and, when I eventually leave the club, that there will be stability left behind,” said Shiels. “It’s about developing the team. The Derry & District League can help us with that.
“I’ve managed two professional academies, one in England and one in Scotland. And I’ve managed youth international teams so I have got that background.”
Shiels has already shown his willingness to give youth a chance in Derry City’s first team squad this season and promised to stay true to that philosophy when the season resumes after the mid-season break.
“To bring in ready-made players at the expense of playing the good, young players we have would be wrong,” he added. “I’m trying to bring these young boys through.
“There were six players who featured in the 2-1 win over Drogheda in the FAI Cup who played in the Foyle Cup Final last year at Under-19s.
“Conor McDermott, Josh Daniels, Ronan Curtis, Rory Holden and Ryan Doherty all played while Jack Blake was on the bench. Those six played in the Derry City team which won the Foyle Cup last year.
“That’s testament to the work that John Quigg, Eddie Seydak, Gary Duffy and Hugh Harkin have done with regards player development.
“There are things I can do for the D&D league in general, not just the Colts. I can take masterclass coaching education programmes and things like that for the clubs and so hopefully I can help these players progress their careers and maximise their potentials.”
Coaching sessions for various age groups of the Derry City Colts are as follows - Under 9/10 Templemore Complex (Fridays) from 6.30pm – 8pm; Under-11 - (Tuesdays), Templemore Complex from 6.30 p.m.-8pm; Under-12 - Templemore Complex (Tuesdays) 6.30- 8.30pm and Sundays from 11.30-1pm; Under-13 - Templemore Complex (Tuesdays) from 6.30- 8.30pm and Sundays from 11.30-1pm; Under-14 - (Tuesdays) St Columb’s College from 7.30-9.30pm and Wednesdays from 6pm – 8pm.
Any players interested in taking part in trials for Derry Colts and benefitting from coaching from senior club staff are invited to attend their age category training. All players attending must have shin pads, bottle of water and £2 to cover pitch hire.
For more details e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 02871359734.