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Damien Curran: April Update

1 year ago By Neil Coleman

Damien Curran (Head of Youth Academy) provides his final monthly update of the season and focuses on self assessment and enjoying playing football!

It’s fast approaching the end of season and is time for reflection for kids/parents and coaches connected to Ballymena United Youth Academy. We all need to be prompting self assessment, asking two key questions ‘How they have done over the past season?’ and ‘What are the areas for improvement?’.

I want to say a thank you to all the coaches across all of our age groups for giving up their time to develop our Youth Academy players it is greatly appreciated by myself and the Academy Committee members.

During April many of our coaches and I attended an IFA ‘Let Them Play’ conference. I’m sure everyone would agree it was a very worthwhile event, as we learnt about different areas of youth football including small sided games, futsal, mental health awareness and club and volunteer recruitment. So a massive thank you to our very own Mo McDowell for his help in organising such a success event..

The conference ended with first team manager David Jeffery doing a discussing coaching and fielding questions. He shared his career and beliefs with us and gave us an understanding of believing your the best without being disrespectful to others.

I have introduced my own son into the Youth Academy this season and I watched on a few times as he played Derek McClintock Under-9 team recently. I have been impressed with Derek’s manner with the kids.The kids are enjoying their football and at this stage of their career it is extremely important. My feeling is simple that when you enjoy something you will want to keep doing it – that is how we will retain and develop our players.

On May Day, our Under-11 team coached by Chris Duff and Ronnie Balmer were unfortunately defeated by Oxford United Stars in the final of NIBFA plate on May Day. Despite the result it was a great day for the players and I hope the little set back can inspire them to work even harder next time. During May, most teams across the age groups will have tournaments or friendlies arranged so it’s still a busy time as we approach the end of the season.

A quick thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome during my first season at the Youth Academy. I know there are a lot of areas to oversee in my role but main objectives are to keep Ballymena United Youth Academy moving in the right direction.

• Coach education for our coaches
• Player development
• Communication with parents regarding their ideas

Thank you once again and I hope you have a great summer break and that the good weather will continue!

Finally, let’s all try and support the senior team get into the Europa League this Friday evening your support is much appreciated by the management staff.

Updated 14:42 - 10 May 2017 by Neil Coleman

Where next?

Abi International! Friendship Cup call up for Under-11 star girl.
Under-10 'Town' star at Donaghadee Tournament Ballymena United Youth Academy Under-10 'Town' were in action on Sunday in County Down.


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