Liam Burns Alan Browne

DFC In The Community – Burnsey’s Blog

Recently former Dundalk Captain Liam Burns began a role as Dundalk FC Schools Officer. This project will see Liam visiting schools throughout the season. His current project is rolling out a community programme in National Schools in the area. Today, he took time out to give the following update:

I am visiting a number of national schools in the area, coaching the kids the basics of football, which keeps them active and helps them exercise in a fun way and enjoy sports. The classes I have been coaching have been third and fourth class, with the children in them ranging from the ages of 9 – 11.

This project has been running since October and will cease in the summer months. Before Christmas we attended nine local schools ranging as far as Ardee, Blackrock and Castlebellingham. The schools that are involved this time are four of the biggest in Dundalk. These include the CBS, Scoil Mhuire na nGael in Bay Estate, St Joseph’s National School in Muirhevna Mór and Kilkerley National School, so there is a big catchment there which we try and aim at. Once this project finishes we will then start it again in September when the academic year re-starts.

Coaching Classes
Some of the coaching techniques I have been using include ball skills and dribbling skills which I try to incorporate in a fun and easy way for all involved. One of the purposes of running a project like this is to not concentrate too hard on the footballing skills; it has more to do with keeping the children fit and healthy from obesity and so forth, which I feel is vital to the youth of the area and indeed the country.

Show Racism The Red Card
For a project like this I work close with Mick Neville, Mick works in conjunction with the FAI. In this instance Mick and I went through the details of what needed to be done, and it was a few others and I who completed the tasks at hand. This project can go hand in hand with Show Racism the Red Card, which is something both Dundalk Football Club and the FAI want to improve on.

I think the way that we are running this project is right, as we are aiming at an audience who are young and impressionable, which is something I feel is very important. If we can teach and show these kids the standards of Dundalk FC, and our way, then I feel it is inevitable it will pay off in the future.

Free Season Ticket Offer
From a club perspective we want to see Oriel Park full every week, and get the next generation of supporters through. What the club have done this year with the under 12 Free Scheme is fantastic to say the least. I don’t think any other club in Ireland has done it yet and it is a great way to get the young people of the area involved.

As a club we are aiming for the foundations and grass roots of the community, and with the senior squad doing so well as of late, we are trying to capitalise on that and strike whilst the iron is hot. One of the things we are currently doing, with the before mentioned schools is offering season ticket application forms. These forms will enable the children at 12 years of age, or younger, to avail of a season ticket for free.

It’s not just good for the club but is it is also good for the town which is a great buzz for all involved.  What it really boils down to is all about getting the next generation of Dundalk Football Club supporters, and possible players for the future.


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