Jack O’Connor To Deliver Coaching And Sports Development Course At KCFE

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Kerry U21manager Jack O’Connor with acting Principal of the Kerry College of Further Education, Carmel Kelly, at the launch of the new Coaching and Sports Development Course at the college. Photo By : Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD ©.

KERRY College of Further Education (KCFE) at Clash, Tralee, is delighted to announce the introduction of a new course delivered by a renowned Kerry GAA coach.

Supported by the Kerry County GAA Board, this Post Leaving Certificate Coaching and Sports Development Course at QQI Level 5 course will be coordinated and delivered by All Ireland Senior Winning Football Team Manager and current Kerry Under 21 Football Manager Jack O’Connor.

The course is starting in September 2017 and is the only full-time Coaching and Sports Development course in Kerry.  A unique aspect of the course is the wealth of knowledge and practical experience Jack O’Connor will bring to it.

“I am very much looking forward to running this course in the KCFE from September 2017. Gaelic football coaching is my passion and I think it will be a great course for people with an interest in this area. It will give the participants the qualifications and most importantly the confidence needed to embark on a coaching career themselves,’’ said Jack O’Connor.

“This is a really exciting development for the College,” stated Carmel Kelly, Acting Principal of KCFE. “The course is aimed at students and adults who wish to gain formal coaching qualifications and become master GAA coaches.”

“Students will spend much of their time on the training pitch and in the gym addressing the practical skills of coaching as well as gaining invaluable insights and knowledge of game video analysis, player performance analysis, player nutrition etc. We are delighted to have developed this course in conjunction with Kerry GAA Board and we look forward to its roll-out in September,” said Ms Kelly.

Participants can expect a very active course with the emphasis on the practical skills of coaching in a GAA environment. The course content addresses GAA coaching to Level 2 (which is the advanced GAA coaching level), player development, game video analysis, endurance training, strength/conditioning, core GAA skill coaching in hurling and football, injury prevention, sports nutrition and sports anatomy and physiology.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to study the  theoretical components of coaching and to apply their practical skills and knowledge on the playing  fields.

On successful completion of the course the participants will achieve GAA Foundation and GAA Levels 1 and 2 Coaching Awards. In addition, students will also complete the Associate Refereeing Course. These nationally recognised qualifications will ensure students are gainfully employed in their chosen career paths.

A key component of the course is work experience in a GAA setting. Working with Kerry GAA Board it is planned to place many of the coaches in local National and Post Primary Schools for their work placements.

Graduates will receive a full major Level 5 Award in Sport, Recreation and Exercise with career opportunities which include GAA coaching, strength and conditioning, personal training, fitness instructing, in the health and leisure industry and community organisations etc. Alternatively Graduates may choose to continue to Higher Education with progression to Universities and Institutes of Technologies nationwide.

“The course supports the wider development of GAA games in the College. With access to the newly refurbished playing pitch adjacent to the college and Tralee Regional Sports and Leisure centre facilities, students can look forward to developing their coaching skills as well as participating in the Colleges Men’s and Ladies GAA teams” according to Carmel Kelly, Acting Principal of KCFE.

Students will have the benefit of learning from a GAA master coach in Jack O’Connor. Jack’s many accomplishments include:


• All-Ireland Senior Football Championship:
Winner (3): 2004, 2006, 2009
Runner-up (2): 2005, 2011
• All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship:
Winner (2):  1996 and 1998.
Runner-up (1): 1999
• All-Ireland Minor Football Championship:
Winner (2): 2014, 2015
• Munster Senior Football Championship:
Winner (4): 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011
• Munster Under-21 Football Championship:
Winner (5):  1996 1997 1998, 1999 2002.
• Munster Minor Football Championship:
Winner (2): 2014, 2015
• National Football League:
Winner (3): 2004, 2006, 2009


• All Ireland Vocational Schools Championships 3: 1997, 1999, 2000
• All Ireland Colleges Hogan Cup 1: 2009
• Munster Vocational Schools Championship 3: 1997, 1999, 2000
• Kerry Vocational Schools Championship 3: 1997, 1999, 2000
• Munster Colleges A Championship 4: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009

“Kerry County GAA Board  is delighted to be associated with this new and exciting initiative in KCFE,” stated  Tim Murphy, Chairperson Kerry County Board. “This course will further enhance GAA coaching in the county and offers the opportunity for young people to gain a professional coaching qualification that will be hugely welcomed at club and county level.’’

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