Name: Des Earls
Club: St. Patrick’s Wicklow Town.
What is your role in the GCA ? : High Performance Manager
Favourite Player / Why? Jack McCaffrey. Has great combination of skill and athleticism
Favourite Team / Why? Tipperary (football). They’ve shown what can be done with good coaching and the right attitude.
Who is your favourite Coach/Why? Jim McGuinness. Showed us all that hard work, belief and a willingness to try something different can win out.
What rule would you change in the GAA?
Get rid of the black card. Deliberate checks and drags should be an automatic red.
What would you say to Players/Clubs to encourage them to be part of the GCA?
The more participation we get from clubs/ parents/ players the greater the success will be. We can all learn something from each other.
How do you as a coach prepare for a session?
I write out the whole session plan and then add three key aspects of the session that I want to work on.
Why is it important to plan your coaching sessions?
Planning an individual session forces coaches to think of the long-term plan! It also means that if session has to be altered at the last minute due to equipment or facility availability you still have a focus to work from.
What is your Coaching ambition?
To create a culture where the players coach each other.
What advice would you give to young players?
Learn by playing. There’s no skill a ball, an empty field and a few mates won’t teach you!
What are your Coaching Qualifications?
Athletes Performance Level 1
International Youth Coaching Association Level 1
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA)
Functional Movement Screen
Why did you get involved with the GCA?
To help the county teams improve in any way I can.
Where do Wicklow need to improve?
Greater collaboration between us all.
What was the first team you coached?
DCU Sigerson 2010
What qualities do you look for in a player to become a GCA squad member?
A willingness to improve in all aspects of the game.
Outline your coaching Philosophy:
It is important to help players understand why they are doing the specific training they are doing and how it will benefit them as footballers. From there you can get input from players when appropriate and help them find their way to a process that brings them success.
Why is it important to regularly update your Knowledge/Qualifications?
There are no hard and fast rules for success, therefore accepted wisdom should be constantly challenged in order to find what current best practice is. Also regular up-skilling helps you to tackle current problems and develop methods of coaching that can bring a new advantage.